Cities worldwide are striving to carve out their niche as entrepreneurial hubs. One such city making remarkable strides on this front is Antwerp, Belgium. According to StartUp Blink’s 2023 Global Ecosystem Index, Antwerp has surged ahead by 14 positions, reflecting its promise as a burgeoning startup ecosystem.
Antwerp: A Thriving Business City
Antwerp, situated in the heart of Europe, is rapidly gaining prominence as a thriving business city. With its strategic location, rich history of innovation, and a growing startup ecosystem, Antwerp offers entrepreneurs and businesses a vibrant environment to prosper.
Antwerp Startup Growth – Rising Ranks
Antwerp’s startup scene is on an upward trajectory, evident from its impressive rankings in the 2023 Global Ecosystem Index. Nationally, it secures the 3rd position in Belgium, marking a promising trend. Regionally, it climbs 12 positions to reach 65th in Western Europe, showcasing its increasing influence. Globally, Antwerp surges by 14 positions, securing the 241st spot worldwide. These rankings underscore Antwerp’s commitment to nurturing innovation and entrepreneurship.
The Legacy of Innovation in Antwerp
Antwerp boasts a rich history of fostering innovation. Renowned figures like the printers Plantin & Moretus, the celebrated painter Rubens, and the contemporary ‘Antwerp Six’ fashion designers have all found inspiration in this city. The historic old exchange market of Antwerp, often referred to as “the mother of all exchanges” stands as a testament to its entrepreneurial spirit. This legacy of creativity and innovation continues to inspire modern entrepreneurs in the city.
What Makes Antwerp Perfect for Business?
Antwerp’s strategic location is one of its most valuable assets. Positioned at the crossroads of Europe, it offers easy access to diverse cultures and languages. This cultural diversity provides startups with a unique opportunity to test their products on a varied audience without crossing borders. The city’s multilingual population, fluent in Dutch, English, and French, facilitates seamless global business interactions.
Top 5 Startups in Antwerp
Antwerp’s startup landscape is vibrant, with several promising ventures leading the way. Here are the top five startups spearheading innovation. These startups exemplify Antwerp’s dedication to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship.
Apicbase: A robust SaaS platform that efficiently manages products, inventories, orders, and sales statistics.
Sentiance: A pioneering data science and behavioural change startup, transforming sensor data into actionable insights.
Accelleran: Provides small cell and vRAN software solutions for 4G/5G RAN networks.
Unifly: Specializes in drone integration technology, ensuring the safe coexistence of drones in airspace.
Biobest: Their mission to contribute to global sustainable production is an important one. They focus on high-value crops and boast a reliable reputation as a partner in biological crop protection and pollination.
Seeking more inspiration from Antwerp based startups? Check out the list of the top 49 startups to watch out for in 2023!
In Need of Workspaces and Office Space in Antwerp?
For entrepreneurs seeking ideal workspaces in Antwerp, the team here at Interoffices offers excellent office rental solutions and 1-to-1 support. So if it’s office, coworking space or meeting room rental is what you are searching for, then be sure to consider our local experts for guidance.
Antwerp East – Offices, Meeting Rooms & Coworking Spaces
Conveniently situated at Nijverheidsstraat 70, 2160 Wommelgem, this workspace provides a well-equipped environment for businesses.
Interoffices’ Antwerp East facility, recently modernized to the highest standards, offers an optimal location for professionals seeking a serene work environment while remaining closely connected to Antwerp’s bustling business scene. Conveniently positioned on the outskirts of Antwerp’s city center, this workspace is just a quick five-minute drive from the E313 motorway, with the Wommelgem exit a mere 300 meters away.
Strategically situated at the heart of a thriving industrial hub, the office complex provides ample parking facilities in close proximity. Additionally, the workspace is a mere five-minute stroll from the charming town center of Wommelgem, which boasts an array of restaurants, such as the delightful Pluymhoeve tavern, and cafés, perfect for business lunches or a quick, convenient meal. The location also neighbors tennis and golf clubs, offering an excellent backdrop for sporty-themed business meetings.
Located at Patersstraat 100, 2300 Turnhout, this workspace offers entrepreneurs a productive and professional environment.
Situated in a truly unique setting, these private offices are nestled in the heart of the recently renovated Paterspand in Turnhout, a location like no other. This extraordinary Interoffices facility is part of an innovative Live-Work-Play concept, a collaborative venture with Imoya and Workero, making it an ideal choice for professionals seeking a central workspace in Belgium.
Upon entering the historical Paterspand, visitors are greeted by a seamless blend of modern design and the charming original architecture of this 19th-century monastery. The workspace offers an impressive array of amenities, including 42 private offices, 146 workstations, well-equipped meeting rooms, and a collaborative Workero co-working space, fostering a productive and inspiring environment for professionals to interact and generate new ideas. The layout is also designed to accommodate large-scale events, making it versatile and adaptable to various business needs.
Nestled close to the quaint center of Turnhout, the facility enjoys a convenient location near the bustling shopping street, surrounded by a multitude of shops, cafes, and charming restaurants, perfect for midday meetings. Within a stone’s throw, you’ll find the historical ‘Market Place,’ the Castle of Brabant Dukes, and the contemporary Turnova complex, home to ‘HERT,’ a gastronomic gem atop the tower offering panoramic city views. For those who prefer on-site dining, the prestigious Bart Dewulf restaurant is situated adjacent to the office space, set to open by the end of 2022.
Strategically, this location is perfectly positioned for professionals from across Belgium, being just a two-minute drive from the city’s ring road and in close proximity to exit 24 Turnhout-Kasterlee on the E34. It’s also well-connected to public transportation, with nearby bus stops providing services to Antwerp, the Netherlands, and the Turnhout train station. This makes it an accessible and well-connected hub for business activities in the region.
Business Organisations & Entrepreneur Groups in Antwerp
- Ondernemen in Antwerpen: The official website for entrepreneurship in the city of Antwerp, featuring a clear calendar of important events.
- Startups.be: The national source of information for startups, providing details about events, accelerator program deadlines, and open calls.
- Bloovi: A platform for the Flemish community, focused on connecting startups and digital companies with a broader digital and marketing focus.
- Antwerp powered by creatives (APBC): Connecting the creative sector in Antwerp, known for its reputation as a fashion and design city.
- Flanders DC: Serving the same target group as APBC but active in the entire Flemish Region, providing structured support for entrepreneurs.
- FuckUp Nights: They’ve run previous events, so keep your eyes peeled for upcoming inspiring stories of entrepreneurial experiences. These nights really are different. Here, failure is a measure of growth, not loss. Prepare yourself for learning experience stories from entrepreneurs and take your own valuable lessons from their risk.
- Start it @ KBC: Hosting regular events at their Antwerp tower auditorium and other locations across Belgium.
- BeStartups: Part of an open Slack community for Belgium-based startups, fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing.
- Antwerp Women Entrepreneurship Meetup: Empowering entrepreneurial women in the business community.
Find or start your own business events in Antwerp
Eventbrite Antwerp: Looking for business events, talks, courses, and workshops in Antwerp? Whether you live there, have recently moved there or are just visiting the city, Eventbrite has a lot of options to suit your entrepreneurial needs. You can search by location, popular events, our favourite picks, free events. You get the idea. Ready?
Meetup Antwerp: Discover new events and meetup groups tailored to your specific needs, rapidly growing in Antwerp. Expats can find seriously useful communities to help push their business into the next phase of growth.
Keep a special eye out for the Antwerp Business Community. They offer monthly interactive events on business & leadership-related topics, expert driven business sessions, discussions and more to assist you.
We hope our guide to Antwerp for Entrepreneurs helps you find your place amongst the growing business community.