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Karin SchintgenThe House of Startups celebrated its first anniversary on Monday, June 3 with a press conference. About ten journalists were present to take stock of this young organisation, which is now an essential part of Luxembourg’s start-up ecosystem.

In just one year, this initiative from the Chamber of Commerce can confirm to have fulfilled its primary objective: to create an emblematic unifying platform to serve as an engine of innovation in Luxembourg.

In fact, the House of Startups hosts four incubators and an innovation hub. These are the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology (Lhoft), the Luxembourg-City Incubator (LCI), the International Climate Finance Accelerator (ICFA Luxembourg) and the HUB@Luxembourg.

These organisations in turn are host to more than a hundred start-ups. And that’s not all. An average of thirty events are organised per month and attract some 1,000 visitors, including many official foreign delegations, for whom the passage through the House of Startups has become essential to better understand the ecosystem.

Services adapted to start-ups

House of StartupsThe House of Startups did not want to sacrifice quality for quantity,  the construction of services dedicated to start-ups also being one of the priorities during the first year. The fundraising unit has, for example, become a recognised intermediary for advising and supporting start-ups in their search for public or private funding.

Luxembourg Acceleration Bootcamp (LAB) was designed to provide start-ups with solutions in terms of financing and European expansion. The CheckPoint brings together half a dozen experts in fields such as marketing, IT, accounting, legal advice, etc.

This first year only confirms our desire to make Luxembourg’s entrepreneurial innovation ecosystem stronger and more internationally recognised.

In addition, because innovation is not only of interest to start-ups, the House of Startups also hosts the Luxembourg Open Innovation Club (LOIC), founded in 2016 and of which Luxinnovaton is one of the founding members. The objective of this structure is to create bridges between established companies and newcomers such as start-ups. The number of LOIC members has almost doubled in the last 12 months.

“We are extremely proud of everything we have accomplished,” said House of Startups CEO Karin Schintgen. “This first year only confirms our desire to make Luxembourg’s entrepreneurial innovation ecosystem stronger and more internationally recognised.”

A virtual incubator on the scale of the Greater Region

Despite a first year full of initiatives, the House of Startups’ ambitions go even further. They even stretch beyond the borders of Luxembourg. Admittedly, the Grand Duchy has a dynamic and growing ecosystem, but it could gain even more visibility if it joined forces with the actors of the Greater Region.

In any event, this is the opinion of Karin Schintgen, who has been advocating for several months the idea of linking innovation actors from Luxembourg, Rhineland-Palatinate (Germany), Saarland (Germany), Lorraine (France) and Wallonia (Belgium) through the EU-TRIBE project.

The many competence centres in the region are a technological megalopolis that can attract not only start-ups, but also financiers and potential customers.

“It would be a question of creating an innovation space between Paris and Brussels, which would be a kind of virtual incubator where start-ups could benefit in particular from borderless co-working solutions, but also quickly reach a market extending across four countries,” she says.

This association would have a critical size of some 1,500 start-ups, according to the House of Startups’ estimates, and would represent a pool of 11 million people. “The many competence centres in the region are a technological megalopolis that can attract not only start-ups, but also financiers and potential customers,” continues Karin Schintgen.

If the first year of the House of Startups has been a busy one, the year ahead looks even more exciting for the small team of seven, who will now have to not only strengthen existing initiatives, but also bring the tribe of the Greater Region together.

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