Belgium might be a small country, but it has a vibrant startup community with some pretty large ambitions. In cities such as Ghent and Antwerp, fresh talent is working on building companies which have the potential to disrupt entire industries.
Here are 10 Belgian startups that we selected — not necessarily on their revenue or the capital they raised — for the potential they have to be genuine disruptors in their markets.
Box office crystal ball: ScriptBook
This company developed an algorithm that will predict whether a movie will be a box office success or a dud. Too good to be true? Perhaps. What is a fact, however, is that the ScriptBook algorithm is now being applied in different pilot projects by American film studios. The movies under study will be released in the next 12 to 18 months. If ScriptBook proves it can make a difference, then it is almost certainly a ticket to fast growth for the Belgian startup.
Site: www.scriptbook.io / Twitter handle: @ScriptBook_io
Uber for foodies: FLAVR
The FLAVR app creates a marketplace where food lovers can be matched with food makers. Think Uber for foodies. FLAVR launched in May 2016. It has managed to cover the entire Dutch speaking part of Belgium (over 1,800 home chefs registered) and is now gearing up for international growth. FLAVR has raised €650k seed capital and, having won International Accelerator’s pitch competition at SXSW in 2016, we know that FLAVR has the ability to whet the appetite of potential investors in the U.S.
Site: flavr.be / Twitter handle: @addflavr
Staircase to growth: GRAAH
GRAAH produces the first aluminum staircase in the world. The modern design staircases are not tailormade but put together in a modular way on site. Most of sales come today from the United States, but there are plans to grow in Europe in 2017. ‘Graah’ means ‘gladly’ spelled out phonetically in West-Flemish Dutch by the way, because these West-Flemings really love their stairs!
Site: www.graah.be / Twitter handle: @graah_stairs
Keeping score: neoScores
Several Belgian musicians — sick and tired of having to deal with paper scores — came up with the idea of building a music sheet application in 2009. Today neoScores makes it easier for musicians around the world to play, practice and perform music through its Gustaf app.
Site: www.neoscores.com / Twitter handle: @NeoScores
In sync with your doctor: Andaman7
Walloon serial entrepreneur Vincent Keunen came up with his idea when his son was treated in the hospital and had a hard time obtaining any medical information on his condition. Andaman7 allows medical practitioners to share medical files with their patients. What makes this app unique is its ease of use and automatic synchronization between patient record (from the doctor) and individual medical file (from the patient). In 2016, Andaman7 scored a contract with the Liège university hospital in Belgium, allowing more than 500 patients to have a full copy of their medical information downloaded to their Andaman7 app. Andaman7 is also getting ready to set up shop in the U.S and plans to raise $5 million in 2017.
Site: www.andaman7.com / Twitter handle: @Andaman7
Oh, Canada!: Moovly
Moovly has built an online platform with subject matter experts to allow them to produce their own promotional video and animation clips. Any clips produced through Moovly can easily be repurposed for use in other marketing collateral. Through a reverse take-over of a Canadian company, Moovly is now traded on the Canadian stock-exchange.
Site: www.moovly.com / Twitter handle: @Moovly
Two Stella’s, please: Playpass
Belgium is the country of big music festivals. Think Tomorrowland and Rock Werchter. Playpass produces smart RFID wristbands for these types of events. A Playpass wristband can be used to enter a festival and even make payments for food and merchandise at the event. Since every festival has different needs, the functionalities of the wristband can be tailored accordingly.
Site: https://www.playpass.be / Twitter handle: @Playpass_EU
A place and time for everything: Chestnote
‘Think Snapchat, but then 100% the opposite’, founder Peter Wellens told Gazet van Antwerpen. Chestnote offers ‘contextual’ messaging, which means that through the app you can send a multimedia message that will only be delivered at a certain time, at a certain place. Brands will have an opportunity to pay for a service to reach users on the platform, and in March Chestnote wants to sell its technology to companies so they can then integrate Chestnote in their own brand apps. Recently Chestnote raised 650,000 euro to further fuel its growth.
Site: chestnote.com / Twitter handle: @Chestnote
Because school is cool: sCool
sCool, developed by Belgian startup Learningscape, is a Facebook-like experience for kids and teachers to use and improve their learning experience. Individual schools can sign up for sCool, which means that only teachers and students that belong to the school can create accounts, making it a safe place for children to learn online. Children can recommend books to each other, keep an agenda, get super creative with videos, and much more. sCool enables ‘flipped learning,’ which reverses the traditional pedagogical approach used in schools by delivering instructional content online and even outside of the classroom. It also brings homework type activities — traditional done without a teacher present — inside the classroom for improved hands-on learning. Microsoft was so charmed by the startup’s technology that it allowed it to integrate sCool with Skype. Nearly 50,000 children currently work on sCool app in Belgium and The Netherlands.
Site: scooledu.org / Twitter handle:@its_scool
Going the extra mile: Parcify
Parcify offers a service through which consumers can have products they order online shipped to a unique Parcify address, not necessarily a physical address approved by the postal service. For example, when Parcify receives the product if notifies the client through its app. The client then decides when and where to have it delivered — even if it’s at a park, restaurant or street corner. How does Parcify manage that? Through the GPS coordinates of your smartphone! After Belgium, the startup plans to enter the Dutch market in 2017.
Site: www.parcify.com / Twitter handle: @Parcify