VITO supports young cleantech entrepreneurs or start-ups with a strong project or idea committed to sustainability through VITO4STARTERS. With this interactive pitch competition, the final of which takes place during the Flanders Technology & Innovation Festival in Hasselt (19 March 2024), we bring VITO's network and technical expertise within reach of inspiring entrepreneurs and start-ups.

The competition links the ambitions of start-ups to VITO technology in these domains: circularity, food, energy and mobility.

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About VITO4STARTERS

With the VITO4STARTERS competition, VITO supports young companies that contribute to greater sustainability with technical knowledge, a proof-of-concept and/or access to infrastructure. In this way, VITO strengthens the start-up community and the Flemish economic fabric.  

VITO highly values sustainability and is very active in the start-up community through its own spin-offs. With VITO4STARTERS, VITO wants to give existing start-ups a boost.

VITO thinks in the long term and even after the competition there are various possibilities for collaboration. VITO has several technologies with very high potential and also its own investment fund - the Clean Vision Invest fund.

Who can participate?

All starters with a project or concept that focuses on sustainability can register for VITO4STARTERS. Do you have an idea to make materials or processes more circular? Have you developed a process that reduces CO2 emissions or uses less water? Or have you developed an intelligent or efficient energy system? If so, VITO4STARTERS is the ideal programme for letting these ideas grow. The participation criteria for the startups are:

  • Company focusing on sustainability

  • Established by the start of the support period and maximum 5 years old

  • Need for technological support or access to infrastructure

  • SME according to the EU definition

Selection criteria

We select the best projects or ideas based on these criteria:  

  • The link between the start-up and VITO expertise 
  • The strength of the team
  • The strength of the business plan or idea

The selection process

During the first round, start-ups are selected based on their submitted pitch (i.e., video and deck) and any additional online intake interviews. In the second round, the finalists get the chance to pitch at Flanders Technology & Innovation in Hasselt.

What can you win?

Free support worth EUR 25,000 consisting of one or a combination of the following:

  • Technological advice
  • A proof of concept
  • Access to infrastructure (labs, pilots, ...)

The winner will also get:

  • Access to the VITO network
  • Visibility and promotion on the VITO channels

Practical details

As the winner, you receive individual support. Together, we draw up a work plan and timeline in function of your needs (worth EUR 25,000). At the end, an evaluation is made.

Possible follow-ups after the guidance trajectory are:

  • Joint research project with VITO
  • Technology transfer of existing VITO technology
  • Investment by the Clean Vision Invest Fund

UZE wins VITO4STARTERS 2023!

At the Love Tomorrow Conference, the jury decided on UZE as the winner of VITO4STARTERS 2023! UZE offers charging-as-a-service, EV charging when and where it suits you.

Thanks to their solution, EV drivers don't have to waste time looking for a charging spot. Instead, UZE's mobile battery comes to wherever you are parked and charges your car up to 200 km in 40 minutes.

Dieter Schotte of UZE, with Bart Swaelens and Nils Wuytens (VITO)
Dieter Schotte of UZE, with Bart Swaelens and Nils Wuytens (VITO)

MyGrid wins VITO4STARTERS 2022!

After an exciting pitch competition at Love Tomorrow, our jury chose MyGrid as the winner of VITO4STARTERS 2022. MyGrid provides a unique plug-and-play homebattery and portable battery pack all-in-one attractive device that can be plugged into any standard power outlet.

According to the VITO4STARTERS jury, of all the finalists, MyGrid proved to be the most comprehensive in what they have to offer. "A prototype has been developed, a solid team has been set up, a road-to-market has been mapped out and attention has also been paid to the look-and-feel of their product," according to the jury report.

That required a word of explanation. We discussed MyGrid's further ambitions with founders Jan Wellens and Kristof Geerts, CEO and CTO, respectively.

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