Thursday, August 15, 2013

HightechXL Ramps up to the Next Phase

Summer holidays are over. 

The labs, cafes and testing facilities are buzzing again on the Hightech Campus Eindhoven. Our global search for brilliant teams now enters a new phase. We've launched the first in a new series of insider videos, giving you a taste of what's to come.


Startupbootcamp HightechXL is ramping up to be the world's leading accelerator for young high-tech companies. 10 teams will soon be selected for the program starting here in the heart of what's happening on November 11th. If your team fits one of the high-tech profiles we're looking for, - and if you're ready to advance your global business strategy, we really should be talking.

Bart Lugard - driving our global search for teams

Bart Lugard is heading our global search for teams. He reports a very high interest in our different approach to startup acceleration. 

"Competition to get into the program in November is intense. On-line discussions are already taking place this month with teams who have already applied. But there is still a window of opportunity in the open pitch days we're arrange for August 29th and September 3rd 2013. We know that high potentials always surprise us. We love to be challenged by brilliance. And we believe we have useful guidance to give back. All the details are at Spread the word!

8 Profiles on our radar

"Of course, in high-tech, we’re looking for strong teams that have more than just an idea. The winning teams will start the program on November 11th with a proof of concept or technology proof of principle. Ideally, they should have a demonstrator or a working prototype. In general, paper plans are not usually enough."

"In the various conversations we have had with early startup companies, it's clear that there are big differences between the world of app development and those that involve hardware in their solution. As you're out there searching for the "sustainable business model", as Steve Blank would say, it's much easier to tweak a line of code rather than rebuild a piece of hardware. Which is why the HightechXL program has been fine tuned to the very specific needs of high-tech companies."

"We have had questions from companies who are specialising in software only. But in each case this software is somehow connected to a piece of dedicated hardware. Like a vehicle, or a specialised sensor, or a robot."

Together we'll build a world class business strategy

Bart shares some of the feedback that's been coming in during the first part of August. "We should stress that during the three months (Nov-Feb) we will not focus on developing your technology any further. Instead, we will use the time to fine tune the business model, validate the customer base, engage with lead customers, sign up pilot projects as well as prepare a world-class investor pitch for Demo Day in February. Others have described our program as building a real-world business strategy.

So why are we encouraging teams to apply early? 

It makes a lot of sense to sign up today because late comers often lose out! Not only do early applicants stand out from the rest, we want to reduce the last minute rush that other accelerators report. Our advice to teams is to apply early, even if they have not yet finalised everything (like getting a video pitch ready). 
Fill in what you can and consider applying for one of the on-line pitching sessions. That's a great chance to ask open questions to the program organisers and some of the lead mentors. They may come back with advice and suggestions that can improve the team's chances of getting selected. They still have time to tweak the application. 
Our team in Eindhoven is constantly watching the incoming applications and is already approaching teams for an initial conversation. Good luck - it is going to be a brilliant experience for everyone. 

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