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EBB: Dutch startups pitch to go The Valley, Financial Times covers Eindhoven and much more

(Editor’s note: This edition of the Eindhoven Business Briefing is part of Dispatches’ Tech Tuesdays series. Dispatches covers the innovation scene in Eindhoven across Europe because so many of our highly skilled internationals work in tech.)

Startups, start your engines!

Draper’s Silicon Spring Pitch Prize deadline to apply is 23 March, just around the corner. In partnership with LUMO Labs, Draper is inviting software and smart hardware startups to apply to win the coveted Golden Ticket to Draper University’s Hero Training Program in Silicon Valley (San Mateo, Calif.) this summer.

Judges and teams onstage at the 2021 Draper startup pitch event.

What’s in it for you?

Draper University Hero Training from 22 May to 23 June. This five-week entrepreneurship program includes eight modules, numerous speaker sessions, workshops and team activities. The package includes flight costs, on-campus accommodation and co-working space in downtown San Mateo, California, USA.

The value? $14.000.

The pitch event is 13 April from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. CET at High Tech Campus Eindhoven’s Conference Center.

This is a golden opportunity to immerse yourself in a premier startup accelerator where you network with rock star investors, other startup founders and partners. If you’re looking for funding from U.S.-based investors, there’s no better way to spend your time than at the Hero Training at Draper University. But don’t take our word for it.

Here’s what Mark van de Vrede at Delft-based Loop Robots has to say:

“We were over the moon when we secured the ticket to join the Summer of 2021 cohort at Draper University! Spending five weeks at Draper University in downtown San Mateo was incredible!

A number of other Eindhoven-based startups have made the trip to Draper, including Aircision and FruitPunch AI. You can read what it’s like to pitch in the High Tech Campus Conference Center here.

Send your pitch decks to [email protected] by March 23rd and read all the details of the program here.

Remember startups: Think BIG!

Financial Times discovers Eindhoven

First it was the New York Times, then the Wall Street Journal, that discovered how ASML is the most important company on the planet. Slowly but surely, the international business media is figuring out something we’ve all known for years … Eindhoven is the center of the Deep Tech world.

Now, the Financial Times has a lengthy post about Eindhoven, “Made in Eindhoven: the small Dutch city that became a tech powerhouse.”

And we have to say this post has details we didn’t know, such as:

• Eindhoven’s economy is expanding by 8 percent per year, which is crazy. For reference, that’s about twice the rate of Austin, which is the hottest tech economy in the United States at the moment.

• ASML has a 40 billion euro order backlog, and is still hiring more than 200 people per month.

• the region expects to create 70,000 jobs in the next 10 years. At a conservative estimate of three people per family, that’s at least 210,000 more people.

Best quote in the post? TU/e President Robert-Jan Smits, said, “We are for the region, with the region and by the region. Our job is not to make ASML bigger. It is to create more ASMLs.”

A few quibbles with author Andy Bounds’ post … Bounds calls Eindhoven “a low-rise city.” Clearly, he didn’t venture into Strijp S or Centrum. And is Eindhoven “small” at about 1 million people in the metropolitan statistical area?

Can Eindhoven circumvent national housing policy?

With tens of thousands of people projected to arrive here for jobs, Eindhoven city officials are losing confidence that Eindhoven can add sufficient housing over the next few years. Studio040 is reporting that housing officials are projecting that 5,000 of the 12,000 homes the city council wants to build by 2026 are iffy for a number of reasons, including a lack of construction crews, increasing investor nervousness and rising energy costs.

But the major obstacle is over-regulation, according to the post.

The good news is, the Eindhoven gemeente is trying to figure out how to suspend the restrictions the national government imposes on the housing industry when they overburden projects financially.

From left, moderator Ingelou Stol, Guus Frericks, Hamed Sadeghian, Arnaud Hubaux and Arjan Markus (photo by Cheryl Boyd for Dispatches)

Fe+male Tech Heroes hears from male supporters

On 15 February, Fe+male Tech Heroes, High Tech Campus Eindhoven’s initiative for greater gender equality and diversity in tech, hosted a one-time event for men. And only for men, though there were female presenters and staffers.

The reason the Male Allies event was only for men was because Fe+Male Tech Heroes wanted to give men their own forum to speak freely about their recommendations and experiences.

The attendees were the guys who invite women to the table, opening a space for them and pulling out the chair. Male allies in the tech community discussed the many ways they help women not just sit at the table but run the meeting.

Some key takeaways:

• Male support begins with respect … and not just respect for women in tech but respect for anyone who doesn’t look like you, diversity in all its colors, ages, shapes and sizes.

• Bias awareness. Tune into your own biases and recognize when you behave according to your biases, whether unconscious, conscious or otherwise. Stop for a moment and think about why you do what you do.

• Don’t look at the gaps in women’s CVs. Sometimes women make the choice to have a family. Instead, look at the skills they have and hire and promote based on their qualifications, not family choices.

• It’s “just” semantics. Why do men take a “papadag,” but women work “part-time?” It’s the same thing, right? Why do we say “guys” when we address a group? Little words make a huge difference.

• Fiery words from Guus Frericks, managing partner of DeepTechXL: “We have to be bold. Have the guts to push back. If not, give them a kick in the butt.”

• Arnaud Hubaux, AI Trailblazer and product cluster manager at ASML on diversity: “I care more about the differences than the similarities.”

• Hamed Sadeghian, CEO of Nearfield Instruments B.V.: “We take diversity very seriously, but we have a long path to walk. Women can change the game.”

• Arjan Markus, assistant professor at Eindhoven University of Technology: “My wife was asked how many days she would work after maternity leave. No one asked me. Just don’t ask the question.”

Fe+male Tech Heroes is preparing a briefing package with resources and information from the event, so stay tuned. The event, limited to 75, was a sell-out, so the support is there.


• Starting this spring, truck manufacturer DAF will produce two electrically powered truck models at two new production lines at the Eindhoven plant. These are over-the-road trucks and, according to the German industry website KTZ-Betrieb, the two models can travel up to 500 kilometers with one battery charge, emitting zero emissions.

• Don’t look for Philips troubles to be over anytime soon. Reuters is reporting that on 16 February, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration classified the recall of Philips respiratory machines as most serious, saying their use could lead to injuries or death.

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