From comprehending the Walloon tech startup players, to portraying the Walloon startup ecosystem at the global level. In the first semester of 2017, The Digital Agency and have conducted a profound study to assess the state of the tech ecosystem in the Walloon region.

Here are the top 5 insights from the report.

#1 The scope and density

Wallonia counts for more than 300 digital startups. The provinces where tech startups are mainly located are Walloon Brabant (+/- 45%), Li├Ęge (+/- 30%) and Hainaut (+/- 20%).

#2 Sectors

65% of Walloon startups are active in B2B. E-health and commerce are the most popular industries, closely followed by FinTech and gaming. Many Walloon startups also offer solutions in marketing and human resources.

#3 Internationalization

Walloon startups are strongly oriented towards going international. 66% have customers outside Belgium, mainly in neighbouring countries but also across the Atlantic.

#4 Financing

Financing young digital companies remains a frustration for many founders. Top 3 reasons are: the difficulty of finding private investors, the limited knowledge of the digital environment and the lack of significant financial capacity in the sector. While 25% of startups have never used external financing, about 45% have already received subsidies, yet only 28% have benefited from the help of public investment funds.

#5 Employment

According to the collected data, startups provide employment for about 3,000 people. On average, every startup employs between 3 and 4 employees. 41% of startups were created by 2 founders. Most of them have a university background in engineering, computer science or management.

The first "Digital Wallonia barometer of Walloon startups in the digital sector" includes three components: 

  • a quantitative analysis of data relating to more than 300 digital startups identified by the Digital Agency and
  • a quantitative survey based on responses of 73 startups and 
  • a qualitative survey based on interviews with 16 startup founders.

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