Blog: Masterclasses to create a knowledge platform for start-ups

Start-ups are at the core of innovation. Their approach and use of technology, ability to accelerate rapidly and relentless attitude reminds us that revolutionary ideas can become a reality. These enterprises are developing in our backyard as Eindhoven was considered the most inventive city in the world by Forbes in 2013.

However, having entrepreneurial aspirations and a brilliant idea does not necessarily translate to having a successful business. The reality is that the life of a start-up can be very short; its longevity depends on many factors. One of them being the lack of support and knowledge around how to start and most importantly, maintain a business. For that reason, Holland Innovative and the High Tech Campus Eindhoven launched in 2018 a series of Masterclasses. The aim of these Masterclasses is to aid the start-ups that reside in its hub; the High Tech Plaza, and those in the surrounding region. Holland Innovative offered its own professionals to launch the first three workshops.

The first chapter of the masterclasses was given by Ir. Roel Wessels on the topic: Management and Agile Leadership. The session proved to be a round success with over 20 companies being represented by 50 participants. Roel Wessels’s masterclass covered how to increase knowledge and skills by diving into the basics of managing a project, the steps involved in the process and the approach of an agile thinker and doer.

The topic of the second masterclass was Lean Innovation; new management methods that deliver speed, agility and adaptivity. Prof. Jeroen de Mast, Master Black Belt, taught how the principles of Lean offer practical ways of creating flow and cadence in innovation processes. They promote fast learning cycles in which assumptions about markets and new products are quickly tested to reality and the learnings captured for future re-use.

Employee Retention Strategies was the topic of the third training. The start-ups had voiced the need to receive support on this subject, and for that reason, Holland Innovative’s own HR Manager, Eefke van Daal, developed a training to talk about the importance of employee retention. During a two-hour session, Eefke van Daal emphasized the importance of rewarding employees and techniques to keep them motivated. She provided a thorough explanation of how leitmotivs are HR tools utilized to understand employees, their personalities and career goals.

This approach to open collaboration demonstrated to be key for mutual growth. Holland Innovative’s involvement with the start-up ecosystem brought the support that the emerging companies were looking for while the experts from Holland Innovative learned from the start-ups, their ambitions and their endless drive to achieve their goals. The end result? A successful platform for exchanging knowledge that encourages cooperation and sharing experiences. In other words: a thriving environment that is crucial for innovation.

Due to the success of the masterclasses, the High Tech Plaza has continued the initiative, now called Support Series. It remains free-of-cost and includes collaboration with experts from other companies. For upcoming events of the Support Series check the calendar.

Karina García Del Real
Startup Ecosystem Community Manager

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