Selected start-ups in the year-long acceleration program receive €50,000 as pre-seed funding, tailored coaching and a range of business development support including drafting business plans, financial road mapping, clarifying intellectual property, market analysis, customer contracts and more. While funding is crucial for start-ups, imec’s international network also provides insight into foreign markets and broadens the scope of the start-up’s potential audience for sales and related growth opportunities.
Eligible companies must have some form of proof-of-concept or core product prototype. Verticals in which companies may apply include, Logistics, Mobility & Smart Cities, Health, Media, Telecom & Entertainment, Fintech, InsurTech & Cybersecurity, HRTech & LearnTech, Sports and Industry 4.0.
Once the call for applicants closes, imec and imec.istart funding partners will select the top submissions to pitch their idea in-person in Antwerp. From there, final selections will be made. During the last call, more than 40 submissions were reviewed, half were invited to pitch their plans and eight were selected to join the program.
“Beyond business support, our team focuses on follow-up funding through external investments,” said Sven De Cleyn, program manager of imec.istart. “We have helped our start-ups to procure more than €195 million in additional funding to help them grow beyond the accelerator program and scale up.”
Founded in 2011, imec.istart issues a call for applicants three times each year, investing in and supporting tech startups for a minimum of 12 months. Its current portfolio consists of nearly 185 tech start-ups across all industries with an 84% continuation rate through acquisition or management buy-out. Portfolio companies are responsible for creating more than 1,200 full-time jobs. Examples of start-ups currently in the program include Creative Therapy , Alexandria.Works, Arkane and Epcon.
imec.istart - www.imecistart.com