Leuven Slush’D has the ambition to light a spark in the Belgian ecosystem. Supported by Slush Helsinki, our team of volunteers is leveraging their format and adapting it to our national startup ecosystem. Leuven Slush'D has two primary missions:
1. Leuven Slush'D aims to be an international launchpad for startups by connecting entrepreneurs with international investors, industry experts, and potential partners. It provides opportunities for startups to showcase their innovations, pitch their ideas, and facilitate collaborations and partnerships, accelerating their growth on a global scale.
2. Leuven Slush'D aims to bridge the talent gap in the startup ecosystem. To allow our startup ecosystem to thrive, more talent has to find their way into the startup ecosystem. Leuven Slush’D aims to lower the barrier to talent access and make talent more aware of the viable career path the startup ecosystem provides.
Leuven Slush’D provides a supportive environment that fosters innovation, offers resources, mentorship, and networking opportunities to create a sustainable startup ecosystem.
AN INTERNATIONAL LAUNCHPAD
Leveraging a global brand to bring international attention to our Belgian startup ecosystem. Growing an impactful tech company means going cross-border, from day 1. That’s feedback gathering from customers, idea validation by investors and recruiting who’s “done it before”.
It starts with entry points and knowing where to go to. Our mission is to provide a platform for startups to foster (international) ecosystem collaborations and partnerships, propelling their growth on a global scale. For both attracting outside investment and scaling portfolio companies beyond Belgium, Investors will be given this platform to invite their international network & showcase what our ecosystem has to offer.
BRIDGING THE TALENT GAP
Take a look at any successful startup ecosystem abroad: there is usually a top university fueling ecosystem growth. World-class universities are one of Belgium’s valuable assets. So what’s missing?
I. Local, high-potential talent often pursues opportunities in more conventional sectors or rather goes abroad. Many simply don’t see working for a startup as a valid career path, don’t know it exists or associate it with high risk. Leuven Slush’D extends the visibility of the Belgian startup ecosystem to students and the youngest generation. The key is exposing them to the ecosystem for multiple years, leading to more interest and a higher inflow of young talent. In turn, they become ambassadors for the next generation, starting a flywheel effect.
II. We must acknowledge our ecosystem is still rather young, looking at only a handful of large tech successes. As usual, this process accelerates with time, or talent? Hiring skilled people is one thing, but essential to a startups’ growth and the speed thereof are people “who’ve done it before”. And that takes time, or requires recruiting talent where it’s found.
Let’s bridge the gap in our startup ecosystem!
CONNECTING FOUNDERS AND INVESTORS ACROSS ECOSYSTEMS
Leuven Slush’D is the largest gathering of founders and investors in Belgium. With more than 500 founders and investors attending the first edition, we aim to grow this year-over-year into an international gathering spot, to the benefit of our Belgian ecosystem.
Our focus goes beyond the physical location where the event takes place, being Leuven for the first edition. By fostering annual collaboration and connection among the Flemish, Walloon, and Brussels ecosystems, we pave the way for an empowered and united future.
A large, yearly event is needed that brings all stakeholders together under one roof and creates momentum to break barriers and start conversations. Surfing on the high created by this event, we aim to make use of the renowned brand. Leuven Slush’D is supporting the following goals:
- Establishing a strong and recognizable ecosystem identity for the Belgian startup scene, with events like Leuven Slush'D visualizing this abstract scene.
- Fostering pride and enthusiasm among the community, inspiring greater contribution and support to the ecosystem, resulting in an even better pay-it-forward culture.
- Enhancing the global reputation of the Belgian startup ecosystem, supporting entrepreneurs abroad and attracting new talent.
- Strengthening the voice of the Belgian ecosystem in our country, advocating for its interests and showcasing its importance in the national economy.
- Promoting a vibrant startup culture in Belgium, driving innovation, and positioning the tech sector as a leading career choice for young talent.
How can we help?
The Leuven MindGate team is at your disposal for any questions about the Leuven Innovation Region. Do you want to invest, work or study in the region? We can help you find your way.
We also facilitate collaboration and innovation between companies, knowledge institutes and government within the Leuven Innovation Region, and we are happy to guide any of these stakeholders towards innovation.