Brussels, 21 September 2023 – Yesterday, Flanders’ Minister-President Jan Jambon and Joy Donné, CEO of Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT), kicked off EntertainmentLAB during FIT’s first-ever Flanders International Business Awards. EntertainmentLAB is an initiative of Flanders Technology & Innovation (FTI) and Startup.Flanders with the support of Tomorrowland. This unique innovation program aims to shape the entertainment industry of the future. For Startup.Flanders, the platform through which FIT promotes Flanders as a startup hub internationally, this is the first program of its kind.

“EntertainmentLAB will tread new paths that capitalize on Flanders’ strengths as broadly and concretely as possible. It does so in a field where Flanders is ahead of the game internationally: the entertainment industry. This project fits perfectly with FTI’s goal of creating innovations and solving the challenges of today and tomorrow through collaboration between the government and private sector."
Jan Jambon
Flanders’ Minister-President
Foto van Jan Jambon

EntertainmentLAB helps pave the way for a large-scale project of FTI: the creation of a permanent hub for entertainment technology in Flanders’ Rupel area, south of Antwerp. This incubator was announced in mid-June 2023 by Flanders’ Minister-President Jan Jambon.

Three challenges

EntertainmentLAB is launching three challenges for startups: one on circularity and recycling, one on immersive experiences and one on crowd monitoring. The selected startups will get the chance to test their innovations at one of Tomorrowland’s events and festivals in the summer of 2024. They can count on intensive cooperation with established innovation giants: Brussels Airport, d&b and Telenet.

Check out for more details about:

  • Brussels Airport’s challenge on circularity and recycling
  • d&b’s challenge on immersive experiences
  • Telenet’s challenge on crowd monitoring

Tomorrowland: an ideal playground for startups

Until 17 November 2023, both Flanders-based and international startups can apply for the three EntertainmentLAB challenges. Once selected, they’ll get the opportunity to unleash their innovations on the entertainment industry in real life and create a proof-of-concept.

Tomorrowland provides an optimal framework for the challenges. Festivals serve as ideal testing grounds because they are a blueprint of society. The same complex societal challenges are emerging on a small, manageable scale: from security and sustainability to logistics, digitization, cybersecurity, and so on.
Klaus Van Isacker
Project Leader at Flanders Technology & Innovation
Klaus Van Isacker - FTI

From January 2024 onwards, the selected startups will work on the challenges together with an established corporate: Brussels Airport, d&b or Telenet. They will also receive guidance from innovation experts at Bundl and Flanders-based startup mentor imec.istart. The latter was voted the world’s best university-linked business accelerator by UBI Global in May 2023.

Innovative foundations for the future

EntertainmentLAB aims to tread new paths that capitalize on the strengths of Flanders as broadly and concretely as possible – and it does so within the entertainment industry, a field in which Flanders is ahead of the game internationally.

FTI and Startup.Flanders are doing something unprecedented with EntertainmentLAB. Never before has the government of Flanders, together with a top brand like Tomorrowland, launched an innovation program for startups in the entertainment world connecting such a wide range of local and international players from different fields.
Joy Donné
CEO of Flanders Investment & Trade

Flanders equals innovation and entertainment

The choice of entertainment tech as the focus domain for the innovation program is no coincidence. Flanders is a global leader in media, events and festivals – with international flagships such as Tomorrowland, Rock Werchter and Pukkelpop. In addition, the region offers massive innovation potential thanks to the presence of a highly connected ecosystem:

  • Flanders-based companies invest heavily in innovation. No less than 3.65% of Flanders’ GDP gets channeled into R&D, putting the region in first place worldwide.
  • Flanders-based startups are reaching new heights, putting Flanders on the map as a hub for deep tech, among other things, according to the latest figures from Dealroom.
  • Flanders boasts a one-of-a-kind location amidst 4 of the 5 leading startup hubs in Europe: Paris, London, Amsterdam and Berlin.
  • FIT’s 10 Science & Technology Offices connect Flanders’ tech landscape with innovative hotspots worldwide.

EntertainmentLAB unites this ecosystem for the first time within an overarching innovation program that has both a local and international scope.

Want to find out more?

All practical information about EntertainmentLAB, the three challenges and the selection process can be found at

About FTI

Flanders Technology & Innovation (FTI) is a societal project connecting people and knowledge to create innovations that strengthen Flanders’ competitiveness and the well-being of society sustainably. In doing so, FTI sets up concrete, goal-oriented projects to solve the challenges of today and tomorrow. FTI is a collaboration between the government of Flanders and the private sector.


About FIT and Startup.Flanders

Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT) supports and guides Flanders-based exporters to help them achieve international success. From abroad, FIT attracts potential investors that strengthen Flanders’ economic ecosystem. Talented startups receive special attention through FIT’s Startup.Flanders platform. |


About Tomorrowland

Tomorrowland is one of the largest and most iconic music festivals in the world. Since the first edition in 2005, it has taken place every year at De Schorre, a recreational area in Boom, Flanders. Spread over two weekends, the festival welcomes some 400,000 visitors from more than 200 countries. Over the years, Tomorrowland has grown into a global entertainment and media brand with new festivals and numerous other initiatives.


About Brussels Airport

Brussels Airport is one of the most important airports in Europe, welcoming nearly 19 million passengers in 2022. The airport also has solid cargo activity, accounting for 776,000 tons of cargo traffic in 2022. Additionally, it is a crucial logistics hub for pharmaceuticals, perishables and e-commerce, among other things.


About d&b

The d&b Group provides professional audio tech and AVLM solutions to create memorable, multisensorial experiences. The manufacturing side of the firm, d&b audiotechnik, is internationally regarded as a leading company for sound reinforcement systems in installed and mobile applications, with a reputation for quality of construction, standard of service, system integration principles, and pioneering technological development. The service-focused business entity, d&b solutions, offers complete and flexible audio, video, lighting and XR expertise, covering system planning, installation, maintenance and managed services.

Founded in Germany in 1981, the d&b headquarters are in Backnang, near Stuttgart. With offices in major cities worldwide, the global d&b team totals more than 1,000 professionals. | |  


About Telenet

A provider of entertainment and telecommunications services in Belgium, Telenet focuses on offering digital television, high-speed internet, and fixed and mobile telephony services to residential customers in Flanders and Brussels.


Press contact Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT):
Tine Van Valckenborgh | +32 499 24 60 93 |

Joy Donné, CEO of Flanders Investment & Trade, announcing EntertainmentLab during the Flanders International Business Awards

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