Antwerp as startup city present at SXSW Conference in Austin, Texas

Antwerp is a booming hub for digital innovation. The city was invited at SXSW (South by Southwest), a prestigious  conference about music, film and technology in March 2019 to present the role of Antwerp as startup city.


SXSW, South by Southwest, is a unique conference and festival. During 10 days a film festival, a tech or interactive festival, and a music festival take place. At the same time, me Convention took place at SXSW. This is a collaboration between Mercedes Benz and SXSW connecting bright minds to global thought leaders in tech, art & science who are obsessed with the future.

Antwerp was invited as keynote speaker for the me Convention in the context of Startup Cities track. During this conference, leading startup figures from all over the world explain what makes their city so essential as a force for technical progress. Besides Antwerp, Paris was a keynote speaker. Eindhoven, Stockholm, Dubai, Sao Paulo, Linz, Montreal, and Copenhagen participated as well.

Startup Cities Track

Known as the biggest city in Flanders, Antwerp wants to emphasize their ecosystem of digital innovation, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence and E-health. We are putting Antwerp on a global map of startup cities at SXSW. From the business & innovation team at City of Antwerp, Katleen De Naeyer explained how the city, as a governmental institution, supports startups and scaleups. A company that has already validated its product within the marketplace and has proven that the unit economics are sustainable, is a scaleup.

In Austin, they also visited Capital Factory, a company specialised in matching entrepreneurs with their first investors, mentors, and customers. This can be an interesting path to send some start-ups from Antwerp over to Texas.

Belgium represented

Belgian entrepreneurs were also present at the SXSW, e.g. Jasna Rok. This young designer combines innovative technologies with interactive fashion. With Fash Tech, she bridges the gap between tech innovation and wearable future fashion. Additionally, BINGLI also proves that innovation is alive in Antwerp. This startup gave an explanation to press and public about their ambitious communication platform for family doctors. Not only BINGLI but also VRT Sandbox and imec, the independent R&D and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies, presented their projects at SXSW. The Flemish booth of Flanders Investment and Trade (FIT) hosted all these projects.

The first time that Antwerp took part in SXSW did not pass unnoticed. With this visit in Austin, the city of Antwerp presents herself as a startup an innovative location. Just like the city did last year, in September 2018 when Antwerp was present at the Startup Cities track during the me Convention in Stockholm.

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Startup BINGLI proves that innovation is alive in Antwerp