Deprez building central place for entrepreneurship after the summer
Tilburg University is busy renovating Deprez building in Spoorzone in the Tilburg city center. From the start of the academic year 2023-2024, the building, which used to accommodate MindLabs, will be a central place for entrepreneurship. The activities in Deprez will further strengthen the connection between the university and the city.
Deprez building is owned by the City of Tilburg and the university has rented it for a period of at least five years. “The origins of our university are in the city,” says Paulina Snijders, Vice-President of the Tilburg University Executive Board. “Our students, instructors, and researchers increasingly feel the need to be in close contact with our city and to develop at the center of society quite literally.
For that purpose, we have included a city campus in our Campus Vision, supporting the development of an Innovation District in Spoorzone. After the new Mindlabs building, the historical Deprez building will play an important pioneering role in this context. Entrepreneurship has proven to be an effective way to apply scientific knowledge to benefit society at large. Deprez building will offer plenty of space for this, both literally and figuratively, for our city, for our instructors and researchers, and above all for our enterprising students.”
Education in entrepreneurship
The ground floor of Deprez building will largely be occupied by the Bachelor’s program of Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation (EB&I). Academic Director Wynand Bodewes is looking forward to using the building for team learning and challenge-based education, teaching methods that are an important part of the program. “In challenge-based education, students work on authentic, real-world problems, so they have to go out to collect information and conduct observations. Deprez, with various fine scaleups in close proximity, offers the perfect base of operations. The large central atrium of Deprez is ideal for team learning. This involves students working independently in small groups under the guidance of an instructor. No formal instruction is given, but the instructor is available for questions and talks to students now and then, individually and as a group. Deprez offers this combination of possibilities, given the open layout of the space and the flexible furniture.”
Accommodation for startups
On the ground floor and first floor, offices are available for rent for startups affiliated with IQONIC. These more spacious offices facilitate the startups’ growth. There will also be spaces for communal use, such as meeting rooms and collaboration spaces. “The fantastic location in Spoorzone, in a lively community of startups, businesses, and entrepreneurs, creates a stimulating environment that our startups can benefit from,” says Karen Lanning, Startups Business Developer at IQONIC. “Some of the events and workshops organized by IQONIC will certainly take place in Deprez.”
The fantastic location in Spoorzone, in a lively community of startups, businesses, and entrepreneurs, creates a stimulating environment that our startups can benefit from.
- Karen Lanning, Startups Business Developer at IQONIC
Connecting students and entrepreneurs
With Deprez’ design, the university wants to connect students and entrepreneurs in the building in a an organic way. For instance, there will be a common room and a shared coffee corner. The use of glass in the building creates an open atmosphere that invites interaction. Wynand Bodewes: “Our students in the Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation Bachelor’s learn about entrepreneurship with a view to ultimately setting up a business themselves. How wonderful that they will soon be doing this in a building where they can see their role models at work.”