• Map

Arthur Nijhuis about startup-booster B'WISE

    Arthur Nijhuis (38) is the initiator and general manager of B’WISE, a REWIN initiative that boosts startups in West Brabant. B’WISE offers substantive support, a strong network, help with funding, and: a cool workplace in the centre of Breda. "In addition to like-minded people, within this INCUBATOR you will also find the support that you desperately need in those first critical years.

    Arthur, in your opinion, what is 'truly Breda' when it comes to doing business?
    “Frequent gatherings and doing business with a drink in hand. Combining work and pleasure, so to speak - ideally in good company. This city, with its village-like character, is very likeable. It would be great if we could take the next step in this 'working together'. By seeking much broader collaboration, across all existing hubs and network clubs. That's when you're engaging in open innovation – and in my opinion, that's where things should be heading. Here in the B'WISE Incubator, we bring together various entrepreneurs, support organisations, and networks. We focus on startups with serious potential who are fully engaged in building, while also looking out for each other. In fact, that's a requirement here.”

    We focus on startups with serious potential, while also having an eye for each other.

    Why is this so important?
    "It's so good to step off your island every now and then. It brings new energy and ideas, but also leads to great collaborations and business opportunities. Usually, it arises from small, chance encounters. For example, a nice conversation with someone you randomly bump into. Within our INCUBATOR, we facilitate these kinds of encounters and intentionally bring people together to accelerate innovation and growth. We also involve stakeholders from outside. For example, investors also join the knowledge sessions and meet-ups we organise in the Venture café."

    And why do you focus on startups here?
    "For an ambitious startup, the first 3 years are often very tough. It's nice to be part of a community of like-minded people during this time. But also crucially, to get the support you desperately need. And we offer that support. Through B’WISE, we provide knowledge programmes not only for entrepreneurs in the INCUBATOR but for the entire West-Brabant region. We give you access to a strong network and assistance in finding funding. Our partners Van Oers (Accountancy & Advice) and Rabobank also play a significant role here, making themselves available to share their expertise in tax, legal, and financial matters. The INCUBATOR is essentially a one-stop-shop for startups. We create the perfect conditions here to grow quickly and successfully."

    Who is the INCUBATOR intended for? When are you welcome here?
    "It mainly depends on your mindset. You must have the ambition to grow rapidly and achieve a turnover of 5 million within 5 years. That is serious high-performance - and it has to suit you. It's even more important to thoroughly check the feasibility of your concept. Does it solve a concrete problem? Is there a sufficient market for it, and can you scale it up? We consciously involve young talent in the community as well. For example, Avans University of Applied Sciences has its own unit here. And students from BUas are often present. We actively involve them in everything. For them, it's the ultimate testing ground, and for us, it's a great opportunity to demonstrate that we indeed have some really cool, fast-growing companies here in Breda. We also have about twenty flexible workspaces available. For entrepreneurs with a good idea they want to further explore within the community. We are happy to provide that space, on the condition that you also contribute something. Adding value and building together is what it's all about here."

    And does it also ‘work’ here?
    “We have now really found a flow that I would say: this is how we intended it. Learning from each other, helping each other, building together. The ecosystem is starting to run. There is a bell here that you can ring when you have a success. For instance, when you have closed a nice new deal. Then we pop the champagne – to toast together. In the beginning, one bottle was more than fine. But now at least 25 people are outside when that bell rings. That says something. The next step, in my view, is to dare to share the fuck-ups much more often as well. Entrepreneurs find that really nerve-wracking. But in the end, that might be where you learn the most.”

    Claudius Prinsenlaan 12
    4811 DK BREDA