Friday, 6 April 2018

Thoughts from Eindhoven - CVLF 1.4


The key theme that emerged in Eindhoven was that of TIME.

What a treat to go to the HighTech Campus in Eindhoven: an outstanding ecosystem brought together through the collaboration of the corporates, academia, government and visionaries. A hardware slant was a nice change too.

To get the visit off to a (very) warm start we were welcomed to traditional Dutch hospitality a De LeemerHoef with a roaring fire and some great food. One of my treats at these events is the opportunity to connect and hear from local delegates who can give a different perspective to our normal bubbles.

After dinner we were treated to a talk by Jolan Hulscher and Prof Georges Romme - introducing the Eindhoven ecosystems and the differences in mindset between Eindhoven, Cambridge and Munich. Importantly how areas without an innovative / entrepreneurial mindset will find it increasingly difficult to compete

Next day we had an early start on the HighTech Campus itself. To settle us into our seats overlooking the lake (skateable the previous week.) we were given a historical perspective on the area and how it grew up into the place that it was today. It is amazing to see the impact of history on today’s ecosystems.

Our first case study was from Benno (Philips). He shared how they manage their intrapreneurship and external accelerator programmes and how this fits in with their Corporate Investment funds. Echoing previous meetings, he highlighted the importance of strategic focus in the areas you wanted to encourage innovations. In addition, he highlighted the importance of having a timetable for events - having a drip feed of non-focussed ideas is no good.

A key takeaway was they look for more than one founder in any start-up they work with. This tallies with previous research work I have done, highlighting the importance of more than one (ideally in different age groups) in high growth companies, but it is the first time I have seen it implemented as a hard rule.

This was followed by the energetic Guus (Hightech XL), the on-site accelerator who spoke about how they work with local corporates to build accelerators and increasingly work with internal accelerators. Key messages included:

  • Time - it has taken 5 years to get to the success they now are, the first 2 years were fairly flat and it was touch and go, a lot of lessons were learned. 
  • Success rate is running at an impressive 75% of starting companies: being very careful about who you pick means you save money overall
  • They have a strategic plan - it’s called DOING THINGS!

Mark (Abbvie) then spoke about how he had managed a change in culture at Abbvie to make it a more innovative culture. The impact and change really kicked in after 3 years.

After all that excitement we were glad to stretch our legs and walk to NXP labs for lunch and the afternoon session.  We kicked-off by launching our joint member project based on Prof. Erkko’s previous suggestions to help members understand how to get more generativity.

Clara (NXP) then gave us a wonderful insight into the ever changing world of semiconductors, updating her definition of Moore's law to computational power. We also looked at cost and time of innovation in an expensive hardware environment. As well as the importance of Understanding Systems / Ecosystems.

A quick quiz on % R&D spend being purely disruptive was also enlightening!! How much do you do?

Another young talent led our final session, Lulu (NXP) demonstrating some of the latest developments including kissing chameleons, drones communications and automatic truck platooning - the importance of timing in this case was in milliseconds not years!….

NEXT STOP BARCELONA - 17th - 18th May 2018 - A few places left contact Adam for info

Image by Steven Lek (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons