Leuven is one of the world's prime regions for health, high-tech and creativity. A region with a unique ecosystem of companies cooperating with knowledge institutions and the government, creating the perfect breeding ground for companies, entrepreneurs, investors and talent. Thanks to KU Leuven, imec or other major players, multiple new ventures are being launched within the Leuven ecosystem. It is also the reason why Leuven was named winner of the European Capital of Innovation Contest.
The presence of the KU Leuven is one of the biggest catalysts of Leuven's innovation, with its high-quality research and education as internationally renowned university. These high-potential students are a powerful asset of the city for the surrounding companies to keep fueling the innovation. This can be by working for a spin-off, startup or scale-up in and around Leuven, or by starting their own venture. Next to the support of the universities, the business accelerator programs imec.istart and Start it @KBC are also important impulses for these young companies.
Leuven – i.e. the Leuven MindGate region - is known for its large number of upcoming companies in Health, High-Tech and Creativity. Just think of Guardsquare, for example, in the high-tech sector. Guardsquare develops software for the protection of mobile applications against reverse engineering and hacking. They were recognized as one of the fastest growing tech companies in EMEA by the Deloitte Fast 50 ranking.
But Happy Volcano (to name but one in the creativity sector) also contributes to the innovative image of the Leuven MindGate region. The winner of the Most Innovative Game award at the Indie Prize Awards designs and develops digital entertainment products with a focus on video games.
And when we talk about health, we can't ignore the innovative contributions our companies made to the Covid-19 crisis. Artiq for example is a KU Leuven spin-off company which helps doctors diagnose, treat and monitor respiratory problems. During the corona crisis, they contributed by not charging the licensing fees for their software for both existing and new customers.
This is just the tip of the iceberg in Leuven. The Leuven MindGate project has the full support of more than 300 members, from start-ups to multinationals. With this growing startup ecosystem, also comes a growing need for talent!