On 14 November 2019, over 40 partners within the Limburg Startup community gathered at the DronePort campus in Sint-Truiden for a stakeholder meeting. Prof. dr. Dr. Pieter Vandekerkhof of the University of Hasselt presented the results of a research that was carried out by VLAIO and FIT to investigate the Flemish startup eco-system. After that, the startups Project Pura and Bullswap gave an explanation of their business model.
The session started with an explanation of a study by VLAIO and FIT on the startup eco-system. The assignment was to map the existing ecosystem around incubator and accelerators in Flanders through a landscape analysis. The intention was to gain insights of the most important needs and expectations of the present startups and scaleups in this landscape, both in general and in terms of incubators and accelerators.
The research clearly showed that the main concern of the surveyed entrepreneurs is the need for financial resources. We also conclude that foreign companies see access to additional financing sources and access to (customer) networks as an attraction pole. On the other hand, we notice that the services of incubators and accelerators are strongly focussed on the core tasks of an incubator, being networking, advising, knowledge exchange and housing. Only 53% of the incubators guide their stakeholders in their financing needs and barely 22% are involved in providing real financing.
The research resulted in a future-oriented profile for the Flemish ecosystem. Spread over three different domains, six improvement principles were put forward. This ranges from the further professionalization of the services of incubators to the international promotion of the region and the imposition of one mutual vision, mission, strategy and culture of the Flemish ecosystem. You can read all results and conclusions in this presentation.
Then it was the turn of the Project Pura and Bullswap startups to explain their business model in front of the present stakeholders based on a pitch presentation. “By connecting all stakeholders from the broad startup landscape, we are accelerating young entrepreneurship within the province and allowing entrepreneurship in the region to grow,” said Marc Beeners of Limburg Startup. The session ended with a guided tour of the DronePort campus building.