“If you’re not working to improve the lives of others with your business, you’re wasting your time.” Guus Frericks cannot be any clearer about his goals at the Impact Finals, the official start of a new round High tech XL. The twelve candidates who are pitching today for a place in the new edition, know what to do.
Frericks has led the startup accelerator at the High Tech Campus from the very beginning. He has no reason to complain about all the available plans and ideas. No wonder, after having viewed no less than 1500 initiatives by him and his team in recent months. Yet more than anything else today, Frericks is stressing that being a success is more than having a good idea. Hence his message that only the most promising earn a place in High Tech XL. “We all know that on average only 10% of the startups will reach its goals. And even half of them will loose traction somewhere along the road. Only those who manage to overcome all adversities and continue where others give up, will succeed.”
Frericks has quite a few warnings for the participants. “Being a startup seems like a lot of fun, if you look at all the success stories. But in fact it is no fun at all being the CEO of a startup. Nights of lying awake worrying about your supply chain, about the salaries to be paid, or the lack of investors. Blood, sweat and tears. Literally.”
But the goal – “impacting the lives of millions” – is too important to leave it at that. Yes, it’s hard work and yes, the chances of success are anything but guaranteed, but hey, this is not the high tech capital of the world for nothing. And, Frericks repeatedly emphasizes, this means that if you there is any location where you can succeed as a high tech startup, it is here in Eindhoven. “We are equally good or even better than Silicon Valley. Only we are often too modest. We don’t brag about this. That should end. We live in a global economy, so the world will have to know what we are doing.”
And to the participants just before the first climbs the stage: “Today we celebrate innovation and entrepreneurship. The only fact that you are here, means you are winners already. You guys are the true heroes.”
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