HomeBlogAIBusinessFinanceNewsHow AI is Empowering Startups in Belgium and Italy to Scale Rapidly

How AI is Empowering Startups in Belgium and Italy to Scale Rapidly

In the ever-evolving world of tech, artificial intelligence (AI) is no longer just a tool for the big players. As the global tech landscape shifts, Belgium and Italy are emerging as unexpected frontrunners in the startup ecosystem, challenging the Silicon Valley-centric view of tech dominance. This transformation is largely fueled by AI, which is proving to be a critical factor in scaling businesses at an unprecedented pace.

The Rise of Startups in Belgium and Italy

Historically seen as economic underdogs, Belgium and Italy are now standing out on the European tech scene. According to a recent report by the Financial Times, these countries have shown a remarkable surge in their representation among Europe’s 1,000 fastest-growing companies. Belgium, with innovators like BeInfluence Europe, Logistics Capital Partners, and Techwolf, and Italy, led by firms such as Bidberry, The Sense Experience Resort, and WECO, are defying the old narratives.

This shift indicates a significant change in the AI era, traditionally dominated by tech giants such as Microsoft and Alphabet. The success stories from these regions illustrate that you do not need the vast resources of multinational corporations to succeed in the tech world. Instead, AI is leveling the playing field, allowing small to medium enterprises (SMEs) to compete on a global scale.

AI as a Catalyst for Rapid Scaling

The impact of AI on startups is profound. Jürgen Ingels, the founder of several successful Belgian tech companies including Clear2pay and Crazygames, shares that AI has revolutionized the way businesses operate. “Business models are changing,” Ingels remarks. “Tech companies with modest teams are achieving high EBITDA by automating their back office. It’s not about capital anymore; it’s about creativity.”

This sentiment is echoed throughout the tech industry in Belgium and Italy, where AI enables startups to automate processes, enhance productivity, and drive innovation. This not only accelerates growth but also allows businesses to operate independently of the traditional tech hubs like Silicon Valley.

Lessons from Brussels: Understanding AI’s Role in Tech Policy

Brussels is not only Belgium’s capital but also a central hub for understanding European tech policy. This week’s developments, where Microsoft ended the bundling of its Teams app with Office software globally after similar actions in Europe, highlight the influence of regulatory bodies on tech operations. Such decisions underscore the importance of Brussels as a place to learn about the intersection of tech policy and business scaling through AI.

The Broader Impact of AI

While AI’s role in transforming startups is largely positive, it is not without its critics. Jon Stewart, for instance, challenges the overly optimistic narrative of AI in his critique of what he terms “the false promise of AI.” His perspective serves as a reminder of the diverse opinions surrounding this technology’s impact on society.


As AI continues to advance, its ability to empower smaller companies and drive economic growth in regions traditionally seen as tech laggards is becoming more apparent. Belgium and Italy, with their burgeoning startup ecosystems, are prime examples of how AI can facilitate rapid scaling and innovation. This shift towards a more inclusive AI-driven landscape is not just reshaping business models; it’s redefining what it means to be a tech hub in the modern world.

Join the Newsletter

Business ideas, new tools, and more.