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Inspiring High-Tech Start-ups in the spotlight during 'LEVEL UP' event in Eindhoven

Written by The Gate

Written by The Gate

With a new event, Brainport continues to build on its name as a hotspot for starting, mission-driven tech companies.


With 'LEVEL UP', the Eindhoven region will have a large, start-up-oriented event that will put Brainport even more on the map as the hotspot for starting, mission-driven high-tech companies.

LEVEL UP will take place on September 22 in and around the Conference Center of the High Tech Campus. Throughout the day there is a varied program in which everyone within the start-up ecosystem is served: investors, mentors, educational institutions, representatives of governments and of course the start-ups themselves.



Eindhoven has been the place-to-be for high-tech start-ups for years. The cause lies in the presence of a technical university and several universities of applied sciences, a vibrant high-tech industry, accelerators and incubators, and a network in which government, knowledge institutions and entrepreneurs work together naturally. With LEVEL UP, an aspect is now added that focuses on bringing all those parties together. The intention is to make it an annual event.

The Gate

The event is an initiative of The Gate, the starting point for tech start-ups in the Brainport region. Co-organizers are the Municipality of Eindhoven, Eindhoven University of Technology, Brainport Development and Innovation Origins. The program includes presentations from leading companies, interactive workshops and networking opportunities. The day ends with the presentation of the Gerard & Anton Awards, a prize that goes to 10 promising start-ups from the region every year.

Johan van Erp, start-up officer of the municipality of Eindhoven and organizer of LEVEL UP: "The reason we organize this event is twofold. Firstly, we want to offer start-ups in the region a platform. There are a lot of developments going on. Start-ups are sometimes modest, while they deserve to get some attention. Secondly, we connect different parties with each other. Start-ups and companies that are in different phases of their development come into contact with each other and with potential investors. In this way, we contribute to an even closer ecosystem."

A selection from the program

The event will start with a keynote by Johan Feenstra, CEO of SMART Photonics. Among other things, he will zoom in on the path that the chip company took to achieve success. Then there are several interactive workshops. One of them is 'start-up fuckups', to learn from the mistakes of others. There will be a panel discussion on the theme 'Impact versus profit maximisation', which will discuss the interplay between your mission and your financial basis. Throughout the day, there are financial experts who show what it takes for a thriving start-up.
View the complete program here


Gerard & Anton Awards

The conclusion of the formal programme is marked by the eighth presentation of the Gerard & Anton Awards. After zooming in on how things are going with the chosen start-ups of previous editions, the 10 winners of this year will be announced. There are no less than 55 promising nominees. Striking among the former winners is the high success rate: where on average about 10 to 20% of the start-ups are permanently successful, this is around 75% for this group. During LEVEL UP, the results of a study into the causes of this high degree of success are presented.


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