Hangar K

Hangar K focuses on digital technology in the manufacturing industry (smart factory), MedTech, EduTech and entertainment/visualisation.

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Hangar K

Intro

The people of West Flanders are born entrepreneurs. The many family-run businesses form the backbone of our economy. Just look at the new generation of ‘makers’ that graduate in Kortrijk every year. Or the power of attraction exerted by the Biennale Interieur on designers from all over the world. This creates a unique ecosystem in Kortrijk that promotes local entrepreneurship in the region as a whole.

However, the economy must constantly renew itself. This is the rationale behind Hangar K, the new co-creation hub in Kortrijk Weide. It is the first ecosystem in West Flanders that physically brings all innovative players together under the same roof. Hangar K focuses on digital technology in the manufacturing industry (smart factory), MedTech, EduTech and entertainment/visualisation.

What is Hangar K

A co-creation hub for exponential growth, where starters, entrepreneurs and established businesses can support each other as partners in order to transcend their particular business level.

As a work space Hangar K surpasses itself. It is a building, but also a digital platform. It is simultaneously an incubator and accelerator, as well as a catalyst and innovator. Both competence centre and brain centre.

Starters are not only helped out of the starting blocks, but also share a professional tandem with experienced entrepreneurs. Established businesses find room to collaborate there. They jointly formulate specific answers to the increasing demand for innovative applications. Hangar K is a dynamic concept with a clear mission.

What makes Hangar K unique?

1. THE PARTNERS

Hangar K is a joint initiative by Barco, Cronos, Howest, KU Leuven, the City of Kortrijk, Start it@KBC, Ghent University and Vives. The combination of digital education, expertise in digital technology and mentorship for starters leads to better applications for technology and stronger economic growth in the region. Thanks to the open ecosystem various other partners can move in to the community. Ready to jointly develop solutions for new technological challenges.

All current and future partners share the same vision, defend the same values and strive for the same goals. A CEO jointly goes in search with the partners of original projects, entrepreneurs and established businesses that collectively form a vibrant community and strengthen the position of the region. Hangar K is part of the Kortrijk Weide urban development project in a region with a thriving industry.

2. THE FOCUS

The top five sectors with innovative technology companies in Belgium comprise respectively the healthcare sector, the manufacturing industry, human resources, marketing, and FinTech (financial technology). Each of these sectors has its own localised ecosystem, apart from the manufacturing industry. Kortrijk serves as the cradle for an abundance of creativity and this will therefore form the basis for the first ecosystem. We will supplement it with a number of crucial sectors in which our partners are among the best in the world.

Consequently the focus will be on the manufacturing industry (smart factory), MedTech, EduTech and entertainment/visualisation.

3. THE AMBITION

We are the first in West Flanders to introduce this concept and our explicit ambition is to afford emerging entrepreneurship a place to counter the West Flanders brain drain.

It is an open secret that a great many starters seek refuge in Ghent and other places. Our ambition is to halt this exodus. By attracting entrepreneurs to Hangar K and through initiatives like SPEK (Student Platform Entrepreneurship Kortrijk), the project involving the four higher education institutions to guide students towards entrepreneurship, the student/entrepreneur status and Kerekewere.

Plan

4. THE LOCATION

Kortrijk Weide represents one of the most important changes in our city. A place where the centre of Kortrijk is being expanded and where unique functions converge: education, relaxation, sport and entrepreneurship.

The future lies in these types of places. Where starters organise a party in Depart after work. Where, after lessons, students of CVO Miras (adult education centre) check out the approach adopted by entrepreneurs in Hangar K. Where students on their way to the new Olympic swimming pool drop by Hangar K because the lights are still burning at night.

5. THE WAREHOUSE

The warehouse offers a unique location. A place where, in the past, linen was bleached in the meadows for the flax industry, which lies at the roots of the creative manufacturing industry in our region.

In 1954 the NMBS, national Belgian railway company, built a goods warehouse here. When European borders were opened up this made the building surplus to NMBS requirements.

Now it is acquiring a new purpose. Hence the name. The K naturally stands for Kortrijk. A hangar because it exudes industrial workplace, where lots of creative products will be designed. A name that also resonates in English and French. After all, we aspire to work on an international level. By, for example, collaborating with EuraTechnologies in Lille.

We will use these unique elements to produce a co-creation hub, the like of which has never been seen before in Flanders.

Hangar K

How does Hangar K work?

Hangar K is more than a co-working space for starters and entrepreneurs. It is a vibrant community in which knowledge, experience and expertise are exchanged and where young entrepreneurs and established businesses can collaborate, co-create. Here we will work on usable, scalable and marketable solutions to technological challenges.

Hangar K’s role ranges from incubator to accelerator. Pre-starters and start-ups will be supported in developing their product or service, building their business and compiling a business plan with programmes and training courses. They will be inspired, receive advice and support for their growth, expansion of their businesses and in making strategic choices. In addition to business events and inspirational workshops, this co-creation hub will also host design-thinking and design-doing sessions.

Pencil Sandglass Notepad

Partners

Hangar K is a joint initiative by Barco, Cronos, Howest, KU Leuven, the City of Kortrijk, Start it@KBC, Ghent University and Vives. The combination of digital education, expertise in digital technology and mentorship for starters leads to better applications for technology and stronger economic growth in the region. Thanks to the open ecosystem various other partners can move in to the community. Ready to jointly develop solutions for new technological challenges.

With the support of

Building

Hangar K, a hub in the making

Being an open platform and co-creation hub, Hangar K is constantly developing. The spaces change and are continuously occupied by other entrepreneurs and businesses. Some stay a while; others occasionally turn up to ask for advice. Or they stay in the office and contact each other online, in the cyber warehouse. By constantly being in motion an endless flow of new insights will emerge and there will be exponential growth in technological expertise. Both nationally and internationally.