Greenlab: the kickstart program for sustainable start-ups!

Greenlab is an accelerator for sustainable start-ups. The goal: to support as many start-ups as possible in the realization and growth of circularly inspired businesses in Brussels!

Over the past 10 years, greenlab has experienced solid growth. With each year, an increase in the number of candidate entrepreneurs. In addition, the greenlab program fits seamlessly into the trend of doing business in a more social and environmentally friendly way. For an increasing number of Brussels-based start-ups, this approach actually forms the basis of their green and innovative business model, based on reuse and recycling.

Just like plants, good ideas need time to grow. In addition to time, they also need lots of energy and – of course – a fertile breeding ground. Greenlab plays an important role in this growth, through guidance from experts. During a six-month period, the greenlab candidates take part in a series of workshops and brainstorms around (ecologically responsible) entrepreneurship. Simultaneously, they can count on personalized coaching to help challenge and streamline their business ideas.

“We thought COVID-19 would seriously jeopardize the number of registrations, given the extremely difficult context to do business,” explains Virginie Smans, greenlab coordinator. “But the opposite was true. We received a record number of registrations. A lot of people thought: ‘These are uncertain times, so maybe it’s the time to go for it’. That’s why this year we selected 18 participating projects, instead of the usual 15.”

From idea and start-up to your own company

A once-in-a-lifetime idea, a sudden urge to change the world. When this hits, you immediately want to roll up your sleeves and get to work to realize it, even if you have a (full-time) job. The best ideas often pop up unexpectedly. Too often, though, people push these ideas and dreams aside, only for them to shrivel up and eventually die – on that perpetual back burner. That’s why the greenlab program can be combined with a full-time job. Workshops and other activities take place on Wednesday evenings from 6 to 9 pm (except during school vacations). After a 6-month period, the participants get to pitch their project to an audience and a jury. This takes place during the famous greenlab awards. During the event, three of the candidates are presented with an award: the prize, the Triodos prize and the Public award. A great support and recognition for start-ups!