Eindhoven University of Technology: ‘New loan funds for AI and medtech startups of great value to Brainport region’

The government announced yesterday that new loan funds are created for three consortia that will help promising start-ups through the often difficult initial period. TU/e is involved in two of the three consortia: artificial intelligence (AI) and medical technology. Startups can get loans of a quarter of a million from the funds. “With this, we greatly increase the success rate of startups. This will lead to more successful startups, so this is of great value for the economy of the region,” responds Jeroen van Woerden, director of The Gate, the regional support office for innovative startups in Brainport.

Minister Van Engelshoven and state secretary Mona Keijzer announced the awards yesterday. They are part of the so-called Thematic Technology Transfer scheme (TTT). The collaborating partners, which include TU/e, can make use of loan funds of 5.5 million euros per consortium for their startups. In addition, each of the consortia receives 2.5 million to support the process, so that more startups are created and develop properly. That money will go as much as possible to support startups and as little as possible to the organizations of the consortia themselves.

“The importance of this type of loan cannot be overemphasized,” says van Woerden. “It bridges the period when commercial investors are still standing on the sidelines. Without these kinds of loans, many start-ups would not get off the ground, with which a lot of potential value for the economy and for social solutions would be lost.” The loans are convertible. This means that the fund can convert them into shares, if the startup has got off to a good start.

TU/e also participates in two winning consortia from the first round of TTT awards. These are in the field of ‘smart systems’ and reuse of materials and resources.

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