iMinds project iStart came second in European top 10

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Via the Cloud Angel Webfund, Combell provides start-ups with free professional hosting services. For this, the company collaborates with University Business Incubator iMinds, which has recently come second in the European ranking of “Top University Business Accelerators”.

The Cloud Angel Webfund and iMinds

Combell cloud angel webfund partner imindsIn 2014, Combell established a separate fund with a budget of €1,000,000: the Cloud Angel Webfund. The company’s aim is to use this fund to help start-ups build solid foundations for future growth by providing them with free professional hosting services for one year. For this, Combell collaborates with several companies and incubators, including University Business Incubator iMinds.

This collaboration of five Flemish universities brings together more than 900 academic researchers in a hub for digital research and entrepreneurship. Via the iStart project, iMinds offers newly established businesses practical and professional support from the business community.

“Start-ups are extremely important for achieving economic growth, but they often lack the research capacity that is needed to really make a difference", says iMinds Acting CEO Danny Goderis.

Telenet, Cresco, Microsoft, SD Worx, Xerius, Certibit and VASCO are among the partners that provide workspace, coaching and capital. As for Combell, it provides professional hosting services via its Cloud Angel Webfund.

Flipped Knowledge Transfer

iMinds iStart programmaThe great thing about iStart is that iMinds applies the “Flipped Knowledge Transfer” methodology, which turns the traditional academic research model upside down. Instead of conducting scientific research first that will possibly lead to business applications at a later stage, research is directly inspired by the business and technology challenges of starting entrepreneurs.

"iMinds’ Flipped Knowledge Transfer methodology makes it easier for them to work with university researchers. It is a collaboration that is driven by entrepreneurs", explains Danny Goderis.

Awarded twice

And, according to UBI Global, an organisation whose mission is to make incubators and accelerators more efficient, it is precisely this methodology that makes iMinds stand out from other incubators. Every year, this organisation screens and evaluates more than 500 incubators and accelerators, in order to separate the wheat from the chaff.

In autumn 2015, iStart’s concept secured second place in the Top University Business Accelerators ranking. UBI Global found iStart’s concept so interesting that iMinds was asked to give a talk for their fellow academic incubators.

"As such, we give them the (extra) research capacity they require to translate their ideas into innovative products that enable them to conquer the market”, concludes Danny Goderis.

It is actually the second time that iMinds receives an award. Last year, the project came seventh in the European ranking and secured 25th position worldwide. We at Combell are happy that our hosting services contribute to the success of iMinds... and start-ups, of course!


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