That extra push at the start


As a start-up, you may feel ready to move on after a while. But that is easier said than done. At that point, it is wise to seek help for that extra push.

One way is by joining an acceleration programme that offers you guidance, tips, insights on things you might not have thought of before and much more. We give you some examples.


The business acceleration programme of imec, an international R&D and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies, supports tech start-ups in their early development phase. Although imec has an international outreach, their headquarter is based in Leuven and imec.istart is a Belgian acceleration programme. Moreover, it is a much-lauded programme: UBI Global put it in first place on its list of university-related acceleration programmes in Europe. Specifically, the business acceleration programme supports entrepreneurs in the early development of their tech start-ups for a minimum of 12 months.

The programme provides access to funding (a pre-seed funding of €50,000), coaching and mentoring, a large network of partners and investors, technology, work facilities and other forms of support (e.g. software deals, marketing and communication advice, etc.). Evoke is a PR partner of imec.istart, for example, and in that capacity it offers start-ups and scale-ups a tailor-made approach to their PR and content marketing.

A few convincing figures:

  • To date, imec.istart has already helped 185+ start-ups and 45 scale-ups.

  • The companies in the programme were responsible for the creation of 1200+ jobs

  • More than €120 million in revenues

You can register here for imec.istart.


As a joint programme of ICAB Business & Technology Incubator and Microsoft Innovation Center Brussels, this accelerator helps tech start-ups to grow. Thanks to the collaboration between ICAB and MIC, the programme is able to integrate the experience gained from both organisations, from which start-ups in turn can only benefit.

The Amplitude+ programme helps start-ups overcome the challenges associated with the desire to grow. Specifically, it uses a phased approach with three self-contained modules over an 18-month period. Thus, start-ups receive more than 100 hours of individual and collective coaching. Perhaps most importantly, there is no cost to the programme and no need for equity.

Register here for the Amplitude+ acceleration programme. 

Start it @ KBC

The unique selling point of Start it @KBC is that there are no obligations when you participate in their acceleration programme. As an ambitious start-up, you don't have to pay any money or provide any equity. All that is expected of you is that you are dedicated, open-minded and eager to learn. That should not be a problem if you are already interested in participating in an acceleration programme.

Start it @KBC welcomes start-ups at any stage of their growth, whether you are in the idea phase or already growing. If you are accepted into the programme, you will have access to over a million dollars worth of benefits. The programme allows you to build an extensive and professional network, provides local ad hoc workshops and offers a place to work in co-working spaces in six Belgian cities (Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent, Hasselt, Kortrijk and Leuven).

Some impressive figures:

  • 200+ million euro in financial resources

  • 150+ million euro in revenues

  • 120+ start-ups per year

  • 1300+ start-up founders


BEyond is an acceleration programme supported by Pulse Foundation, a philanthropic initiative of entrepreneurial families in Belgium. The goal of both the foundation and the programme is to stimulate and support future entrepreneurship.

Each year, ten scale-ups are selected to participate in the acceleration programme, where the focus lies on community, connections and trust. In this way, the scale-ups can boost their growth through the inspiration and knowledge they gain in bootcamps and workshops. In addition, a personal mentor will be assigned to your scale-up who will share his expertise and international success stories with you.

The programme is aimed at tech scale-ups with a strong connection to Belgium. If you are such a start-up, grab your chance and apply


Birdhouse offers a network that is invaluable to entrepreneurs. Their mission is to support start-ups in their journey to successful scale-up by sharing knowledge and expertise. To fulfil that mission, they have set up an acceleration programme. For each start-up, a tailor-made six-month programme is put together in which several components help you achieve your goals.

The programme is quite intensive, with dedicated coaching, raising capital, building a valuable network, participating in goal-oriented workshops, receiving personal coaching and access to a well-equipped office in Ghent or Antwerp.

You can already pre-register for Birdhouse's acceleration programme here.