Recently, the Financial Times published its annual study on European Cities and Regions of the Future for 2014/2015.
In this study, Eindhoven, located in the Netherlands, was ranked in the third position as European city of the future after London and Helsinki.
The city of Eindhoven is a new entry to this specific list, thanks in part to the incubation facilities existing in the local technology campus. Below are nine reasons that make Eindhoven a dream place for tech startups. Tech refers to sectors like semiconductors, nanotechnology, advanced materials, health tech, Internet of things, etc.
This resource is considered to be the smartest square kilometer in the Netherlands, maybe in the whole world. With more than 125 companies and 10,000 researchers, developers, and entrepreneurs, everyone in the High Tech campus is working on developing future technologies and products. Everybody can have access to highly specialized facilities (like clean rooms) and network in the variety of the events that take place there.
Startupbootcamp, the biggest network of startup high-tech startup accelerators in Europe, has its Startupbootcamp HighTechXL branch located on the High Tech Campus. It is supported by the HighTechXL|Fund, announced a few days ago, which has a target size of €100 million and by HighTechXL|Plaza, which will provide early-stage companies affordable offices, labs, and services in the High Tech Campus. (Disclosure: I work in Dutch Expansion Capital and Startupbootcamp HighTechXL.)
2. It’s the most inventive city in the world
Eindhoven was recently named by Forbes as “by far the most inventive city in the world.”
This specific study was based on patent density; one of the most commonly used metrics for mapping the geography of innovation. According to OECD, Eindhoven produced 22.6 patents per 10,000 residents, surpassing by far San Diego, which took the second place with 8.9 patents per 10,000 residents.
3. The number of big hardware manufacturers
Eindhoven is the home of Philips, NXP, ASML, and Oce, amongst others.
It is named also the “city of Philips,” and when you enter the city you can easily recognize it. The Philips logo is everywhere. Old factories, big buildings, even the city stadium is called “Philips Stadion.”
But Philips is not the only OEM in the city. ASML, the largest supplier in the world of photolithography systems for the semiconductor industry has its headquarters near Eindhoven. And of course NXP, one of the worldwide top-20 semiconductor sales leaders, is also there.
4. It’s a talent pool
With the previously mentioned companies in the same neighborhood, Eindhoven is full of other Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers of these companies — and of course full of highly skilled engineers from all over the world, willing to join any innovative entrepreneurial initiative.
5. The Netherlands is the most entrepreneurial country
In 2012, the Netherlands ranked as the most entrepreneurial country in the EU according to the global Entrepreneurship Monitor survey. Around 7.2 percent of Dutch between 18-64 years old own or are planning to start a new company. The same number 10 years ago was only 4.9 percent.
When compared to UK, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Germany, France, and Belgium, the Netherlands has the highest media attention for entrepreneurship, the lowest fear of failure, the most perceived opportunities, and also the highest score regarding the perception of entrepreneurship as a good career choice.
Eindhoven is in the center of Europe. One can take the plane and be in an important meeting in London within an hour; take the train to Brussels, Paris, or Germany; or take the car to drive in any city in Europe.
7. Everybody speaks perfect English.
8. The Technical University of Eindhoven
And speaking of talent pools, the Technical University of Eindhoven is in the city center and is considered to be one of the best technical universities in Europe.
8+1. Stormy weather
Of course, as we are not living in a perfect world, not everything in Eindhoven could be perfect. Every person moving to Eindhoven to start or grow their business should be aware on the local weather. Rainy, cold, and windy as it may be, the weather will make sure you stay indoors working on your company.
Nikos Kalliagkopoulos works as a financial analyst at Dutch Expansion Capital, a Dutch based Venture Capital company investing in high tech life changing companies and as an investment manager at Startupbootcamp HighTechXL a business accelerator focusing on high tech startups. Nikos blogs at http://nikos.vc and tweets at @kalliagk.