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People from many different countries live, study and work in Eindhoven. Every week, E52 has a talk with an international about what brought them here and what life is like in Eindhoven. Read all the stories here.

Who: Betsy Lindsey
Country of origin: United States of America
Work: Managing Director Investor Relations HighTechXL

The team of E52 shares the workspace at the High Tech Campus with HighTechXL, the organisation Betsy Lindsey works for. We see each other regularly, around the coffee machine, but we didn’t take the time to get to know one another a bit better. Until now. When asked if she wanted to be part this series for E52, she immediately responded with an “of course!” So here we are, sitting in the kitchen of the HighTechXL headquarters. She starts off with an apology about her clothes: “Sorry, I’m usually dressed a little more casual, but I need to wear this for a formal meeting later today.”

Before Betsy settled in The Netherlands, she worked in venture capital for Silicon Valley Bank. “At this bank, I learned how investors think.” Later she went back to ‘traditional’ banking at Wells Fargo in the United States and eventually Hong Kong. “As It turned out, it was not the best choice in my career. I missed the energy of working with life-changing technologies. Eventually, I had enough of my job and the busy lifestyle in Hong Kong, the “stuck up” expats who lived there and how far it was from our home countries was challenging. In the end, it was not my kind of place.”

In 2011, Betsy and her family intentionally settled down in Eindhoven. “With American culture everywhere, we actively decided to move to the Netherlands, so our kids could also really be Dutch, too.  Five years on, the kids are really Dutch. Probably because they attend a local school, instead of the international school. I was so surprised when I found out there are so many types and methodologies of schools to choose from and all very close by. If you compare it to, for instance, one of my friends in the US: she has to drive an hour to get her children to school to get the level of education she wants for her daughter.”

Betsy travels a lot for work: “Eindhoven has a real international vibe, but unfortunately Eindhoven Airport has only European destinations. For most flights, I can only use Schiphol Airport. Düsseldorf is not an option because there is no direct train connection from Eindhoven to Düsseldorf. Hopefully, it will be possible in the future! I know I’m not the only one who wants this. Eindhoven is big enough for global ambitions but small enough to get things done.”

We get to talk about what she likes to do for fun in Eindhoven: “An event I really like is Glow, the light festival in November. And I get a lot of energy from the local design, cultural and tech community meet ups at Bliksem & Donderdag at Kazerne. That’s one place where the ideas of the city come to life. It takes more than a bunch of old buildings to become a city. Eindhoven has the will to move forward. Other places I like are places like Stadsbranderij, a hidden gem with delicious coffee and the Muziekgebouw, where they have high-grade performances of classical and contemporary music.”

Betsy ends our conversation with some positive words for the Dutch: “I admire you: you are adventurous and realise you have to engage with the world. You should be more proud, people from all over the world come here (to Eindhoven) with their ideas. They know the Dutch know what they are doing!”

Photography: Diewke van den Heuvel

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