Eindhoven Business Briefing: FasTrackathon is back, your chance to be a deep-tech co-founder

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

Eindhoven is literally the only city in Europe that owes its very existence to technology, transformed by Philips from a cluster of villages to a tech hub. Now, it’s headquarters for the most important semiconductor company in the world, ASML. So, if you want to start something big in tech, this is the place.

Now, here’s your opportunity:

HighTechXL is preparing for the first FasTrackathon of 2023 on Friday, 14 April from noon to 5 p.m. in HTC 27 on High Tech Campus Eindhoven. This is your chance to join Europe’s only deep-tech venture builder/accelerator for a high-energy day of innovation. Be an entrepreneur for the day and help solve grand societal challenges with advanced technologies. As we’ve said so many times before, how many times in life do you have the opportunity to walk into an event and leave a co-founder of a startup?

At FasTrackathon, you choose a technology and brainstorm potential application areas and business propositions to take the tech to market.

For this FasTrackathon, HighTechXL will have seven technologies.

These are the details:

Lymphedema Sleeve: technology one-pager

Microgas Chromatograph: technology one-pager

Anti-fouling UVC LED: technology one-pager

Polymer Sand: technology one-pager

Bio-photonics: technology one-pager

Optical Coherence Tomography: technology one-pager

Ember: technology one-pager

Check out all the details of the technology on the one-pagers. If this technology interests you, go to the Eventbrite link below and register for the event. Bring your boldest, most bodacious ideas to FasTrackathon and witness the very beginning of deep-tech venture building from the inside out!

Register now because this one is sure to sell out, well, FAST!

You can register here.

Sirius Medical raises 12 million euros

Sirius Medical has set the 2023 benchmark for the rest of Eindhoven’s startups, raising 12 million euros in a Series B last month.

Holland Capital acted as lead investor for this round, which included follow-on investments from BOM, Brabant Ventures, Curie Capital, Team Holmium and a major investment from Sirius Medical’s management and team. Norgine Ventures joined as a new investor in this round to support further commercial roll-out.

Sirius Medical is – pardon the pun – a serious scale-up, with about 30 employees and a technology that has been used in thousands of procedures in Europe and the United State since it was spun out of the Netherlands Cancer Institute in 2017. Founded by Bram Schermers and Hubert Martens, Sirius developed technology to accurately locate – then guide surgeons to – tiny tumors in the breasts during surgical operations. These tumors are termed “non-palpable growths,” meaning they are too small to be felt or seen. So, Sirius allows doctors to intervene far earlier in the development of the tumor.

You can see a full profile here we did for High Tech Campus.

‘The Talent Game’ doc debuts 20 April

In 2023, despite banking crises and global economic turmoil, it’s still about the talent. Or lack of it.

Eindhoven is home to multiple fast-growing tech companies in artificial intelligence, photonics and other technologies, all of which are on a ceaseless search for engineering talent, physicists and top managers. Officials project the Brabant region will add about 70,000 new jobs in the next five years.

We just got this email from High Tech Campus officials about their new documentary by HTC’s Ingelou Stol and House of Yellow about that search :

Super excited to share the trailer of our new documentary “The Talent Game”! 🎉🎥 We have poured our hearts and souls into this project and are excited to present it at the premiere on April 20th. We cannot wait for you to see it.

The documentary includes the insights of high-profile founders and executives such as Fabrizio Del Maffeo (Axelera AI), Ilse de Graaf (SMART Photonics) and Moyra McManus (ASML).

You can register here for the premiere.

The Estonian delegation hears from Luper Technologies co-founder Maarten Kief, center, and HTXL CEO John Bell, standing at left.

Estonian investors investigate the Eindhoven Method

About 30 Estonians representing Tallinn’s investment community, including angel investors, came to High Tech Campus Eindhoven on 29 March to understand how HighTechXL works its magic, as well as how the deep-tech ecosystem works. Dispatches coordinated the visit on the Eindhoven end.

The Estonian group was hosted by Amsterdam-based Pieter Popplesdorf, director of investors relations at Enterprise Estonia. The focus was Deep Tech investing and how the HTCE ecosystem functions. In addition to HighTechXL, the group also met with Andy Lürling at LUMO Labs, HTCE executives and toured the AI Innovation Center, looking for the secrets to building a deep-tech ecosystem.

“They were keen to learn about our way to doing things,” said HighTechXL CEO John Bell, very interested in how HighTechXL builds companies, including how the venture builder finds talent and attracts financial support from the globally successful tech community.

They were impressed that HighTechXL has chosen to focus on deep tech, Bell added. “We want to solve societal challenges and I told them, ‘it can’t be done with an app and the Web. It must be done with real hardware tech.’ ”

Bell demonstrated the ecosystem’s dynamic cohesion by inviting HighTechXL portfolio startup Luper Technologies co-founder Maarten Kief to brief the group. “I called him 15 minutes ago and said, ‘Here they are,” and he came in and made a presentation.”

Luper has developed technology that removes volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from industrial emissions.

Eindhoven has a mature deep-tech ecosystem while Tallinn is more focused on fintech. Tallinn is where a number of technologies started, such as Skype and TransferWise (now Wise), though they relocated to Stockholm and London respectively before being acquired. A group of Eindhoven-based innovators is scheduled to visit Tallinn in May.

Carbyon debuts CO2 removal prototype

Carbyon, which has developed direct air CO2 removal technology to combat global warming, has just debuted its integrated prototype, Wall-E. Yes, the prototype is named after the Pixar movie robot that cleans up human trash on planet earth. And Carbyon’s Wall-E will do something similar, according to Hans de Neve, Carbyon founder.
Our integrated prototype can capture CO2 from ambient air and precisely measure the performance of our sorbent throughout the process. With these valuable test results, we will be one step closer to designing our full-scale model.

Carbyon, a HighTechXL alumnus, will install, calibrate and run the machine in their lab at HTC 29 on High Tech Campus. The prototype was built by Best-based industrial device manufacturer Demcon to Carbyon’s specifications.

You can see the elapsed time video of the installation here on Carbyon’s LinkedIn feed. You can read more about the startup here and here.

Don’t miss a special Demos, Drinks & Pitches coming up tomorrow, 5 April, from 5 p.m. to whenever at the AI Innovation Center in HTC 5 on High Tech Campus. This gathering of Eindhoven’s creative class is like a preview of a preview of what’s coming up in tech. Hans Meeske and Bert-Jan Woertman are the hosts and there will be an overview of the news, pitches and, of course, drinks and snacks.

Also, if you haven’t visited the very cool AI Innovation Center, this is your chance. C U there ….

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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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