imec istart program

Type of support:


Target audience:

Bestaande ondernemingen


All sectors


Closing soon

Closed on:


imec istart

What is it about?

The imec.istart program offers an initial financial injection (50,000 EUR up to 250,000 EUR in pre-seed funding), professional coaching and mentoring, access to technology and working facilities, and access to a broad network of partners and investors. 

Since its launch in 2011, imec.istart helped more than 290 tech startups in diverse fields – ranging from multimedia and logistics to the healthcare sector – to develop into sustainable ventures.

What are the requirements?

To apply at the imec.istart program, you should meet the following conditions:

  • You are a tech startup
  • Innovation is at the core of your startup DN
  • You have a working proof-of-concept
  • You have a (complementary) founding team
  • You are Belgium-based 

More information about those conditions.

What do you receive?

  • Access to coaching
    • Personal coaching by your Venture Acceleration Manager, a sparring partner and trusted contact on a day-to-day basis
    • A broad range of workshops and one-on-one follow-up tracks, given by topnotch experts
    • Our inhouse-developed Innovatrix, the tool to monitor your progress
    • A diverse network of 100+ experienced mentors
  • Access to finance
    • A first investment of € 50K (in return for 6% equity)
    • Potential follow-up investments by the imec.istart fund (up to € 250K) 
    • An audience of 100+ investors at our biannual Investors Day
    • Our continuous support in order to secure that next funding round
  • Access to technology
    • Imec, a globally recognized R&D and innovation hub
    • A panel of imec domain experts to challenge your technical pitch
    • An imec.istart liaison to guide you through imec’s collaboration opportunities
  • Access to community
    • A community of 260+ startups and like-minded tech entrepreneurs
    • Free office space, shared with other tech startups, during the program
    • A long list of software and service deals, tailored to startup needs
    • A wide range of various events
  • Access to talent
    • Our support in the war for talent
    • A dedicated Teamdynamics officer: focusing on the human aspect of entrepreneurship and offering 1-1 wellbeing sessions
    • Various ways to strengthen your founding team (expert in residence, co-founder events, ... )
    • Our guidance in developing your own talents that help your startup succeed
  • Access to market
    • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Our broad network of corporate partners eager to get to know you
    • A dedicated internationalization officer, your advisor through our catalogue of partnerships, services and missions around the globe
    • A large network of international accelerators, experts and partners to help you touch base in new markets

Remember what data?

Every year we launch 3 competitive calls with deadlines on the following dates:

  • February 1st
  • June 1st
  • October 1st

Once you've submitted your application, the selection process goes like this. For our Autumn 2023 call, these will be the important dates to note in your agenda:

  • 1 september: Open call
  • 12 september: info session
  • 1 october: submission deadline
  • 11 october: first selection
  • 17-18 october: Jury pitch
  • 24 october: onboarding day
  • 8 november: Kick-off day

How to apply?

Prepare your application

Even if our call is not open, you can already start preparing your application. Download the application template document and get a clear view into the application questions.

Download the application documents on the website.


Apply here

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