(Inter)national awards for Antwerp technology startups

In the past few months, Antwerp technology startups Rombit and Playpass received various (inter)national awards. A nice sign of recognition for these fast-growing companies and for Antwerp as a hub for technology startups.


In 2012, Jorik Rombouts (CEO) established the Antwerp startup Rombit. The company assists the government and large industry with its digitisation process, through Internet of Things (IoT) platforms and applications. The Port of Antwerp, the City of Antwerp, PSA and Agora are just some of Rombit’s customers.

  • Global Startup Award 2017: On 9 November, Rombit won the 2017 Global Startup Award. Five startups were given the opportunity to present their projects at the Fujitsu Forum in Munich, which attracts over ten thousand visitors. Rombit was the winner. According to the jury, this is largely because Rombit offers more than just a product or service, helping companies and governments to gain an insight into their operating processes.
  • Fastestgrowing technology company: Two weeks after the Fujitsu Award, Rombit also won a European prize. The company was named one of the five best European technology scaleups at the EIT Digital event in Trento, Italy. “Rombit posted the strongest growth of all the competitors.”


Playpass develops technology for smart wristbands that can be used for access control, accreditation management, cashless payments and brand activation and social media at events. The company was founded in 2012 by David De Wever (CEO) and Dale Hofkens (CTO). Well-known customers include Live Nation Belgium, Graspop and Sportpaleis Group. 

  • Promising company of the year: On 17 October, Playpass won the “Prize of the Government of Flanders for the most Promising Company of the Year”. According to jury president Geert Noels, “this young company is a good example of the development of new digital business models based on existing competences (…) in the region (…): the cluster of concerts, events and the music business.”
The fDi Intelligence division of the Financial Times noticed the innovative atmosphere of Antwerp, and awarded the city in the top 10 of European Cities and Regions of the Future 2018/2019.
Tech events in Antwerp are booming. Last year the city of Antwerp opened StartupVillage, several startups and corporates joined on missions to Israel and Canada, and there was the launch of Capital of Things. 2018 is also going to be a promising year.
When we talk about technology, the fashion industry was definitely not an early adopter for a long time. But they are catching up.