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The Brainport Eindhoven region, located in the South of the Netherlands within the Noord-Brabant province, boasts a thriving startup ecosystem, ranking as the third largest in the country by venture capital activity.

The metropolitan area demonstrates an exceptionally high research and development intensity, particularly in semiconductors.

This strength in R&D has earned the region recognition globally, as evidenced by its seventh-place ranking in Dealroom's recent Science Hub Index.

The metropolitan area of Eindhoven is best known for companies like ASML (Europe's most valuable tech company), NXP, and Philips.

The name Brainport Eindhoven was introduced in 1997 by the mayor of Eindhoven to highlight the technological and economic potential of the region.

The metropolitan area of Eindhoven has about 800,000 inhabitants spread across 21 municipalities.

Venture Capital

With $266 million invested in 2022, Eindhoven is still a nascent startup ecosystem.

However, that's still a significant increase from just a few years ago, and it's gaining momentum rapidly.

The nascent stage is also evident by looking at the allocation of venture capital by stage. More weighted towards seed, A and B and virtually no scaleup rounds ($100M+).

By sector

A look at the different sectors in Eindhoven reveals a relatively higher concentration of physical technology, a characteristic of a frontier tech ecosystem.

Eindhoven over-indexes in Mobility & Logistics, Energy, Semiconductors, and Health tech.

Iconic companies

Brainport Eindhoven is simultaneously a very old and a very young tech ecosystem. Philips was founded in 1891 and left a strong mark on the region. ASML was founded in 1984 as a joint venture between ASM International and Philips. Today, ASML is the pinnacle of bleeding-edge tech globally, has strong historical ties with Philips.

NXP and Signify were also Philips spinouts. Prodrive Technologies ($300M+ revenues) is a supplier to ASML. Other notable younger names include Axelera, EFFECT Photonics and SMART Photonics. Industrial electronics company Simac was started in 1971 by a former Philips employee. DAF Trucks, founded in 1928, is an iconic truck manufacturer. Today the region includes electronic vehicle producers like VDL Groep, Ebusco, and Lightyear. Philips moved its head office to Amsterdam but still has a major presence in Eindhoven.

Brainport Eindhoven ranks third in the world by the number of active patents per inhabitant. This is mainly thanks to Philips and ASML.

Key patent categories include Semiconductors, Electrical, Sensors & Optics.

Investors and support

The ecosystem is actively supported by public bodies such as BOM Brabant Ventures and Brabant Startup Fonds. The TU Eindhoven has spun out several startups. Pan-European organizations like EIC and Eurostars have backed dozens of companies. And there are Dutch venture capital firms with solid knowledge of the region.

The table below provides an overview of different types of active organisations in the ecosystem. These firms are good to know if you plan to know the region and its opportunities.

ASML and Philips are also LPs in Deep Tech fund DeepTechXL.

We interviewed the Eindhoven University of Technology about the Brainport Eindhoven as one of the most powerful technology hubs in the world.

Brainport Eindhoven is known for its extensive high-tech infrastructure. Companies and organizations in Brainport are world players, especially when it comes to precision technology and system integration.

Eindhoven University of Technology

Read the full interview here

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