First study visit of the InCompass project

The first InCompass project's study visit took place on 2 and 3 May in the city of Rotterdam. Organized and hosted by the project partner of Delft University of Technology, the partners attending had the opportunity to identify and discuss best practices and models of management regarding the self-sustainability of incubators in creative industries in two referenced centers in Rotterdam - the Creative Factory and RDM Campus.

Creative Factory in Rotterdam is a former silo stretching along one of the city's harbours that was transformed into a hub for creative businesses in 2008. The story of the Creative Factory started with an idea that won the support of the city's local authorities, including the Mayor. For the elaboration of a business model for the factory, a sustainable formula has been developed. First, the Creative factory has the support of important partners, such as KPMG and Rabobank, which sponsor the factory in kind and provide experience and networks. Second, a mixed business formula, result of the combination of startup entrepreneurs with settled companies that already have proved to be successful. At the moment, 70 businesses are established in this creative breeding, engaging in five disciplines: Media, Design, Music and events, Fashion and Business services. The incubator, which houses 250 people daily, consists of a number of open space offices with three to twelve clustered business, and wants to play a strong role in pushing on the development of the urban deprived areas in the neighborhoods of South Rotterdam.

RDM Campus, a cooperative venture between Albeda College, Rotterdam University and Port of Rotterdam Authority, is a campus for education, business and events. It is located at the old shipyard of the former ship building and dry dock Rotterdam. The original meaning of the abbreviation RDM, Rotterdam Dry dock Company, was changed into Research, Design and Manufacturing. In the campus, educational institutions and companies work together in an open environment and focus on new economic activities for sustainable and innovative solutions in the markets of Building, Moving & Powering. RDM Campus has among its facilities a creative incubator.

This incubator, DNAMO, was established by a group of six educational, banking and business institutions. Currently, it is also given support of some partners, aiming to become self-sustainable in the medium term. The facilities of this location perfectly suit the needs of the established entrepreneurs. Right now, Dnamo is supporting 40+ entrepreneurs by the Pre-Incubation program and 11 entrepreneurs by the Incubation programme, encompassing different product ideas. After the two exciting visits, InCompass Project partners met in the various working groups-Commercial Context, Social Context and Tiers of Support, to discuss and share the lessons learned from both visits. Apart from the study visits, partners attending Rotterdam had the opportunity to have an informal chat with some members of the hosted Regional Implementation Group.