Start-up Lab

A paid internship program for unconventional, innovative & recently graduated circus professionals.

Ell Circo D'ell Fuego Start-up Labo

Ell Circo D’ell Fuego (ECDF) is a haven for circus entrepreneurs. We introduce children, teens and adults to circus, focusing on discovery, development and entrepreneurship.

Within the entrepreneurship pillar, we have launched a START-UP LAB, a paid internship that supports young, recently graduated circus professionals as they leap – or somersault – toward a professional career.

Why this START-UP LAB?

Circus performers who have recently graduated usually find themselves having to answer many questions. What do I do now? Do I apply for artist status? Or do I set up a non-profit organization? Maybe it’s better to start out self-employed? Or as an employee? How do I work out and finance my first projects administratively? Where can I continue my training? What if I still need some extra time to shape my project? And what about insurance?

Ell Circo D’ell Fuego’s START-UP LAB offers young creators time and space to search for answers. Afterwards, they are ready to throw themselves into the professional field.

With this LAB, we want to strengthen recently graduated circus artists who want to settle in Flanders (again). We do this with both business and artistic tools they can use to start and develop a healthy and focused professional career. In addition, they start an artistic research with coach Peter Boelens (creator of visual experience theater and artistic director of Bad van Marie) who guides them in the elaboration of a final product.

On our START-UP LAB program

How does the START-UP LAB proceed?

We offer 3 circus arts graduates a paid internship path consisting of two modules. While completing these modules, they are employed part-time by Ell Circo D’ell Fuego and are given full-time space to create.

Module 1: Research

During the first module the focus will be on artistic research. In addition, we plan time for a mix of business topics (statutory situation, administration, communication,) necessary for a healthy career.

Module 2: Creation

The second module will focus on creation. And we reflect on how everything is running on business, artistic and communication levels.
Together we look at where the creators are and what still needs to be done before they can really get started.

Practical information

For who?

For Flemish circus artists who want to (re-)establish themselves in Flanders as “creators” and have recently graduated in a program for Circus Arts at a college, university, academy or conservatory. We limit ourselves to this target group because the administrative support we offer is grafted on the Flemish regulations.


We are currently running this trajectory with the young creators of !UKBUM! In the spring of 2023, we will launch an Open Call in view of the second edition of our START-UP LAB.