Eindhoven Business Briefing: The Love Boat edition as BizzKiss matches entrepreneurs

(Editor’s note: Eindhoven Business Briefing is part of Dispatches’ Tech Tuesday series covering startups and innovation.)

During this summer like no other, we thought we’d be bored, beating around town looking for news for the Eindhoven Business Briefing. But even with everyone staycationing there’s a lot poppin’ in Eindhoven.

Let’s start outside our home province of Brabant, for a change because we had a feeling the Dutch would come up with this first. BizzKiss is a new online dating platform for entrepreneurs only. It’s not based in Eindhoven but in Rotterdam. Still, we can’t think of another city aside from Eindhoven with as many young entrepreneurs (and not so young entrepreneurs) who could use a little romance in their lives.

To play, you have to prove you have a business registered with the Kamer van Koophandel, the Dutch governmental entity that functions as both a chamber of commerce and tax registry for businesses.

BizzKiss an interesting concept that goes to the heart (that’s a pun) of how difficult it is to work 12 hours per day, seven days per week – which is what real entrepreneurs do – while maintaining some semblance of a romantic relationship.

We have to say our favorite section is the dating tips. Which are actually pretty good. Like don’t get pushy and immediately ask for a person’s phone number. And keep a sense of humor about things. Most business-building rules also apply to dating, so this should be interesting. And, when it’s all said and done, isn’t romance just another test of our marketing, time management and communication skills?

Be sure to read the FAQs.

HighTechXL’s next Info Session Q&A coming up 18 August

HighTechXL is preparing to launch its next cohort of deep-tech startups that will enter the nine-month venture-building program this fall. The Eindhoven-based venture builder has produced dozens of startups since 2015 including SustonableAccerion, Incooling and Carbyon. In aggregate, HightechXL startups have raised more than 100 million euros, with a far higher survival rate than other accelerators. And they’ve gone global, with business operations and clients spanning the globe.

The digital doors (and borders) are wide open for the next crop of co-founders. HighTechXL’s assessment process begins now for CEOs, CTOs and CBOs, a process that culminates in everyone coming together for FasTrackathon, our deep-tech hackathon, on 16 September. (You can pre-register here.) More info about the technologies to be presented is coming soon.

But before the FasTrackathon, you can get all the crucial information at the Info Session Q&A online event on 18 August from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

HighTechXL staffers are holding these events now so co-founders have time to understand the venture builder process and gather all the info they need to join a deep-tech venture this fall. Since the first info session in February, dozens of people have attended the info sessions, gone through the co-founder assessment process and ultimately joined deep-tech ventures in our latest cohort.

So, check out the Info Session page and start your research. And don’t forget to watch the videos of other co-founders to hear their success stories. It may be just the inspiration you need to take the first steps.

Eindhoven Airport gets a makeover

If you haven’t been to the Eindhoven Airport since the pandemic set in, you’ll be surprised and delighted to find that a lot of the issues that made this already great regional airport less than perfect have been fixed by a total exterior makeover.

Gone are the narrow sidewalks so crowded you had to step off to let suitcase-toting passengers pass by, replaced by walkways wide enough to accommodate the hordes we as business travelers hope will return sooner than later. There is now better signage, not to mention places to sit and a big open entry plaza with grass and landscaping. Also gone are the crowded bus stops, replaced by a dedicated bus area under the shelter of the new parking garage.

Taxis can now drop you at the door and there’s a giant McDonald’s Café. We’ve reached out to airport authorities and will have more as they come back from vacation.

Shopping therapy goes viral

Designer Outlet Roermond, that giant retail development south of Eindhoven, is destination shopping at its best. But it’s also a problem for that small city in that the outlet attracts overflow crowds from the Netherlands and neighboring Germany. Which is an issue in the Corona Age, with stores setting sales records as bored consumers spend that money that was locked down for two months.

When it reopened in June, most of the 120 stores at the outlet had strict distancing practices and controlled the number of shoppers coming in … until they didn’t. As everyone got more casual, the number of infections rose until at least five of the stores couldn’t open in the first week of July because more than 50 percent of employees were ill and the companies couldn’t put sufficient staff on the sales floors.

So, as of this week, masks are mandatory and it appears limits will go back into effect.

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