“Talent, knowledge, cooperation, trust – these are the ingredients of the magic potion of Brainport Eindhoven.” This says Bert-Jan Woertman, commercial director of the campus of Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), and former marketing manager of the High Tech Campus. “It is not only about technology, but especially about people, cooperation, networks – the whole ecosystem. With confidence as the keyword.”
A day after Sinterklaas, in the Klokgebouw at Strijp-S. Nearly a thousand top investors, ceo’s, entrepreneurs and opinion leaders receive a series of surprising presentations. One-by-one start-ups, corporate teams and launchpad teams pitch their promising products and concepts. The day is organized by the HighTech XL acceleration program. This organization helps promising makers of hardware products in all facets and aspects of this difficult process from idea to market – from the start to scaling up, from building a prototype to drawing up a business plan and acquiring financing.
Bert-Jan Woertman, who studied public administration and psychology, was one of the driving forces behind the start-up weekends and the HighTechX accelerator in his position as marketing manager of the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven. “Innovation is not a department but a mindset,” says Woertman. “Innovation is only for one quarter determined by technology and for three quarters by people, according to thorough research. That is the real strength of the Eindhoven region – the cooperation, the networks, the ecosystem. And not to forget the trust in each other – that you are together with the right parties, that you will do the job together.”
Lubricating oil for the innovation engine
As commercial director of the TU/e campus, Woertman tries to increase the attractiveness of the university for parties from outside. He speaks about branding, business and business. “It starts with the continuous influx of young people, of bright talents with new ideas. Together with the knowledge and experience already present, they form the fuel for the permanently operating engine of innovation. “That engine can be run faster by putting more and better fuel into it, says Woertman. And by strengthening the networks and making the cooperation even better. “Because that is the lubricating oil of the innovation engine, the way in which you bring those good ideas to the market together. Today no one can do that alone anymore.”