Cultivating connections within Belgium’s start-up ecosystem
With the aim to play an active role in developing start-up ecosystems and support entrepreneurs as they work to get their ideas off the ground and build sustainable businesses, PwC held our second Pre-Slush event in October 2018. More than 50 participants joined us in our new Experience Centre for the event, including representatives of the nine companies that’d been selected to pitch, as well as corporates and other potential investors.
Pitchers were given three minutes to present their firm, followed by a three-minute Q&A session by the jury that was made up of Jan Schoeters, CEO of IPee, last year’s competition winner, Professor Vincent Molly, academic director of the family business Competence Centre at Antwerp Management School, Mathias Van Houtum, head of start-ups at Slush, Wilbert Ingels, Group CIO with the House of HR, and lead of PwC’s Digital Squad Julien Stocq.
A pioneering company dedicated to the development of disruptive and innovative technologies for the control of viral diseases in livestock
A predictor of a person’s risk of chronic medical conditions
An app that creates a story layer on top of reality
Given the potential societal impact of our solution, it’s fantastic to see the enthusiastic response of such a different audience than we usually present to.
Virovet went on to join PwC as our guest at the global Slush event in Helsinki in December.
"Slush is like a festival for start-ups. PwC has a lot of contacts and did a lot of matchmaking for us, and put a lot of effort into helping us."
Joining the event from De Persgroep was CFO Frederik Vanvoorden. "I think it’s a good initiative from PwC. It may be interesting going forward to focus on a specific industry per session to attract sector interest and make it more targeted."
To support fledgeling players seeking to solve challenges faced in certain industries, PwC launched Scale. Via our 12-week PwC Europe Scale initiative, we offer business masterclasses and introduce fast-growth innovative scale-ups to key decision makers in large organisations and the investor community to help them accelerate commercial opportunities within a specific sector. There are already a number of programmes running across the region addressing different sectors.
In a similar vein, our European Raise offering is about helping the most promising early-stage companies raise finance and scale quickly by facilitating access to funding. Via the programme, we help firms become fully investor ready and introduce them to our network of investors in Europe.
Alongside the nine pitches, we took the opportunity of the event to present ongoing initiatives in the field such as our current research project with the Antwerp School of Management.
Seeking to discover how start-ups and corporates can successfully cooperate, the Antwerp School of Management, supported by PwC, is researching how family businesses/corporates, and start-ups can explore, select, implement and govern a corporate venture that adds value for both parties. Explained Vincent Molly, "One lacks what the other has.Our aim is to offer a selection of dos and don’ts to demonstrate best practice in this domain."
Having spoken with a number of experts, he adds, "it's clear that there’s awareness of corporate venturing and that it's here to stay, although more can be done to put start-ups on the radar of medium sized companies." The aim of the research is to get insight into best practices and guidelines in order to better organise and drive external corporate venturing projects.
Our recent research into the start-ups and scale-ups offering solutions to help industrial companies embrace the benefits of their digital transformation and understanding their challenges to scale up, as well as their needs within an effective Industry 4.0 ecosystem, is one way in which PwC seeks to bridge the gap between larger industrial companies and smaller solution providers.
Our recent report,the first of its kind in Belgium, comprises the views of 30 Belgian start-ups and scale-ups that provide digital solutions to industrial companies. The study sheds light on the start-ups’ value propositions and go-to-market strategies, as well as their perceptions, challenges and next steps related to the Industry 4.0 ecosystem in Belgium.
Contact us for information about our 2019 Pre-Slush pitch event. The winner gets a full travel package to Slush 2019 in Helsinki on 21 and 22 November!
Partner, Clients & Markets Leader, PwC Belgium
Tel: +32 047 589 1621
Manager, PwC Belgium
Tel: +32 048 880 9409