As of 2018, Belfius foresees to invest 10 million euro in the most promising startups that come from the six-month acceleration programme.

This support to Antwerp and Gent-based accelerator, The Birdhouse, consists of loans to the most promising startups and investment capital of 10 million euro over three years. In addition, the bank will free up some budget to support the day-to-day operations of the accelerator and will take a participation of 20% in the company behind it.

37 supported startups since 2016

The Birdhouse helps to grow startups through workshops, mentorship and coaching. The selected startups get six months of the intensive guidance and receive access to a large network of entrepreneurs and investors. Since 2016, The Birdhouse has supported 37 startups, selected from more than 1,250 registrations, of which 90% Belgian startups.

Source: De Tijd © Wouter Maeckelberghe

"To really grow you need cash."

Jan-Willem Callebaut, founder and CEO of The Birdhouse, comments about the new partnership, "Coaching and valuable mentorship is our basis. But to really grow you need cash." He concludes, "The Birdhouse wants to work with Belfius to make a major contribution to the Belgian startup landscape."

"We will offer easy access to interesting credit formulas."

Pieter Falepin, Regional Commercial Director at Belfius Bank and Insurance explains that because of this new collaboration Belfius will offer startups a unique support, “We will offer strong guidance and mentoring through The Birdhouse, excellent advice on banking and insurance through our financial advisers, easy access to interesting credit formulas and last but not least, investment capital for the most promising startups.”

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