LUMO Labs is a seed capital fund with a venture builder and moved to High Tech Campus Eindhoven last year. Founders Andy Lürling and Sven Bakkes believe in their own approach of supporting start-ups. They work with an intensive two-year program that transforms early-stage start-ups into scale-ups that help make the world a better, healthier and smarter place.
About fifteen years ago they launched their own tech start-up iOpener, which collected real-time telemetry data from race cars to feed to live computer games. Prominent FIA racing series even used their technology to update their marshalling system. They managed to grow into a scale-up and to sell the company. Having gone through the whole start-up experience themselves, Andy and Sven started LUMO Labs in 2016 with the idea to help other software start-ups in emerging technology (AI, Data, AR/VR, IoT,robotics, and blockchain) grow into successful businesses.
The LUMO Labs method Their two-year venture building program requires start-ups to share office space, resources and expertise. But how is LUMO Labs different from other incubator or accelerator programs? Why call LUMO Labs a venture builder instead of an incubator? ‘First of all, the start-ups share their office space with LUMO Labs for a minimum of two years, which is much longer than regular programs. The mentorship is intensively because you see each other on a daily basis, in this way they can continuously monitor and support the start-ups.’
‘It usually takes two or three years to get market traction for your product. Research has shown that one of the determining factors of successful start-up companies is their ability to discover and deal with problems instantly. Coaching and mentoring on daily basis is crucial and we have a team of experienced serial entrepreneurs to do just that. Besides helping the companies hands-on, LUMO also facilitates operations by providing easy access to shared back-office services, so that the start-ups can focus more on their product. And we offer them the use of our extensive international network of experts, strategic partners and investors. It’s like a fast track to Series A investment’
LUMO Fund II has just launched, in which they have 20 million of seed-funding they aim to invest in 15 different start-ups over the next three years. ‘Our ticket size is much more than other incubators or accelerators typically offer.’
Sven Bakkes and Andy Lürling
Co-creation is key But why put all the start-ups in one office? Andy and Sven know this is a big advantage. They want the start-ups to communicate with one another so that new ideas can emerge. ‘Of course, they are told to focus on their own product first, but they also want them to look and see if they can create something with another start-up.’
One successful example is the collaboration between VRee, who have developed a software platform for a full-body VR experience, and Pillow’s Willow, a content studio for XR games. Together they have created Exodus Burned, the first Active Esports game where your body is the controller. Their joint product is now getting relevant market traction, for example last week in collaboration with PSV the first Active Esports Arena was opened in Eindhoven.
‘Bringing start-up teams together has a huge added value. If one start-up needs an embedded programmer for a piece of code, the other start-up is often happy to provide it. It’s all about sharing resources. That happens organically if you stay together long enough, like two to three years in this case.’
LUMO Labs & High Tech Campus Eindhoven ‘Co-creation is key. And High Tech Campus Eindhoven is a living prove of this. It’s like a living lab. Start-ups want to be internationally connected and the international reputation of the Campus helps enormously in this.’
LUMO selects start-ups based on the impact they have, and the link to at least one of the Sustainable Development Goals ‘Sustainable Cities’, ‘Good Health & Wellbeing’ and ‘Quality Education’. That fits seamlessly with the new 2030 vision of High Tech Campus Eindhoven. HTCE wants to become the most sustainable Campus of Europe, and focuses next to hardware also on software , and wants to attract more AI focused companies.
‘We often bring our contacts from Silicon Valley here. Before their visit they just think of us as Andy and Sven from that small country somewhere in Europe. But once they have visited us here, then we become Andy and Sven from Eindhoven and the amazing High Tech Campus that is more beautiful than the Facebook Campus. They are totally blown away by it.’