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Imec inspires, coaches and trains young entrepreneurs to turn their innovative ideas into successful businesses. The incubation program imec.istart brings researchers and entrepreneurs together and is committed to an innovative high-tech ICT sector in Flanders and beyond.
As a partner of BlueHealth Antwerp, imec want to play a leading role in the eHealth sector, too.
Sven De Cleyn, Director Incubation
09 248 55 51
Partner of BlueHealth Antwerp
Sven De Cleyn (Director Incubation) " I can’t really remember who came up with the idea of BlueHealth Antwerp, but it was important that the paths of the initiators crossed at the right time and that they harboured the same ambitions.
To stimulate the eHealth sector in Flanders and drive it forward, because the need to coach and support startups proved acute in that sector.
We already had an incubation program running with imec.istart, which can be customized perfectly for startups in healthcare. Moreover, we had already set up a specific research team that organizes demand-driven research projects in the health sector, each time in partnership with market players (hospitals, nursing homes, companies active in this sector, government players and researchers).
In addition, we initiated Care Testing Grounds, where several sectors cooperate to address the challenges of the elderly. This meant that all roads were open to transfer our knowledge to eHealth.”
“What makes imec unique is that we have a huge network that provides direct access to all major Flemish knowledge centres. This includes, for example, universities and other Flemish research centres, something which, to entrepreneurs, is invaluable.
In addition, startups can test their new product or service immediately with the user in experimental research. A very direct way to assess the chances of success in practical use.
Moreover, imec is the only incubation program in Flanders today that offers financial support. Startups receive EUR 50,000 and get 18 months to translate their ideas into sales-ready products or services.”
“Some business developers will be actively present in StartupVillage where BlueHealth Antwerp will work from. The companies that we coach come, just as in the other incubation programs, from a very broad scope of activities.
We are not looking for startups who have found 'the gap in the market ", but for innovative ideas that have an effective impact on healthcare or an aspect of it.”