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accelerators and incubators belgium by vestbee
27 October 2022·14 min read

Katarzyna Groszkowska

Editor, Vestbee

Best Startup Accelerators And Incubators In Belgium

Belgium, by all means, is a vibrant and dynamic country - not only because of its unique cultural landscape but also due to its booming startup and venture capital ecosystem. Many international and pan-European organizations are headquartered there with governments across all regions - Flanders, Wallonia and the city of Brussels - actively anting up the entrepreneurial spirit, making Belgium one of the primary locations for international expats and startup founders planning global expansions. The innovative sectors of the Belgian economy are therefore rapidly growing with many entities operating in the market, that contribute to its characteristic high level of entrepreneurial innovation - VC firms, and investment funds, business angel groups, technology hubs and, most topically, accelerators and incubators. With the mission to bring forward the most important players of the European startup ecosystem we have already looked closer at Belgium - after describing the leading VC firms stationed there, it is time to delve deeper into accelerators and incubators. 

So without further ado, let’s explore active Belgian startup accelerators and incubators with open calls, ready to boost the growth of your startup. 

Birdhouse Accelerator

Birdhouse Accelerator is a Ghent-based accelerator, that supports startups on their scale-up journey through the deployment of its knowledge, expertise, and invaluable network. It's open for ambitious founders, with at least a prototype, proof of concept, or MVP and a committed team, no matter in which sector of the industry they operate. The selected startups can count on receiving dedicated mentoring, an opportunity to get a 50K Bullet Loan (for startups who have or will have an activity in Belgium), access to a vast network of industry experts and investors as well as help in all the intricacies of startup financing. The program consists of one-to-one expert sessions, workshops with key players of the start-up scene, advisory services, matchmaking with national and international experts, and tailor-made elective courses. The selected cohort will also benefit from the invitation to co-working offices located in Antwerp, Ghent and Brussels. Moreover, Birdhouse also organizes an innovative Agetech Accelerator for entrepreneurs addressing critical challenges in the Agetech domain. 


eFounders is a Belgian and French startup studio that leverages its innovation capacity and a network of entrepreneurial individuals by connecting founders with cutting-edge solutions aiming to solve real-market problems. They assemble a founding team for a new venture, business and tech-oriented professionals, and help them get the project started - transforming that initial idea into an early company - with a team, customers, and a product. Later, they support the companies in preparing the pitch in front of investors, becoming independent due to this financing, and moving out of the studio. eFounders team takes a fully hands-on approach when developing new ventures alongside the founding team - working on product, design, strategy, go-to-market, recruiting, and funding. They are most specialized in software and SaaS companies however they have also launched a separate studio devoted to fintech startups. 

Incubators Brussels

Incubators Brussels is a network of integrated incubators located in the Belgian capital city and created with the aim to develop synergies between them and provide young companies with resources such as the provision of space in various ecosystems, adjustable facilities, multiple financing solutions, access to networks, support in the form of coaching and, above all, the spirit of innovation and a lively community. The following four incubators are integrated into this project: Brussels Life Science Incubator - located at the UCLouvain campus and aimed at early companies from the life and health science sector; EEBIC - an incubator that manages seven investment funds (EEBIC Ventures) giving its startups a unique opportunity to develop and access crucial financing streams; GREENBIZZ - hosting a unique ecosystem of urban projects in the sustainable and circular economy, offering the benefits such as office spaces, labs, production workshops and business development services; and last but not least - ICAB - a business and technology incubator, providing well-rounded growth opportunities for its tech companies.

Medical Solutions Accelerator 

Medical Solutions Accelerator aims to boost the medical entrepreneurship climate in Flanders and help early startups develop their breakthrough medical solutions, get them validated by users and patients in clinical testing and obtain financing. To do so, it deploys state-of-the-art technology with product innovation services and input from end users and medical experts in a clinical setting as well as a broad network of coaches and experts not only in the medical field but also from legal, technical, and business aspects. During the acceleration phase, its companies can also benefit from a series of workshops, one-on-one coaching, and access to facilities such as innovation methodologies, labs, prototyping infrastructure, 3D design tools, and more. 


Imec.istart is a leading acceleration program in the region, ranked the #1 university-linked business accelerator in Europe, offering tech startups pre-seed funding and tailored support to succeed and grow globally. It takes place annually and lasts for 12 months. Benefits of the program include at least 50K EUR in cash investment (with a possibility of 200K more as the startup grows), personal mentorship strengthened by an extensive network of experts and like-minded digital tech entrepreneurs as well as access to an international network and an opportunity to leverage your product with a globally recognized R&D and innovation hub Imec. Imec.istart supports technology-based startups, developing products in software, hardware, deeptech and shallowtech with either headquarters in Belgium or a solid proof linking the firm to the Belgian region. To be selected for the acceleration program, the companies need to be innovative, have a working proof-of-concept, a team of at least 2 founders. 


SportUp is a Flemish accelerator with the goal to help sports tech startups operating in the domain of sport and physical activity (health, performance, media), create internationally scalable businesses. Each year it selects 10 sports startups and helps them through three unique programs. The first one is SportUp Meet - events for the sports technology ecosystem created to share resources and collaborate. The second one is SportUp Boost -a three-month-long program for early-stage startups, that focuses on product-market fit and direct networking, preparing its cohort to apply for Imec.istart acceleration program later in their growth journey. It offers support in the areas such as tech development, pitching, startup organization, business modeling, or digital marketing. The third and final part of the SportUp offer is SportUp Start - a program that falls under the umbrella of Imec.istart services. It's designed for mid-stage startups with international ambitions that already have a proof-of-concept product, offering them with intensive acceleration program full of workshops, mentoring, and events as well as the initial investment of 50K EUR in the pre-seed round. 


AI4Media is a project funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program that aims to deliver the next generation of core AI advances and training to serve the Media sector and ensure that the European values of ethical and trustworthy AI are embedded in future AI deployments. It brings together the currently fragmented European AI landscape in the field of media and develops connections between academia and industry by partnering with universities, research centers and industrial organizations. Currently, it focuses at entrepreneurs and companies (micro-SMEs, SMEs, mid-caps) developing new AI-powered solutions in media sectors. Selected projects are implemented over a period of 12 months and offered equity-free funding, dedicated boot camps, and online events to support market take-up, business support, personalized coaching and major visibility, promotion and networking opportunities.

biotope by VIB

biotope by VIB is a 12-month, Flanders-based incubator aimed for biotech startups. It is one of many initiatives coming from VIB - an independent research institute where the best scientists from Belgium and abroad conduct pioneering basic research, that is a driving force behind the Flemish biotech ecosystem. VIB directly partners with many institutes and universities connecting all industry experts and leveraging these advantages through a series of different activities. The incubation program for startups is one of them. It implements a hands-on approach, giving its companies tailor-made support across all ranges of its activities - from business to science and technology. It includes access to labs, cutting-edge research technology and facilities, help from a network of researchers, experts, corporate partners, and investors, as well as dedicated mentorship and coaching by biotechnology entrepreneurs. Moreover, selected startups can count on €250k pre-seed funding in the form of a convertible loan. 


BlueChem is an Antwerp-based sustainable chemistry incubator that brings together industry, academia and governments to help startups grow to an industrial scale. It's a place known for its leading-edge research development and facilities that allow companies to tackle the difficulties of operating in the chemical sectors - it offers customizable labs, as well as private offices and flexible workspaces. It also provides its tenants with a multitude of services such as support in business development, legal advice, or discounts for equipment purchases. Companies stationed there can also access and benefit from its wide network of partners - government agencies, investors, universities, research centers, and more. BlueChem is specifically created for companies that address one of the strategic goals of sustainable chemistry such as biobased value chains, process intensification and transformation, circularity and resource efficiency as well development of advanced sustainable products

Netwerk Ondernemen

Netwerk Ondernemen is a collaborative company, based in Berchem, supporting entrepreneurs on their business growth journey and helping them establish a network of like-minded professionals. It coordinates three initiatives - Mentor Me, Boost Me and Fund Me. It provides comprehensive support to founders - they can get a mentorship and advisory board from industry experts, that will last two years as well as a practical acceleration program and access to tailor-made funding opportunities and financing prospects. 

Start It Accelerate

Leuven-based Start It Accelerate offers a vast and comprehensive variety of business development programs as well as a startup community, mentor support, and industry events and training. Start it @KBC is their flagship one-year program for ambitious funders of all backgrounds and industries, with the aim to grow their network and their business. The selected cohort can benefit from the vast resources, access to top minds of the industry and a unique Start It Academy with workshops, talks, webinars, discounts, and more. The addition to the core program is Start it Fashion & Creative - powered by the city of Antwerp and tailored to the needs of startups operating in the fashion industry. A corresponding program for Wallonian startups is called Start it @CBC and it helps startups and scale-ups in all sectors grow faster with expert guidance and an international network. Women in Tech is yet another offered program, that supports female founders on their road to innovative entrepreneurship. Currently, registrations are open for yet another initiative -  Market Me - a 4-week program, conducted in Dutch, for entrepreneurs who want to boost their sales and create a concrete action plan.


XLR8 is yet another Belgian accelerator on the list, based in Antwerp. It supports B2B tech  startups, from the earliest stages, through its personalized approach to venture building and a network of experienced entrepreneurs and coaches in the Benelux market. It also connects startups with the right financing and investors, offers them coworking spaces all over Flanders, Wallonia, and in the Netherlands, as well as serves as a gateway into the vast Cronos Groep ecosystem - a catalyst of scientific research on new technologies that boost innovation in the region. 

Startup Factory

Startup Factory is a Brussels-based studio that builds and incubates new business ventures through its vast ecosystem of founders, entrepreneurs, and experts with the aim to fast-track the startup cycle and launch successful businesses. The services they offer are divided into two sections - the studio itself and corporate venture building. Startups chosen for the acceleration should be operational, service-oriented, and with a tangible component. Upon selection, they can count on an initial investment of 30K to incubate their ideas, gain traction and convert initial paying clients, later on, they can access more capital to build a great team, launch a product, and onboard the right investors. Startups can benefit from the support of the community of world-class entrepreneurs, investors, and corporate partners, gathered around the Startup Factory. They will also be offered hands-on operational support that includes sales and business development, help in establishing MVP, a great product-market fit with early traction as well as recruitment, legal, and fundraising advice. The equity of selected companies is divided equally between the Startup Factory and the founding team.

Move Up by Digital Attraxion

The Move Up program, based in the Hainaut Province in Belgium, is an initiative organized by Digital Attraxion - a digital startup accelerator, created in partnership with local VC firms (Sambrinvest, Invest Mons Borinage Centre & WAPInvest), working together with the goal to support entrepreneurial activities in the region, develop its ecosystem and prepare local startups for their first funding rounds. Move Up is dedicated to startups operating in the healthcare sectors that want to connect with hospitals to confront their product with market needs, validate their innovative proposal, and benefit from capital funding. In order to apply, startups should already have a working prototype. Benefits of the program include 

50K € funding as a convertible loan, pitch sessions, workshops, coaching sessions, mentorship opportunities, and access to an e-health network composed of investors, companies, hospitals, startups, and researchers. 

BeNeLux Catalyst

BeNeLux Catalyst is a New York-based, no-equity acceleration program for ambitious founders from Belgium, The Netherlands, and Luxembourg, hoping to scale internationally. 

This two-week program allows the selected tech startups to work with local experts, mentors, and peers to validate and improve their business ideas - through a collaborative environment, an individualized blueprint for international growth, and access to a network of investors and prospective clients. Moreover, through the program companies are able to get a better understanding of the American business landscape. In order to qualify for the program, startups should have a scalable model, already achieved traction in their home market, and have intentions to expand to the USA. The program takes place in New York, however, the companies are welcome to join the session from wherever in the world they currently are.

ESA Space Solutions Belgium

ESA Space Solutions Belgium is a unique business incubator focused on transforming cutting-edge space technologies into innovative and profitable businesses. Supported by the European Space Agency and Wallonia Space Logistics, ESA Space Solutions Belgium offers a range of services to help start-ups and SMEs bring their space-related business ideas to life. 

Their incubation program provides tailored advice, coaching and funding opportunities to help entrepreneurs turn their space ideas into successful businesses. They also provide access to world-class facilities, such as laboratories and test sites, and networking opportunities with industry experts and investors. Whether you are developing a new space technology or looking for innovative solutions to everyday problems on Earth, ESA Space Solutions Belgium is the ideal partner to help you turn your ideas into reality.

Want to discover more accelerators and incubators from other countries? Check out the list below. 
Top Accelerators and Incubators from:

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