HightechXL Plaza – located at the High Tech Campus, has announced the launch of a permanent on-site Venture Capital Desk, starting January 1st 2016. It will have an open door policy, designed to help startups and scaleups at any stage of their development. The Brabant Development Agency (BOM) has stepped forward to organise it. The desk will be manned by a variety of risk capital providers – it is not limited to just one company.
This VC Desk has been created as a joint cooperation venture of the Brabant Development Agency (BOM), High Tech Campus Eindhoven, Holland Innovative and Rabobank Eindhoven-Veldhoven.
The province of Noord-Brabant – and the Eindhoven region in particular – has many innovative high-tech start-ups. Many entrepreneurs have a need for growth capital. Yet, in practice, many young startups spend a lot of time and effort trying to find sufficient seed funding. In most cases, the starters often lack the network and expertise to find capital from banks, angel investors and venture capitalists.
The goal is that over the next four years, over 100 startups will be accelerated to grow
“The Brabant Development Agency has identified the need for a dedicated Venture Capital Desk”, says Miriam Dragstra, Director of BOM Capital. “The VC Desk is a central meeting place, close to the entrepreneurs themselves, where they can go for support and advice in the field of finance. The VC Desk is staffed by specialists who understand the many financing options available for fast growth (hardware) startups. Moreover, they can offer access to a wide (inter)national network to ambitious startups. Our shared goal is that over the next four years, over 100 startups will be accelerated to grow and make a significant impact on the global stage. ”
Given its reputation for having a high density of innovative startups, High Tech Campus Eindhoven was the obvious location for this regional initiative. Large companies benefit from the disruptive innovation displayed by young companies. Conversely, startups and scale-up benefit from access to test facilities and the international networks of large enterprises. Together they form a vibrant ecosystem. HTCE Campus director Frans Schmetz supports and encourages the establishment of a permanently manned VC Desk. “Promising, innovative start-ups often do not speak the same language of the potential investor. That distracts them from their primary goal: to fit product-market fit and scale as soon as possible. It’s important that we add capital injections into these young companies at exactly the point they need it. In this way, we remain the benchmark for innovation for the rest of the country.”
Director Hans Meeske, Holland Innovative, stresses that the establishment of the Venture Capital Desk is part of a broader strategy on campus. “As specialists in the field of open innovation, we see a bright future for HighTechXL Plaza. It will grow into a leading innovation center for cross-fertilization and development of startups and breakthrough innovations. The establishment of a permanent VC Desk adds an important piece of the puzzle. Informal networks work so much faster is making sure that companies get access to the funds they need – and can concentrate on upscaling their technology.
Director Jos Rooijakkers of Rabobank Eindhoven-Veldhoven is pleased with the establishment of a separate desk for innovative start-ups. “The Eindhoven region is bursting with promising startups in need of growth capital. The bank will act increasingly take on the role of bringing supply and demand together, in cooperation with parties such as the BOM and other capital providers.”