The aim of the visit was to learn how these incubators work, and how they enable innovation and growth. An incubator houses entrepreneurs and assists them during the process, by for example helping with producing and marketing their business ideas. The work here correlates with the work being done at BTO, although in order to enter an incubator, the ideation and establishment of a company is already done. Thus, the companies we talked to had already commercialized their idea. However, learning about the different possibilities, as well as seeing all the new ideas, were inspiring and motivating.
The three incubators we visited was ESA (European Space Aagency) in Leiden, YES!Delft in Delft and ERASMUS Centre for Entrepreneurship in Rotterdam. The three varied in fields of interest as ESA focuses primarily on research related to space, YES!Delft focused primarily on technologies and ERASMUS focused primarily on health and science. However, a common denominator of the three was their focus on open innovation. They all had innovative and inspiring office spaces decorated in new, clever ways. They all encouraged mingling within the incubator as the different entrepreneurs have a lot to learn from each other.
The visit was a great learning experience for all participants, and next years interns will have a trip to look forward to.
Read more about ESA here.
Read more about YES!Delft here.
Read more about ERASMUS Centre for Entrepreneurship here.