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World's best hardware startups head for Eindhoven

Sep 14, 2015 3:49:00 PM. By: High Tech Campus

Thought Leader Insights: Guus Frericks, Managing Director Startupbootcamp HighTechXL

The Campus' credo is ‘turning technology into business’. As the centre for high-tech innovation we started a series of inspiring articles from thought leaders in high-tech and innovation. Read their opinions on new directions in technology, business and research.

On November 11th, the Campus will witness the inaugural program of Startupbootcamp HighTech XL. 11 teams from Greece, Iceland, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands were selected from over 250 applicants. Guus Frericks, CEO, explains why disruptive hardware startups are becoming essential to successful corporate strategies.

World's best hardware startups head for Eindhoven

This is the ideal time to be a young high-tech company. The media in many countries is embracing science as the new rock and roll. As social media matures, so we are seeing the emergence of the Internet of Everything, with all the challenges that a connected society brings. Which means this is a golden opportunity to lead.

My business partner Eric van den Eijnden (CEO of Dutch Expansion Capital) and I have been involved with some of the most innovative tech startups in Europe for several years. One of them, Tidalys is located in Caen, Normandy, home to the fastest tidal currents in the world.

The drive back to the Netherlands takes 6 hours. That gave us plenty of time to brainstorm and discuss. As entrepreneurs, we know that we have to scale this concept to cope with the logarithmic growth in innovation. Instead of building business and marketing strategies for one company at a time, we needed to find a way to do ten at a time. The answer was to design an accelerator program fine-tuned to the needs of high-tech startups.


Guus Frericks, Managing Director, Startupbootcamp HighTechXL
Startupbootcamp HighTechXL
His Majesty King Willem-Alexander visited the Campus for Startupbootcamp HighTechXL on Tuesday, 3 February 2015, accompanied by Minister Kamp of Economic Affairs.
Startupbootcamp HighTechXL Selection Days
Having run innovation units in the corporate world for Philips and NXP, I know that engineers tend to be perfectionists. And building a scalable business, especially internationally, doesn’t enter most founders’ heads. They work long hours tinkering with their prototype, not showing it to anyone. Yet, when they finally reveal it to a lead customer, they discover the clients want changes. Lead customers often demand features that the founder realizes imply a costly redesign. In the apps world, that could mean changing a few lines of code. In high-tech that could mean half a million Euro to rethink the design of a chip or sensor. By which time a competitor will capture the market. And lean but clever teams just don’t have that kind of money to waste.

Location, Location, Location

It is true. Location is extremely important. It’s not about buildings. Building a company is all about tapping into a vibrant ecosystem of investors, customers, entrepreneurs and researchers. While other cities like London, New York and Berlin have created a name for app-development, Eindhoven is still ahead in high-tech hardware. Having travelled the world, we know the best brains in this sector have concentrated their collaborative research skills right here. But we also know that we have to keep proving it to the world. We’re proud that High Tech Campus Eindhoven is one of our lead partners, providing us with offices right in the heart of what’s happening. Our 11 winning teams have facilities on "The Strip" that gives them an unfair advantage.

Successful accelerator programs work because they involve passionate, experienced mentors. I’m personally delighted that we’ve attracted a pool of over 150 local and international specialists in high-tech, marketing, finance and research. They’re practical people who understand our goals in an instant.

Thanks to everyone who has helped us with the launch of Startupbootcamp HighTechXL. It’s been a shining example of teamwork. Here’s an open invitation to others to get involved; because we’ve only just started on this amazing journey. And everyone wins when a plan like this comes together.

Interested in workspace for start-ups?  HighTech XL Plaza is the ultimate location to build your successful  future between entrepreneurs. Office & Lab space against affordable prices. Visit the High Tech XL Plaza website  
High Tech Campus
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