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The Young Entrepreneurs Society, YES!Delft, was officially started a year ago and has already enjoyed considerable success. With the launch of an English website, YES!Delft will soon be welcoming English-speaking prospective entrepreneurs into the society.

Making money out of technological knowledge, that's what Delft and its surrounding cities like Rotterdam and Leiden intend to do in the near future. In fact, fifteen years ago Delft city council was one of the first in the country to realize that focusing on a new kind of economy, one based on knowledge, was the way forward.With a large number of research institutes and technological companies (TNO, TU Delft, Rijkswaterstaat, etc) already present within the city's boundaries, this seemed a logical development. Delft city council installed a policy that was based on helping the city's economy shift from the traditional craft-based economy to a technology-based economy, and appropriately named it 'Delft Kennisstad', or 'Delft Knowledge City'.Delft Kennisstad has from that point onwards been acting as an umbrella for the city's policies. One of the city council's main goals became to turn Delft into an attractive city to live and work in for highly educated people as a whole, and those working in high tech industries in particular.In order to achieve this, the city council started supporting and stimulating local business networks and subsidized more cultural activities. But creating more sufficient housing for TU graduates and students, among others, and increasing collaboration with institutes like TU Delft and TNO have also been high on the agenda ever since. Although last autumn a survey showed that the economic results of the city's policy are virtually non existent at the present time, all parties involved do agree that in the long run investing tax-payer money in the knowledge economy does offers Delft the best chance to flourish economically.InnovationAt the same time, TU Delft has made it a priority to valorise the knowledge that is present within the TU community: not only because making the available knowledge of use to society will benefit society and its people as a whole, but also because it creates new ways of funding for the university. And of course having close ties with the big players in the field of technological research and design is vital to a university that is profiling itself as a top international university.The issue of knowledge valorisation and innovation is moreover an established priority of the Dutch government, as internationally the country is said to be falling behind in terms of technological innovations. The TU therefore decided to feature entrepreneurship as one of its main focuses.As both TU Delft and Delft city council share a common interest in capitalizing on the available technological knowledge, they are now working more closely together than ever before. The Young Entrepreneurs Society, YES!Delft, is perhaps the most ambitious result of their combined efforts to date.Located on the Rotterdamseweg, on the outskirts of the university campus, YES!Delft offers people who want to start their own technology based businesses (in Dutch, simply referred to as 'technostarters') the perfect environment to learn how to best start up their own companies. TU students, alumni and staff, as well as others who are committed to starting their own high tech companies are coached on just about everything they need to know to ensure their new business ventures succeed.There is also a YES!Delft Business Club, which is basically a network for established companies and start-up companies to meet and share ideas. And student entrepreneurs can participate in courses like 'Writing a business plan', in collaboration with NJO, the Young Entrepreneurs Network, that was also initiated by TU Delft.Although at the moment most of YES!Delft's activities are in Dutch, the society is also open to international students and staff members. The only restriction is that the prospective companies have to be founded in the Netherlands. "It's our goal to encourage entrepreneurship in the Netherlands and to increase the number of international high tech companies based in Delft," says Anne Strobos, PR manager of YES!Delft. "That's why we only support those who start up their businesses in this country."InternationalWithin the next two months, an English version of the website will be launched, which is aimed at attracting foreign participants and, primarily, international investors. Strobos: "We want our techno-starters to go global, and therefore we think it's important to have an English website where potential investors and interested parties can find more information on YES!Delft and its starting companies."Some of the courses that are on offer are already in English. "The course, 'Turning business into technology', is completely in English," Strobos says, "and we are now looking into the possibility of starting a fully English 'Writing a business plan' course as well, which is actually quite difficult because of the large number of guest speakers featured in the course."In its first year of its existence, (YES!Delft was officially launched in April 2005), the society has enjoyed considerable success. Many businesses are now in the process of starting up and TU Delft researchers have initiated quite a few of them. As a result of its early success, the Young Entrepreneurs Society has even already broadened its scope. "We now see ourselves as an institute that offers a complete formula to techno-starters: we facilitate them, offer coaching and provide a network," Strobos explains.And with funding provided by the city councils of Delft and Rotterdam, YES!Delft recently also started a project called 'Awareness', which aims to create more awareness about the possibilities of entrepreneurship among students. Strobos: "We now offer courses on entrepreneurship at all of the TU's faculties to raise awareness. It's okay if students don't want to start up their own businesses after graduation, but we at least want them to make it a conscious decision."www.yesdelft.nl

Making money out of technological knowledge, that's what Delft and its surrounding cities like Rotterdam and Leiden intend to do in the near future. In fact, fifteen years ago Delft city council was one of the first in the country to realize that focusing on a new kind of economy, one based on knowledge, was the way forward.With a large number of research institutes and technological companies (TNO, TU Delft, Rijkswaterstaat, etc) already present within the city's boundaries, this seemed a logical development. Delft city council installed a policy that was based on helping the city's economy shift from the traditional craft-based economy to a technology-based economy, and appropriately named it 'Delft Kennisstad', or 'Delft Knowledge City'.Delft Kennisstad has from that point onwards been acting as an umbrella for the city's policies. One of the city council's main goals became to turn Delft into an attractive city to live and work in for highly educated people as a whole, and those working in high tech industries in particular.In order to achieve this, the city council started supporting and stimulating local business networks and subsidized more cultural activities. But creating more sufficient housing for TU graduates and students, among others, and increasing collaboration with institutes like TU Delft and TNO have also been high on the agenda ever since. Although last autumn a survey showed that the economic results of the city's policy are virtually non existent at the present time, all parties involved do agree that in the long run investing tax-payer money in the knowledge economy does offers Delft the best chance to flourish economically.InnovationAt the same time, TU Delft has made it a priority to valorise the knowledge that is present within the TU community: not only because making the available knowledge of use to society will benefit society and its people as a whole, but also because it creates new ways of funding for the university. And of course having close ties with the big players in the field of technological research and design is vital to a university that is profiling itself as a top international university.The issue of knowledge valorisation and innovation is moreover an established priority of the Dutch government, as internationally the country is said to be falling behind in terms of technological innovations. The TU therefore decided to feature entrepreneurship as one of its main focuses.As both TU Delft and Delft city council share a common interest in capitalizing on the available technological knowledge, they are now working more closely together than ever before. The Young Entrepreneurs Society, YES!Delft, is perhaps the most ambitious result of their combined efforts to date.Located on the Rotterdamseweg, on the outskirts of the university campus, YES!Delft offers people who want to start their own technology based businesses (in Dutch, simply referred to as 'technostarters') the perfect environment to learn how to best start up their own companies. TU students, alumni and staff, as well as others who are committed to starting their own high tech companies are coached on just about everything they need to know to ensure their new business ventures succeed.There is also a YES!Delft Business Club, which is basically a network for established companies and start-up companies to meet and share ideas. And student entrepreneurs can participate in courses like 'Writing a business plan', in collaboration with NJO, the Young Entrepreneurs Network, that was also initiated by TU Delft.Although at the moment most of YES!Delft's activities are in Dutch, the society is also open to international students and staff members. The only restriction is that the prospective companies have to be founded in the Netherlands. "It's our goal to encourage entrepreneurship in the Netherlands and to increase the number of international high tech companies based in Delft," says Anne Strobos, PR manager of YES!Delft. "That's why we only support those who start up their businesses in this country."InternationalWithin the next two months, an English version of the website will be launched, which is aimed at attracting foreign participants and, primarily, international investors. Strobos: "We want our techno-starters to go global, and therefore we think it's important to have an English website where potential investors and interested parties can find more information on YES!Delft and its starting companies."Some of the courses that are on offer are already in English. "The course, 'Turning business into technology', is completely in English," Strobos says, "and we are now looking into the possibility of starting a fully English 'Writing a business plan' course as well, which is actually quite difficult because of the large number of guest speakers featured in the course."In its first year of its existence, (YES!Delft was officially launched in April 2005), the society has enjoyed considerable success. Many businesses are now in the process of starting up and TU Delft researchers have initiated quite a few of them. As a result of its early success, the Young Entrepreneurs Society has even already broadened its scope. "We now see ourselves as an institute that offers a complete formula to techno-starters: we facilitate them, offer coaching and provide a network," Strobos explains.And with funding provided by the city councils of Delft and Rotterdam, YES!Delft recently also started a project called 'Awareness', which aims to create more awareness about the possibilities of entrepreneurship among students. Strobos: "We now offer courses on entrepreneurship at all of the TU's faculties to raise awareness. It's okay if students don't want to start up their own businesses after graduation, but we at least want them to make it a conscious decision."www.yesdelft.nl

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