Leuven research centre imec named world's best start-up mentor

Leuven-based research centre imec has been named the world's best mentor of start-ups. In the latest ranking by research agency UBI Global, imec tops the category World Top Business Accelerator - Linked to University. This was announced on Tuesday at the World Incubation Summit in Ghent.

The ranking comes from a screening of 1,895 participants and 109 programmes from 56 countries based on three pillars: impact on the ecosystem, programme performance and performance of the start-ups in the portfolio.

In the last three editions, in 2015, 2017 and 2019, imec and its technology accelerator imec.istart have always been among the world's top five.

"In recent years, imec has been strongly committed to deep-tech venturing, creating spin-offs that bring unique technologies to the market and supporting promising start-ups," says Luc Van den hove, CEO of imec. "This approach is now being rewarded and internationally recognised, encouraging us to continue on this path."

Funding and mentoring

Founded in 2011, imec.istart has helped 290 technology start-ups grow into successful technology companies. These companies have created more than 2,800 full-time jobs and raised nearly 700 million euros in follow-on funding. The imec programme provides start-ups with an initial cash injection of at least 50,000 euros and mentoring for 12 to 18 months.

Imec also announced on Tuesday that it would work with three of the world's largest chip manufacturers, GlobalFoundries, Samsung Electronics and TSMC, to enable more sustainable production of computer chips. The collaboration is part of imec's 2021 sustainability programme.


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