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Gerard & Anton Awards: A showcase for Eindhoven’s most promising new startups

(Editor’s note: Dispatches covers tech and startups because so many of our highly skilled internationals work as engineers and founders. This post on the Gerard & Anton Awards is part of our Tech Tuesdays series.)

As an expat entrepreneur, it’s been intriguing to watch the evolution of Eindhoven’s startup ecosystem. As part of that, the Gerard & Anton Awards by Philips and Innovation Origins (Dispatches is a corporate sponsor) are our yearly ritual … and a sneak preview of where our ecosystem is headed.

Gerard & Anton, named after the two Philips brothers who built the giant electronics and consumer-goods company, is a showcase for the latest and most promising tech and the teams behind it.

For 2023, we were struck by how many people (at least 300) were at this year’s event on 31 August at High Tech Campus Eindhoven and how few we knew.

This year drew a lot more – how can we say this? – important people from corporates and investment firms, whereas previous G&A awards were kind of beach parties on the campus lake for us dreamers and schemers actually in, or working with, startups. So, kudos to Bart Brouwers, Bert-Jan Woertman and Merien ten Houten for raising the profile of the startup scene. And Bert-Jan and Beatrix Bos, with startup Carbyon, were on their best game as emcees.

And, as always, thanks, guys for putting on a great party.

We asked Bart for a comment and he quoted a jury member as saying they could have chosen at least 20 more winners from the long list they had been working with. “That’s exactly what the present state of the Brainport start-up ecosystem looks like: so many talents, so many ambitious and promising entrepreneurs,” Bart said.

“Now it’s really time for all the VCs and other funds to step in and support these fine people!”

Here’s an index of the major system players so you’ll know what we’re talking about in each startup synopsis:

• HighTechXL is a deep-tech venture builder on High Tech Campus Eindhoven.

• LUMO Labs is a venture builder and investment firm based at HTC.

• TNO and Holst Centre are research institutions.

• Technical University of Eindhoven is the local engineering school, one of eight across the Netherlands, including Delft and Twente.

So, where are we headed? This, of course, is Europe’s most important semiconductor hub, and because of ASML, NXP and Philips, biased toward deep-tech. So, it was no surprise to see that out of the 11 startups recognized by this – Eindhoven’s only big startup award – eight involved deep-tech or AI. And more and more promising technologies are coming out of Technical University of Eindhoven.



Alphabeats was founded in 2019 at HighTechXL, then famously jumped to LUMO Labs just a few meters away on High Tech Campus Eindhoven. Their technology is based on neurofeedback technology from Philips. Since 2019, they’ve raised money and created partnerships, the most recent being with GPS company Garmin. Alphabeats technology uses music to reduce stress, and sports teams are a major focus with their new “Master your mind. Master your performance.” marketing theme.


Antennex is one of several TU/e spinoff teams to stand on the awards podium last week. Founder Anouk Hubrechsen says that while companies are good at making antennae, they’re not so good at measuring them. With the adoption of 5G and 6G, that’s a problem, and one that Antennex’s test and measurement technology can solve.


FononTech is next-gen microfluidics printed microelectronics technology. This impulse printing technology can print high resolution circuitry down to micron-sized features on any substrate. Like so many futuristic technologies, this is a spinoff from TNO’s Holst Centre, and FononTech has already raised 2.3 million euros in seed investment.

Grai Matter Labs

GrAI Matter Labs has created neuromorphic system-on-a chip tech – chips that behave like humans. AI requires a new generation of computer chips, and GrAI Matter Labs is designing those chips … brain-mimicking chips that give AI that near-human neural-networking ability to “think.” These chips live in devices, not in the Cloud. “We’re not doing the AI that sits in a server somewhere. We’re doing the AI that fits in the tiniest devices,” says Menno Lindwer, vice president of Intellectual Property and Silicon at GrAI Matter Labs.

Photo by Cheryl Boyd for Dispatches Europe.

Gilbert Technologies

Gilbert Technologies has spent a decade developing their futuristic inhaler technology. The device is designed for pulmonary medicine administration to treat Cystic Fibrosis, Asthma, Oncology (Lung Cancer) and Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. Gilbert enables clinicians to administer precise doses of medications in droplets that are exactly the same size. That’s crucial for treating a disease where those droplets must be precisely a certain size to go to the right region of the lung and be absorbed by the target tissue.

Integer Technologies

Interger has developed thermal storage technologies. Thermal storage is used for hot tap water generation throughout the year. During winter, the stored hot water is used to provide space heating. Integer includes software for energy balancing and climate control, monitoring capabilities and solar panels and thermal collectors. Integer technology currently is in several apartment buildings.


MantiSpectra is yet another TU/e spin-off, this one a lab-on-a-chip play focused on using patented sensor technologies in agriculture, food and beverage, smart logistics and drug analysis. Their ChipSense technology allows food companies to constantly send samples to labs for quality control, or monitor crops for optimal harvesting.


Neople is developing an AI-assisted customer support assistant that goes beyond a chatbot and already has an impressive list of clients. Neople is trained on all the client’s product information, historical conversations, brand guidelines, internal policies and company communications, including websites.


PAKT is the Gerard & Anton Golden Lightbulb winner recognizing the most promising student startup. The PAKT team is developing the process side – the return logistics, collection, automated sorting, cleaning and inspection – necessary to make glass recycling practical.

TIBO Energy

TIBO Energy is about reducing grid congestion using advanced approaches such as Digital Twins to monitor energy use. With energy forecasting and smart control, TIBO manages assets such as heat pumps, charging stations and battery storage to avoid congestion and save clients money. Ideal clients are business parks, industrial, campuses and hospitals.

Photo by Cheryl Boyd for Dispatches Europe.


VivaArt-X, a TU/e spin-off, is developing advanced technology for reconstructive breast surgery. VivArt-X has developed synthetic, degradable support material as a personalized breast reconstruction method that includes tissue regeneration to replace current breast reconstruction methods using toxic silicone implants, infection-prone autologous flap surgery or fat grafting.

We’ll give Bart the last word on the day:

I’m proud of Beatrix and Bert-Jan for presenting the award show: they did very well, also by paying tribute to Evert Rietdijk, the famous start-up supporter from our ecosystem, who recently died unexpectedly. He deserved it, and everyone present felt the importance of that moment.

We saw initiatives in health tech, energy, sustainability, communication, business automation, sensoring, and lifestyle improvement. And every single one of them has found an application to help solve some of our society’s biggest challenges of today. This is how we want to see it! 

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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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