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WSL is an incubator created in 1999. It is focused on technologic start-up firms whose technologies are most of the time the result of spatial R&D projects. The incubator’s mission is to support young entrepreneurs coming mainly from Walloon universities in creating their company, to help to get it going and to accompany the project during its first years of growth so as to contribute to increase the number of high tech firms in Wallonia.
WSL is considered a pioneering organisation in Europe, as it was at its creation the first ‘space related’ incubator in Europe.
The incubator was created in the form of a private limited company with a cleared capital of €7.5 million. In 2006, given the continual growth of its overwhelming success, the Walloon Region increased funding by €2.5 million. Its main stockholder, the Walloon Region, is associated with Spinventure, a venture capital fund created by the University of Liege and a public institutional fund (Meusinvest).
WSL’s objective is to solicit and anchor new high-tech enterprises in Wallonia.
WSL is co-funder of ESINET (European Network of Space Incubators) and leader of the NAVOBS project, a support measure to boost the business prospects of GMES and telecom satellites through focused and innovative RTD work involving SMEs.
At the end of 2005, the NBIA (the American National Business Incubation Association) chose WSL to be the first reference incubator outside the United States. It received the « Best Incubator in Europe » award in 2007 from the Science Alliance. Through this new program, NBIA recognizes incubators that are especially capable at helping non-domestic companies enter the incubator’s domestic market. 27 start ups launched up to now with more than 160 jobs created and 15M turnover.