Comate, the Leuven-based engineering and design company has acquired fellow city neighbour Zenso. Comate thus continues to build on its ambition to become the absolute top in Europe in the field of development of innovative products. With Zenso, the primus of the class in electronics and software is added to the growth story.
In 12 years, Comate has grown to a team of 60 engineers and designers. In 2019 the election SME of the year followed and in 2021, thanks in part to a participation from Alychlo, the family office of Marc Coucke, a venture fund was established to invest in hardware startups. The company, active in Leuven and recently also Ghent, is now taking a new step by acquiring Leuven-based Zenso.
Comate focuses on developing (read: inventing) innovative hardware products for other companies and may count among its customers the KU Leuven (hydrogen panels), Johnson & Johnson (surgical tools), Australian Home Made Icecream (ice cream machines), Cowboy (e-bike), HB Antwerp (grinding robot) and many others.
"Europe has unseen innovation potential. Belgium is bursting with genius engineers and scientists who have an extraordinary number of innovative ideas." said founders Wouter Foulon and Sander Van den dries. "With Comate, we want to support companies to bridge the innovation gap to the market and to be able to valorise the high-tech potential in Europe. The acquisition of Zenso ensures that we can pull the quality of our customers' hardware products even higher."
Zenso was founded in 2007 by Johan Coosemans and Bart Hermans as a spin-off from research lab MICAS at KU Leuven. It focuses on the development of electronics and software for new products, with a particular name and fame made within the medical world in recent years. Various active implants have been developed, including a device for continuously monitoring the EEG of epilepsy patients. Among others, Indigo Diabetes, Ontex, UNEEG and Prolira belong to the customer base.
"During a previous cooperation with Comate, it became clear that our vision for product development is the same: Always the highest quality is pursued and the product always comes first," says Bart Hermans.
"For 15 years, Zenso has excelled in unique expertise in electronics, software and medical devices. We are therefore very pleased that Zenso wants to help build this story," indicates Wouter Foulon. "After all, this is a team of incredibly smart and passionate people. But more importantly, they have the same restless drive towards innovation and technological progress".
The fit with our culture was the main deciding factor. "We have ambitious plans and within them our culture is central. That makes us unique and makes us able to do things that others cannot" emphasizes Foulon. "The fact that we also find that at a company like Zenso is a godsend."