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Eindhoven Business Briefing: Disruptive online reseller StockX hiring hundreds

(Editor’s noteWe started the Eindhoven Business Briefing in 2017 because we had more news in our headquarters city – which has a huge expat population – than we could possibly post. The future really is being invented here. Send your news to: terry@dispatcheseurope.com)

This is a big deal and a big opportunity for people who know how to tell the real-deal Yeezys from knockoffs.

StockX is an online marketplace for buying and selling “hard-to-get, must-have items such as sneakers, fashion, watches and handbags with absolute confidence as each item is fully authenticated,” according to the company’s LinkedIn Page. Its slogan: StockX is a “stock market for things.”

And it really is a stock market, where you can see hard data on the price every pair of, say, Yeezy Boost 350s ever sold for.

Sounds niche-y, right? Well, this three-year-old company – founded by Josh Luber and based in Detroit – raised a $44 million Series B round last fall. StockX had $1 billion in net income for 2018, running about $2 million in sales per day.

StockX investors include Dan Gilbert, Quicken founder and owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA team; GV, the venture capital arm of Google/Alphabet, rapper Eminem and movie star Mark Wahlberg. And if you don’t understand how much influence NBA players and other professional sports stars have on modern culture, read this post.

Now, StockX is expanding its European presence including a regional depot/distribution center here in Eindhoven. The distribution center intially will employ 170 people who will receive 3,500 items per day.

StockX has posted at least 30 jobs in Eindhoven on LinkedIn in the past month including:

• HR Generalist

• Sr. Operations Manager, Netherlands

• IT Support, Netherlands

• Sneaker Authenticator

You can see them all here.

Think about that — you could get paid for being able to tell which Nike Air Jordans are real.

LACK OF HOTEL ROOMS DOOMED EINDHOVEN’S CHANCE TO HOST GES

Eindhoven, we need to talk about your hotels. Or lack of ….

We were at Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Den Haag on 4 June and much to our surprise, James Jeffers, GES press officer, told us that Eindhoven was the first pick for GES 2019 because of our startup scene and plethora of deep-tech companies.

But as organizers started to work out the logistics, they figured out there “wasn’t any place to put everybody,” Jeffers said.

GES – hosted by the United States and the Netherlands – is invitation-only, with at least 2,000 attendees selected, including 400 investors and 500 startups from all over the world. Dutch Queen Maxima and Ivanka Trump were there as were media from around the word.

We missed out on global headlines touting Eindhoven as a tech center.

So, we started to do our own hotel-room census and found out there are only about 1,800 total hotel rooms in the entire city of Eindhoven. By comparison, the city we know best – Louisville, Ky., – has added more than 2,000 rooms since 2015 for a total of about 20,000.

This is sort of apples-and-oranges. While Eindhoven is the headquarters city for multiple tech firms including ASML and NXP, Louisville has more and larger non-tech headquarters such as Yum! Brands and Humana, which employ far more people.

Also, Louisville has one of the largest convention centers in the United States and a major piece of business is hosting national conventions and business meetings. Finally, Louisville has the Kentucky Derby, which attracts maybe 500,000 people over several weeks for various events including the race itself, the Kentucky Oaks and Thunder Over Louisville.

By comparison, business travel is the game here in Eindhoven, while the convention business is tiny, and there are only three hotels that can host big events.

• The largest is the Van Der Valk, the city’s only real convention hotel.

• Next is the Pullman, which has 320 guest rooms and a fair amount of meeting space, but not enough of either to host something like GES.

• The new NH Collection has 132 rooms. By comparison, the Galt House, the largest hotel in Louisville, has about 1,300 rooms or 10 times the NH Collection.

Tech and startup events are a huge and growing business for cities such as Lisbon, Paris and Amsterdam, attracting 20,000 of the smartest people in the world.

While Eindhoven has HighTechXL’sBeyond Tech, it doesn’t really have anything comparable even to GES, which is a pretty small event.

Before it left for Lisbon, Web Summit help put Dublin on the map as a tech center. Now Web Summit attracts 20,000-plus.

Really, it’s a mystery to us why – in a country where real estate is like catnip to high-net-worth individuals and institutional investors – no one has built more convention hotels here.

NEXT FASTRACKATHON – TECH FROM PHILIPS, CERN AND TNO

Six months ago, three teams formed at HighTechXL around CERN technologies. Now all three are fast-growing companies. This month, we’re going to do it all again, but this time with SEVEN advanced technologies from Philips, CERN and TNO.

We’ll have a full post later today with all the details about FasTrackathon. Meanwhile, here’s the post from the most recent event.

KENTUCKY CONNECTS TO EINDHOVEN FOR GREENHOUSE TECH

We’ve attended multiple events the past few weeks, including the Brainport High Tech Discovery Route, where we got an interesting tip: AppHarvest in our native Kentucky is using Dutch technology.

Rien den Boer, general manager of ARIS told us AppHarvest is a client for his company, which makes robotics and machine-vision systems for the agrifood industry.

AppHarvest founder and CEO Jonathan Webb has raised more than $80 million to build a 60-acre high-tech greenhouse outside Morehead, Kentucky. To bring it online, Webb is reaching out to the Netherlands. Because, as we all know, the Netherlands owns greenhouse tech, harnessing it to make this small country the No. 2 food exporter in the world.

More on this as we know more.

GES NAMES STENTiT’S SOL CABRERA ITS OUTSTANDING FEMALE ENTREPRENEUR

Dr. Sol Cabrera, founder of STENTiT, had a great couple of days last week at Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Den Haag.

Cabrera won GES’s Outstanding Women Entrepreneur in Science and Technology award. She was also runner-up in the Health focus area.

STENTiT, a spinoff from Technical University of Eindhoven, has created proprietary technology for regenerative, bio-absorbable stents used to open arteries and keep them open.

EXPIVI GETS SIGNIFICANT FUNDING, EXPANDING TO NEW MARKETS

Eindhoven-based 3D e-commerce firm Expivi just got a major round of funding from Scholte Group, a Valkenswaard-based energy company. (Not sure of the connection, but that’s according to multiple media posts.)

Just how much they raised is not clear, but the press release says it’s a “multimillion” euro investment.

The company has high-profile customers including L’Oréal, Villeroy & Boch and Lancôme, according to its website.

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