For the first time since its launch one and a half years ago, StartHub Wageningen is full of startup companies – 14 in all. In the so-called incubator for startups, students and PhD candidates at Wageningen University learn to stand on their own feet as entrepreneurs.
Photo: StartHub | Entrepreneurial students working in the incubator of StartHub
‘In terms of tenants we are doing better than expected,’ says incubator manager Jannet de Jong. It has gone especially fast in the last few months, as in November there were only six small companies renting space in the former Triton building opposite Rikilt. The newcomers are working on vertical indoor gardens and an egg-collecting robot, among other things.
The number of student members who come to get a bit of experience of entrepreneurship still lags behind expectations, however. There are currently 63 paid-up members but De Jong hopes for more.
StartHub still has to be developed in other areas, including looking for supporters, such as alumni from Wageningen University, and partners – companies that support the startups practically and financially. ‘This is often a question of support services such as banks and accountants,’ says De Jong. They help the starters and are now hoping for more clients. The idea is that StartHub will eventually bring in enough of an income of its own this way.
On 25 and 26 May, the first edition of F&A Next took place in Wageningen. This is an event at which startups try to attract financiers from the agro sector. Organizer Jan Meiling, managing director of Startlife, hopes this will put Wageningen on the map as a hub of innovation in agrofood.