Eindhoven Biz Briefing: Housing tips for expats; new investment powers Sustonable’s global expansion

Construction in Strijp S

As we’re putting together our 2020 list of the best cities for expats, we are reminded of one crucial point … housing is increasingly expensive and increasingly difficult to secure in Europe’s fastest-growing opportunity centers.

This is very much the down-side of economic upturns. Last month, Kamer van Koophande officials announced that for the first time in history, the number of companies registered in the Netherlands topped 2 million.

Eindhoven has to some extent escaped the housing crises of Berlin, Stockholm and Amsterdam while recreating itself as an urban-focused New Age city with an increasingly groovy Dwell vibe.

Good news – more housing is being built. The bad news: The increase in supply likely won’t meet demand, meaning prices will keep rising.

Eindhoven officials have announced plans for adding 27,000 homes in the region during the coming five years, about 15,000 of which will be in the city itself. But that would merely keep pace with the number of new highly skilled internationals expected to arrive as ASML, NXP and other tech giants expand.

So we turned to a real estate expert who specializes in working with expats for an overview of where we are in 2020.

There is an amazing amount of new construction happening now in Strip-S, one of several huge former Philips factory zones around Eindhoven. But Strijp-S is no less expensive – and maybe even more expensive – than centrum, said Dirk-Jan Bonenkamp at the Eindhoven offices of Interhouse.

Within walking distance of the centrum, Bonenkamp calls Strijp-S “a bit of a center within the center.” But that doesn’t mean there are family-friendly options there. “Strijp-S … it’s quite hard to find something with two bedrooms. There are a lot of lofts in Strijp-S,” Dirk-Jan said.

Expat families would be better off focusing on Strijp-R next to Strijp-S, Stratum on the south of the city and the expat community of Meerhoven near Eindhoven Airport, he said.

“There is great availability in Strijp-R, Stratum … and Meerhoven (rentals) has at the moment,” he said.

There are other options including Waalre south of Eindhoven, which has Kids Company, an English language daycare.


Several developments are coming online in the Kaanaldijk area in centrum along Eindhoven’s only canal.

They include the DOK40 complex near the Pullman Hotel where 18 houses and 37 apartments are under construction. Rents are between 1,210 euros and 1,710 euros.

We’ll post a full interview with Dirk-Jan later.

FasTrackathon coming up 25 March

While ASML and Philips power the current economy, HighTechXL is creating Eindhoven’s next economy. The way the venture-building effort does that is by taking tech coming out of the labs at European Space Agency, CERN, Philips and other R&D efforts and turning it into companies.

Two times this year, HighTechXL will add a new venture-building cohort. This month, that process started with an 11 February Unleash Your Entrepreneur Info Session, which attracted about 60 people interested in becoming CEOs, CTOs and CBOs of new companies.

The next step in the process will be the FasTrackathon, a reverse-hackathon, scheduled for 25 March at HighTechXL, Building 27 on High Tech Campus Eindhoven. And this is the big one … when HTXL will reveal most of the new technologies.

At this point, we can tell you the new HighTechXL collaboration with the European Space Agency will yield at least one new technology for FasTrackathon … the photonic gyroscope.

This advanced technology was developed by researchers at ESA and Politecnico di Bari in Italy.

When you envision a gyroscope, you think of a spinning wheel inside a metal frame. Fast-forward to the 21st century, and you get a light-based gyroscope that can be implemented on a photonic chip. The photonic gyroscope can be used in high-precision control of aircraft, ships, and robots as well as medical aids and equipment such as biomechanical suits and MRIs.

NTS-Group tech expert and mentor Eddy Allefs talks about the technology in the video above. If this technology interests you and you’d like to take the tech to market, come to FasTrackathon on March 25 and join a team.

FasTrackathon is free and you can register here.

As for the Info Session, we had attendees with incredible CVs including engineers, physicists and entrepreneurs. It was a full house, and HighTechXL executives are in the middle of interviewing potential co-founders.

If you’re interested in a CEO, CTO or CBO position at a startup, you can still submit your resumé/CV to: [email protected]

The callaboration with ESA, based in Paris, brings to four the number of tech research facilities working with HighTechXL.

They include:

CERN, based in Geneva, Switzerland, which does the most advanced particle physics and particle research in the world.

• Philips, the 125-year-old electronics giant based in Amsterdam.

TNO, an applied science research center based in Den Haag

ESA is an intergovernmental organization overseeing development of Europe’s space capabilities, ensuring investments in space exploration benefit the people of its 22 member states: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Slovenia is an Associate Member.

Expect announcements soon about other collaborations.

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