Last year, the Brabant Development Company (BOM) financially supported 188 companies in their ambition to grow in Brabant, including 39 foreign companies in their establishment or expansion in Brabant. This is stated in the BOM’s annual report for 2017, which was published this week. All these foreign companies and projects together generated €138 million in investments to finance these future growth ambitions. In addition, BOM itself has invested €21 million in 33 companies, the remainder being contributed by co-financiers or foreign companies themselves.
Another milestone for BOM was the kick-off of the extensive ‘Factory of the Future’ innovation programme at the Brainport Industries Campus in Eindhoven.
“From a social point of view, this has led to the creation of 1,138 full-time jobs for Brabant”, BOM adds in a statement, “a CO2 reduction of 53 kilotonnes and a contribution to the sustainability of the agricultural sector, the development of medicines and medical technology to improve the treatment of (life-threatening) diseases and to solutions in the area of feed and food processing that can reduce the food problem and crime prevention.”
In the coming years, BOM will focus its services on four customer segments: promising innovative SMEs in Brabant with growth ambitions, companies in Brabant that want to gain access to foreign markets, foreign companies that strengthen the Brabant ecosystem and sustainable energy projects. In order to support these segments more effectively in their growth and development, BOM intends to develop new services together with partners.
“A good example is the product investor readiness programme that started in 2017”, the BOM writes. “Market research among over 500 young companies showed that almost all of these companies are looking for finance, but that only 3% meet the conditions of venture capitalists. At the same time, 30 to 40% have the potential to meet these conditions. With the results of this research, an intensive curriculum has been set up that will prepare young companies for a first round of funding in ten weeks’ time. The pilot started at the end of 2017 and the first 5 companies have now completed the programme.” Since October last year, BOM has also made additional efforts to make sustainable energy projects more rapidly ready for investment. “This will enable BOM to make an active contribution to accelerating the energy transition in Brabant.”
The year closed with a positive financial result for BOM of € 2 million compared to a negative result of € 1.3 million in the previous year. In 2017, companies’ investment portfolios experienced organic value growth of 12% and, due to a number of positive exits, total available fund assets grew by 2%.