Incubators generally offer a wide range of services to make your life on the job easier: accommodation, a reception area, internet access, networking activities, business model analyses, financial planning, different types of audits and so on.
In an incubator you can focus on your own start-up to develop further, as if you were sitting on an egg ready to be hatched. In this article, we highlight four incubators in Brussels.
First of all, it is important not to confuse incubators with accelerators. Companies usually join an incubator for an indefinite period of time; they are free to join or leave at any time. The threshold for joining an incubator is also lower than joining an accelerator programme. An incubator is a good place to start networking, whereas an acceleration programme is a bit more intensive and demanding. Incubators are an important stepping stone to success, while accelerators are for start-ups that are ready to take the next step.
For more information on Belgian accelerator programmes, read our previous blog post (link to https://www.evokepr.be/nl/blog/vijf-belgische-acceleratieprogrammas-om-de-groei-van-je-start-up-te-stimuleren). Today, we recommend four Brussels incubators where you get the space to develop your business to its full potential: ICAB, BLSI, Greenbizz and EEBIC.
ICAB: business and technology incubator
At Evoke, we work from ICAB in Etterbeek. It is the largest incubator in Brussels where mainly start-ups from the ICT and engineering sector are located. ICAB offers private offices, co-working spaces, meeting and seminar rooms and a cafeteria to guarantee a productive working environment.
Apart from a fully equipped workplace in a central location in Brussels, ICAB also provides networking opportunities, personal advice, access to the university cooperation with the Vrije Universiteit Brussels and expertise for each start-up. For example, they help you with an analysis of your business model or market analysis, financial planning, etc. A great place to work and grow!
BLSI: Brussels Life Science Incubator
BLSI provides a workplace for up to 180 people working in the life sciences sector. It is located in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert, near the campus of the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL). The incubator welcomes start-ups working in e-health, medical devices, biotechnology or other technological sectors. These companies benefit from the infrastructure provided by BLSI, the customised support offered and the integration into the ecosystem of the UCL's research units.
Currently, 29 companies have established themselves in BLSI and make use of offices, laboratories, meeting rooms, relaxation areas and technical equipment.
At incubator Greenbizz in Laken, it's all about sustainability. They are the first eco-responsible incubator in Belgium and offer young companies and start-ups a place to create and develop their project in the sustainable and circular economy. You can work in production workshops, modular offices or co-working spaces. As part of the infrastructure, a reception desk, telephony, internet, furniture, meeting rooms, relaxation areas, etc. are also included.
However, Greenbizz does not only offer infrastructure, but also valuable services. You can get support and coaching from experts in the field, tailored to your start-up, and all that for free. The incubator provides an ecosystem and a network in which you share with many others a drive to innovate towards a sustainable economy.
In 2015, EEBIC moved to a new building in Anderlecht that houses private offices, flexible co-working spaces and meeting rooms for about 350 entrepreneurs. Of course, it wouldn't be an incubator if it only offered a place to work. EEBIC has two complementary purposes as a business incubator. Firstly, they rent out accommodation and secondly, they are an investment fund manager that can help technology start-ups to capitalise on their potential. They create an environment where companies are encouraged to grow, thanks to B2B advice and consultancy services on a daily basis.
The incubator is easily accessible by car and metro. Facilities such as fitness, a relaxation area and a restaurant also add to the appeal of the incubator.