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InnovationQuarter’s Chris van Voorden overhandigt namens de stad Leiden, NFIA en InnovationQuarter een speciale welkomstplaquette aan Henk Deist, CEO van Atterbury Europe.

Atterbury Europe’s CEO Henk Deist and Chris van Voorden, Director Foreign Investments at InnovationQuarter © Daniel Verkijk

Expanding to Europe

Over 23 years, Atterbury has successfully developed real estate across South Africa and on the African continent. Since 2014 they have expanded their activities into Europe, starting out in Austria and now concentrating operations in Leiden from where the development of prime commercial, retail and residential property in Europe is being effectively managed.

The distinctive ‘Leiden Central Offices’ building is strategically located at the intersection of the historic centre with all its inner-city facilities and Leiden’s central train station. With only a 15-minute train ride, Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is in close proximity, making traveling throughout Europe easy and fast.

Atterbury Europe’s CEO Henk Deist: “As our business grew into a meaningful size, we decided that from an economical and practical perspective our activities should be centrally headquartered in Europe. The Netherlands was chosen, not only for its competitive fiscal regime, but also for its access to top professional advisors and the fact that the Dutch use English as their main business language. We are five employees in the office, that is when we’re not travelling – four South Africans and a Romanian, on the lookout for the first local to join – we have enough space for growth!”

Henk Deist, CEO van Atterbury Europe, en zijn Atterbury-team in Leiden

Henk Deist, CEO Atterbury Europe, and his Atterbury-team in Leiden © Daniel Verkijk

Based in Leiden

Deputy Major Robert Strijk of the City of Leiden: “We’re very pleased that Atterbury Europe is well aware of the attractive Dutch business climate and concluded that Leiden offers great opportunities. The city is an ideal, solid and hopefully prosperous basis from which they can expand their operations in Europe and I have no doubt the Leiden office will soon feel like ‘Die Klubhuis’ for their employees!”

On behalf of the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) and the City of Leiden, InnovationQuarter’s Director of Foreign Investments Chris van Voorden welcomed Atterbury Europe in Leiden.

Nieuw Europees hoofdkantoor voor Zuid-Afrikaanse vastgoedontwikkelaar Atterbury

Hilde de Boer (City of Leiden), Chris van Voorden (InnovationQuarter), Henk Deist (Atterbury Europe), Annemieke Busch (NFIA) and Arnoud Nierop (City of Leiden) © Daniel Verkijk

Van Voorden says: “The arrival of this highly rewarded South African property developer with an impressive track-record and portfolio, underlines our continuously improving business climate. We have noticed a growing interest from South African companies setting-up business in West Holland. Besides linguistic and cultural similarities, maybe also our direct approach in conducting business is a unique characteristic our countries share. With our partners, we are pleased to help Henk Deist and his team establish useful contacts and support them in their European growth ambitions.”

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Doing business in the Netherlands

Expat family: the Netherlands is the new hotspot

The business bank HSBC interviewed nearly 30,000 expats about their experiences with and wishes for working abroad. This shows that working in the Netherlands is pleasant, because there is a lot of attention for the family here.

More than three-quarters (76%) of expat parents in the Netherlands say the health and wellbeing of children is better than it was at home. expat parents also praise the quality of education and childcare, with 72% and 65% respectively saying it is better than at home.

Last year’s winner, Swedem, ranks as the secong best country to raise a family. Nearly three-quarters (72%) of expat parantes rate the quality of childcare better than at home and 71% said the process of arranging a scholl for their children was straightforward.

The Netherlands in Top 5 of most loved countries for expats

Family, money and society make happy

Furthermore, the HSBC Expat Explorer 2017 list looks at economic opportunities and whether life is also a little fun. Daily expat life within the walls of a compound is not really conducive to happiness. Being part of society and getting acquainted with locals is just as important.

The Netherlands scores high on these three criteria and is this years fifth country in HSBC’s survey, rising nine places in one year. Just behind Germany, but overtaking Canada, Australia and even Switzerland.

The Netherlands in Top 5 of most loved countries for expats

Low salaries, good career opportunities

In economic terms, the Netherlands is not doing all that bad. Starting a business is easy and is encouraged by the government. And the career opportunities in the Netherlands are good.

However point of attention are the salaries of expats. These are lower than in Thailand or Turkey, for example. Switzerland is the country for the big(ger) money, with an average salary for expats at $ 193,000.


Due to our strict bonus policy in the financial sector, the salaries are lower here. It is a common argument why big London banks consider leaving Amsterdam  after a Brexit.

And in regards to Brexit, the United Kingdom made a free fall on HSBC’s list placed at 22 last last year. The uncertainty for expats doesn’t do well for United Kingdom’s score, positioned in 2017 at 35.


Source / RTLZ / Dubai Chronicle

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Special Envoy Constantijn van Oranje said today, “I am thankful for the trust that was bestowed upon myself and StartupDelta and I look forward to continuing our work. Innovation and entrepreneurship are absolutely crucial for the Dutch competitive edge. I am confident that we have all the right conditions at present to turn the Netherlands into the most innovative start-up nation in Europe.”

Rinke Zonneveld, Director at InovationQuarter: “On behalf of the West Holland startup hubs, InnovationQuarter is a partner of StartupDelta. We look forward to working with Prince Constantijn and his team to strengthen the startup ecosystem in the region in the coming years, in the Netherlands and internationally.”

StartupFest Europe 2017: Global challenges, Start-up Solutions

Constantijn van Oranje is also spearheading StartupFest Europe. From 25-58 September, across various locations in the Netherlands, StartupFest Europe will take place. The ultimate goal is to connect entrepreneurs, investors and businesses, and bring new innovations to the market.

The central event: CapitalFest takes place on the 27th of September at de Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam. One on one matchmaking sessions will be set up between startups and over 140 international investors. Also on the agenda, acclaimed speakers such as Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Boyan Slat (The Ocean Cleanup), Werner Vogels (Amazon), Deep Nishar (MD SoftBank Group), Kees Koolen (EQT) and Slava Rubin (Indiegogo).

Other themes include:

Source / StartupDelta

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Australian space startup Fleet expands into Europe with Dutch office opening

In addition to giving the business a greater global stronghold, a European presence will enable Fleet to be closer to its European customers and several influential space institutions; such as The NSO (Netherlands Space Office), the TU Delft RoboValley initiative, the InnovationQuarter, and The European Space Agency (ESA).

Fleet will also use the new Dutch premises to expand its network of collaborative business partners and customers, ultimately enabling further use and product development for its low earth orbit technology.

The next step for Fleet

Labelled as “an important next step” by Fleet’s CEO and co-founder Flavia Tata Nardini, she also said, “We already have pilot projects in place in Europe, and are committed to helping businesses across the world, including those in Europe, capitalise on the new space era of today.

“While headquartered in Australia, Fleet is a truly global organisation, and we feel that for our business to have the greatest impact, an office in Delft, in addition to Adelaide and Los Angeles, is required. This move will ensure our technology and team can touch all corners of the globe.”

Once launched, the shoebox-sized-satellites will enable businesses and communities from across the globe to increase efficiencies and use of data, opening the door to a new industrial revolution. Unlike most other current satellite systems, Fleet is focused on connecting devices, not people and telecommunications.

Australian space startup Fleet expands into Europe with Dutch office opening

Fleet’s European headquarters will be led by experienced space business developer and technical startup specialist, Berry Sanders.

“Fleet is one of the most exciting, fast paced, and big thinking space startups to launch in the last few years. They’re capitalising on a new era in space technology — one that will fuel the world’s biggest economic drivers tomorrow,” said Sanders.

“There is so much potential in a business and industry like this, and their rapid global expansion is a true demonstration of where the opportunity lies. I look forward to helping Fleet grow and cement its feet firmly on the international space stage,” he added.

Why Delft?

Discussing why Delft was selected as the home of Fleet’s European operations, Tata Nardini said, “Delft has a rich history of space entrepreneurship with the TU Delft RoboValley initiative, InnovationQuarter, and the YES!Delft incubator all pushing innovative space projects forward. We want to be a part of this forward-thinking community and are looking to getting involved in the incredible work being done there.”

Fleet was founded in Adelaide, Australia in 2015 and was initially backed by matched seed funding from the South Australian Government.

In April this year, Fleet announced Series A funding from Australian VC firm Blackbird; Mike Cannon-Brookes, co-founder of NASDAQ-listed Atlassian; Earth Space Robotics; and Horizon Partners in Silicon Valley.

Tata Nardini is a former European Space Agency engineer, and will be sharing her vision for Fleet and the role that nanosatellites will have on creating a more sustainable, efficient world at an official launch event at their new headquarters on July 10th.

Tata Nardini will remain at Fleet’s headquarters in Australia.

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InnovationQuarter participated in the ‘Holland Pavilion’ during the Paris Air Show.

Holland Pavilion at Paris Air Show

Organizer of the Dutch stand was the Netherlands Aerospace Group (NAG), a trade association that supports the Dutch Aerospace and Airport Development sector. Suppliers to the aerospace sector, like Airborne Composites from The Hague, were present in the pavilion as well as some dominant aerospace regions in The Netherlands. These regions focus predominantly on Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) of aircraft, whereas the West Holland region has a strong emphasis on Research & Development, Design & Engineering and Manufacturing.

InnovationQuarter participated in the ‘Holland Pavilion’ during the Paris Air Show.

Dutch aerospace sector

Therefore, the West Holland region offers added value to the Dutch aerospace sector and is now part of the five most dominant aerospace regions in The Netherlands. More information is available in the brochure that was developed for the Paris Air Show, in which the 5 regions present their own distinctive strengths. If you would like to know more about the Aerospace sector in West Holland please have a look at this infographic with our 10 reasons to invest in this region.

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Een zachte landing voor VSParticle in de California Bay Area

A ‘deep dive’ into the network

VSParticle, a spin-off of TU Delft, is currently in the San Francisco Bay Area on a visit to CITRIS, an institute affiliated with the University of California. CITRIS is headquartered on the UC Berkeley campus and has bases in other locations.

The Soft Landing Program has put VSParticle in touch with top scientists in the field of Life Sciences & Health, Sensors and Microelectronics. A demonstration of VSParticle’s ground-breaking innovation at the world-renowned Marvell Nanolab is an important part of the Program.

In addition to forging valuable links in the University of California ecosystem, VSParticle is also using the Soft Landing Program to establish and follow up useful contacts that can help the company move forward in entering the US market.

Vincent Laban, CFO of VSParticle: “The Soft Landing Program has brought us in contact with the best researchers in nanotechnology and is helping us discover what issues they face and how our technology can make a difference. It will help us sharpen our business case and entry strategy for this market.”

Soft Landing Program with Digital Health Bootcamp 2018

Through the Soft Landing Program, InnovationQuarter and its partners provide a platform to companies that are serious about expanding in the US and want to test the ‘market fit’ of their product. The Program is low threshold, offers a lot of customization and gives companies the opportunity to follow up favorable contacts as well as develop and test a market-entry strategy.

The current program round has now ended. We will kick off the next round in November this year, and this will run until March 2018. This year’s edition will be preceded by a Digital Health Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, which is aimed at companies wishing to develop and fine-tune their US strategy. The Bootcamp is a potential springboard for the Soft Landing Program, but it will also be expressly open to entrepreneurs that are still exploring market opportunities in the US.

A soft landing for VSParticle in the California Bay Area

About VSParticle

VSParticle helps researchers and industrial parties create new materials from nanoparticles, with applications in Life Sciences & Health, Catalysts and Microelectronics. The TU Delft spin-off develops nanoparticle generators and sample preparation systems designed to make particles ranging in size from single atoms to 20 nm in diameter. VSParticle systems make it possible to perform rapid iterations in material research and reduce costs and waste streams in industrial applications. VSParticle is part of the YES!Delft incubation program in Delft.

Would you like to know more?

More information about the current Soft Landing Program can be found on: siliconvalley.hub2hub.biz.

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Brexit seminar

During this seminar, several experts shared their views on important aspects of Brexit. Jeroen Nijland (NFIA) and Jurriaan Kalf (Rabobank) elaborated about its impact on the economy and more specifically foreign direct investment.

Wilco Heiwegen (evofenedex) spoke about the possible impact for importing and exporting companies and how the Brexit will affect international trade and Liam McCloy (FleishmanHillard Fishburn) gave his expert view on the UK politics and the different perspectives on both sides of the pond. Last but not least, Rem Korteweg (Clingendael) gave a remarkable overview of the complexity of the upcoming negotiations and the pitfalls that might be ahead.

Brexit - how does it affect your business - Liam McCloy - CIC Rotterdam 760x680

Liam McCloy, FleishmanHillard Fishburn (part of Omnicom PR Group) at CIC Rotterdam


  • 15:00 – 15:15 hrs Reception at 7th floor
  • 15:15 – 15:20 hrs Welcome by Chris van Voorden (InnovationQuarter) and René Hanssen (Rotterdam Partners)
  • 15:20 – 15:30 hrs Opening by Jeroen Nijland (Commissioner of the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency – NFIA) ‘Brexit and its relation to FDI in The Netherlands’
  • 15:30 – 15:50 hrs Presentation by Jurriaan Kalf (Country Risk Analysist, Rabobank)
    ‘Investing in Europe after Brexit’
  • 15:50 – 16:10 hrs Presentation by Wilco Heiwegen (Trade Advisor – evofenedex)
    ‘Brexit: impact on trade and logistics’
  • 16:10 – 16:30 hrs Presentation by Liam McCloy (Public Affairs Expert – FleishmanHillard Fishburn) ‘Politics of Brexit and how organisations deal with its impact’
  • 16:30 – 16:50 hrs Presentation by Rem Korteweg (Senior Research Fellow at Clingendael)
    ‘The pittfalls in the Brexit talks’
  • 16:50 – 17:15 hrs Panel Discussion (+ Q&A)
  • 17:15 hrs Networking opportunity at Venture Café Rotterdam’s weekly gathering

Need assistance?

We hereby would like to thank all the speakers and attendees for an interesting afternoon, and CIC Rotterdam for the great venue and networking opportuniy at Venture Café Rotterdam. If you missed the event, but would like to learn more, feel free to reach out!