Telenet, Belgium’s leading cable service provider, was known for its proactive role in society since its formation in the mid-1990’s. Since 2006, the Telenet Foundation was the company’s platform for supporting projects with regard to bridging the digital gap. After numerous projects Telenet realized that internet access had become ubiquitous and material issues from a customer perspective needed more attention. Furthermore, operating in a rapidly changing landscape required the company to continuously become more innovative in order to ensure long-term competitiveness.
Finch & Beak supported Telenet in developing a business plan to set up a startup accelerator program in Flanders, building the business case and selecting potential partners. In May 2014, Telenet launched its accelerator program in partnership with Idealabs in Antwerp with a call for applications receiving 450 business ideas covering a range of innovation domains including Internet of Things, e-commerce, smart cities and entertainment. The program has recently finalized its second cohort of startups for the 2015/2016 round.