Eindhoven Challenges aims to make Eindhoven the most vital region in Brabant. After that, it should the most vital region in the country, and finally, in the world. It’s an idea sprung from IAK Insurance, for which it collaborated with regional partners such as Eindhoven 365, de city of Eindhoven and ASML.
Jacqueline Coppelmans is the creative mind behind the idea. An entrepeneur from Waalre and now Teammanager Private Insurance at IAK in Eindhoven. “The Challenges are like a start-up for us”, she says. “It all started with an idea and now its starting to take a more serious form.”
For a first pilot-edition of the Challenges , 80 participants were gathered, hailing from industries, government and universities, to brainstorm about concepts that would contribute to creating a more ‘vital’ region out of Eindhoven.
That group sat down late October, and grouped in teams of seven or eight participants, for each team a coach was assigned. The jury, existing out of entrepeneurs as well as policy makers from the government and students, selected one idea that would be further explored as a start-up: VitaCoins.
In short, VitaCoins (project name) develops an app which offers vitality-challenges to its users. Whenever a challenge is completed, points are awarded which the user then can use to spend on vitality-activities like swimming or ice-skating. Per example: If the user would go to the gym one afternoon, he or she will receive points that can be spent on different activities throughout the city.
After winning Eindhoven Challenges, VitaCoins will be guided in the process of becoming a start-up. Just how that process will take form or be guided is not known yet. “This illustrates the start-up nature of the contest. It has all developed in such a fast pace”, Coppelmans says.
Coppelmans explains: “I had an idea to do a challenge, made it known inside our company and pretty quickly, I was talking to Eindhoven 365 about it. Soon after, applictions to take part in the contest came in from our joint networks.” In those networks, large companies in Brainport such as ASML, NXP and Philips can be found, as well as business parks like High Tech Campus and a large group of SMEs (Small or Medium Enterprises).
“Before I knew it, the application field was full”, Coppelmans says. A follow-up of the Challenges is already in the making. Again, IAK will get helpt from regional partners that already contributed to the Challenges pilot. “The Challenges are designed for and made by people from Brabant”, Coppelmans says.
“In the next edition, or editions perhaps, we will think and work on a larger scale. So that Eindhoven will not just be the number vitality-region in Brabant, but in the country and in the world.” Just how that follow-up will take shap, will become clear in the next couple of weeks.