Eindhoven University of Technology, Brainport Development, the Brabant Development Agency (BOM), Fontys Hogescholen and Summa College join forces to support tech start-ups in a new support center: The Gate. The aim is to help even more entrepreneurial researchers and students and other tech start-ups in the region to get their businesses started optimally. On January 18, the parties will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for this purpose, in the presence of Mayor John Jorritsma and Commissioner Martijn van Gruijthuijsen. The Gate is located in startup hub Alpha, on the TU/e campus.
The start of The Gate should ensure that even more start-ups get off the ground successfully in the region. “The Eindhoven region has a particularly fertile breeding ground for the emergence of tech start-ups,” says Jeroen van Woerden, director of The Gate. “But students or researchers with an innovative idea often do not have all the knowledge and skills to start a successful business. There are already all kinds of facilities to help them with this, but that was still fragmented. With The Gate, we now offer one low-threshold counter with access to all expertise. It is expressly intended for both people who are still exploring, and start-ups that already have the first customers. With us they can learn about patents, arrange housing, help with making business plans, coaching, and of course help with obtaining financing. And because every company is different, ”Van Woerden emphasizes,“ every starter gets custom work from us. ”
Mark Verhagen, former leader of the SOLID student team and co-founder of start-up RIFT (Renewable Iron Fuel Technology), is enthusiastic about The Gate. “Starters are often young and enthusiastic. To increase your chances of success, it is essential to gain access to specialist knowledge and to get in touch with experienced experts who provide feedback, deploy their network and know the way to financing. The Gate ensures that this is within reach. ”
The MoU states that TU / e will contribute its business development department to The Gate. This is supplemented by business developers from BOM and Brainport Development, which also contributes a communication budget of almost 400,000 euros. In addition, BOM contributes through a new revolving fund of at least 500,000 euros. This is for providing financing to early stage companies, when commercial investors are not yet entering due to the high risk profile. For example, starters can use this to finance a feasibility study. Fontys and Summa both ensure a connection with their own Center for Entrepreneurship, and Fontys makes expert student capacity available to tech starters. The Gate will be housed in "start-up hub" Alpha on the TU / e campus. In this building, Twice also offers business space for start-ups.
“Start-ups are increasingly important for innovation, for economic progress, but also for solutions in areas such as health and sustainability,” says Robert-Jan Smits, chairman of the TU / e, which will celebrate its 65th birthday in 2021. “We strongly encourage our researchers and students to be entrepreneurial. Clear and accessible support goes without saying, in order to optimize the chance that their solutions really reach the market. And that also applies to smart ideas that arise at the other knowledge institutions in the region. ”
Brigit van Dijk - Van de Reijt, director of BOM: “The BOM is a growth accelerator that drives innovation and entrepreneurship. We look forward to giving entrepreneurs a good start in the early phase together with our partners in The Gate. ”
Paul van Nunen, director of Brainport Development: “We are making support for start-ups in the region much clearer and more accessible. From the collective we help start-ups on their way, but it is of course the intention that after the start-up phase they continue to grow in the region, for example on the campuses. ”
Joep Houterman, president of the Executive Board of Fontys Hogescholen: “Fontys attaches great value to entrepreneurship. We are already successfully facilitating this through our Center for Entrepreneurship, among other things. The Gate offers a great opportunity to bundle the strength and expertise at university, higher vocational education and secondary vocational education level and in this way provide optimal support for tech starters in this region. ”
Laurent de Vries, President of the Executive Board of Summa College: "For our MBO students, the support center is a welcome support in starting their own company."
Mayor John Jorritsma, chairman of the Brainport foundation, says he is happy with the joining of forces. “It fits in seamlessly with our profile as a knowledge city that has its eyes on the future. Young innovative companies are the future. The Gate will make an important contribution to this ”, expects Jorritsma.
Commissioner Martijn van Gruijthuijsen also welcomes the new collaboration: “To safeguard the Brabant earning capacity of tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, we need innovative start-ups. But not only for that: start-ups often also provide solutions to our shared challenges. It is an important step that these parties all look beyond their own borders and work together for the greater interest. ”