“In five minutes there’s an exclusion for all the parents here! And we’re going to strictly enforce that.” Alderman Staf Depla acts as a bad cop in his perfectly cheerful opening of the CodeFest. But he does have a point. So many parents have positioned themselves between the tables where all their children are working on, that it’s become way too crowded.

IMG_1035Moreover, there’s a lot of work to be done by the ‘techies”, like their Scratch and Lego Robot Workshops. Until recently, there was very little to be done for young programmers in Eindhoven. But Dynamo Jeugdwerk, Ziggo, MADlab and the city library recently have been building on new initiatives. “With open, accessible and independent workshops in their own neighborhood, the youth really discovered the possibilities of technology, and they are prepared for the jobs and all new start-ups of the future,” Fleur Besters, one of the initiators, explains.

IMG_1028There’s a big need for such open workshops, it appears. All the more reason for Ziggo Netherlands, library Eindhoven, and Dynamo Jeugdwerk to join forces in the Philips stadium during the High Tech Capital event. They have set up a special Startup Fest for youth. Library Eindhoven accompanies a workshop Scratch, Dynamo operates the Lego Robot Workshop. About twenty coaches of all organizers accompany the children. Besters: “In this way the young techies become part of the innovative ecosystem and they show the city that talent is not restricted by age.”

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    Author profile picture Bart Brouwers is co-founder and co-owner of Media52 BV, the publisher of innovationorigins.com.