Neelie Kroes visits Twente for the last time as the start-up ambassador for StartupDelta

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“Kennispark has moved past modesty and is making a real difference in the Netherlands when it comes to accelerating innovation,” said Neelie Kroes during her final visit to Twente in the role of start-up ambassador for StartupDelta.  She went on a road trip across the Kennispark in a golf cart and spoke with several successful start-ups from the region. The road trip ended near the Enschede Kennispark train station, where – besides students and local businesses – mayor Onno van Veldhuizen, Victor van der Chijs (Chairman of the University of Twente’s Executive Board) and Kees Eijkel (Director of Kennispark Twente) were also present.

Over the past few years, Neelie Kroes worked hard to profile the Netherlands as the best place in Europe for start-ups. StartupDelta will continue under the name StartupDelta2020, with Prince Constantijn at the head. Kennispark Twente is proud to continue working together for the next 4.5 years. “Start-ups contribute to the economy of the future. Through our cooperation with StartupDelta, people will become more aware of the importance of new businesses,” says Kees Eijkel, director of Kennispark Twente.

Road trip across the Kennispark
Neelie Kroes toured the Kennispark Twente in a golf cart. She visited places such as Demcon and several of the Kennispark’s many successful start-ups: Ipsum Energy, Athom, 4Silence, Clearflight Solutions and TriboForm Engineering. The start-ups presented their technological innovations and discussed the challenges of the future. “Our next step is to move from being a start-up to becoming a scale-up,” says Jan Harmen Wiebenga of Triboform Engineering. “The challenge lies in finding ways to cooperate with major corporations.”

Entrepreneurship in Studielink
In the Bastille, the Student Union presented the initial results of the number of entrepreneurial students in Twente to Neelie Kroes. These days, students registering for Studielink at the University of Twente and Saxion are asked if they plan to start their own business. This is done in order to gain more insight into the entrepreneurial spirit of Twente’s student population. The results indicate that more than half of the students who attend the University of Twente and Saxion consider starting their own business. “This shows that students in Twente have a strong entrepreneurial drive,” says Victor van der Chijs, Chairman of the University of Twente’s Executive Board. This is one of the results that show the truth behind the University’s title of “Most entrepreneurial university in the Netherlands.”

Jazz Lunch
The road trip ended with the annual Jazz Lunch, hosted by Kennispark Twente, during which Neelie Kroes walked onto the stage. “You have to dare to fail in order to take big leaps. There is a fascinating future still to come for Twente,” said Neelie Kroes. Prince Constantijn will take over the role of start-up ambassador for StartupDelta2020 from her.