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Belval innovation day, foreign delegations in Luxembourg The fast-growing start-up ecosystem in Luxembourg is drawing international interest. A day before the ICT Spring tech conference in Luxembourg, roughly 150 foreign delegates attended the “Innovation Day” at the Belval campus and the House of Startups in Luxembourg City. The purpose: to discover the vibrant entrepreneurial, economic, cultural, business, and research terrain while networking and forging partnerships with key Luxembourg business and startup players.

We are creating spinoffs in every Luxembourg sector.

Co-organised by the Ministry of the Economy, the national innovation agency, Luxinnovation, the Chamber of Commerce and the University of Luxembourg, the event brought together diverse international actors ranging from early-stage start-ups to incubators and accelerators, large corporations and SMEs, ministry and institutional representatives, academia, business angels, venture capitalists and others.

A robust and fast-growing start-up scene

Luxembourg’s position as a business-friendly location for startups was recently reaffirmed when it joined the European Startup Nations Alliance (ESNA). More than 500 start-ups are currently operating in the very multicultural and international country, which is surrounded by institutions committed to fostering business growth. Several cutting-edge and innovative businesses with roots in the grand duchy have benefited from its well-connected and supportive ecosystem.

The welcome and convenience of setting up a business here, are regularly cited as reasons why foreign enterprises choose to establish in Luxembourg.

Among the homegrown success stories that were nurtured in Luxembourg are analytics company Talkwalker, which is currently active in eight countries, spacetech company Kleos, software engineering company Hexagon, and edtech company Oats, Diego de Biasio, CEO of technology incubator Technoport, underlined.

Luxembourg: open to businesses from abroad

“The favourable geographical position of Luxembourg, as well as the welcome and convenience of setting up a business here, are regularly cited as reasons why foreign enterprises choose to establish in Luxembourg,” noted Jenny Hällen Hedberg, Head of International Relations at Luxinnovation. Its ambition of creating a sustainable, digital, and data-driven economy, international talent pool, leading data centres and extensive institutional backing reinforce its position as a major business destination and a gateway to Europe to not only large establishments but also startups.

I see a great potential for Luxembourg to be the carbon trading capital in Europe.

Around 15 different Luxembourg-based associations, investors and institutions presented their services to the foreign delegates, some of whom expressed a strong desire for business expansion in Luxembourg. According to Sri Lankan delegates from software solutions company Xeptagon, the visit to Luxembourg is a terrific opportunity to discover the country and to explore possibilities for expanding its software that powers carbon credit markets. “I see a great potential for Luxembourg to be the carbon trading capital in Europe,” pointed out Sapumal Ahangama, Data Architect at Xeptagon.

“As a non-European and non-Luxembourgish resident with a business here, I can tell you that Luxembourg is truly unique,” said Andy Demir, Co-founder of digital green hydrogen marketplace Uranus Group. “You have a lot of support, and no one asks where you come from, but the focus is on your idea and how you contribute to the economy.”

Start-up elevator pitches

“We are creating spinoffs in every Luxembourg sector. In the last five years, we’ve promoted entrepreneurship to over 6,000 students,” stated Pranjul Shah, Head of the incubator of the University of Luxembourg. Startups from the university’s incubator are active in different fields such as renewable energy, augmented reality, precision nutrition, digital skills and solutions, sustainable crafts and more.

The founders of six of the startups incubated at the University of Luxembourg – Enidia AI, Tech Academy, Recast, DataSecure, Devseis, and Uranus Group – pitched their businesses to potential investors during the programme and networking sessions.

The focus is on your idea and how you contribute to the economy.

During a walking tour, foreign delegates also visited the Belval campus, which now includes a world-class research university as well as other notable institutions. According to various speakers, Belval’s historic industrial steel heritage and the rapid shift it has seen over the last decades epitomises the innovative spirit of the Luxembourg economy and startup ecosystem.

Photo credit: Luxinnovation

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