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Tuesday, January 27, 2015 — What is Start it @kbc?
A unique partnership for early stage startups, built around an engaged community and a large network of people who deliver inspiration and guidance. Oh, and it’s fun as well!
Unique partnership? What’s that?
KBC, Cronos, iMinds, Flanders DC, the University of Antwerp, Mobile Vikings and Accenture all believe in the need for early stage entrepreneurship and provide their premises, expertise and network for free. On top of that, there are partnerships with local academic partners in each city Start it @kbc is operational.
What makes you special?
Thanks to this partnership, Start it @kbc can match and connect top mentors with early stage startups and provide those startups with expert coaching when it matters most – in the beginning. This approach fills the gap left by existing initiatives, focusing more on ideation or growth.
What happens at Start it?
We make sure you get all the support you need. That includes free workspace, 1-on-1 coaching by experts, close guidance by a mentor, and extends to training courses, workshops, lectures, inspiration sessions and more in our academy.
How much do you invest and how much equity do you take?
None. We invest a lot of time and energy (Experts! Coaching! Events! Mentors!) in you and your startup, as we believe this is more valuable and necessary for an early stage startup. However, we do have an extensive network to which we can refer to help you find an optimal financing solution.
Really, no equity at all?
Nope, none at all!
Why do you do it then? Where’s the catch?
The primary goal of Start it is to meet, connect with and support the people who make real change and innovation happen. This lets us establish a win-win situation for everyone involved. All the partners and their customers benefit from innovation and inspiration, while the startups receive top support, coaching and access to networks.
How often do you accept new startups?
We have 4 enrolments a year called ‘waves’. The pitch days for these waves are on 3/3, 6/6, 9/9 and 12/12, unless it is a weekend, then we take the first working day before the stated date.
When will the application for the next wave be online?
You can send in your project whenever you want by clicking "join" in the menu. The deadline for sending in your idea is 2 weeks beforehand (see below). Your project will then be reviewed before the next pitch day.
How do I apply?
send in your project via www.startit.be by clicking on the 'apply now' button.
Do we need to draw up a business plan?
Strictly speaking, no. However it’s always a good exercise to draw one up and the questions you need to answer during the application will cover most of the basic elements found in a business plan.
How long does the programme last?
You can participate in the Start it @kbc programme for a maximum 18 months. We provide this over the long term because each startup moves at a different pace. After that, we’ll help you find a new home and we’ll stay in touch of course.
Where are you located?
Start it @kbc currently has office space in Antwerp, Leuven, Hasselt and Ghent. And we are also coming to Brussels and Kortrijk in 2015.
What / how many startups do you have at the moment?
We now have 134 startups on the programme.
Will you sign an NDA? How do I know you won’t steal my idea?
Yes, we will and no, we won’t. Everyone who joins Start it @kbc (startups, partners, etc.) signs the same document to guarantee confidentiality. We don't, however, sign personal NDA's. We allow competitive ideas inside the community, just like there is competition 'in the real world'.
Our group has two ideas. Can we submit two applications?
Of course you can!
Will you accept multiple startups working on the same idea?
Yes, unless two startups are practically identical. We’ll also make sure to provide different mentors to each one and we’ll try to find differentiating unique selling points.
Why didn’t you accept our application?
This may be for a number of reasons. However, we always make sure to provide you with valuable feedback and we’ll try to help you in other ways if we can.
This is Start it @kbc