The Cambridge Innovation Center’s (CIC) Rotterdam location now houses more than 100 innovative businesses in its 4.500 m2 innovation center on the 4th floor of Rotterdam’s iconic Groot Handelsgebouw in Rotterdam’s Central District.
CIC, for the innovators
CIC, founded by CEO Tim Rowe in 1999, is an American company with the mission to 'fix the world through innovation'. CIC creates premium work spaces and communities within them that help entrepreneurs innovate better and faster. Globally, CIC locations are currently home to almost 1.500 businesses, that have collectively raised more than €3B in venture capital and have had more than €3.6B in publicly disclosed exits.
CIC Rotterdam officially opened in September 2016, and has since built a growing community of innovative businesses in the center of Rotterdam, most of them startups. Close to a quarter of the companies at CIC Rotterdam focus on tech, with energy/sustainability and health/life sciences being the next two largest industry focuses.
“It is phenomenal to see the growing group of entrepreneurs at CIC, how they interact and help support each other, and the wide array of ideas they’re bringing into the world,” said Melissa Ablett, General Manager, CIC Rotterdam. “We chose Rotterdam because we saw, and continue to see, the incredible innovation capacity of this city.”
Together with sister non-profit organization, Venture Café Rotterdam, CIC Rotterdam is a Startup Visa Facilitator and home to a growing number of international startups and businesses. More than 10% of CIC’s companies are headquartered outside of the Netherlands, or are founded by international entrepreneurs.
“We are choosing to locate at CIC because it’s globally connected,” said Marie-Caroline du Reau, General Manager - Benelux for GE Healthcare, “You can connect to the local community of innovators here, but also to the rest of the world.”
The startup DashTag - an AI enabled bot and wearable that brings FIFA like games stats to every soccer player - was also attracted to CIC for its global connection. “After fundraising, and with international ambitions, this really feels like the right community for us,” said CEO Epco Berger of DashTag. “We’re looking to scale globally and we feel this is the right place to help us do that.”
Venture Café Rotterdam has also been growing rapidly. Venture Café’s mission is to connect innovators to make things happen, which they do through their weekly Thursday gathering that is free and open to the entire innovation community, and is the largest in Rotterdam. Through this and other national and regional initiatives Venture Café offers a neutral platform where impactful innovation connections are made. All in support of building next economy communities, accelerating innovation, connecting to the global network and providing access to capital and resources.
In 2016, Venture Café Rotterdam welcomed close to 12.000 attendees to their weekly event, and in 2017, every Thursday is already seeing an average of more than 300 attendees.
In 2018, CIC Rotterdam plans to open another 4.000m2 of space in the Groot Handelsgebouw and to ultimately grow to 12.000m2, housing 500 companies. “Our eyes are on the future,” said Marcus Fernhout, founder of CIC Rotterdam. “Our vision is to create a thriving innovation district here in the center of Rotterdam. We’re on our way.”