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A Mission to Brussels Unveils Many Opportunities

CivStart brought startups to Brussels to learn about the EU market and share lessons from US govtech

The Challenge

EU and US leaders in government innovation need to share more policies, practices, and technological innovations to power the future of govtech.


October 13, 2023

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The Project

CivStart and brought seven govtech startups to learn, share, and explore opportunities in Belgium and the wider EU market to transform local governments.

Key Takeaways

  • as Key Partner: The 3-day trip centered around, Belgium's regional development agency fostering entrepreneurship. The agency's commitment to supporting entrepreneurs and providing valuable resources stood out as a model.

  • Collaboration Opportunities and Shared Challenges: Engaging in discussions with various entities uncovered a wealth of collaboration opportunities. CivStart and public-sector and non-profit partners addressed shared challenges and frustrations, fostering future collaborations with a diverse range of organizations, including law firms and the AI for the Common Good Institute.

  • Promising Market for Startups: The transparent EU procurement process and centralized local governments in Brussels present promising opportunities for the rapid integration of govtech solutions

  • Global Impact Through Collaboration: Collaboration with key players, including the U.S. Embassy and the U.S. Commerce & State Departments, present opportunities for broadening the global impact of govtech initiatives. The focus is on establishing a mutually beneficial relationship with international entities, extending influence beyond borders.

The Project in Detail

During the 3-day trip, we convened and engaged in discussion with key players such as the U.S. Embassy in Belgium,, finance.brussesl, BeAngels, CMS, and others uncovered a plethora of collaboration opportunities for startups trying to establish a European presence. These talks underscored the vitality of regional events in building connections within the govtech community.

CivStart brought ideas from the US innovation space and an understanding of the U.S. context to the table. Our presence, alongside many public-sector and non-profit partners, addressed shared challenges and frustrations, paving the way for future collaborations with the organizations we met, including law firms, the AI for the Common Good Institute in Brussels, and several others.

At the core of our recent govtech mission to Brussels was, Brussels’ capital region development agency in Belgium dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship, and for this trip, the focus was on innovation in the govtech sector within Belgium and the EU. offers support to US-based govtech startups, offering free office space, investment assistance, and streamlined navigation through the complex European Union business landscape.

Our startup entrepreneurs identified several opportunities during the trip and received information and coaching to help make strategic decisions about entering the EU market. The transparent EU procurement process and centralized local governments present promising opportunities for rapid integration of our govtech solutions.

In conclusion, our govtech mission to Brussels marked a pivotal moment due to the wealth of opportunities identified and the promising collaborations on the horizon. As we forge ahead, we are enthusiastic about the prospect of expanding the reach of our impact and delivering innovative solutions to a broader audience, both in Europe and the United States.

This trip was made possible by the ongoing collaboration with


Graduated Government Leaders from CivStart's Innovation Programs


Tech for Gov Newsletter subscribers


Venture Capital raised for startups in our Accelerator


Years of Government Innovation Programs


Startups in CivStart's portfolio


Mentor Network Participants


Attendees at CivStart events


BIPOC + Women Founders


Media Mentions

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