On March 28th, De Shop will host the second edition of the Antwerp Startup Fair, the event encouraging fewer awkward handshakes and more real results.

Last year over 650 attendees enjoyed the one-day networking experience in a relaxed environment. With a hands-on approach, Antwerp Startup Fair is an unusual offer: it brings startups together with anyone who is interested in investing, buying - or working for them. With this mix of entrepreneurs, investors, job seekers and potential buyers, Antwerp Startup Fair is a must-attend event.

The fair will kickstart with the morning track Invest in startups (10AM-12AM) followed by a nice lunch break. The afternoon will introduce the track Buy from & Work for startups (2PM-6PM). 

In the morning, we’ll assure high-quality networking and fill the room with investors. Please note that we’ll provide the attending investors with a startup portfolio mid-February so submit your application before February 16th. As for the participation, eligibility to participate in the morning track depends on matching the selection criteria.For the afternoon we’ll bring decision-makers, job seekers and potential buyers in direct contact with startups. As an entrepreneur, you will get a meeting point free of charge. 

As last year, several organisations partnered up to make the event happen: Antwerp city, Startit @KBC, Kickstart, Agentschap innoveren en ondernemen, VDAB,Digipolis, Microsoft Innovation Center and Wolters Kluwer. For full details on the showcase, exhibitors and partners, head to Antwerp Startup Fair.

What to expect? 

Let us walk you through the Antwerp Startup Fair...

  • It won't cost you a thing

Free. To exhibit, to attend, to mingle like-minded people, to get business leads, to find talent, to meet investors. All for as low as 0. But we do hope you buy some food and drinks because all work and no play, makes you a dull entrepreneur.

  • More top talent willing to land a job in a startup 

This year Student.be got on board as a supporter so expect to see more job seekers in the venue than last year. Students and young graduates will attend looking for exciting opportunities in startups ranging from positions in software development and data analysis to marketing and sales.

  • Not from Antwerp? Not a problem!

To take part, it is NOT a requirement to run your business in Antwerp. The fair is open to all Belgian tech startups that want to exhibit, so give it a go and apply by March 3rd.

We already have exhibiting companies from Ghent, Brussels, Charleroi, Tournai, and, of course, Antwerp. Since showcasing your company is free but spots are limited, we welcome you to apply as soon as possible since we are selecting startups on a first come, first served basis.

Same goes for attendees, you don't need to be based in Antwerp. So come along and join us for a day with business opportunities and cool food trucks (and hopefully G O R G E O U S weather like last year's edition).

  • See who will attend, schedule a meeting and connect beforehand

As last year, a networking app will be available to easily find who is joining the event. Remember: we want you to make the most of your time, with fewer awkward handshakes and more results.

  • Really varied companies

One of the objectives is to have as many early-stage companies coming from all around Belgium. So the Antwerp Startup Fair is the ideal occasion to meet startups representing Information technology, Bio tech & Health, Manufacturing, Entertainment & Media, FinTech, Education and more.

  • No dress code required

As in the previous edition, we will equally welcome newspaper boy caps, funny packs, camouflage kilts and other often-disregarded clothing items

By Gabriela Fernández Scala