Top 5 facts about the Walloon tech ecosystem

From comprehending the Walloon tech startup players, to portraying the Walloon startup ecosystem at the global level. In the first semester of 2017, The Digital Agency and have conducted a profound study to assess the state of the tech ecosystem in the Walloon region.

Here are the top 5 insights from the report.

#1 The scope and density

Wallonia counts for more than 300 digital startups. The provinces where tech startups are mainly located are Walloon Brabant (+/- 45%), Liège (+/- 30%) and Hainaut (+/- 20%).

#2 Sectors

65% of Walloon startups are active in B2B. E-health and commerce are the most popular industries, closely followed by FinTech and gaming. Many Walloon startups also offer solutions in marketing and human resources.

#3 Internationalization

Walloon startups are strongly oriented towards going international. 66% have customers outside Belgium, mainly in neighbouring countries but also across the Atlantic.

#4 Financing

Financing young digital companies remains a frustration for many founders. Top 3 reasons are: the difficulty of finding private investors, the limited knowledge of the digital environment and the lack of significant financial capacity in the sector. While 25% of startups have never used external financing, about 45% have already received subsidies, yet only 28% have benefited from the help of public investment funds.

#5 Employment

According to the collected data, startups provide employment for about 3,000 people. On average, every startup employs between 3 and 4 employees. 41% of startups were created by 2 founders. Most of them have a university background in engineering, computer science or management.

The first “Digital Wallonia barometer of Walloon startups in the digital sector”includes three components:

  • a quantitative analysis of data relating to more than 300 digital startups identified by the Digital Agency and
  • a quantitative survey based on responses of 73 startups and
  • a qualitative survey based on interviews with 16 startup founders.

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