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Eindhoven Business Briefing: Tech Xperience Week offers expense-paid visit, and TU/e creates the future

(Editor’s noteWe created 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. Eindhoven is way more than just another tech hub … it’s one of the most liveable innovation centers in Europe. The future really is being invented here. Send your news to: terry@dispatcheseurope.com)

You know the War for Talent is getting serious when cities are offering all-expense-paid trips to check out ecosystems. But that’s the deal with Tech Xperience Week here in Eindhoven.

Brainport Eindhoven, our local economic-development agency, is recruiting “10 talented professionals who are willing to explore some of the most promising technologies we know today.”

And we have to say Brainport is – in the Dutch style – upfront and candid about their motives:

Why are we looking for you? If we want to stay ahead of the competition … if we want to be innovative in the next decade if we want to develop technologies that … impact … our lives to make it safer, healthier and more sustainable…we need you!

Their ideal candidates for an 8-day visit: Young tech or IT professionals with at least a master’s degree, as well as five-to-10 years’ experience in their chosen fields. Brabant officials want to show these talents the technologies – integrated photonics, truck platooning, extreme ultraviolet lithography, city farming and robotic microsurgery – Eindhoven is working on now on the way to dominating in the future.

Tech Xperience Week is scheduled for 21 through 28 October and you can sign up here.

Oh, and while you’re on the website, they want you to check out the open jobs here … and there are a lot!

Also, check out some of the Tech Xperience Week video applications already posted on YouTube including this one so you’ll know who you’re up against:

Money hanging on the tree

Startups, can we talk? So, between us, why aren’t you applying for the plentiful, if modest, subsidies the Dutch government hands out to help Netherlands-based startups position themselves to start exporting?

JOHN VAN DE RIJDT

We’re not the only ones wondering. That’s what John van de Rijdt wants to know ….

Van de Rijdt, who owns Rightway Marketing in Eindhoven, is an approved coach for startups looking to export internationally. “Startup teams can get up to 6,500 euros from RVO. And nobody knows it! Mostly nobody knows it …

“This money is hanging on the tree! Then use it, please. Use it!” van de Rijdt told Dispatches in a recent interview.

RVO is the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, and it gives out lots of different subsidies to businesses large and small. There’s even a new “Brexit voucher” to help SMEs (small-to-medium companies) currently doing business in the United Kingdom find alternative markets should that business end next March with a no-deal Brexit.

Under the Individual Coaching voucher, RVO puts up the funds those companies in turn use to pay coaches such as van de Rijdt to help them write business plans and lay the groundwork for exporting. (And yes, if you’re an expat, as long as your startup is registered in the Netherlands as a Dutch business, you’re eligible.)

For 2018, RVO has a total subsidy budget of about 4 million euros, van de Rijdt said. “The point is, every startup or SME that has (been in business) three years, and that has export ambitions, can apply for a voucher,” he said.

Each voucher is worth 2,400 euros toward getting started in the export market. The 2,400 goes to pay the coaches who in turn guide the startups through the process of getting ready to export.

Get ready for some probing questions:

Van de Rijdt said he asks startups, “What makes you unique? What’s your strategy? What’s your vision? Why are you going to Germany? Why are you going to France? What’s the purpose behind that? If you’re going to export to Germany, do you know anything about the German macro-economy? Do you know about the competition there? Are your customers there? What’s the distribution model? Are you going to work with an agent? Would it be best to work with a distributor?”

Startups and SMEs get up to five sessions to design an action plan, including distribution, promotion and investment. Then they can apply for a mission voucher that helps them defray the cost of trade missions and trade shows. The voucher pays 50 percent of the participation fee the organizer charges up to 1,500 euros (excluding VAT) for participation in a collective exhibition or a trade mission.

There’s also a 2,400 euro knowledge voucher that allows startups and SMEs to get advice from tax attorneys and contract attorneys. In fact, we counted more than 100 subsidies, including one for boatbuilders, dairy farmers, fruit farmers and those wishing to get out of the business of raising animals for the fur trade.

Very few people – even in the startup communities – know about this, van de Rijdt said. He started coaching last year, working with three companies, and all three have started exporting. He’s worked with both software and hardware startups, including a company in Amsterdam that created heat map technology to measure advertising engagement. That company first entered Belgium, and now they’re in Austria.

But companies can be high tech or low, including food exporting. The Dutch government doesn’t care what you export as long as you export, van de Rijdt said. This could be a program that positions companies to break out, “and it costs the companies basically nothing,” he said.

Van de Rijdt is one of 125 qualified advisors, and the total pool of money is only 4 million euros, so this isn’t something that’s going to make him rich.

“I just want to make some noise here that startup companies can apply for that. Come on, guys!”

EU awards Bambi Medical 2.4 million euros

Though there are a lot of hot startups in Eindhoven, Bambi Medical is the hottest at the moment … absolutely on fire.

Bambi just scored 2.4 million euros under the SME Instrument Phase 2 program. The SME program funds Europe’s most promising SMEs with breakthrough ideas … companies with the concept and business plan to potentially create entirely new markets or revolutionize existing ones.

Bambi was one of only 14 Dutch SME’s funded through the SME phase 2 out of a total of 4,102 applications, indicating just how competitive this program is.

The Eindhoven startup is developing the Bambi Belt Solution, the latest generation of their wireless neonatal intensive care vital sign monitoring device. This new funding comes just two months after Bambi closed an A Round of 4 million euros in April with private investors.

Bambi will use this latest 2.4 million euro grant to finalize product development and validate its products through a multi-center clinical trial in six European countries, according to a news release. This will enable Bambi Medical to scale-up faster in Europe.

“I am extremely proud of the team that brought the development of the company to such a high level and we received recognition from the European Commission in the form of this grant,” stated Fabio Bambang Oetomo, Bambi founder and CEO, in the release. “The additional funding helps us accelerate in bringing our solution to the market and contributing to a better start of life for 130,000 preemies in Europe only each year.”

Oetomo said Bambi Medical had support during application process from Real1ze Projects B.V., PNO Consultants and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO).

Details coming together for debut Tech Sister Cities program

We’ve been working ’round-the-clock trying to finalize details for Dispatches’ subsidiary Tech Sister Cities’ first event, and we’re almost there.

“Eyes Wide Open” will bring private equity investor Jonathan Blue from Blue Equity to Eindhoven on 12 September.

Our first event will be an introduction to the American investment world by a private equity player who’s done deals all over the world. And while your startup might not be ready for private equity, which typically starts at a $20 million investment, it might turn into a serious business that needs serious funding sooner than you planned. So, this will be your chance to understand what getting a serious investment entails, and what the trends are in PE.

Jonathan also will talk about other types of funding, including angel investors and venture capitalists, and he’s willing to look at your one-pagers/executive summaries. We created Tech Sister Cities to link Eindhoven, where risk capital is in short supply, to more risk-tolerant investors in the Midwest, where we have contacts.

The main event is scheduled for the Conference Center at High Tech Campus Eindhoven. We’re waiting on the final details including sponsors before putting this out on Eventbrite.

If you have any questions or want to be included in the communications funnel, email: terry@dispatcheseurope.com.

New TU/e quantum materials research center

Eindhoven is a crazy, advanced tech innovation center that just took a step toward answering the question, “What comes after semiconductors and our current technological capabilities?”

So what the heck is quantum physics? Quantum physics leaves behind electron-based technology and delves into matter and energy at its most fundamental level … indivisible packets called quanta. All this goes back to that Einstein/Planck physics you learned in school – that energy has the properties of both matter and light … it can behave like waves, and waves behave as though they are particles. And don’t even get us started about quantum superpositions … key to quantum computing.

Technical University of Eindhoven just opened its new Center for Quantum Materials and Technology. The goal is to figure out how to integrate quantum physics into a new generation of technology beyond microcircuitry on silicon chips. Quantum research will transform communications, nanotechnology, materials science, photonics, and data science.

Areas of research include:

• Post-Quantum Cryptography
• Physics-based Quantum Security and Quantum Networks
• Quantum simulators
• Quantum Nanophotonics
• Quantum Materials & Devices

We’re guessing – just guessing, mind you – that this has something to do with the European Commission launching its Flagship on Quantum Technologies last year, with no less than 1 billion euros in research funding over the next 10 years to get this technology to market.

MaxWaves

Speaking of TU/e, TU/e-spinoff MaxWaves is setting out to commercialize 5G and even 6G wireless networks via new antennae technology. If it works, that would mean wicked fast downloads for everything. All the time. (See the video at the top of the page.) So, yeah, we’re down with the madness.

The MaxWaves feasibility study will build a new prototype that is more advanced than the two prototypes previously built. MaxWaves will be testing it in the lab and on the TU/e campus while carrying out a market survey on the way to crafting a business plan.

From the TU/e website:

The group of Prof. Dr. Bart Smolders has developed a new antenna technology that allows future base stations to be connected wirelessly with each other at extremely high data rates by using a whole series of electronically coupled antennas. These steer the radio beams in the right direction so that dishes with these antennas do not have to move physically in order to change the direction of transmission.

Okay …

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