• Flanders Investment & Trade
  • About us

Press release – Brussels, 28 April 2022

To give Flanders’ tech scene even more of an international identity. That is why Flanders’ Minister-President Jan Jambon launched a brand-new digital platform during the third edition of the Flanders International Economic Summit (FIES) of Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT). In addition to providing an overview of the region’s start-up ecosystem, the platform also unlocks international business opportunities. As such, it connects promising tech actors from Flanders with potential investors, incubators and other members of the ecosystem. During FIES, Minister-President Jan Jambon also presented his first “State of Flanders Tech” on the recent evolution and current value of Flanders’ start-up ecosystem.

The Flanders Tech Ecosystem platform was built by data specialist Dealroom, a major reference in the international start-up landscape, in partnership with FIT and with support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as well as Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship (VLAIO).

Unlocking business and international opportunities

Flanders Tech Ecosystem – flanders.dealroom.co – is more than an open-access database. Based on objective data and in full transparency, it provides a detailed picture of the nearly 2,200 start-ups in Flanders. It offers relevant information about the activities, capital rounds, valuations and business potential of Flanders-based tech players in numerous innovation domains, including flagship names such as argenx, Ablynx, Deliverect, Galapagos and team.blue. However, new start-ups also get more visibility via the platform.

At the same time, the platform is a powerful tool to connect start-ups and allows them to spot promising companies. In short, it’s an indispensable asset to help start-ups grow internationally, make Flanders’ start-up ecosystem better known worldwide, support talented entrepreneurs and developers, and inform potential investors.

By joining Dealroom, FIT connects Flanders’ start-up ecosystem with similar initiatives in more than 30 tech nations, regions and cities, including France (French Tech), the UK (Tech Nation), Canada (Start Alberta), the US (Atlanta), the Netherlands (Techleap.nl), Sweden (Startup Sweden) and the German cities of Berlin and Munich. In this way, the platform helps tech companies explore more opportunities for international trade, investment and collaborations.

First-ever report on Flanders’ start-up ecosystem

During the FIES 2022 event, Flanders’ Minister-President Jan Jambon also announced the main conclusions from the Dealroom report “The State of Flanders Start-up Ecosystem 2022”. This is the first-ever report on the economic impact and strengths of Flanders’ start-up ecosystem. FIT compiled this report in collaboration with Dealroom, offering insights into the evolution of the region’s start-up community in recent years.

Some keys insights from the report:

  • Flanders’ tech ecosystem is home to more than 2,000 start-ups, representing a total enterprise value of around EUR 32 billion.
  • 2021 was a record year for venture capitalist investments in Flanders: start-ups in the region raised over EUR 558 million, having tripled in five years’ time.
  • 2022 started very strong. With EUR 292 million raised between January and April, Flanders’ start-up ecosystem could potentially raise EUR 876 million by the end of the year.
  • With R&D expenditure reaching up to 3.3% of the region’s GDP, Flanders is one of Europe’s most proportionally funded R&D regions.

 

Quotes

By partnering with Dealroom, we are strengthening FIT’s start-up strategy while boosting the internationalization of start-ups. In this way, we help promising companies find their perfect investment match and vice versa. It’s a crucial marketing tool both for Flanders’ start-up community and for individual start-ups. Our message to them is clear: claim or add your start-up to the platform, share the database with your network and help us make your company profile as visible and up to date as possible. Furthermore, this initiative is an ideal addition to earlier efforts of FIT, such as the recent doubling of our team of Science & Technology Counselors: from Silicon Valley and New York to Paris, Copenhagen, Guangzhou, Singapore and Tokyo. They promote technology from Flanders around the globe, including by having a visible presence at international innovation fairs and tech events. Finally, joining Dealroom provides leverage to attract foreign start-ups that – complementarily – strengthen Flanders’ ecosystem.
Claire Tillekaerts
CEO of Flanders Investment & Trade
Foto Claire Tillekaerts
With flanders.dealroom.co, we are putting Flanders’ start-up and innovation scene on the international map once and for all. As such, ambitious entrepreneurs and investors gain access to the data and network they need to move forward quickly in a well-thought-out way. This allows them to focus on what matters most: developing the innovative solutions and applications our world needs. The data shows that Flanders’ start-up ecosystem is growing rapidly. In the context of “Flanders Accelerates!”, our region’s internationalization strategy, it’s now time for the next step: to work toward Startup.Flanders, a global brand identity for our tech region. Only together, and with a clear vision, can we conquer and maintain our place in the world. Now that we completed the necessary data sprint, the entire start-up community in Flanders must – together with FIT – focus on acceleration, a definitive international breakthrough and scaling up.
Jan Jambon
Minister-President of Flanders
Foto van Jan Jambon
At Dealroom, we are very excited to collaborate with FIT in the coming years to provide a complete overview of the impact and potential of Flanders’ start-up ecosystem, which is not only growing rapidly but is also characterized by a very strong concentration of R&D activities. At the same time, the ecosystem has room for future growth. In this regard, the newly created Flanders Tech Ecosystem will undoubtedly contribute to linking Flanders’ high-potential start-ups and innovative entrepreneurs to venture capitalists around the globe.
Yoram Wijngaarde
founder and CEO of Dealroom

About FIES 2022

Both Flanders’ joining of the Dealroom platform and the new start-up report were officially launched during the Flanders International Economic Summit (FIES) on Thursday April 28. Under the motto “Let's catch up”, FIES 2022 offered its 280 participants even more. As such, POLITICO Europe tech reporter Pieter Haeck moderated panel discussions around three main themes that shape the future of internationalization:


1. Flanders’ start-up ecosystem

Flanders’ Minister-President Jan Jambon revealed the region’s first start-up report in partnership with Dealroom. In a video testimonial, Yoram Wijngaarde, CEO of Dealroom, elaborated on the cooperation with FIT and the importance of having a company profile on Dealroom. Furthermore, Katleen Verleysen, CEO of miDiagnostics, also commented on the start-up report, while Zhong Xu, CEO of the Deliverect, shared a video testimonial about growing as a start-up and the role of FIT in Flanders’ start-up ecosystem.


2. E-commerce and sustainability

Dirk Tirez, CEO of bpost, debated with Heleen Buldeo Rai, author and researcher at the Université Gustave Eiffel. In addition, as part of a video testimonial, Maarten Bodewes, CEO of Loops, and Matthias Pletinckx, Country Manager at Budbee, discussed the crucial role of sustainability and internationalization in e-commerce.


3. The future of international trade

Among others, Roel Vandenbulcke, CEO of Hysopt, Sabina Ciofu, Associate Director of trade organization techUK, and Koen De Leus, Chief Economist at BNP Paribas Fortis, shared the most recent trends shaping the present and future of internationalization: from the green & digital “twin” transition to technology and trade promotion.

Press contact

Tine Van Valckenborgh
  E  tine.vanvalckenborgh@fitagency.be
  M  +32 499 24 60 93

Share this article

Share this article

Recent news