(Editor’s note: Dispatches Europe tracks the tech scene – startups, scale-ups and mature companies – in Eindhoven because so many of our highly skilled internationals are engineers, physicists and developers. The Eindhoven Business Briefing is part of our Tech Tuesday series.)
The Netherlands’ only deep-tech venture builder is in Eindhoven. Of course it is, and it’s backed by the city’s biggest tech companies, including ASML and Philips, as it takes to market tech developed at universities, R&D centers and major corporations. The idea is that HighTechXL is creating Eindhoven’s next global tech company.
That effort just added a new cohort, the first of two for 2022, and the latest round of deep-tech startups since HighTechXL pivoted from an agnostic accelerator back in 2018. Dispatches was there for one of the first big in-person events since 2020.
HighTechXL did things differently with this cohort. Instead of teams attending FasTrackathon and coming together quickly to pitch at Final Selection Day and join a cohort, the program team started recruiting co-founders several months ago.
They started with expert brainstorming sessions and tech “deep dives” in January and February. They invited interested co-founders to meet-and-greet events, followed by the detailed Tech Briefing, more face-to-face meetings and co-founder events and finally, the FasTrackathon on 8 March.
What we saw at Final Selection Day are co-founders knowledgeable about the technologies, well developed application areas and some already with a core team.
On Final Selection Day they were on stage pitching concepts, market values and the outlines of business plans.
Now, a caveat – in the HighTechXL approach, all this is fluid. Teams join the nine-month program – 3 phases of 3 months each – and progress through all the milestones before they are ready to advance to XL Day.
The odds are against all seven teams making it through each phase, but there’s a good chance their talents will transfer to other teams, making them that much stronger. It’s a long process.
Here are the teams that pitched on Final Selection Day, 18 March at HighTechXL in Building 27 on High Tech Campus Eindhoven, home to the Netherlands’ largest startup complex:
Dr. Francesco Pessolano is building a team around an ultra-fast integrated photonic switch developed at the Technical University of Eindhoven. Using photonic network switches cuts energy consumption while increasing network speed, reduces maintenance and allows for easier scaling to multiple nodes. The Astrape technology is 10,000 times faster than existing technology.
The five-person team is heavy on tech talent, with three entrepreneurs (one of whom is an engineer) and two PhDs, including Pessolano.
The target market is data centers and AI firms, with a projected three years to market.
“This is the best place to be” because of the dominance of deep tech in Eindhoven, Pessolano said.
The X-Ray team, using Cmosaix technology, is developing early lung cancer detection screening with CMOS sensors, semiconductor image sensors that convert light into electrical signals. That technology includes AI to combine multiple images for more accurate detection.
The technology was developed in Israel. Joao Gouveia, a native of Portugal who has 15 years in medtech, is the CEO and made the pitch. Gouveia estimates it will take six years to get the technology to market.
• GO-Gel FET biosensors
Biomarkers are going to revolutionize healthcare. But for biomarkers, you need biosensors, said Marc Ottolini. And that’s a graphene oxide gel developed by the University of Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology.
Bioreceptors have unlimited applications in many fields, including invitro diagnostics, Ottolini told the assembly, predicting the market will grow to $149 billion from $97 billion now. “The market is crowded, but not all locked up by the incumbents,” he said.
As part of his pitch, Ottolini noted the team will need a lab going forward.
• Anti-icing technology from the Polish Center for Technology Development, or PORT
The pitcher was Valentina Litovchenko for a team developing a hydrophobic coating developed at a Polish R&D center. The coating delays ice formation, and the team is focusing on wind turbine farms to increase efficiency and decrease maintenance.
Urandelger Tuvshindorj, a functional coatings expert and surface scientist, is the CTO and the team is working on the project full-time.
• Fiber Optics Microscope from Philips
Former Philips executive Jeroen Gruben leads the team developing this prototype-ready fiber optics technology, which is applicable to healthcare and other industries.
The microscope is so tiny it can be inserted into a patient’s body for real-time diagnostics during surgery. But the first market is oncology for cancer detection. Other markets include industrial inspection.
Philips is ready to support the team.
• Senergetics Photonic
Wasting energy should be a crime, not merely a sin, because the technology is here to detect problems. That dramatic assertion got everyone’s attention as Senergetics Photonic CEO Frank Jacob opened his presentation.
Senergetics uses photonic sensing to detect energy waste, with a business plan that focuses on energy management for power plants.
The team is developing a system and software to go with sensors, Jacob said.
• Smart Textiles
This team integrates smart sensors from Alkmaar-based PhotonFirst into fabrics for sports, healthcare and gaming. This could be relevant to everything from predictive health care to the metaverse.
Jan Bazelmans is the founder.
HighTechXL was founded in 2015 and since then has turned out some of the Netherlands’ fastest growing firms, including Accerion and Sustonable from HighTechXL 1.0 and alumni Carbyon and Aircision from the deep-tech venture building program.
XTC on 24 March
Speaking of HighTechXL, five of the 10 teams selected for the upcoming Extreme Tech Challenge Netherlands & Belgium regional finals event on 24 March are from HTXL, including:
The 10 teams will pitch for one place in the global finals in June in San Francisco. The winner gets 20,000 euros and cool stuff … and of course, that trip to The Valley. Extreme Tech Challenge, based in Palo Alto, is the world’s largest competition for impact-driven startups addressing the world’s most serious challenges.
The event is from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Conference Center on High Tech Campus Eindhoven.
The event will be live-streamed, and you can register here for the link.
Eindhoven Airport getting a major expansion
The second big improvement in two years is coming to Eindhoven Airport. The 26,000-meters-square terminal will increase in size by more than 33 percent to 36,000, or 388,000 square feet, or almost 10 acres.
The media release from airport officials states that the terminal is built for 5 million passengers per year, and for 2022, they expect that number to increase to 7 million as air travel returns to normal. Changes include a larger baggage claim area, more gates and more food and retail offerings. Construction is scheduled to start next year.
In 2020, the entry area leading into the airport got a significant update including wider walkways, relocated bus terminal, a big green plaza and better way-finding and the parking garage was enlarged in 2019.
Corporate Housing Solutions looking for a consultant
Housing (or the lack of it) is a huge issue here in the Netherlands and across Europe. So, we’re throwing this out there.
We got a call last week from our friend Denny Janssen with Corporate Housing Solutions about an interesting position for a real estate consultant.
CHS bills itself as the “one-stop-shop for housing solutions for companies and their international employees” and they are growing FAST!
With more than 170 short-stay accommodations and a personal service for renting or buying long-stay houses, CHS has options for every phase of an international employee’s stay in the Netherlands.
CHS is part of Lighthouse Group companies, a group of companies specialized in many areas of the real estate business. From property development, property management, property operation, to leasing real estate for companies or their international employees: all under one roof with a dynamic team of ambitious colleagues and loyal suppliers.
From the job posting:
What to expect
You will personally support (international) employees, so-called knowledge migrants, in finding their new home in the Netherlands. You will be their point of contact and answer their questions from the very first time you meet. From arrival in their temporary short-stay accommodation to the day you have found a home for long(er) term rental and have taken care of the check-in with them.
You will come into contact with many different nationalities on a daily basis, and you will help singles, couples and families. Your clients all have one thing in common: they are newcomers who are looking for a suitable home as soon as possible.
What CHS offers you
- Work in a close-knit team, within a fast-growing organisation with a large international network
- A challenging and varying function with plenty of opportunities to develop yourself further within the company and to gain relevant work experience
- The opportunity to come into contact with many different cultures
- Work in an inspiring environment: Grizzly Offices at the Torenallee, at Strijp-S
Who are you?
You are a driven person who goes to extremes for your clients and team. You are enterprising, can work independently and connect easily with other people. You enjoy seeing the smiles on your customers’ faces when you help them find a new home.
- You are people-oriented.
- You have an HBO work and thinking level.
- You are a go-getter and someone who does not let go until the result is achieved.
- You can work autonomously and are stress-resistant.
- You are enthusiastic, customer-oriented and respectfully culture-aware.
- You have a good command of the English language.
- You have a driving license.
- Experience in real estate is an advantage.
Finally, you are available full-time (40 hours per week). Part-time is also negotiable for at least 24 hours per week.
You can apply here on LinkedIn or you can apply by sending a brief letter of motivation with CV.
Please note: CHS will not consider applications without a CV and motivation letter.
Expected starting date: April/May 2022.
• High Tech Campus Eindhoven-based startup Pharmi has received 2.2 million euros in funding for the further roll-out of its digital online pharmacy platform MedicijnWijs. Pharmi is in HTC 27 along with HighTechXL and other startups.
Our friends at Innovation origins have several interesting posts including:
• Team Daedelus, a team at TU/e developing a solar powered drone that can fly forever. Well, at least theoretically.