It’s official: Startups.be has reached a structural collaboration agreement with Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT), Flanders’ agency for international enterprise. 

The agreement was signed on 3 October 2017 by Karen Boers, CEO of Startups.be, and Claire Tillekaerts, CEO at FIT, during an official ceremony at the Hotel Errera in Brussels.

Flanders’ Minister-President Geert Bourgeois also attended the ceremony, formally sealing the reinforced collaboration. This partnership is embedded within ‘Vlaanderen versnelt!’ (‘Flanders accelerates!’), Flanders’ internationalization strategy.

Startups.be and FIT will work closely together to support the internationalization plans of Flanders-based startups even better and in a more streamlined way. This will be done, among other things, by making FIT's services known to the startups that join the international missions of Startups.be, and by linking those startups to the vast network of international FIT-representatives around the world.

Startups.be organizes about 10 high profile startup missions each year, to destinations such as Silicon Valley, Boston, London, Israel, Berlin, Dubai, Stockholm, Singapore and China.

Startups that participate in those missions, not only learn about the most important tech ecosystems in the world, they're also able to identify potential partners and clients, and can pitch their ideas to international experts and VC’s.

In good company

In addition to Startups.be, another 16 organizations will be enhancing their collaboration with FIT. These include business organizations, chambers of commerce, federations and clusters. Each signed an agreement with FIT to help gear up the internationalization of Flanders-based companies:

  • Agoria
  • B-Hive
  • Belgo-Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry
  • Belgo-Chinese Chamber of Commerce
  • DSP Valley
  • essenscia
  • Euka
  • Flanders Cleantech Association
  • FEVIA Vlaanderen
  • Fedustria
  • Vlaams-Chinese Kamer van Koophandel
  • VIL
  • Flanders.bio
  • Voka
  • Unizo
  • VKWLimburg

The structural partnerships are valid for the period of 2017-2021. Their scopes go beyond earlier project-based collaborations, while the funding is split 50/50 between the partners and FIT.

Every year, the partnerships will be evaluated based on pre-defined key performance indicators (KPIs). That way, their impacts can be measured objectively.