HUBspot, Leiden’s centre for innovation and entrepreneurship, only opened its doors on Langegracht 70 in the beginning of September, but is already booming with activity.
“The University of Applied Sciences is having lectures here,” says director Raffi Balder, ‘’Leiden University uses the rooms for trainings and presentations. Like the workshop ‘Innovation and Entrepreneurship’ organized by the Faculty of Law, and a number of start-ups is running their business from within these walls. And this is only the beginning.”
Leiden law alumna Balder has a history of coaching start-ups. Before coming to Leiden, she worked at YesDelft! where she set up LaunchLab, a programme that allowed students and companies to evaluate the market potential and business plan for their idea within a timeframe of three months. She is just as ambitious when it comes to HUBspot. “Next year HUBspot should be a household name in Leiden. It should be first to come to mind with Leiden entrepreneurs, companies, institutions or societal organisations that are in need of fresh ideas and new solutions to tackle a challenge they are facing.”
The centre’s mission is to innovate Leiden on all levels, from its people to its industry. It aims to develop the talent of enterprising students through extra-curricular programmes, networking opportunities and business challenges. Additionally, HUBspot assists Leiden academics and staff with entrepreneurial ambition, and provides support and office space for start-ups.
HUBspot enriches the Leiden ecosystem as a regional nerve centre that offers support and a strong network for promising entrepreneurs. Balder sees ample opportunity in collaborating with Leiden Bio Science Park. “Our programs are focused on developing entrepreneurial skills. These come in very handy, be it in a job or a company at the park. We encourage companies from the park to actively get involved with HUBspot by giving presentations, providing challenges or coaching. Our programmes are open to them as well. Also, some of our current start-ups and projects are focused on health and vitality, which highly complement the life sciences and biotechnology activities on the park.”
Balder enjoys the company of enterprising people with ideas which can have an impact on the Leiden region. “It gives me satisfaction to facilitate them in fulfilling their aspirations. Come to our Open HUBs on Thursdays, present your company or project and get together with the HUBspot community. Or, drop by the official opening of HUBspot on October 31.”
Since August you can also find Luris, the Knowledge Exchange Office of Leiden University and Leiden University Medical Center, at HUBspot. www.luris.nl