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Our programs

Start it @KBC

Grow your network
Grow your business
Grow your skills

The #1 start-up accelerator in Belgium

Start it @KBC is a unique startup accelerator because we're 100%-no-strings-attached and founder-centric. We support courageous entrepreneurs in making an impact through their passion and ambition.

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A unique one year program to speed up your growth with the support of vast expertise, an enormous global network, an inspiring work space and quality mentorship.

  • Your investment: FREE (no strings attached!)
  • Capacity: 65 selected participants
  • Application deadline: February 6th
  • Duration: 1 year

Applications for our new Spring cohort are open, submit your application before February 6th!

Get guidance to overcome growing pains.

Get connected to business partners and investors.

Move beyond borders and expand your market.

Why apply?

Our accelerator works with innovative businesses of all industries and all startup & growth phases. We’re looking for enthusiastic & open-minded founders of all backgrounds, genders, ages and nationalities.

No strings attached

Start it @KBC DOES NOT ask for equity, money or expect you to become a customer of our partners. All we ask for is motivation and engagement.

Grow your network

Start it @KBC is the #1 Belgian ecosystem of startups, scale-ups, mentors and experts.

Grow your business

Get guidance on funding, get connected to business partners and get valuable advice from our mentors and experts.

Grow your skills

Sharpen your skills and put them into practice by learning from real experts.

Grow your market

Move beyond borders thanks to our international partners, our hubs in New York and Budapest, as well as the global community through our GAN membership.

Get personalised coaching

We assign a member of our team to you to advise you, to match you to our volunteer mentors and partners, and to guide you through the events, workshops and promotional opportunities that are most relevant to you.

Boost that bootstrapping

You can use our co-working spaces in Antwerp, Brussels, Budapest, Ghent, Gyor, Hasselt, Kortrijk, Leuven, New York & Prague + get over $1 million of perks through GAN.

Get smarter at Start it Academy

Start it Academy is exclusively for those who are taking part in or who have graduated from our accelerator program. The knowledge-packed program includes:

  • Online & in-person workshops, talks and webinars
  • Sector-specific content, tailored to your business
  • Exclusive offers, free or exceptional discounts on partner offers
  • Access to Experts in the Cloud
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Application process

ApplyFill in the application form by the application deadline. Once applications open, we will announce info sessions where you can ask any questions you have about the program.
PitchAfter our review team reads the applications and makes their selections, we invite the whole founder team to pitch for 3 minutes to our jury.
SelectionsAfter pitching, we make our final selections for the program – get ready to accelerate!

Full one-year program

01 BootcampThe new cohort is invited to a mandatory 2-day bootcamp to take part in workshops, mentor mayhem, partner introductions, and get to know the Start it @KBC team better.
02 AccelerateDuring the first 3 months of acceleration we focus on challenging you on what you really need, introduce you to experts and mentors who can help you, and follow up closely on your progress.
03 BoardroomAfter 3 months in the program, you will update the Boardroom on your status and the hurdles you still face. The Board will respond with feedback, connections and hands-on advice.
04 GrowAfter passing the Boardroom, it’s on to the following 9 months of the program! You will expand your network and work with our team to continue growing your business. We’re here for you!
05 BoardroomAfter 9 months in the program, you give the Boardroom another update on how you’re progressing. The Board will help you along with more feedback and support, as long as you are still motivated.
06 MatureOur coaches help you build plans and navigate challenges. Meanwhile our Academy builds your baseline skills through mandatory & optional sessions to master advanced skills as you progress.
07 WorkshopsThroughout the entire year our awesome coaches give next-level workshops on sales, marketing, finance, fundraising, pitching, legal, tech and more, tailored to your startup’s growth phase.
08 GraduateAfter 12 months, it’s time to spread your wings and fly out into the world. As a Start @KBC community member for life, you can still count on our network and get a reduced rate on co-working space.

Let's get to know each other

We love bringing people together. Join us for our events & info sessions!

Learn more
Online Roundtable Raising money in harder timesOnline Roundtable Raising money in harder timesOnline Roundtable Raising money in harder times

Online Roundtable | Raising money in harder times.

This is a community roundtable (online) about the ins and outs of raising money.

Learn more
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Scale-Up Marathon | Scaling your business

Are you ready to scale your business? Netwerk Ondernemen will dedicate their next Scale-Up Marathon to the theme of scaling your business and will feature 5 experienced entrepreneurs on the stage.

Learn more
Breakfast Ghent HubBreakfast Ghent HubBreakfast Ghent Hub

Breakfast | Ghent Hub

Start the day right with some breakfast in your office! Enjoy some coffee, grab a bite and shake off those morning blues.

What our community says

The pleasant environment full of inspiring people in Start it Hubs pushes you to go one step further and the network of partners seems unlimited!

Wim Pieters
Wim Pieters, Chief Inspiration, CIRCL

As the huapii team was growing, we realized a great workplace was important for our employees. At Start it Hubs we have our own working space, we are able to meet with other startups and always have access to plenty of meeting rooms. The ability to use the different locations across Belgium for our meetings is also a great asset.

Kristof Stevens
Kristof Stevens,
Chief Growth Officer,
huapii

The world may be turned upside down, but for startups that’s just a cue to put even more energy into innovating and finding new solutions.

Lode 02
Lode Uytterschaut,
CEO Start it X

Have a look at what's going on!

Frequently asked questions

Start it @KBC is an intensive, challenging and founder-centric one-year acceleration program, built by startups for startups. We ask that you take part in the full program from beginning to end, along the timeline shown above.

In a word: NOTHING! That's right: no money, no shares, no special rights for mentors or partners. We are the one and only no-strings-attached startup accelerator in Belgium.

We’re there for startups in all industries, at all stages of growth. From ideation to scale-up, we will support your company.

No. We prefer English as this is the common language within our accelerator program. Meetings with your business coach or mentor can be in the language of your choice but overall program communication as well as academy sessions will be in English.

Innovative for us means that there is something that will give you a cutting edge. This something can be a design, business model, technology, or another business asset that is not used in Belgium for that specific market, audience, problem, or solution.

Examples:
- It can be an innovation in the context of product, technology, business model
- A development of products, services, (production) processes, new to your market;
- A new technology or methodology first applied in your market.
- A new business model as the first to be applied in your market.
It has to be new enough to have the potential to kill competition if played right, or at least conquer a chunk of the market. The startup may have to apply an iterative process of validation, building, testing.

The deadline for applications is February 6th 2023 at midnight. Starting from the 7th of February, a review team will start reading all the files and scoring them on 'our' criteria (completeness of file, innovation, scalability, "program fit", team,...). The review team will select a maximum of 150 people to be invited for Pitchday. Around February 20th/21st, you can expect an invitation or a feedback mail from us.

Pitchdays will take place on February 28th and March 1st and will be organised partly via Zoom, partly live in our office in Antwerp. You get 3 minutes for your presentation, followed by a 12-minute question round from the jury. After these 15 minutes, you leave the room and the jury gets another 5 minutes for discussion and feedback.

You do not have to block an entire day, we will assign you a time slot on one of the 2 days (but it is wise to block both days already in your calendar now because we can’t be sure we will be able to switch you to another slot if necessary)


No, you can't. We want to get to know your company, but we also want to get to know the person behind the company, to feel your energy, enthusiasm, and drive,... We can't get that from slides. Plus, looking at aprox. 150 pitch decks gets a bit boring after a while, to be honest...

The Start it @KBC team, our partners, our mentors and everybody present in a jury or board room, has signed an NDA. Your secrets are safe with us!

It is possible, but know that it is going to be difficult. We want you to be committed to your startup 200% and at the first official update (3 months into the program, at the Boardroom session), we will expect you to have reached a certain level. And then you will have to jump… + mandatory academy sessions/OKRs, community events, ...

Being the only no-strings-attached startup accelerator on the Belgian market also means that we don't invest in 'our' startups ourselves. We will however show you how to get funding and how to get the right fin mix for your specific needs.

We have a lot of partners that we can refer you to for all your questions (accounting, legal, financial,...). Check out the partner page on our website for more info. Important: it is not obligatory to become a client/customer of one of our partners.