Soft Landing: attracting foreign tech start-ups to Wallonia-High-tech

Awex and the WSL tech incubator are launching Soft Landing, an installation and incubation program for foreign start-ups.

Wallonia defends and supports its start-ups through multiple incubation, acceleration programs or financing systems. Now he is also interested … in foreign start-ups. The WSL incubator specializes in innovative industrial projects resulting from the engineering (deeptech) professions and the Walloon Export Agency launched the program soft landing. The concept? Help foreign technology companies to set up in the Region and quickly enter new markets or the European market.

Listed: a one-stop shop for the creation of a legal entity, the recruitment of a team and the installation in Wallonia. As well as an 18 month support program. But there is no equity participation, loan or financial support. Foreign companies identified by Awex and then selected by WSL must, however, pay for their participation in Soft Landing. The relatively subtle values, however: 6,000 euros for creating the legal structure, then 500 euros per month for incubation. The selected companies must however already have the finished product, have already made sales in their country and want to ensure international development.

No financial investment

The purpose of Soft Landing? “Encourage foreign start-ups and make sure they develop from Wallonia to create activity, added value and jobs”, stressed Agnès Flemal, director of the Walloon technological incubator. Expect the latter attract five to six companies per year. It remains to be seen if they will be permanent. We know that a similar attempt by MoveUp, the Digital Attraxion program, which received foreign companies along with Belgian companies, its eight international start-ups left the territory. The advantage of Soft Landing: no financial investment, unlike the MoveUp program which provided 100,000 euros of convertible loan.

Wallonia defends and supports its start-ups through multiple incubation, acceleration programs or financing systems. Now he is also interested … in foreign start-ups. The WSL incubator which specializes in innovative industrial projects coming from the engineering professions (deeptech) and the Walloon Export Agency have launched the Soft Landing program. The concept? Help foreign technology companies to set up in the Region and quickly enter new markets or the European market. On the menu: a one-stop shop for creating a legal entity, recruiting a team and residence in Wallonia. As well as an 18 month support program. But there is no equity participation, loan or financial support. Foreign companies identified by Awex and then selected by WSL must, however, pay for their participation in Soft Landing. The relatively subtle amount, however: 6,000 euros for creating the legal structure, then 500 euros per month for incubation. The selected companies must however already have the finished product, have already made sales in their country and want to ensure international development. The purpose of Soft Landing? “Encourage foreign start-ups and make sure they develop from Wallonia to create activity, added value and jobs”, stressed Agnès Flemal, director of the Walloon technological incubator. The latter is expected to attract five to six companies per year. It remains to be seen if they will be permanent. We know that a similar attempt by MoveUp, the Digital Attraxion program, which welcomed foreign companies along with Belgian companies, has seen eight of its international start-ups leave the territory. The advantage of Soft Landing: no financial investment, unlike the MoveUp program which provided 100,000 euros of convertible loan.

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