Yesterday, at BeCentral in Brussels, was the 6th edition of the Orange Fab start-up Accelerator Program. After a thorough preselection and pitch process, Builtwins, Shayp and Trigrr have been chosen by a jury to enter the operator's Accelerator Program for the duration of six months. The goal of this program is to build a long-term business partnership between Orange Belgium and the start-ups and stimulate the development of tech talents. This year, for the first time, Orange Fab also welcomed two key partners to the program: IRISnet and Paradigm under the theme “How to make public buildings smarter to reduce their environmental impact and to ensure the users’ comfort”.
Developing tech talents through win-win partnerships
Orange Fab has developed the first corporate accelerator network in the world. Worldwide, Orange has accelerator programs in 20 countries, covering four continents. In Belgium, since 2016, Orange Fab has received 276 applications leading to 16 accelerated start-ups and five signed partnerships.
Once joining the Orange Fab acceleration program, start-ups will benefit from a tailored support from the team in charge, according to their needs and business priorities. Start-ups will enter the Orange ecosystem and have access to Orange experts on various topics, whether it is legal, marketing, communication or technical. Orange will help start-ups get in touch with its B2B and B2C customers and support them in their internationalization. After 6 months, if the collaboration with the start-up demonstrates added value on both sides, the fruitful collaboration might be contractualized via a commercial partnership.
Smart public buildings to reduce environmental impact as an extra focus
For this 6th edition, the program reinvented itself with, for the first time, two key partners: IRISnet and Paradigm. Together they have selected 3 start-ups to work with Orange Belgium in making public buildings smarter to reduce their environmental impact and to ensure the users’ comfort. The objective is to co-develop in 6 months an innovation solution for public buildings of the Brussels-Capital Region with the support of IRISnet and Paradigm. If this proof-of-concept (POC) is a success, the partnership could be expanded to other buildings and markets.
Innovative start-ups in various fields
The Orange Fab Pitch Contest was open to any promising Belgian start-up with a particular focus on smart cities, their buildings, and a project to make them better.
The six finalists’ start-ups that have been preselected for their capabilities in making public buildings smarter to reduce their environmental impact and to ensure users comfort were:
Ultimately, Builtwins, Shayp and Trigrr were chosen.
"At Orange Fab, our goal is to build win-win business partnerships between start-ups in Belgium and our Orange ecosystem players," explains Werner De Laet, Chief Enterprise & Innovation Officer at Orange Belgium. "We help start-ups to develop and grow, meet their challenges with a tailored approach (workshops, training...), by opening up to all the Orange Group's opportunities and by providing them access to our multigigabit networks on fix and mobile, a playground with endless possibilities. They also receive access to rich business insights and to our distribution channels. Together with them, we can leverage the Orange Group's international scope."
“Supporting the 6th season of Orange Fab, dedicated to the development of the smart city, will enable us to get closer to start-ups that, just like IRISnet, are working to build innovative technological solutions to improve the quality of life of city dwellers through more connected, collaborative and efficient city management," explains Laurent Bouty, Chief Technical Officer of IRISnet.
Marc Van den Bossche, Deputy Managing Director of Paradigm, and member of the pitch competition jury, adds: "This partnership will bring together worlds that traditionally know very little about each other: innovative and ambitious Belgian start-ups on the one hand, and the public sector on the other. By adding Paradigm to the exploratory phase of new projects, and by providing a concrete case to work on, namely the Iris Tower, we are supporting start-ups so that, in the future, they can better respond to changes in the way users work (well-being, recording and controlling ambient temperature, air quality, brightness, noise, etc.) and to changes in the services linked to this building (maintenance, occupancy rate, energy efficiency, cleanliness, etc.)".
For more information, visit the www.orangefab.be
IRISnet is a company with limited liability (SRL) resulting from a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) between the Brussels-Capital Region, Paradigm and Orange Belgium. Its mission is to inspire, to connect and to accompany its customers in the smart ecosystem.
IRISnet manages the extension of the fibre optic broadband network on the territory of the Region and offers related telecommunication services with the aim to better communicate and make the Brussels-Capital Region a smart city.
Paradigm is the regional operator for digital transition and technological innovation, serving the public administrations of the Brussels-Capital Region for the benefit of citizens. Paradigm plays a proactive role as manager and supplier of the catalogue of ICT services and is committed to pooling resources. It also monitors technological and legal developments in order to anticipate the needs of its customers.