The Yes!Delft incubator is bursting out of its seams. A second premises for innovative entrepreneurs will be allocated in the vicinity. (Photo: Itank.eu)
The Yes!Delft incubator is bursting out of its seams. A second premises for innovative entrepreneurs will be allocated in the vicinity. (Photo: Itank.eu)

On top of Yes!Delft, start-ups will have another building. “Suitable space is much needed,” says Councillor Bas Vollebregt.

Lees in het Nederlands

The building of NeXt!Delft will start this year. If everything goes according to plan, the building will open its doors to start-ups at the end of 2021. Its floor surface area will be 10,000 m2 and it will accommodate 500 full-time employees (FTEs) and have facilities for innovative companies. It will be right next to the Yes!Delft incubator at the southern end of the TU Delft Campus.

NeXt!Delft is intended to meet the great need for commercial space in the city. That there is this need, says the municipality, is beyond doubt. The shortage of commercial space could put a significant brake on economic growth and the growth of employment opportunities. “Entrepreneurs are leaving Delft because they cannot find anywhere to set up,” says Bas Vollebregt (Stip political party), Councillor of the Economy, Culture, Land and Real Estate.

The last hurdle
Last week Thursday, the Municipal Council of Delft endorsed the Municipal Executive’s plan for, amongst others, an investment of EUR 500,000. In doing so, after six years of discussion, the project’s last hurdle has been jumped, says Vollebregt. “It was a difficult business case as starting companies do not want to commit to tenancy as they do not know where their company will be in two years’ time.”

That having said, the most important  does not come from the Municipality, but from a real estate fund that was created last year. TU Delft itself may not finance property for external bodies as this is not its core task. This is why it joined up with the ASR insurance company that set up the special fund, the Dutch Science Park Fund.

‘NeXt!Delft is important in developing the innovation ecosystem on the TU Delft campus’

That TU Delft is interested in real estate is logical. The development of real estate on campus for companies had just about come to a standstill, even though it is an important means of stimulating the collaboration between TU Delft and industry.

Nicoly Vermeulen, Vice President of Operations at TU Delft, is very happy with the new building. “It is important for the further development of the innovation ecosystem on campus. Not only does it offer a space to innovative companies, but it facilitates the necessary outflow of scale-ups at Yes!Delft, thereby creating space for new start-ups. We will be able to both retain talent and attract new activities.”

In a tweet about NeXt!Delft, Vollebregt talked about 10,000 jobs. But the building surely cannot account for so many jobs? “That’s right,” says the Councillor, “I was referring to our goal of creating 10,000 more jobs by 2040. This is 10,000 on top of the approximately 55,000 jobs currently in Delft. NeXt!Delft will be an important part of this.”

The Councillor does not think that the corona crisis will not throw a spanner in the works. “Of course many companies are unsure of things now. But despite that, there is still a huge need for space.