At Amsterdam Science Park, we believe knowledge has no borders. That’s why you’ll find cutting-edge institutes, top-class facilities and business incubators in one convenient location. You’ll meet motivated students, innovative researchers, talented scientists and adventurous entrepreneurs – all in an environment where it’s easy to work together. Cross-disciplinary initiatives and holistic thinking flourish. Ground-breaking research projects become successful spin-offs. That’s the strength of Amsterdam Science Park: connecting boundless minds.
Tijmen Blankevoort is CTO of Scyfer, an Amsterdam Science Park start-up.
“After studying Japanese studies, mathematics and computer science at Leiden University, I started a master’s in artificial intelligence at UvA, which is how I arrived at Amsterdam Science Park. As things worked out, before I could finish my thesis, I got involved in starting up Scyfer with fellow student Taco Cohen and Professor Max Welling. We had entered a competition launched by ING bank, to predict which offers would be picked by which people on their website. After we came up with a solution that was 20% better than those of big companies like IBM and Accenture, we got the job. On the strength of that, we started the company. This was two and a half years ago and we had no idea what we were doing!"
“Amsterdam Science Park incubator Ace Venture Lab had just been founded, which was a huge help. We participated in its very first boot camp - a five-day course that takes you from an idea to a complete business plan. We haven’t looked back since. Ace Venture Lab helped us with everything from investment to the legal framework, setting rates, marketing, and much more. We don’t pay for their advice, only for our business space."
“There’s a large talent pool and we were able to recruit six members of our team here”
“We now have 12 people in the company and our business is machine learning for companies, a definite growth area. With machine algorithms set to take off, (the self-driving car would be one example of that) we bring Amsterdam Science Park’s latest technology to other companies. There are lots of benefits for the end user too, from smarter, more personalized medicine to targeted newspaper content. We think Scyfer has a great future and 2016 is a significant year for us – we’re moving beyond consultancy to launch our first products this year."
“Being based at Amsterdam Science Park is an enormous advantage for our business. There’s a large talent pool, so we were able to recruit six members of our team here. Students come and do projects with us, on internships or as part of their course. Sometimes, our customers have questions that are difficult and time-consuming to answer, and these can be ideal topics for student projects."
“I often do talks at Amsterdam Science Park events, and this gives our company lots of leads. We found our client Tata Steel this way. There’s a thriving community here, and a collaborative atmosphere. Everyone wants to make the park a bigger, better place. You can always find people to fill the gaps in your own knowledge. I had a technical problem this week, and after talking to just three people, I had the solution."
“You can always find people here to fill the gaps in your own knowledge”
“Amsterdam Science Park is growing fast – more companies are arriving all the time, because it’s a great place to do research. After all, in-house R&D departments face challenges with hardware, company culture, hierarchy and lots of other things. But at the park there’s a dedicated environment where you can be part of a broad research network. And there’s so much knowledge here, it’s a shame not to make use of it.”