Bianca Debaets, Brussels State Secretary for Digitization, quotes:
“With the opening of B-Sprouts Brussels enhances the chances for local and international it-entrepreneurs. B-Sprouts makes us proud”
The international start-up incubator and accelerator B-Sprouts has kicked off its first start-up program from their office spaces in Brussels-Molenbeek. Therewith, B-Sprouts is taking the lead in attracting and connecting international, talented entrepreneurs to Brussels.
As innovation and entrepreneurship can come from anywhere, B-Sprouts aims for an international scope. The start-up entrepreneurs attending B-Sprouts’ first program are coming from Kenya, Germany, the UK, Belgium and even two female entrepreneurs from Iran and Pakistan. All of them have a focus on the Internet of Things, big data and/or the sharing economy. And ultimately they share the dream of becoming a successful company. B-Sprouts is guiding and supporting them in achieving this dream.
As Hugo Hanselmann, CEO B-Sprouts, says during the opening:
“They are the true stars here at B-Sprouts! They gave up homes, friends and families to be here for three months and work on their dreams!”
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the red thread for all start-ups within the B-Sprouts program. Gartner, the IT research firm, predicts that the number of products connected to the internet will increase from 6.4 billion today, to 21 billion by 20201. What are the technology components that need to come together for this increase and ultimately the revolution to happen? These are sensor technology, communication technology, cloud services, big data analytics, data algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI). The latter probably being the most disruptive of all. And disruptive is what the start-ups at B-Sprouts want to be as well. From providing security to IoT to addressing privacy issues as well as environmental and social impacts.
Diversity is another important value at B-Sprouts. Research shows that diversity matters for a company’s success. Where gender-diverse companies outperform their male-dominated peers with 15%, ethnic diversity in companies is 35% more likely to have financial returns above their national industry medians2. The start-up entrepreneurs in B-Sprouts first program are coming from 6 different nationalities and 50% of our start-ups have female CEO’S.
Deputy Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said in Davos in his WEF speech earlier this year:
“Belgium is to become one of the most interesting places in Europe for young digital entrepreneurs to start, innovate and grow. The true essence of entrepreneurship is to be willing to enterprise, to dare and to go to the next level.”
Also Belgium is acting on the fact that the digital technology is changing fast in our economy and society. Through the action plan ‘Digital Belgium’, the Federal Government sets clear priorities to gain a strong position for Belgium on the digital map, resulting in 1.000 new start-ups and 50.000 extra jobs by 20203. B-Sprouts will be the leading start-up incubator and accelerator by attracting international talent to Brussels and helping the growth of future oriented businesses as well as jobs. Together with the team of B-Sprouts, an international network of mentors, universities and corporate sponsors are all committed to make the difference in sharing their knowledge and working together with the start-ups. After 3 months B-Sprouts aims for the start-ups to have successfully established their business and accelerated their growth, becoming industry disruptors one day, that attract customers and investors.
“Lots of IoT start-ups are established today by millennials”, according to Hugo Hanselmann, CEO of B-Sprouts, “and they want to make the IoT revolution happen. In this day and age, the small start-ups have the means, the passion, the eagerness, to contribute to their partner companies’ strategies, to be part of an ecosystem. And they want to realize the IoT revolution for a better future!”
1 Gartner, November 2015
2 ‘Why diversity matters’, McKinsey & Company, January 2015
B-Sprouts is an International Incubator and Accelerator working with international, diversified people. B-Sprouts aims to support start-ups with bright ideas to sprout into successful new companies, changing the world of IoT and Big Data. B-Sprouts is based in Brussels at the heart of Europe and is globally connected.