Telenet Kickstart is no newbie when it comes to supporting young, digital entrepreneurs. We started our start-up journey back in September 2014, when we launched our first early stage incubation programme together with the Antwerp-based Idealabs accelerator. When helping 18 start-ups to turn their novel, digital ideas into sustainable businesses, one comes across more than a single challenge. Here is where you can learn from those who went before you: what stumbling blocks did they find on their path to success and how did they eventually manage to overcome each and every one of them.
A rich future is built on rich insights from the past. Lessons from New York.
Under the motto “Be Bold in New York” our 2015-2016 Telenet Kickstart, powered by Idealabs finalists spread their wings. Together with a small army of co-starters and coaches they travelled to The Big Apple to taste the local possibilities, startup spirit and attitude.
If it were up to Fan Arena, Belgium would be named champion this year and the whole world would play fantasy football. In the United States, fantasy sports are already a million dollar industry, but in terms of football, the market is still lagging behind, according to Fan Arena. Since their participation in the accelerator programme, Fan Arena is off to a great start. “The extra capital and the partners of the programme were a tremendous support. Never underestimate the value of a strong network. We started out with two founders and have already hired two more people.” And it doesn’t stop there: the team is looking for a third co-founder. “He has to be crazy about sports. And just ‘crazy’ for that matter. That is a must if you want to do business in Belgium.”
Founder Hannes knows like no other what it means to struggle with language. His personal battle with dyslexia was his reason for developing an educational game for children with this learning disability. “The first version of our game and the web platform was built. In September, we are going to test these with about ten speech therapists and around a hundred children.” This team of seven dares to dream big. Not only do they have ambitions abroad, Happs also hopes to involve Queen Mathilde in their project. “We want the game to be available in other languages in the future and continue to develop our current platform further to be able to address more learning disabilities. We would also very much like to convince the queen, who has a background as a speech therapist, to become the godmother for our project.”