BOM CEO Brigit van Dijk: ‘LUMO Labs is one of our most inspiring partners’

Interview with Brigit van Dijk - van de Reijt, Chief Executive Officer Brabantse Ontwikkelings Maatschappij (BOM)

With our second Draper’s Silicon Fall Pitch Prize event coming up 5 July at High Tech Campus, we queried BOM CEO Brigit van Dijk about BOM’s participation as well as her thoughts about how Eindhoven’s and Silicon Valley’s ecosystems align.

This is the second time the Draper event, sponsored by LUMO Labs, is coming to High Tech Campus Eindhoven. As you know, both Draper and BOM focus on social impact startups. Why has BOM/Oost NL decided to partner with Draper and LUMO Labs?

We consider Draper and LUMO Labs as two of the most inspiring partners in the social impact startup scene. For BOM/Oost NL to team up, we see excellent opportunities for our portfolio companies to expand their international networks and to accelerate growth both in the Netherlands and internationally.

Draper University is in San Mateo, Calif. (Silicon Valley) and of course funded by early-stage U.S. investor Tim Draper. The winner of the Eindhoven event will get a ticket to Draper’s “Hero Training,” a 6-week program in The Valley. How important do you believe the U.S./Silicon Valley perspective is for Dutch startups? 

By all means, Silicon Valley is the cradle of disruptive tech-driven innovation. To provide Dutch startups the opportunity to actually stay in the U.S./Silicon Valley and to be part of the startup accelerator in the Bay Area will certainly unlock access to wider networks, talent, publicity and (international) capital.

How important is it that BOM and Brainport are connected directly to The Valley and its VC ecosystem?

For as much as this partnership will boost opportunities for individual startups from the Netherlands and U.S., BOM and Brainport gain advantage by strengthening existing networks and leveraging new networks in The Valley. We hope this program will be a win-win for all, and, in return, we would welcome U.S. startups to visit Brainport.

This is a bit of an elaboration on the previous question, but how do you anticipate BOM/Oost NL benefiting most from this connection to Draper and The Valley? 

BOM/Oost NL will be actively engaged in the program by selecting candidates, providing a member of the jury, sponsoring and marketing – all with the aim of bringing together the best-in-class tech driven, game changing entrepreneurs. It is actually not about BOM/Oost NL benefitting. It is about inspiration and accelerating future-proof solutions to societal challenges in energy, food and health. It is about entrepreneurship and innovation, about long-term sustainable economic growth at large.

What is BOM’s message to all the Dutch startups who will participate, or could participate, in the future? Why should they join? 

Joining the Draper pitch event is a unique opportunity to enroll in one of the Draper University Programs in Silicon Valley. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be exposed to the world’s most inspiring venture capital ecosystem.