(Editor’s note: The Eindhoven Business Briefing is part of our Tech Tuesday series covering tech ecosystems across Europe.)
We’ve been coming to High Tech Campus Eindhoven since 2015 and working on campus since 2017. When you’re in the middle of it, you only have a day-to-day perspective.
On the marcom side of Dispatches Media, we are fortunate to work for a number of clients on HTCE, so recently we took a step back to see the bigger picture. What we saw amazed us. This is a totally different ecosystem than when we arrived in 2015. At that time, the vast majority of the campus residents were established companies such as Philips, which built the campus, NXP and ASML. HighTechXL, then an accelerator, had only recently evolved from Startupbootcamp and had a handful of startups in HTC 1.
That was it.
Now, at the 7 September Startup BBQ on campus, Hilde de Vocht, HTCE marketing and communications manager, celebrated the expanding startup ecosystem, noting there were more than 55 startups at the event, an all-time record at the invitation-only annual party. Hilde attributed the growing ecosystem to Campus and private initiatives including the new AI Innovation Center and 5G Hub.
The multi-building startup complex is the largest in the Netherlands.
So, we decided to dedicate part of this Eindhoven Business Briefing to the startup ecosystem and some of the teams we’ve met and/or covered during 2022:
Axelera AI – HTC 5
This startup in the AI Innovation Center is a candidate for Unicorn status. We’ve written a lot about them and anticipate writing a lot more. This past May, Axelera debuted its first chip, the Thetis Core, while raising a 20 million euro A Series round.
Bone-Tech – HTC 9
This biotech startup is different from most on Campus in several ways, including its focus on pharma and microfluidics technology and the maturity of its team. CEO Rene Hansen and American chief commercial officer Scott Fleming are both pharma veterans. Fleming sold his most recent company to Teva, the Israel-based pharmaceuticals giant.
Bone-Tech’s project is creating an osteoarthritis treatment in a non-invasive microsphere-delivered therapy. So, what’s the big deal? Well, it could eliminate the need for expensive and painful knee replacements, that’s all.
Carbyon – HTC 27
Carbyon is a candidate for Eindhoven startup of the year, receiving $1 million earlier this year from XPRIZE to advance its work building carbon extraction towers to reduce global CO2. Carbyon came together at HighTechXL, a key contributor to Eindhoven’s deep-tech startup ecosystem.
Cboost – HTC 5
This is the service side of tech. Cboost founder Daniël Telgen has built a consulting firm offering high-tech R&D and engineering services. Telgen coordinates dozens of engineers who work with clients all over the Netherlands. He also plans to go international eventually.
Datacation – HTC 5
Datacation has a team of data engineers offering business process services including harnessing the power of data analytics and AI for clients.
inPhocal – HTC 27
HighTechXL alumnus inPhocal uses its proprietary laser-based technology to revolutionize the printing process. Coming up are some big trials with major bottlers such as Heineken.
Pharmi – HTC 27
Claudia Rijcken, Pharmi founder and CEO, and her team have built a digital application for home follow-up care for medications called MedicijnWijs, or MedsWise. While this solution may sound simple, it is anything but. It is a complex mobile app that provides 24/7 information and digital care for almost all medications available on the Dutch market.
Fractal chooses Eindhoven for its first Europe offices
It’s one of the hottest AI companies in the world. So, it makes sense that Fractal Analytics has opened an office on HTCE, which has the AI Innovation Center.
Based in New York and Mumbai, Fractal technology reaches across industry verticals and includes healthcare diagnostics, financial forecasting, consumer goods development and customer relationship management. Fractal provides AI and analytics to Fortune 500 companies such as Proctor & Gamble, Amazon, Google and Microsoft.
Fractal products include:
• Qure.ai assists radiologists in making better diagnostic decisions
• Crux Intelligence assists senior executives in tactical and strategic decision-making
• Theremin.ai improves investment decisions
TechCrunch notes Fractal’s role in developing a new Secret-brand deodorant formula using AI, for which consumer goods giant P&G publicly acknowledged Fractal’s contribution. VentureBeat has a post from earlier this year about Fractal raising $360 million from Silicon Valley VC TPG Capital Asia on a valuation of more than $1 billion.
To date Fractal has raised more than $685 million, with 3,500 employees working in 16 locations including the U.S., Ukraine, Australia, and India. As far as we can tell, HTCE is their first stop in continental Europe, though the firm has offices in London.
Fontys Consultancy open for business
Smart college kids bring two things to every project – a fresh perspective and objectivity. So, who better to use as consultants when your High Tech Campus-based company or startup is embarking on a challenging new project? As luck would have it, we have a direct line to 10 students, the fall cohort at Fontys Consultancy, in Building 27.
These are interdisciplinary teams, and team members have experience ranging from applied mathematics to trend analysis. This cohort, the program’s seventh, will be in place for 20 weeks, so they’re hot to get started.
You can catch them Monday through Friday in Building 27 on High Tech Campus. Look for the Fontys sign in front of the big glass house in the center entry area. Or ping them at: [email protected]
Full disclosure: Dispatches was the first client for the first cohort way back in 2019, and we recommend highly the Fontys teams.
Fontys Consultancy actually has two offices – one on High Tech Campus and a second in Strijp-S to assist growing SMEs.
Netherlands building 60,000 student units
Speaking of students, a public/private partnership plans to build affordable housing for 60,000 students during the next eight years, according to Dutch news site AD, with 16,500 online by 2025. Even with this new initiative, the housing shortage is projected to rise to 44,800 units by 2029/2030, according to the post, which gives a detailed overview of what really is a crisis.
Currently, the Netherlands is about 27,000 units short, and universities regularly notify students to not come if they don’t already have housing.
We’ve experienced this first-hand.
The flip side of this issue is the Brabant region – home to semiconductor giants ASML and NXP – can’t keep its title of Europe’s No. 1 deep-tech innovation center without international students. ASML CEO Peter Wennink recently spoke at Technical University of Eindhoven’s ceremony opening the 2022/23 academic year. Wennink told the assembled, including European Commissioner for Internal Markets Thierry Breton, that the Netherlands needs four times the talent it currently attracts, according to Bits & Chips.
Dimenco: 3D without the headsets
Eindhoven doesn’t have a whole lot of consumer-facing startups, so this simulated reality startup got our attention. Dimenco, which makes 3D monitors, is getting a lot of pub for its new VR without the funky glasses technology. TechRadar has a full review, which states that while Dimenco tech takes gaming to a new level, it’s not quite there yet compared to 3D headsets. That, and Dimenco’s current SR display – a 32-inch screen with an 8K image resolution – costs $11,690 or 9,990 euros!
But of course, this technology is in the early innings.
It’s too bad Dimenco is in the quaint village of Veldhoven, far from Eindhoven. Otherwise, we’d love to write about them.
• LUMO Labs, one of two venture builders based on High Tech Campus, has had a boom year so far, investing in several startups during 2022, including Enliven. Enliven is the first VR/Metaverse company dedicated to social good. The Arnhem, Netherlands-based team is a virtual reality/metaverse and game tech startup providing the next generation of empathy training and education combining virtual reality and realistic scenarios. We’ll have a LUMO overview soon … very soon.
• The Wall Street Journal has a detailed look at the global effort to increase computer chip production. The U.S. is providing its domestic industry $77 billion worth of subsidies and tax credits, but the real action is in Asia as Taiwan-based TSMC and other companies push for dominance. Of course, none of this happens without ASML, which makes the most advanced photolithography machines essential to making the most advanced chips.
• There’s a lot going on in the rest of the Netherlands. The circular economy is the next big thing. Circularise, founded in 2016 in Den Haag helps buyers and sellers determine the origins and ingredients of a variety of materials, including recycled and renewable plastics, through its blockchain technology. In May the company announced that it is teaming up with plastic producer Neste.
Co-CEO of Dispatches Europe. A former military reporter, I'm a serial expat who has lived in France, Turkey, Germany and the Netherlands.