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.
Startups applying for Start it @KBC should be committed, innovative and scalable.
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: September 18th
- Duration: 1 year
Applications for our new Fall cohort are open, submit your application before September 18th!
You can start your application at any time, save it as a draft and finish it later.
Applications are open!
Get guidance to overcome growing pains.
Get connected to business partners and investors.
Move beyond borders and expand your market.
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
Full one-year program
Let's get to know each other
We love bringing people together. Join us for our events & info sessions!
Start it Lunch | Brussels Hub
Seize your day during the Start it Lunch in our Brussels Hub! Join us for a healthy lunch filled with delicious bites and drinks before the start of the summer.
Start it Apéro | Hasselt Hub
Wrap up your day with Start it Apéro in our Hasselt Hub! Join us for a sunny afterwork filled with delicious bites and drinks, to wrap up the day before the start of the summer.
Start it Breakfast | Ghent Hub
Kickstart your day with Start it Breakfast in our Ghent Hub! Join us for a morning filled with delicious food, friendly faces, and inspiring conversations to get the day going.
What our community says
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.
- 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.