EBB: JobFairXL coming up on 16 December; Eindhoven in the money and a new startup model

(Editor’s note: The Eindhoven Business Briefing is part of our Tech Tuesday series covering tech ecosystems across Europe.)

Like the startup world it inhabits, HighTechXL is always evolving. This deep-tech venture builder (the only one in the Netherlands, maybe even in Europe) is now accepting existing teams, along with cultivating its own founders capable of taking new tech to market.

If you’re in either category, you’ll want to be at JobFairXL from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. 16 December at Building 27 on High Tech Campus Eindhoven. There, you can explore the possibilities for a unique opportunity to better understand the Eindhoven ecosystem, get to know more about HighTechXL, expand your network and find a job or internship with an impact startup.

Companies representing the current cohort along with HighTechXL alumni are recruiting talent of all kinds and will be at JobFairXL. If you would like to join a deep-tech venture and contribute your skills to solving grand societal challenges, this event is for you.

You’ll hear company pitches, Q&A with female founders, networking and drinks from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

HighTechXL is always searching for co-founders to start deep-tech ventures, and the HTXL team will be on hand to answer your burning questions and get you started on your venture journey. And if you’re thinking “I’m not an engineer/physicist,” it takes all talents to build a successful team, including managers and marketers.

Not ready to take the leap and become a co-founder? No problem. They have a place for you if you would like to be part of the startup world as a mentor or advisor.

Don’t forget to check out the careers page for a list of positions available now, and we’ll see you at JobFairXL.

‍The job fair is at HighTechXL’s offices, Building 27 on High Tech Campus Eindhoven.

You can register here:

High Tech Next

Speaking of big events, one of the biggest of the year is coming up at High Tech Campus on Thursday, 8 December.

High Tech Next 2022: We are Innovators will focus on how new technologies being developed on the campus including AI, Photonics and MedTech are solving global challenges. More than 25 companies will be on hand in the campus Conference Center from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

We’ll have more information about keynote speakers, panels and – most importantly – networking opportunities.

You can register here and it’s a free event. But campus executives told us on Tuesday, 22 November, that the event is down to just a few tickets.

Eric Rondolat, CEO of Signify, is the opening speaker. Following Rondolat’s remarks, there’s a panel discussion, “Business opportunities of the Metaverse and Web3,” with:

  • Andy Lurling, Founding Partner at LUMO Labs  
  • Marloes Pomp, coordinator and advisor at the Netherlands AI Coalition and Dutch BlockChain Coalition  
  • Alex van der Baan, CEO and co-founder Your Open Metaverse    

Carmen van Vilsteren, Chair Topsector Life Sciences and Health and director of e/MTIC will deliver the keynote address, “the 5 transformations of future health: technologies affecting business and society.”

High Tech Campus Communications Director Ingelou Stoll will moderate a panel, “Brainport Eindhoven: how to take the region’s economic and innovative power to the next level” with Klaas Dijkhoff, former state secretary for justice and secretary of defense. Dijkhoff is an advocate in Den Haag for Brabant province, which includes Eindhoven.

Companies participating:

Carbyon, Signify, Solliance, InPhocal, Demcon, Workplace Vitality Hub, TNO, ESTI, Faulhaber, Philips Engineering Solutions, Sirius Medical, Sparckel, Teledyne Dalsa, STENTiT, TomTom, 5G Hub, SMART Photonics, PhotonFirst, PhotonDelta, Aircision, Axelera AI, Datacation, Flying Forward, Chunkx, Enliven.

With more than 250 companies on campus, this is – more than ever – the Smartest Square Kilometer in the World.

The New Eindhoven (photo by Terry Boyd for Dispatches Europe)

Eindhoven in the money

About one year ago, we wrote this post, “A few recommendations as Eindhoven is about to take its place on the world stage,” with our observations about creating the Eindhoven of the future – more mass transit, more flights, more housing and more international schools. We’re thrilled to reveal Dutch officials decided to do everything we suggested, funding it all with $1.6 billion euros.


Sort of.

We pointed out the obvious, and Den Haag apparently was already on it. Eindhoven gets 1.6 billion for infrastructure out of a total of 7.5 billion Netherlands-wide. The money will fund an expansion of the Eindhoven Centraal train station as well as express bus lines (finally) to ASML and High Tech Camps Eindhoven, according to Studio040. Part of the money goes to creating an underground bus station to replace the current outdoor station.

We’re sticking to our prediction that, driven by the deep-tech semiconductor industry, Eindhoven will be the largest city in the Netherlands by 2035. So, it will take way more than 1.6 billion to create the infrastructure to accommodate the population growth. But this is a start.

Down on the (high-tech) farm

Signify’s grow room on High Tech Campus

Because Eindhoven is the center of the deep-tech world, we forget that agtech is also incredibly important to this economy. For instance, Eindhoven-based Signify – yet another Philips spinout – is an innovator in the LED lighting world that allows Dutch greenhouses to produce incredible amounts of tomatoes and other veggies.

But if you want to understand how important the Netherlands as a whole is to food production, the Washington Post has an incredibly detailed post about the entire foodtech industry here, from pork and chicken production to shipping. A post that explains how important advanced technology is to the Netherlands attaining the rank of the No. 2 food producer in the world by volume, just behind the United States.

By the way, Signify had a pretty good Q3 earnings report, with about 1.91 billion in revenue, up 16 percent from 3Q 2021.

Easier to get FDA approval now than CE mark in Europe

We were in Düsseldorf for Medica earlier this month and were surprised to hear lessons learned by a Dutch professor about Medical Device Reporting & FDA. University of Twente Ruud Verdaasdonk stated that getting a CE mark in Europe is now more complicated than getting drugs and medical devices through FDA approval. Which shocked us. That’s big news for Eindhoven’s pharma and healthcare startups such as Bone-Tech and Plasmacure.

American business culture

We just got back from meetings with U.S.-based investors and, as part of that trip, attended an entrepreneurship event at the University of Louisville. What struck us is that even in a smallish city such as Louisville (population 1.3 million), everyone was doing deals everywhere. In coffeeshops (coffee coffee, not the marijuana coffee shops), in tiny offices in gentrifying neighborhoods and at big events.

We went to the invitation-only Louisville Entrepreneurship Summit, where we heard Elliott Parker, CEO of Indianapolis-based High Alpha Innovation, talk about his Venture Studio model. Yes, High Alpha is a venture builder, but the Venture Studio approach is different from the conventional model. It’s essentially a test lab for ideas where potential founders can decide which business concepts have billion-dollar potential and can be turned nearly instantly into startups, and which to pass on. Once they decide to go forward, everything – the funding, the support and mentoring – is there to quickly launch and scale startups.

So far, 45 companies have come out of High Alpha, with a total of more than 600 employees.

High Alpha’s all about moving quickly, something that doesn’t come naturally to Europeans. Our point here is, yes, the Netherlands is the most technically advanced society in the world. But there are always new ideas out there worth considering. Because, sadly, slow and steady does not win the race in 2022.

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Co-CEO of Dispatches Europe. A former military reporter, I'm a serial expat who has lived in France, Turkey, Germany and the Netherlands.

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