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About us

Business as usual is not for us

As passionate and determined entrepreneurs, we are building a well thought-out concept: housing for students, young professionals and companies with a unique integrated management and absolute focus on social & societal added value. We strive daily to increase our social impact in a value-driven context.


Discover our mission


Nele Van Damme & Koenraad Belsack
Founders & believers of Upgrade Estate






Partnerships with
educational institutions




How it all started


Food stall at
the Gentse Feesten


Upgrade Estate first saw the light of day as a business of (life & business) partners Koenraad Belsack and Nele Van Damme. They used the profit from their food truck with Keizer Karel Bread as a financial lever to buy an old townhouse and convert it into six student rooms. It left them wanting more...



Spaghetti as a

From the start, Nele and Koenraad connected with their tenants during the famous "spaghetti nights". It was immediately clear that students in digs develop a network for life. The student room itself was only the decor. Allowing students to connect in the common areas became a mission.

Spaghetti Talks


Our concept

was established

Nele & Koenraad started their business in Ghent, where the number of students increased massively in a short time. It meant that they had to learn to think on a different scale. To be able to continually meet the quality requirements that student housing demands, they developed a first Upkot project in Ghent where they could combine everything: creating a community feeling through lovely, shared spaces in a sustainable context. Upkot was born...

ter plaeten


Go Your Own Way

Graduated Upkotters can now move into Upliving. We are happy to give them a kick-start in their professional career in a pleasant living environment.



Good vibes only

Launch of Upoffiz, because companies also have certain accommodation needs that we meet with this state-of-the-art office concept.


Our logo,
our pilars

Our +110 medeMerkers drive our business. They afford us the opportunity to enter other markets in the future and to expand as a business. Their enthusiasm has a positive impact on customer and tenant satisfaction.

verhuren en beheren
Connection & Community
Project development
& sales
Duurzaam DNA
energy solutions
tenant awareness
zelf ontwerpen en bouwen
Construction manager | contractor | study

Best place to work

You read it correctly, Upgrade Estate was in the top ten best employers in Belgium in 2020. Would you like to get a taste of our culture and values? 

Learn more 

great place to work

Best Workplaces 2020 | East Flemish SME of the year 2019 | Finalist Voka ambassador 2018 | Great place to work 2018 certificate |  Best finance team SME 2018 Tourism Flanders Awards: best innovative product for tourism |  East Flanders Environmental Charter First Laureate for Flemish young entrepreneur 2013 |  Real Estate Award Marketing 2013 East-Flemish young entrepreneur of the year |  Flemish young contractor of the year 2009


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