Chapter 6: Eindhoven University of Technology’s InnovationLab: commercializing scientific research for scientific research itself
After receiving his degree in agricultural engineering from Wageningen University, Bart de Jong ended up doing IT work in the agricultural world. The technological expertise he acquired landed him a job a few years later with the Brabant Development Agency (BOM) in their Development & Innovation department. He worked there for 11 years and was charged with starter financing for the last six of those, during which he managed three funds for start up companies. In mid 1999, the BOM Starters Center was given office space on the campus of Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). Within two years, De Jong was offered the director’s position at Eutech Park, the university’s incubator. That opportunity appealed to him, especially since he felt he had more to offer entrepreneurial companies than just helping them find funding. ‘I thought the coaching aspect, helping people start their companies, was much more interesting’, he says.
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