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Innovation Plane: Belgian entrepreneurs looking for innovation and growth opportunities in Berlin

Brussels, September 26 2017 – Following the success of the Paris Innovation Train last June, Co.Station, BECI and Brussels Creative are organizing a trip to Berlin from 23 to 24 November with the support of BNP Paribas Fortis. One of the objectives of the Innovation Plane is to enable entrepreneurs, start-ups and Belgian scale-ups to discover the German digital ecosystem with a perspective other than the one of Belgian companies. In addition, it is also the opportunity for them to go a step further in their development process abroad and more specifically on the German market. In addition to formal and informal networking meetings with local investors, the organizers have scheduled introductory sessions given by key players of the German digital ecosystem. Like in June, 100 seats of the aircraft are booked for Belgian entrepreneurs.

Germany, a catalyst for the Belgian technology sector?

More and more, the German capital is emerging as the center of gravity of the German digital ecosystem. More than 60 of the top 100 start-ups (like SoundCloud, HelloFresh, Delivero Hero, etc.) are located there, as are most investment funds (DN Capital, DST Capital, Index Ventures, etc.). Nevertheless, it seems that German investors are still struggling to find connections with Belgian companies. The same goes for our companies.

When Belgian companies of the technology field are recovered it is mainly by other Belgian companies (36%) and American ones (26%), much less by French (8%), German (5%) or Dutch ones (5%). In a similar vein, when Belgian companies go abroad, it is mainly to the United States, or France, but more rarely to  Germany. Therefore, this trip also aims to help Belgian companies wishing to develop in one of the most important European markets in the technology sector.

“Members of our community are in constant demand for support and inspiration to develop their business. This is the purpose of this trip … we want to stimulate innovation, letting participants know how to generate innovation or even become a facilitator,” says Wouter Remaut, CEO at Co.Station.

Miguel Van Keirsbilck, Starters Coordinator at BECI confirms that networking is major for the participants: “One of the main objectives of this trip to Berlin is to multiply the networking sessions. The goal will not only be to create contacts with members of the Berlin community, the people attending will also have enough time to network with each other. “

According to Alain Heureux, CEO at Brussels Creative, it is important that companies embrace different perspectives: “Entrepreneurs and start-ups face many obstacles in their development. To find a solution, you sometimes have to look at the problem from different angle.”

How to participate?

All that start-ups and other interested entrepreneurs have to do is choose from one of the 3 themes and to participate on the spot in the dedicated program:

  • Circular economy
  • Scaling-up
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and support to reinvent the city

The number of participants for this trip is limited to 100 people. Entrepreneurs have until September 30 to register and benefit from a preferential rate of 499 euro. This price includes the round-trip flight with Brussels Airlines, an overnight stay in a 4 * hotel, on-site transportation, guided tours according to the theme, meals, … and a networking event.

All information about the Innovation Plane 2017 is available here!

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About Co.Station
Co.Station aims to develop the digital ecosystem in Belgium by stimulating the spirit of enterprise, providing the tools to favour innovation and growth, and facilitating exchanges between corporates and the start-up/scale-up community.

For further information: http://co-station.com/

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About BNP PARIBAS FORTIS
As the bank for a changing world, BNP Paribas Fortis is a genuine catalyst for innovation. As a founding partner of Co.Station, we support and advise young entrepreneurs in their development. That is the reason for our enthusiastic support for this Innovation Train which brings Belgian start-ups and scale-ups into contact with the cream of the French innovation ecosystem.

About BECI

BECI is located at 500 Avenue Louise, also known under the name “Brussels House of Entrepreneurs”. BECI  represents thousands of businesses, upholds their interests and offers them numerous services for managing their businesses better.

About Brussels Creative

Brussels Creative is a platform for the Brussels based creative and cultural ecosystem including gathering citizens initiatives, political bodies, academics and businesses. We believe that creativity and innovation will fuel the growth of our economy and that, by focusing on cross-overs, we will drive disruption, energize our society and increase our socio-economic impact.  With over 35 organizations onboard, our main mission is to build bridges between our stakeholders but also with European Institutions and other cities in Europe (notably as a member of the Creative Ring – www.creativering.eu).