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Unmanned Valley Valkenburg

Hotspot for drones

One of the Unmanned Valley Valkenburg projects concerns students from the Leidse Instrumentenmakers School (LiS) who will develop drones and unmanned technology that will be tested at Unmanned Valley Valkenburg. The school, specialised in precision engineering, is based in Leiden and Unmanned Valley lies just around the corner.

‘Great opportunity’

It offers a ‘great opportunity’ for the school, director Dick Harms tells the daily Leidsch Dagblad. “Students can learn the most if the setting resembles a real environment.” One of the first drones the school wants to develop is a fire-fighting drone: machines that can detect fires in an early stage. The teachers are enthusiastic about the collaboration. “I think Unmanned Valley will become very popular”, one of them says.

Several companies have settled in Unmanned Valley Valkenburg, like the RoboValley startup AerovinciDrone Center Valkenburg opened its doors as well. Located nearby major cities like Rotterdam and The Hague, it is a great place to host an event as well. In February, the first edition of DroneClash took place in one of the hangars.

Unmanned Valley Valkenburg

2,000 jobs

It is expected that the development of Unmanned Valley creates around 2,000 jobs and will give the regional economy a boost. “The hotspot of drone companies already based in Valkenburg really takes off”, alderman Jan Klaas van der Bent from the municipality of Katwijk says. To drive the further development, Katwijk and Delft University of Technology have launched the Unmanned Valley Valkenburg Foundation.

The foundation has set up a three-year programme together with 17 partners from government agencies (Rijksvastgoedbedrijf), knowledge institutions (Hogeschool Leiden, Leidse instrumentenmakers School) and the industry. RoboValley is one of the partners as well. Amongst other things, the foundation makes sure the fieldlab meets all safety requirements and the testing of drones doesn’t have a negative impact on the living environment.


Delft University of Technology will use Unmanned Valley for scientific research, the dean of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering Henri Werij says. “It is extremely valuable to have a good testing location for drones nearby. Not only for students and researchers of Delft University of Technology. A great part of the space sector is located in the Province of Zuid-Holland as well.” Besides, many related companies and spin-offs are looking for a good place to test. “It is important to test new inventions outside, in all weather conditions.”


Source / RoboValley

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This year the MWC attracted 2.300 exhibitors and 108.000 visitors from 204 countries. The Netherlands was well visible at MWC with the Holland Pavilion, which was organized by Enterprise Summit and supported by the Municipality of The Hague and The Netherlands Enterprise Agency. Vice Mayor Bruines of The Hague, Dutch Ambassador Van Bonzel and KPN board member Farwerck launched the Pavilion. This was the second year for The Netherlands to have a pavilion at the MWC.

At the Pavilion there were several companies from Dutch soil, such as ABN AMRO, PortingXS, BroadForward en the universal translator Travis from Rotterdam. Other activities during this edition are the innovation tour led by tech trend watcher Vincent Everts, a tour specifically aimed at government participants and various presentations about retrofit and IoT, Blockchain and internet accountability.

For the live report, please follow #NLMWC18 on Twitter.

Setting up in greater Rotterdam-The Hague

In cooperation with The Hague Security Delta, InnovationQuarter manned a stand at the Holland Pavilion and several company delegations were received from abroad, for example from Canada and France. Director Richard Franken of HSD was present at the fair on Monday and Tuesday. In addition, InnovationQuarter talked to more than 60 companies about the business climate of greater Rotterdam-The Hague with the aim of convincing them to settle in the region. New contacts have been made and relationships will be expanded over the coming months.

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Cisco 2018 Annual Cyber Security Report

Highlights Cyber Security Report

Here are a few of Cisco’s important findings. For the full report, please visite www.cisco.com.

  • Supply chains
    Attacks can impact computers on a massive scale and can persist for months or even years. Defenders should be aware of the potential risk of using software or hardware from organizations that do not appear to have a responsible security posture.
  • Security is getting more complex
    Defenders are implementing a complex mix of products from a cross-section of vendors to protect against breaches. This complexity and growth in breaches have many downstream effects on an organization’s ability to defend against attacks, such as increased risk of losses.
  • Behavioral analytics tools
    92% of security professionals said behavior analytics tools work well in locating malicious actors in networks. Two-thirds of the healthcare sector, followed by financial services, found behavior analytics to work extremely well to identify malicious actors.
  • Use of cloud is growing:
    In this year’s study, 27% of security professionals said they are using off-premises private clouds, compared with 20 percent in 2016. Attackers are taking advantage of this lack of advanced security

Last year’s evolution of malware demonstrates that our adversaries continue to learn. We have to raise the bar now – top down leadership, business led, technology investments, and practice effective security – there is too much risk, and it is up to us to reduce it.
~ John N. Stewart, Senior Vice President, Chief Security and Trust Officer at Cisco

Recommendations for defenders

  • Adhere to corporate policies and practices for application, system, and appliance patching.
  • Have access to timely, accurate threat intelligence data and processes that allow for that data to be incorporated into security monitoring.
  • Perform deeper and more advanced analytics.
  • Back up data often and test restoration procedures, processes that are critical in a world of fast-moving, network-based ransomware worms and destructive cyber weapons.
  • Conduct security scanning of microservice, cloud service, and application administration systems.

More information (English / Dutch) or listen to an interview with Michel Schaalje from Cisco on BNR Newsradio (in Dutch).


Source / The Hague Security Delta, Cisco

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YES!Delft en UtrechtInc bij internationale top universitaire bedrijfsincubators

World Top Business Incubator

This year, UBI global defined 4 categories. YES!Delft and UtrechtInc were respectively ranked 2 and 10 in the category: World Top Business Incubator – Affiliated with University. In 2015 YES!Delft ranked 9th on the global list.

This result proves that our programs really are of world class. With our Discovery Track, Validation Lab and Accelerator program we help startups grow successfully within 9 months from business idea to investor-ready.
~ EJ Lugt, Managing Director at YES!Delft


UtrechtInc also maintains a top position on the international international list by UBI Global and is glad to receive this recognition. Managing Director Jorg Kop: “We offer supporting programs to researchers of Utrecht University and UMC Utrecht to bring research to the market. This way, we contribute to the valorization of scientific knowledge and making this publicly accessible.” Since 2009 the incubator supported 184 startups.


Startup Envoy Prince Constantijn at StartupDelta congratulates YES!Delft and UtrechtInc. “Incubators and accelerators can play a crucial role in the valorization of scientific data and supporting academic startups. The universities of Delft and Utrecht must be proud of the successes of YES!Delft and UtrechtInc, who are contributing immensely to the Dutch startup and scale-up ecosystem.”


Every two years UBI Global, a renowned Swedish research- and advicebureau in the field of business incubation, conducts research amongst 500 incubators and accelerators in over 70 countries. An example of a selection criteria are the accessibility to capital and economic impact of the incubators. In 2016, the 259 participating programs supported over 10.000 startups in total, research shows. The total number of employees was 72.000. In the past 5 years, the startups raised a total of 4,7 billion euros and had a total of 3,2 billion in revenue.

The ranking list was announced at the World Incubation Summit in Toronto (CAN). Curious for the entire global ranking? Please visit www.ubi-global.com.


Source / YES!Delft


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Attractive business climate in the Netherlands

Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, Eric Wiebes, commented: “The presence of foreign companies is important for our country. Some 1.4 million Dutch people have a job directly or indirectly thanks to these companies. The excellent annual NFIA results confirm that we benefit from a good investment climate. Our highly educated population, good infrastructure, pleasant housing and living conditions and competitive fiscal climate attract foreign companies and employees. For our future economic growth and employment it is important that the Dutch business climate remains attractive. We all benefit from that. ”

Sigrid Kaag, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, under whose responsibility the NFIA falls as well, commented: “The Netherlands has an attractive business climate, and the Dutch economy is in good shape. Also, with a view to Brexit, there is increasing interest from international companies to move activities to the Netherlands or to establish themselves in the Netherlands. It is therefore important that the NFIA, Dutch embassies and consulates overseas continue to put the Netherlands on the map abroad.”

Distribution centers and headquarters

Within the Invest in Holland network, the NFIA was directly responsible for 8,158 of the 12,686 jobs. In 2017, the NFIA registered 224 foreign direct investment projects for the Netherlands, corresponding to 1.23 billion euros in investments. The NFIA results show that most new jobs were created in distribution centers (1,864), at headquarters (1,345), in marketing & sales offices (1,316), R&D (1,259) and production sites (1,081). To illustrate, Netflix expanded its European headquarters in Amsterdam with a customer contact center of 400 jobs. Merck Performance Materials invested 15 million euros in its production plant for so-called liquid crystal glass in Veldhoven. Meanwhile, Japanese gelatin producer Jellice expanded its production plant in Emmen, resulting in 25 additional jobs.

US companies lead employment creation

As in 2016, the majority of ‘foreign’ jobs were created by companies from the United States. NFIA results for 2017 indicate some 2,516 jobs created by US companies, bringing 110 million euros in investments.  Companies from within Europe also provided a substantial number of jobs (2,879), including the UK (872). Japan and India provided 655 and 423 jobs, respectively.  Majority of jobs from foreign investments in 2017 came from creative industries such as fashion and entertainment & media (2,126). Additional jobs by sector include agrifood (1,788), IT (1,219), life sciences & health (600) and business services (457).


Within the Invest in Holland network, including West Holland acquisition partners The Hague Business Agency, Rotterdam Partners and InnovationQuarter, special attention was on Brexit last year. The NFIA is in contact with more than 200 foreign companies that are considering a switch to the Netherlands in the wake of Brexit. Many companies choose to wait before they announce their plans for the future, due to the lack of clarity about the new relationship between the UK and the EU. In 2017, 18 companies made a Brexit-related move to the Netherlands. These re-locations accounted for 483 jobs and 19 million euros added to the Dutch economy. In these results, the relocation of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to Amsterdam is not yet included.


Source / NFIA

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Recordaantal buitenlandse bedrijven investeren in Den Haag

FMost investments are from China and the United States

With 14 companies, China proved to be the largest investor in The Hague again last year. However, the extra efforts of The Hague Business Agency and InnovationQuarter to attract companies from the United States, the United Kingdom and India in particular paid off in 2017. Some 11 US firms chose The Hague as a base for business, while six companies from the United Kingdom invested in the city and no fewer than five Indian enterprises opened a new branch here.

Deputy Mayor Karsten Klein (Economic Affairs, Harbours, Welfare and Health): “The Hague has made great strides in recent years to raise its international profile as an attractive business destination. New partnerships with the Indian states of Karnatarka and Telangana, as well as the collaboration between our acquisition partners and other partners within the city, have contributed to this. There has been an immediate and visible growth in investments from this country, which will ultimately result in more jobs for the city.”

Record number of foreign companies invest in The Hague

IT, Tech, Cybersecurity and Energy

The Hague is very popular with companies in the IT, Tech and Cybersecurity sectors. LeoSat, a US tech firm, opted for The Hague and starting in 2019 is slated to be the first company in the world to offer low-latency, long-distance data traffic using optical inter-satellite connections.

The Indian company Krypc Technologies, a fast-growing international supplier of blockchain platforms, and the US cybersecurity business Dtex Systems, which develops unique software for detecting threats from the inside and infiltration from outside, both chose The Hague as the location for their European headquarters. In addition, the Danish energy company Ørsted (formerly Dong Energy) chose The Hague as a base from which to prepare the construction of wind farms in the North Sea.

These developments serve to boost the city’s role in vital sectors, such as Energy, IT, Tech and Cybersecurity, and have a knock-on effect by making The Hague even more attractive to foreign companies looking to invest.

Deputy Mayor Saskia Bruines (Knowledge Economy, International Affairs, Youth and Education):  “Our policy of stimulating the knowledge infrastructure as well as encouraging close cooperation between educational institutions and the business community are clearly having a positive impact. The focus on innovative economic sectors is already resulting in extra jobs. We are also working hard on strengthening the peace and justice and security clusters by internationally raising the profile of the city in these sectors and emphasising their economic added value.”

Blockchain platform provider KrypC Technologies opens its European office in The Hague

Krypc Technologies / from left to right: Mark Beermann, Danny Frietman (Enterprise Summit), Karsten Klein (Deputy Mayor for Economic Affairs, Harbours, Welfare and Health), Venu Rajamony (Ambassador of India), Ilja van Haaren (The Hague Business Agency), Chris van Voorden (InnovationQuarter) and Paul de Kroon (34 Capital).

International city of Peace, Justice and Security

More International organisations and NGOs are also finding their way to The Hague, international city of peace, justice and security. In 2017, the Department of International Affairs (Bureau Internationale Zaken, BIZ) in collaboration with The Hague Business Agency helped UN OCHA and International Alert set up office in The Hague.

UN OCHA is a data centre for collecting and analysing information on people affected by natural disasters and humanitarian crises. The non-governmental organisation International Alert was established to help people in conflict zones find peaceful solutions.

Additional jobs for The Hague

The Hague’s appeal as a business city is increasing. In addition to the companies that were actively supported by the acquisition partners mentioned above, other international firms have also opted for The Hague. AstraZeneca, a biopharmaceutical firm with its international head office in the United Kingdom, moved 200 people from Zoetermeer to The Hague, while the British company Merlin Entertainments confirmed The Hague as the location for a Legoland Discovery Centre. This tourist attraction is expected to open its doors to the general public in 2019.

Cooperation in The Hague region

Attracting foreign investment is of great importance to The Hague as well as to the Netherlands. It contributes to economic growth and creates jobs. The 54 investment projects are the result of a joint effort by The Hague Business Agency and InnovationQuarter in association with the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA), an operational unit of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate. As ‘Invest in Holland‘ partners, the two acquisition partners support the City of The Hague in profiling the region internationally as an economically attractive business location. Have a look also at the NFIA results 2017.

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The Netherlands in Top 10 in Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2018

Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2018

The human factor is the most critical resource for national competitiveness. Launched in 2013, the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) is a benchmarking tool for governments, cities, businesses and not-for-profit organisations to help design their talent strategies, overcome talent mismatches and be competitive in the global marketplace.

The annual index assesses policies and practices that enable countries and cities to attract, develop and retain both ‘technical/vocational skills’ and the ‘global knowledge skills’ associated with innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership.

The GTCI 2018 edition found that the Top 10 countries have several key characteristics in common and share one major feature: they all have a well-developed educational system providing the social and collaboration skills needed for employability in today’s labor market. Other characteristics in common between the top-ranking countries include a flexible regulatory and business landscape; employment policies which combine flexibility and social protection; and external and internal openness.

GTCI 2018 - Top countries and cities ranking in talent competitiveness

The Netherlands ranks 9th

European countries continue to dominate the rankings, taking eight of the Top 10 spots:

  1. Switzerland
  2. Singapore
  3. United States
  4. Norway
  5. Sweden
  6. Finland
  7. Denmark
  8. United Kingdom
  9. Netherlands
  10. Luxembourg

Top 10 cities

In the cities portion of the index, eight out of the Top 10 ranking cities are located in Europe. As in the case of countries, over time, higher GDP levels naturally lead to higher technology penetration, creating ecosystems with better quality education, business, healthcare and infrastructure.

  1. Zurich, Switzerland
  2. Stockholm, Sweden
  3. Oslo, Norway
  4. Copenhagen, Denmark
  5. Helsinki, Finland
  6. Washington DC
  7. Dublin, Ireland
  8. San Francisco
  9. Paris
  10. Brussels, Belgium

The Dutch cities Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam ranked respectively 11th, 27th and 34th.

Diversity for Competitiveness

In addition to the talent competitiveness ranking, this year’s report investigated the theme of ‘Diversity for Competitiveness’. The report found that diversity is not an end in itself, but must always be accompanied by a culture of inclusion in order to flourish and have real impact.

“Focusing on diversity and inclusion is crucial to overcome the fractures and inequalities of our age,” said Adecco Group CEO Alain Dehaze. “This means nurturing a culture of inclusion, starting at home and school, fighting bias and developing social and collaborative skills, which are key to unleash the power of work and will make the future work for everyone.”


Source / GTIC, Staffingindustry.com

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Forbes names the Netherlands No. 3 Best Country for Business

Forbes about the Netherlands

As the sixth-largest economy in the European Union, Forbes reports: “[the Netherlands] plays an important role as a European transportation hub, with a persistently high trade surplus, stable industrial relations, and low unemployment.” Holland was also among the best countries for technology and innovation.

Inside the Ranking

Forbes determines the Best Countries for Business by rating 153 nations on 15 different factors. Those include property rights, innovation, taxes, technology, corruption, infrastructure, market size, political risk, quality of life, workforce, freedom (personal, trade and monetary), red tape and investor protection. Each category is equally weighted.

In addition to the general list, the Netherlands also ranked highly among best countries for personal freedom, technology, innovation, and property rights.

Forbes has rated the business friendliness of the world’s biggest economies annually for the past 12 years. Have a look at the full report at www.forbes.com.


Source / Invest in Holland

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The State of European Tech: 2017

The State of European Tech: 2017

Atomico and Slush provide an annual, in-depth analysis of the European tech ecosystem by addressing a number of topics, such as talent, community, capital flows, deep technology, and regulation. Working with several data partners and surveying thousands of people within Europe’s tech ecosystem enable us to develop insights about what is really going on in the ecosystem.


The highlights

Authored by Tom Wehmeier, Partner and Head of Research at Atomico, the report identifies numerous insights and trends. A few highlights:

  • Total capital of $19bn invested into European tech breaks records. Invested capital is estimated to be $19bn, and the average deal size has increased compared to the record-breaking last year. Since the beginning of 2015, Europe has seen more than $3bn invested per quarter and the long-term investment trend reflects the expansion of its tech ecosystem.
  • European deep tech keeps its momentum and attracts $3.5bn of investments in 2017. Last year, the report pointed out that deep tech is thriving and diversifying across the continent, and today we see that Europe has been able to maintain its momentum. Within deep tech, AI and blockchain are seen as the areas where Europe is best-positioned to gain world-leading status.
  • Every European city is becoming a tech city. There are already over 160 hubs in Europe, and the number has been steadily growing during the past few years. Europe is seeing the spread of tech communities: there are hundreds of tech-related events happening daily across Europe’s tech ecosystem.

Clearly, it has been a great year for European tech and the future looks encouraging. The Huge talent pool, ambitious founders, and increasingly sophisticated investors allow Europe to march to its own beat. Questions of whether Europe can produce world-class innovation and $100bn companies are answered: definitely yes.

The State of European Tech: 2017

The challenges

But that yes doesn’t come without a but. There are some barriers on the way still:

  • Regulation is considered as the biggest barrier to scaling European tech. The European market might lack common rules or there is uncertainty around future regulation of deep tech. Cooperation between corporations, startups, and regulators is much needed to transform the regulation from a hindrance into a competitive advantage.
  • Gender imbalance remains a notable challenge. Since only 9% of CxO positions at venture-backed European startups are held by women, attracting more female into tech is crucial. Although the road ain’t easy, Europe could take the leader’s position in diversifying the global tech scene.

Reading this year’s report will give you a comprehensive, up-to-date picture of the state of European technology – hopefully you’ll enjoy it! The full report can be found on a slick website, provided by Atomico. You can read and download it here: www.stateofeuropeantech.com.


Source / Slush / StartupDelta

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ECE's Scale-up Dashboard 2017

Scale-ups in the Netherlands

The Scale-up Dashboard 2017 shows that:

  • The number of scale-ups in The Netherlands has increased to 3237. This means that the number of scale-ups increased by 5.4% in the past year compared to the previous year.
  • The number of startups becoming scale-ups rises tremendously. Over the past two years, this has increased by no less than 220%. One in ten scale-ups in the Netherlands arise from a startup.
  • Top sectors count relatively many scale-ups. The top sectors Energy, High-tech and Life Sciences & Health are at the frontrunners.
  • An increasing number of companies in the Netherlands are hardly, if at all, growing. Almost a third of Dutch companies are even shrinking.

ECE's SCale-up Dashboard 2017, the statistics

More startups become scale-ups

Prof.dr. Justin Jansen: “The Scale-up Dashboard is the first list that truly takes into account and measures all companies in the Netherlands with more than 10 FTE. There are more lists about scale-ups available, but those give limited insights because companies have to register themselves or the lists are focused on specific sectors. Insight in which companies truly belong to the Top of scale-ups is missing and that is what we hope to achieve by creating and launching this Top 250 Scale-ups (Top 250 Groeibedrijven) – of over 3000 scale-ups – in the Netherlands.”

“Although more and more startups are making the step to scale-up, considerable efforts are still needed to keep countries like China, Israel and America up and running”, says Prince Constantijn van Oranje, special envoy of StartupDelta. Find out what he has to say more about the current position of startups and scale-ups in the Netherlands and the research findings (interview BNR in Dutch).

Interested? Have a look at the preview above or request the Scale-up Dashboard 2017 via www.ece.nl. A similar dashboard (in Dutch) is available for scale-ups in Zuid-Holland.


Source / ECE

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The Netherlands in Top 10 on IMD World Talent Ranking 2017

The Netherlands in Top 10

The prestigious annual IMD World Talent Ranking assesses the methods countries use to attract and retain the talent their businesses need to thrive.

Europe continues to dominate the 2017 list, with 11 out of the 15 most talent competitive economies based on the continent, after a strong performance in 2016. Switzerland, Denmark and Belgium remain the most competitive countries in the 2017 IMD World Talent Ranking. Austria, Finland, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden make up the Top 10.

IMD World Talent Ranking

The annual IMD World Talent Ranking report covered 63 countries and assessed the methods the countries adopted to attract and retain talent. The rankings are based on a country’s performance in three main categories: investment and development, appeal, and readiness. The Netherlands was ranked 3rd, 7th and 15th on these terms, respectively. The three categories assess how countries perform in a wide range of areas. These include education, apprenticeships, workplace training, language skills, cost of living, quality of life, remuneration and tax rates.

It is European countries’ outstanding education systems that set them apart from the rest of the pack. On average, each has a high level of investment in education accompanied by a superior-quality educational system, from primary to tertiary levels. This allows them to develop local talent and at the same time attract foreign, highly-skilled professionals, which many European businesses rely upon to perform.

The Netherlands in Top 10 on IMD World Talent Ranking 2017 (page 73)

The Dutch score

The Netherlands entered the Top 10 and is in 6th place in the IMD World Talent Ranking 2017.

The Netherlands ranked 3rd in the investment and development category, with a strong performance in health infrastructure (2nd) and its effective implementation of apprenticeships and the prioritization of employee training (both 6th).

The country ranks 7th in appeal, mostly because of the well-educated and skilled people (3rd), a  high quality of life (5th) and a high worker motivation (5th). The Netherlands is also ranked first for language skills.


Source / IMD

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Get in the Ring the Netherlands 2017

© Marco De Swart

Get in the Ring

Get in the Ring the Netherlands is organized by the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship (ECE) and supported by the City of Rotterdam and EY. The event took place for the fifth time in Rotterdam and is part of the Global Entrepreneurship Week, a week in which thousands of events take place worldwide that focus on entrepreneurship.

The startups are looking for customers and strategic partners for the growth of their company. ”There are a lot of opportunities for this during Get in the Ring Netherlands. The 70 multinationals and governmental organizations present are happy to be available as customers, suppliers or partners ” says Martin Luxemburg, director of the ECE. Based on requests from the startups, more than 600 speed dates with the participating organizations took place on Thursday. The effect of these conversations appears to be significant; 65 percent of the speed dates result in a follow-up conversation that in some cases even leads to a collaboration.

“It is still too early to say to which collaborations the conversations of this year will lead, but the City of Rotterdam is a nice example. Based on their participation with Get in the Ring last year the City of Rotterdam has started a project with a startup in solar panels that have been placed at test locations in the city” says Martin Luxemburg.

For the startups the speed dates were not the only activity; they were also challenged to qualify for the evening program to ascend the stage and to pitch their startup for a 700-strong audience (read: possible customers, partners or talent) in the ring. No competition without jury members, this year the Champion jury members were the founder of international software company WeTransfer; Bas Beerens, founder of scale-up YoungCapital; Rogier Thewessen, and entrepreneur Janneke Niessen.

Startups Kozie, LABFRESH en Convious winnen Get in the Ring Nederland

And the winners are…

The startups do not step in the ring alone, but will compete against an opponent in their own weightclass. Dementia technology startup Kozie took the win in the lightweight category against SeraNovo. Kozie develops multi-sensor technology that enhances the perception of people with dementia, so that demented people can recover memories from their childhood through a music pillow or music rug. The middleweight winner is LABFRESH after a strong pitch battle against Somnox. LABFRESH sells clothing of a special material that does not stain and smell. The heavyweight winner Convious offers a platform where people can buy tickets and determine the price themselves. Convious was in the ring against Felyx. The three winning startups receive a ticket to the Global Meetup of Get in the Ring. In addition, they receive 1 year access to the EY Finance Navigator. This Finance Navigator is the first corporate startup of EY and was launched yesterday during the event.

Get in the Ring The Netherlands is part of a worldwide network of the Get in the Ring Foundation, which annually organizes 150 events in 100 countries. The winning startups of all these events worldwide will meet in Cascais, Portugal, from 30 May to 1 June, during the Global Meetup of Get in the Ring. Entrepreneurs, investors and corporates can join the Global Meetup, which is entirely dedicated to establishing international connections.

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High-end technologieleverancier DEMCON landt in het Delftse ecosysteem

Growing in Delft

At the official opening, Managing Director Dennis Schipper spoke of a long-held wish: “We want to win the ‘war on talent’ and build a multi-disciplinary design team in Delft as well. The team should be 50 strong within four to five years.”

DEMCON’s arrival was welcomed by the Municipality of Delft, TU Delft (Delft University of Technology) and TNO (Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research). The company aims to use its new base to attract talent from West Netherlands and strengthen ties with knowledge institutes like TU Delft and TNO as well as (potential) clients in the region.

Branch close to TU Delft and TNO

This year, DEMCON has increased its staff by more than 100, bringing its total workforce to over 400, and has raised turnover by 40%. Schipper believes that the company’s success is embedded in its DNA, as indicated by a recent employee survey. “Our employees have a passion for difficult jobs and don’t accept half-solutions. They are entrepreneurial and able to deliver, and they act like a partner to the customer. They don’t disappear when things get tough,” said Schipper.

DEMCON already works with Delft-based clients such as TNO and Mapper Lithography. By having its own branch in the city, however, the company is now in a better position to put its resources to work and reach out to a wider audience within the region. Factor in the technological talent turned out by TU Delft and the universities of applied sciences, and it’s easy to see why DEMCON has such a keen interest in Delft. And that interest is mutual. “Delft has welcomed us with open arms, especially Delft Technology Partners,” explained Schipper.

Perfect match

Delft Technology Partners, an initiative of TU Delft and the Municipality of Delft, helps new knowledge-intensive businesses to settle and become established in the city. Deputy Mayor Ferrie Förster (economic affairs) outlined the perfect match between DEMCON and Delft at the official opening of the branch by saying, “There’s an abundance of talent at TU Delft and the universities of applied sciences: Inholland and The Haagse Hogeschool. We not only have top incubators in the form of YES!Delft and RoboValley, but there are also R&D institutes like the Dutch Optics Centre. We are delighted that DEMCON is going to contribute to the Delft ecosystem.”

Deputy Mayor Förster, Professor Karel Luyben, rector magnificus of TU Delft, and Rinke Zonneveld, director of regional development agency InnovationQuarter, presented Dennis Schipper with a plaque commemorating DEMCON’s arrival in Delft.

“It’s fantastic news that a renowned Dutch high-tech company like DEMCON has chosen our region for further expansion. The sectors with a strong presence in the province of Zuid-Holland, such as oil and gas, shipbuilding and aerospace, offer new and interesting markets for DEMCON,” said Zonneveld. “In addition, with the office in YES!Delft Labs, the company is assured of sufficient access to technical talent from various quarters, including TU Delft. We shall ensure that DEMCON also connects with relevant parties and networks, not least Holland Instrumentation, Medical Delta and RoboValley, to help realise its ambitions for growth.”

High-end technologieleverancier DEMCON landt in het Delftse ecosysteem

Mechatronic design challenges

DEMCON has grown from a mechatronic design agency into a high-end technology supplier of mechatronic products and systems and is an excellent match with TU Delft. Professor of Structural Optimization and Mechanics Frederik van Keulen brought some depth to the opening ceremony with a story about TU Delft’s mechatronic design research challenges. It became clear that combining complex design tasks with an eye for manufacturability fits well with the work of DEMCON, which, in the words of its MD Dennis Schipper, has developed into a leading design house with extensive production facilities. And the match can only get stronger now that the Department of Precision and Microsystems Engineering, which Professor Van Keulen’s team forms part of, is gaining a new chair in Micro-Optics and Optomechatronics Systems.

Optomechatronics with TNO

Optomechatronic systems is also the name of DEMCON’s newest business unit, headed by Gerard van den Eijkel. Focusing on the design, realisation and integration of high-quality optomechatronic modules and systems, the unit works closely with TNO and TU Delft in the Dutch Optics Centre as well as other places. Arnold Stokking is director of TNO Industry and, along with Van den Eijkel, is very enthusiastic about the collaboration, which has resulted in the founding of DUI (Dutch United Instruments). DUI’s first product will be Nanomefos, the advanced measuring instrument that TNO has developed for freeform optical surfaces.

“TNO believed 10 years ago that if you could make freeform optics, you should also be able to measure them,” explained Van den Eijkel. “We are currently developing our advanced measuring instrument with DUI and marketing it in China to start with.”

“I’m enormously proud of the knowledge we have built at TNO as well as the instruments we’ve made,” said Stokking. “For example, there is Tropomi, the climate research instrument that recently went into orbit on a satellite. But knowledge needs to flow and TNO wants to help SMEs. That’s why I’m so happy with DEMCON, an entrepreneurial company that has a hunger for knowledge and which is helping us realise the value of what we come up with. I’d like to invite other companies to seek collaboration with TNO and the entire Delft ecosystem in the same way DEMCON has.”

High-end technologieleverancier DEMCON landt in het Delftse ecosysteem


To illustrate DEMCON’s entrepreneurship, Pieter-Paul Lerou closed by sharing his adventures in cryogenic technology. Lerou, who is currently business developer at DEMCON kryoz, began Kryoz Technologies in 2008. His company developed microcoolers for use in medical, aerospace and semicon applications. In addition to being extremely compact, these microcoolers are completely vibration-free, which is an essential requirement for the operation of highly accurate instruments that need to be cooled. Last year, Kryoz became part of DEMCON to help boost the company’s strengths, market its technology more widely and contribute to multidisciplinary DEMCON projects.


DEMCON employs over 400 people and is a high-end technology supplier of mechatronic products and systems. It is focused on high-tech systems, medical systems, industrial systems and vision, optomechatronic systems and embedded systems. With its head office in Enschede, the company has branches in Son, Delft, Groningen, Oldenzaal and Münster (Germany).

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RoboValley and YES!Delft organise first European Robotics & Artificial Intelligence Accelerator

Robotics & AI Accelerator

The Robotics & AI Accelerator is a two month pressure cooker for business professionals, students, PhDs, engineers and scientists in the field of robotics and AI who want to test the commercial feasibility of their ideas. The programme helps participants to explore and validate their ideas, market potential and business model – and to launch in markets all over Europe. The programme will also introduce participants to the European Robotics and AI ecosystem, and help them develop a network of peers, experts and mentors.

RoboValley partners up with YES!Delft

Arthur de Crook, managing director RoboValley: “We are proud to host the first European Robotics & AI Accelerator Programme. Crucial in starting a successful venture in robotics is access to the right partners in industry, academia and government. RoboValley provides this access. We expect the industry to be interested in the results of the programme and we are already talking with some companies about sponsorships. In YES!Delft, one of the top incubators in Europe, we have found an experienced partner with a lot of startup expertise.”

EJ Lugt, managing director YES!Delft:  “AI and robotics are two key technologies that will have a massive impact on the world. With this programme we seek entrepreneurs who want to take their AI or robotics solution to the world. We’re looking for ambitious and passionate founders that want to create real change in the world. I’m very excited to offer new entrepreneurs this strong programme to take their company to the next level.”

The Robotics & AI Accelerator Programme takes place at RoboValley in Delft. For the first edition, RoboValley and YES!Delft aim at 10 teams from all over Europe. Information about the selection process will be made public soon.

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With two world-leading universities on technology and business only 15 minutes apart it is a no-brainer to combine this mutual power into one programme. The joint programme consists of the existing Get Started programme offered by ECE and the Validation Lab programme from YES!Delft that have been running successfully for several years.

So what is the main difference between startups from Delft and Rotterdam? “The main difference we see is at the starting point of the entrepreneurial venture. Most aspiring entrepreneurs from Delft start off with a technological solution and seek for the right problem and market. Entrepreneurs from Rotterdam are good at building businesses, but ideas are mostly born by a personal frustration” states Martin Luxemburg, director at ECE. The purpose of the program is to guide these nascent entrepreneurs in the process of finding the right product-market fit with experienced coaches and mentors guiding them through this journey.

“If you would have taken a look at Coolblue or Rituals 10 years ago, you wouldn’t necessarily call them innovative. But taking a look at them now, these companies are leading scale-ups in the Netherlands, both disrupting their markets through business model innovation.“ This unique collaboration between YES!Delft and ECE will provide advantages for the high-tech startups to start their venture in a business-minded environment and vice versa.

EJ Lugt, director at YES!Delft sees other opportunities as well: “A potential spin-off of the program could be that teams from Delft and Rotterdam join forces. Research from the Erasmus University Rotterdam shows that the chances of success are higher when teams consist of people with different backgrounds.” Good examples are Senz Umbrella and Magnet.me, both consisting of founders from TU Delft and Erasmus University Rotterdam. “One of the side-effects of the program could be the creation of more of these mixed teams, and thereby increasing the likelihood of success of these startups. The expectation is that by educating the entrepreneurs in this way and connecting them to each other, they are better able to take on (social) challenges successfully and so contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals; one of the focus points of both universities.”

Source / YES!Delft