Its mission is to become a reference point for technologies, entrepreneurship and societal transformation through digital technology. With this in mind, the project's 46 founders initially aimed to reach 10,000 people in the first year.
BeCentral is incorporated as a company with a societal goal; its investors are 46 prominent individuals in the tech ecosystem (including Belgium's digital champion Saskia Van Uffelen and Belgium's Minister for Digital Agenda Alexander De Croo), the Federal Investment Fund (SFPI/FPIM) and the Brussels Investment Fund (finance.brussels). Projects hosted at BeCentral are funded by private companies and foundations, government agencies or self-funded.
A key success factor is the fact that BeCentral is supported by a wide group of individuals, who invested not only money but also time and enthusiasm in the project. Our founders come from all over the country, from different tech backgrounds (entrepreneurs, investors, policy makers, managers of large tech companies). A second key success factor is our location, in the very heart of the capital city and the country. Our campus is uniquely accessible, and allows us to attract people with very different socio-cultural backgrounds.
The goal was largely achieved as more than 12,500 people participated in a program proposed by one of BeCentral's 37 residents:
- 413 adults were trained at BeCentral by one of the seven "long" campus programs (full time for more than 2 months), including BeCode, Belgium's largest free coding school;
- 4200 adults received short-term training at BeCentral;
- 3,700 children & teens attended apprenticeship programs provided by a BeCentral resident (on-site or at school);
- 145 people undertake and work permanently on campus;
- More than 4,000 people came to campus for inspirational events