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Infograph sirris


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Belgian startup scene is booming
Belgium is not just the country of waffles, chocolates, beer and smurfs. It has a thriving startup scene too.

Brussels, both the capital of Belgium and Europe, is hosting the lion share of Belgian startups: a whopping 33% of all startups are based there.

Startups in Belgium are mainly B2B oriented (72%), it’s the opposite of Silicon Valley where B2C startups dominate with a ratio of 2:1. There is a reason for it: location. If you would take a radius of 500 km around Brussels, you will find the highest diversity in industrial capabilities and know how in the world. It also explains why manufacturing focused startups are the second biggest vertical in the industry ranking.

1/3 of the Belgian startups are in a scaling stage, but with only € 100M of VC investment last year, there is still a long way to go. Despite the finance gap, the startup ecosystem is accelerating as of 2010. More startups are created in the last 4 years than in the previous 40 years.

10% of Belgian startups have a foreign branch, given that it’s a small multilingual market, this is not a surprise. The popular destination is the USA, with 31% of all foreign branches, followed by the neighboring countries France, Netherlands, UK and Luxembourg. Surprisingly, neighboring manufacturing powerhouse Germany didn’t make it to the top 5.

Lastly, 9% of startups started their life as an university spin-off. Given the enormous amount of public money that is invested in (technology) research this is a rather low output. Once again it confirms the European paradox: great science but the translation of knowledge into marketable innovations is poor.

Published in: Business

Infograph sirris

  1. 1. #BETECH STARTUPS Sample Size 1000STARTUPS TYPE MATURITY BY PROVINCE BY REGION TOP 10 INDUSTRIES TOP 5 INVESTMENTS IN 2014 FOUNDING YEAR STARTUPS WITH FOREIGN BRANCHES B2B 72% B2C 28% 51% 33% 37% 8% 3% Startup Scaleup Deadpool Acquired 1. AdTech 2. Manufacturing 3. HealthTech 4. FinTech 5. HRTech 1. Amplidata €14.9M 2. Odoo €7.4M 3. Showpad €6.8M 4. Unified Post €6M 5. Cartagenia €4.2M Flanders 50% Brussels 33% Wallonia 17% 6. Mobility 7. EdTech 8. MICE 9. MusicTech 10. Retail TOP 10 STARTUP CITIES 1. Brussels 2. Antwerp 3. Ghent 4. Leuven 5. Hasselt 6. Liège 7. Louvain-la-Neuve 8. Namur 9. Kortrijk 10. Wavre *Counting for 54% of total *Counting for 39% of total investments (Brussels) 16% Antwerp 13% East Flanders 10% Flemish Brabant 6% Walloon Brabant 6% Limburg 5% West Flanders 5% Liège 3% Hainaut 2% Namur 1% Luxembourg 1981 2014 49,000 JOBS CREATED More than TOP 3 DOMAINS USEDUNIVERSITY SPIN-OFFS 9% BVBA / SPRL NV / SA Others 54% 43% 3% Omar Mohout - © Sirris 2015 LEGAL SETUP 31% USA 11% France 11% Netherlands 7% UK 4% Luxembourg UGent 20% KUL 18% ULB 16% UA 15% VUB 12% ULG 10% Others 8% .com 57% .be 28% .eu 5%