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Eindhoven Business Briefing: The ‘exceptional moment in an exceptional city’ edition

It’s mid-summer and the C-suites across Eindhoven are empty. Tumbleweeds blow across an empty, silent High Tech Campus as Europe goes on vacation. So you’d think this Eindhoven Business Briefing would be short but sweet.

Nope.

Amazingly, there’s still a lot of biz news here because this is an exceptional moment in an exceptional city. We feel strongly that while time off is good, it’s also good to keep in mind that this is a pivotal moment in Eindhoven’s history.

Increasingly, Eindhoven is the Atlanta of the Netherlands … a once-sleepy town suddenly making headlines with non-stop innovation – solar cars, stratospheric profits at its HQ tech companies and a burgeoning startup ecosystem that’s among the most sophisticated in Europe.

So, let’s start with that Dutch trade mission last week to Boston, with 87 Dutch companies selected to meet with American companies and policymakers about life sciences and health, artificial intelligence and robotics, and climate resilience.

They include one Venlo-based autonomous robot positioning startup with Eindhoven roots, Accerion; several local businesses including Study Portals, NXP and Philips as well as Technical University of Eindhoven and Technical University of Delft. Oh, and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte went along on the trip, which included stops at MIT and Boston Dynamics.

We know there were a lot of connections made and deals done, but we can’t reveal the details. A heads-up … look for big news out of this trade mission in the coming weeks.

Kind of lost in the buzz about Eindhoven’s startups is that it’s a big deal to be selected for trade missions and big tech events such as Global Entrepreneurship Summit … that and a lot of young companies have been on the road this year from Paris to Taipei, boosting our global image.

All those events and missions put founders in the room with some of the biggest global industry players and policymakers.

Accerion career opportunities

Speaking of Accerion, the HighTechXL alum just raised a significant A-round, using the capital to expand its team on the way to expanding into new markets. (Hence, the trip the U.S. with the PM, the man who’s increasingly Europe’s No. 1 powerbroker.)

They have several openings including:

Senior computer vision engineer

Robotics algorithm engineer

Customer Integration and Support Engineer

Business Controller

HTXL seeking team members for new ventures

In less than one year, everything has changed at HighTechXL. What was once a conventional – albeit very successful – startup business accelerator has become Eindhoven’s deep-tech venture building dynamo, producing three fast-growing startups – Dynaxion, Incooling and Aircision – in just a few months.

Now it’s time to do it all again.

Summer preparation sessions start next month for the startup teams forming around just-revealed CERN, TNO and Philips technology at FasTrackathon.

As the teams jell, they’ll go through a series of weekly sessions from 13 August through 10 September. Each session is scheduled for Tuesday nights from 16:00 to 18:00 at HighTechXL in Building 27 on High Tech Campus.

On 17 September, the actual venture building program begins.

Even if you missed FasTrackathon, you’re still welcome to join a team and that includes not just physicists and engineers, but creative types, marketing and business-development professionals.

Here’s the link to all the information including one-pagers for each of the new technologies. If you can’t make it to the summer preparation sessions but are still interested in joining a team, sign up for Casting Day on 3 September, again at HighTechXL.

Speaking of HighTechXL, Dynaxion just returned from a trip to the U.S. to kick off their participation in the Opioid Detection Challenge. The team included Emma Wooldridge, CTO, and Joost van de Griendt, CMO and business officer.

Dynaxion was chosen in April for the $1.55 million Opioid Detection Challenge sponsored by a number of United States federal agencies including Homeland Security, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Those agencies want to use Dynaxion’s particle accelerator tech to scan packages for illegal substances including heroin and other opiates.

Incooling looking for an intern

Incooling is one of the three companies that’s come out of HighTechXL’s new partnership with CERN and other research centers. In this case, they’re adapting CERN’s CO2 cooling technology to computer chips, CPUs and GPUs.

They have an opening for a marketing intern. This internship will be more about creativity and less about physics, with the ideal candidate adept at digital communications, MARCOM and website design.

Ping Helena Samodurova if interested: h.samodurova@incooling.com

NEXT Apartments

More good news on the housing front as Eindhoven tries to cope with its new-found global popularity.

NEXT Apartments is under construction in Strijp-S with 23 floors of luxury apartments including 99 apartments for rent and 56 apartments and three penthouses for sale. Prices start at about 375,000 euros for 75 meters2 and go to 1.3 million euros for a 217m2 penthouse. About the going prices these days.

The registration runs until noon on 19 August 2019.

Holland2Stay has a new building opening, the Cube with student housing.

We calculate there are at least 2,500 units under construction or scheduled to begin construction this year. As we reported earlier this year, 27,000 homes are planned across the Eindhoven region, including at least 15,000 in the city itself.

American truckers go DAF-fy!

Dispatches is all about tech because we’re all about the mobility of talent. So we forget Eindhoven’s economy is still heavily invested in conventional manufacturing. Which means we overlooked the fact that DAF Trucks NV, the global big-truck manufacturer, makes engines at its sprawling Eindhoven complex (technically Geldrop) that go into American trucks.

Think about that … little Netherlands is a major supplier of over-the-road truck engines for the big American truck manufacturers including Kenworth and Peterbilt. There are so many reasons this is ironic that we’re not going to go there. But imagine that MAGA trucker’s face when he finds out the engine of his 18-wheeler ain’t from ‘Merica at all.

The Eindhovens Dagblad has the story.

QUICK NOTES:

• When you’re hot, you’re hot. ASML just released a crazy good quarterly earnings report. We used to read these things for a living back in the day, and honestly, we never saw anything like this because we never covered companies this profitable.

ASML, which has about an 85-share of the global photolithography business, reported Q2 net sales of 2.6 billion euros. Which means they sold a lot of their 50 million euro-plus chip-making machines. Net income from the 2.6 billion euros was 476 million euros and a gross margin of … sit down for this … 43 percent.

For some perspective, Apple reported a gross margin of about 38 percent for Q3 of 2018 … one of the best quarters in its history. So yeah, ASML is in Apple territory – actually beyond – when it comes to profitability.

The most shocking thing is ASML executives project they’ll do better next quarter.

You can see a summary of the ASML quarterly earnings report here.

• High Tech Campus is about to become Signify’s headquarters. We’re thinking it’s not a coincidence the campus website has an interesting item about Signify – yet another Philips spinoff – and its efforts to replace Wi-Fi and the radio spectrum with more stable “lifi” that uses light beams to transmit data. Another example of how the future is being created here.

• Percentage-wise, Eindhoven startups have a much higher rate of survival than those even in Amsterdam, much less the United States. So it was with great regret that we noticed Alex Dings had posted on LinkedIn that he’s looking for a new opportunity. Which tends to mean just one thing ….

Alex and Ruben Vreeland were students at TU/e when they founded BitSensor back in 2015, a new approach to identifying and stopping hackers from hijacking websites. By 2017, BitSensor, was voted best Dutch startup of the year by IBM and the recipient of the 2017 Gerard & Anton Awards as one of Eindhoven’s 10 most-promising startups.

Now, the startup is in bankruptcy court. More as we know more.

In the United States, the approach is “fail fast and fail often” because skilled people just jump to another project. Here, it’s more serious as there’s still a lingering bias against those who go for it and come up short.

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