By Maxime Wauters | July 9, 2020

The Story of Innovation with Penbox

Penbox is a Belgian technology start-up offering a solution for digitalizing information and document capture processes. The exchange of unstructured information (emails, papers, calls, etc.) represents a human cost and considerable time to transcribe the information submitted in the systems and make it operable. Penbox has developed a SaaS platform for digitalizing end- to-end information capture processes, from the issuer to management systems.

The platform offers modern interaction (mobile first) for information requests and then automates the underlying administrative tasks (reminders, notifications, information extraction) before integrating with other systems.


The meeting with Leyton.

Everyone knows each other in the small world of entrepreneurship and startups in Brussels. Word of mouth works very well in incubators and co- working spaces such as co.station and I was therefore lucky to connect with Penbox shortly after their creation. We met during a networking evening organized by the Software.Brussels cluster on the topic of artificial intelligence.

From the first discussions with Emile and Benoit, two of the co-founders of Penbox, we quickly established that there were many synergies between their activities and our services. They have many innovative ideas regarding the development of their platform and they were looking for support around the implementation of incentives related to their innovation.



The identification of the subsidy potential.

The advantage of the spectrum of R&D aid proposed by the Brussels Region is that it covers all stages of the development of innovative solutions from  a technological point of view.    It is therefore, for example, possible to obtain subsidies for (i) the evaluation of the business potential associated with an innovative solution,

(ii) basic research linked to the acquisition of new scientific knowledge or (iii) experimental development leading to the proposal of a marketable product.

In the specific case of Penbox, which had been created just a few months earlier, there was still no developed software.  There  was,  however, a very precise idea of what the four founders wanted to offer as their first product. In order to ensure the interest of the market and the most relevant way to address it, we supported them for the submission of a «proof  of  business» file. This is a call organized 3 times a year by Innoviris which allows to obtain a subsidy which can cover up to 70% of a cost associated with this type of project, the maximum amount being 100,000 €.

Today,  Penbox,  which  obtained   the   PoB, is nearing the end of this project with very encouraging news regarding the market needs for their solution and the viability of their business model. Due to our interest in building long-term partnerships, the Leyton team has continued to closely monitor the activities of the company. Through this approach, we identified that the time was ripe for the implementation of various advantageous tax levers linked to R&D activities, thus enabling the young company to reduce its expenses. Currently, we are assisting them in obtaining assistance for the actual development of their solution, an almost logical follow-up after the PoB, targeting a subsidy covering 45% of the costs associated with the entire project.


The floor at Penbox.

We identified the Innoviris POB grant, thanks to Leyton, to support the early stages of our company. Leyton supported and guided us through this initial process. This subsidy was accepted in May. After this first positive experience with Leyton, we decided to collaborate more widely with them regarding all the assistances available for a Tech start-up.

These aids can fasten our development and it is a key challenge for us to maximize our chances to obtain them. Beyond saving time when writing the file, Leyton’s expertise helped us to identify and highlight critical elements from a technology and business perspective…



Besides this expertise, I am convinced that the fit between all the people involved at Penbox and Leyton  is one of the keys  to the success  of this project. Thanks to this intimacy, we will closely follow the development of Penbox’s activities in order to continue helping them, and look to larger projects such as European subsidies (Horizon 2020 / Horizon Europe), which correspond well to their ambition and their talent.



If you are small, medium or large company, and carry out innovative activities, Leyton can help you optimise the costs linked to these activities through a multitude of levers such as grants, innovation income deduction, copyrights, and withholding tax exemption.