The Klasmann-Deilmann Group is increasing its activities to develop innovative product solutions for the professional horticulture sector. They have recently begun a partnership with the Dutch Food & Agri Incubator StartLife, which is supported by Wageningen University & Research and hosts its headquarters at the Wageningen campus. The partnership will focus on co-operations with start- ups by promising sustainable innovations that can take horticulture to a next level.
In addition to Jan Meiling, Managing Director of StartLife, the official contract signing ceremony was attended by Ted Vollebregt, Managing Director of Klasmann-Deilmann Benelux, and Sjors Beijer, Project Manager at the Netherlands branch of the sales company. Both of them are responsible for innovation at Klasmann-Deilmann and therefore will engage in StartLife activities on campus.
The value of StartLife
In the run-up to the partnership, Klasmann-Deilmann has attended several events at the Wageningen Campus and talked to candidates from all over the world about their projects. “We are delighted with the diversity and intensity that Wageningen devotes to research and innovation,” said Norbert Siebels, Managing Director of the Klasmann-Deilmann Group. “These young entrepreneurs and their excellent ideas deserve a chance – and we wish to give, at least some of them, that chance. We will have close contact with the startups by being present on campus to support the selected innovations that will help to advance horticulture for the industry and the entrepreneur.”
The value of Wageningen University & Research
Wageningen University & Research is one of the world’s most highly respected institutes in the field of agriculture and life sciences and one of its main research areas is commercial horticulture. StartLife is affiliated to the university and promotes graduates and young entrepreneurs whose startups work on promising projects with a practical focus. Managing Director Jan Meiling comments on the partnership with Klasmann-Deilmann: “Growing media are still essential for the success of horticultural companies. In view of the company’s keen interest in research and development, we are confident that Klasmann-Deilmann is an ideal match for us and our startups. We are already looking forward to exciting joint projects which will lead to the development of innovative applications and sustainable growing media.”
Klasmann-Deilmann is the leading group of companies in the international substrate industry, with subsidiaries and trade partners in more than 70 countries. Their substrates provide the basis for plant growth and for the success of horticultural companies. As an up-and-coming provider of renewable resources, they are also active in the renewable energy sector. In the 2016 financial year, they had a workforce of 940 employees and generated sales worth approximately EUR 186 million.
StartLife helps new entrepreneurs in the Food and Agri sector to create business opportunities and jobs, and enables them to contribute to the development and application of sustainable technological innovations. StartLife does this by means of loans, feasibility studies, educational activities, network contacts, coaching and active support programmes for startups by experts. Wageningen University & Research is one of StartLife’s partners.
About StartHub Wageningen
StartHub Wageningen is a community and incubator for enterprising Bachelor’s, Master’s, PhD students and graduates with a business idea. StartHub organises interactive workshops, funding, housing, and provides coaching by experts. When creating their business, starters can make use of a network of professionals, for example from Wageningen University & Research.