5G Hub Team Presents – Hilde de Vocht

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5G Hub Team Presents – Hilde de Vocht

Representing the High Tech Campus on 5G Hub’s Program Board, Hilde de Vocht does not hide her excitement for the project and what it stands for. A formidable networker, dedicated employee, and fantastic marketing professional, Hilde is also one of the founders of the Female Tech Heroes. In this interview, besides talking us through her interests and background, she shares the reasons behind her enthusiasm for the 5G Hub and reveals why she believes it is an inspiring project. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Hilde de Vocht.  


What can you tell us about yourself?  

I’ve been a proud and enthusiastic employee of the High Tech Campus for more than ten years now. I’m responsible for marketing, communication, PR, branding, community management, and sponsoring. I’m also the founder of the Female Tech Heroes Network, together with Ingelou Stol. With this initiative, we highlight the need for more diversity and inclusion in the tech world, especially for the female workforce.   

I live in Eersel with my husband, my son, and my daughter. In my free time, I like to play tennis, go for a run or a walk in the woods, and ride my mountain bike, especially in the summer. I love to ride in the mountains of Italy and France.  

Before joining the High Tech Campus, around 2008, I worked in other jobs in the marketing and communication area. But I think the nicest one to mention is the position I had right before this one, within Philips Lighting, which now is Signify. I was responsible for the marketing and communication and some business development of lighting components. From there, I switched to the High Tech Campus. It was an internal career switch within Philips because, at that time, the High Tech Campus was still owned by them.   

I’m very loyal, and I have a dedication to the company I work for. I love to work in teams, I think I have a great sense of responsibility, and I’m very target-driven, and I truly want to get things done. I like to meet new people every day, so that’s why I love my job at the High Tech Campus so much: we have so many people here. We are constantly involved in many different and inspiring projects, and we have countless interesting partnerships. I have the opportunity to work on many diverse topics every day and, when I want to learn more about startups, I enter High TechXL (our venture building program) or Lumolabs; if I want to learn more about corporate life, I discuss it with Philips, NXP or ASML. It’s very stimulating.   

I’m also driven by contributing to a better society and a better region. For this reason, initiatives like the Expat Spouses and their Women for Women Program are the kind of activity that I appreciate and enjoy taking part in next to my job.  

How did you get involved in the 5G Hub project?  

joined the project around summer 2019. That was when VodafoneZiggo, Ericsson, High Tech Campus, and Brainport decided to start the 5G Hub together. After the first agreement, as we were working towards the opening, we began to discuss how to deal with marketing: we needed to establish a brand, a logo, etc. On January 30th, 2020, we had the official opening of the 5G Hub. In the six previous months, I had worked mainly on the marketing and communication part and the location.   

We hired a company to design the space: we needed tables, meeting rooms, an event area. We were pretty busy with the whole infrastructure of the 5G apparel as well. So, I was involved in the process of designing the location, creating the logo, the brand, and making the first plans of the goals and the pillars to work on.  

Where did the idea for the 5G Hub come from?  

It started with VodafoneZiggo and Ericsson. They had had some conversations with the local government of Eindhoven and the broader Brainport region. They already had this vision and wished to work towards a better society and develop projects thinking of a sustainable smart city because that’s, of course, a hot topic in every region.  

The High Tech Campus was there to establish the marketing and communication component and provide the physical location that they needed: a place where the technology was available and where people could also meet each other and think together about new, innovative solutions.   

There’s also the fact that the 5G Hub, its philosophy, and goals fit perfectly in our point of view and the Campus’ strategy. As such, joining it and helping power this initiative was, actually, a natural move.  

 What is your role and what are your main activities at the 5G Hub?  

I’m mainly involved in the strategic part. I’m a member of the Program Board together with Rene Visser, Marielle Sleumer, and Senna Kloosterman. Next to that, I’m also very involved in the marketing part: see how we can create more content to increase our visibility. We write articles about the 5G Hub, and we organize events with our ecosystem. So, on the content and marketing side, I play a significant role.   

Also, in terms of networking: as the 5G Hub is located on the High Tech Campus and we have 230 companies here, it’s easy to establish the connections because I know people behind every door. Furthermore, I have an extensive network myself, and I know what’s happening in the region. For this reason, I think I can effortlessly get the parties together. We have some exciting initiatives in the High Tech Campus, so I want to help connect these people as well. We have the High Tech Plaza, our startup Hub, and High Tech XL, our venture building program, for example. We are also opening our own Artificial Intelligence Innovation Center on April 22nd. Therefore, it would be great if we could establish some connections there and build some new ventures around 5G technology. That would be an excellent next step.

Hilde de Vocht and Ingelou Stol during a Female Tech Heroes event.

What are your main accomplishments within the 5G Hub? What are you proud of?  

First of all, I’m delighted that the 5G Hub is here in the High Tech Campus because that’s how we envisioned it by the end of 2019. We have also updated our own High Tech Campus strategy: we call it the Strategy Towards 2030. The question is: “Where do we want to be in 2030?” “As high as we can,” I say because we want to be a crucial innovation hotspot, and we want to be compared to Berlin, Silicon Valley, Boston, all the other hotspots in the world. We are famous as the capital of deep tech: you hear a lot about semiconductors, photonics, chips, sensors, etc., and we are experts at making complex technology, complex machines, and working on small devices. As High Tech Campus, we also want to be active in the digital innovation fields in data science, artificial intelligence, 5G, lifestyle because that’s the whole spectrum and the playing field of tech. Besides, deep tech also needs the software side. So we have updated our strategy quite a bit to reach those goals. Then, we managed to establish the 5G Hub on the Campus, which is spot on with our plan, and I’m very proud of this.   

Next to that, I’m very proud, of course, of the big opening we had here and the great demo with the Connected Ambulance and Philips. We managed to organize such a great event, where so many people were there with an enthusiastic, positive vibe. And, of course, I must mention our fantastic win at the Computable Awards last year. That’s another proof that we are on the right track, doing something relevant. It’s rewarding to have also other people recognizing the success and uniqueness of this cooperation.  

I’m also happy with the teamwork and synergy between the partners. I feel real solidarity and a productive environment to do things together. It’s such a pity that COVID is there because it’s so challenging to maintain the high spirits when we are only active in the digital world.  

On top of that, I’m proud of all the students doing research in the Hub. As High Tech Campus, we need more young people, more students with us. That’s also a goal within our Campus 2030 Strategy: to attract more young people to the High Tech Campus, not only for traineeship but to get really involved in all the projects we have. As such, I’m proud that so many interested students are working on assignments in the 5G Hub.  

Last but not least, I’m proud of what we did so far. We created new partnerships with interesting parties, like TMC, RabobankEFFECT Photonics and PSV, for example. We also did some great events and hired our community manager, Letícia Batista. I think that, despite all the limitations, we have grown and managed to create a good, positive impact already.  

Why is the 5G Hub an inspiring initiative?  

5G and this whole digital innovation is a hot topic. That’s one of the reasons why it’s inspiring. Many companies want to do something with 5G, but they might not know what exactly or where to start from. So I think we can truly help them in this aspect in the 5G Hub.  

Besides, admire the purpose of the 5G Hub: it’s not only about technology but about creating a positive impact on society through cutting-edge technology. It’s a group of people who believe they can make a difference and use technology to save livesand I love the goals and the grounds of this initiative 

There’s also the physical location, which is an inspiring place to be, meet new people, and work on exceptional projects. It’s also an inspiring place for the students: they explore the assignment they are working on and learn with our fantastic team. It’s the combination of all the necessary ingredients. There’s some sort of magic potion happening there.  

What do you envision for the 5G Hub in 2021?  

I hope to go back to the 5G Hub very, very soon. And I want to work further on the connection between the High Tech Campus ecosystem and the 5G Hub. I will love it if I can say, by the end of the year, “I have connected 25 High Tech Campus companies to the 5G Hub.”   

For now, we have worked a lot on our awareness, with a focus on different topics. When we go back to the 5G Hub physically, I want to invite all the partners to discuss further possibilities: “Okay, what can we do? What can we create together? How can we bring more people to 5G Hub?”   

I’m also envisioning many great events when we return from the digital to the physical world. I think we really need this because of the proximity: being there is so important. We talk to each other, we generate great ideas. That’s what I love to do. Oh, and we have the 5G Innovation Challenge coming along – it’s going to be a great success!  

I would also love to see the 5G Hub being part of other events in the region, like the Dutch Design Week, as we planned last year. I think that it’s also important that we are part of other great things taking place around us. We have a lot to offer and to learn with other people: co-creation is in the 5G Hub’s philosophy.