‘Collaboration between corporates and startups is the key to enhancing Holland’s innovative capacity’

Henk Kamp, Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs, Neelie Kroes (StartupDelta) and the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship (ECE) of the Erasmus University Rotterdam will bring hundreds of startups and corporates together on the How To Get There Summit on 19 November 2015 in Rotterdam. During the largest innovation event of this year, the best entrepreneurial minds of the Netherlands come together: from startup founders to CEOs and from professors to the Dutch Minister. Combining the powers of these stakeholders on a national level will enhance the innovative capacity of the Netherlands.

The How To Get There Summit on 19 November aims to stimulate the collaboration between corporations, startups and innovation hubs in the Netherlands. Following the initiative of Minister Kamp, 500 experts on innovation and more than 50 researchers and professors are invited to share their knowledge and experience. Keynote speakers Ben Verwaayen (former CEO Alcatel-Lucent) and Kees de Jong (entrepreneur and investor) share their vision on innovation.

Special Envoy for startups Neelie Kroes has also invited 20 CEOs of Dutch corporations to come together and formulate a roadmap that outlines how they can work together with startups to innovate faster together. This round table session will be partly moderated by Justin Jansen professor of corporate entrepreneurship at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM). “In the Netherlands, we don’t only need to ensure a feeding ground for startups, but also focus on fast growing, young organisations. They tend to fall between the cracks”, Jansen says.

All innovation hubs from the Netherlands, like Twente, Eindhoven, Amsterdam, Delft, Rotterdam and Utrecht, join the Summit to define their contribution to this innovation process in terms of knowledge and expertise. Startups will of course be represented during the event too. On the same day and at the same location, the Dutch final of the international startup competition ‘Get in the Ring’ will take place. 250 startups from all over the Netherlands will make their way to the Rotterdam Science Tower to attend workshops, pitch in front of investors and network through speed dating. In the evening, 6 of the most promising startups get in the ring and battle for a spot in the regional finals of Get in the Ring in London where they get to represent the Netherlands.

Collaboration between startups and corporates: a match made in heaven
In recent years, more than 150 million euros has been invested in new innovation hubs in The Netherlands. These hubs work together with Universities to stimulate entrepreneurship and innovation, building on existing scientific knowledge. Successful examples of such hubs are Brainport Eindhoven, ‘Kennispark’ Twente and the Rotterdam Science Tower.

If we can make better use of existing knowledge and explore new collaborations, we will be able to innovate faster. This way we can retain our strong position as knowledge economy. "On the How To Get There Summit we will bring all parties on a national level together to give our innovation capacity an extra boost" says Hendrik Halbe, founder of ECE. The ability of startups to quickly test and develop new products and services and the corporation’s powers to deploy this on a global scale, is a unique and highly valuable combination. The Netherlands has a unique position in the world with its renowned scientific output and powerful corporations that are represented worldwide. The goal is to create new collaborations between startups and corporates who can then leverage on each other’s unique strengths.

Despite the mutual benefits, such collaborations have shown not to come naturally. Startups and corporates struggle to find and to understand each other. For corporates on the one hand, finding startups is a time-demanding quest. Startups on the other hand experience difficulties in accessing the corporate world. In addition to that, the two parties have deviating worldviews as well as different ways of working.

The How To Get There Summit aims to incite innovation by focusing on making better use of existing facilities in the Netherlands, sharing key experiences and connecting startups and corporates.

About the Summit
The How To Get There Summit is part of StartupDelta and is supported by its key partners: Port of Rotterdam, Venture Café Rotterdam, and the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Other associated companies include Nuon, Deloitte, ING, KPN and EY.

The driving force behind the How To Get There summit and the developer of the concept is the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship (ECE). ECE is part of the Erasmus University Rotterdam and is an initiative of Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) and the Erasmus School of Economics. The Rotterdam Science Tower is home to more than 50 fast-growing startups. The ECE provides training and programmes on topics such as startups, innovation and corporate entrepreneurship to more than 1,000 corporations a year.

More information

Tickets for the How To Get There summit are available on www.htgt.nl. To join as a partner or media representative, please contact Jurgen Nieuwenhuijsen (nieuwenhuijsen@ece.nl) on +31 (0) 6 536 60 123. 

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