Interview: Joep Gommers, EclecticIQ
In 2014, Joep Gommers and Raymon van der Velde established EclecticIQ. The company builds software and aggregates information for cyber intelligence analysts in governments and big companies. They developed a new technology by themselves that makes it possible to automatically collect, analyse, distribute, and archive data on all possible forms of cybercrime and cyber espionage. They experienced rapid growth from the very start. So why are these out-and-out entrepreneurs enthusiastic partners of The Hague Security Delta (HSD)?
EclecticIQ has acquired millions of euros of invest- ment capital, operates all over the world, and employs 90 people in four different countries. ‘And to think that it all started in an Amsterdam basement’, laughs CEO Gommers. ‘As geeks, we had a great idea and lots of ambition, but we thought it was a bit much to invite international defence organisations and intelligence services to visit us in our basement. By joining HSD, we immedi- ately had a great location in The Hague for receiving our clients. That gave us the serious look and feel that we needed at the start.’ By now, EclecticIQ has its own office location in Amsterdam. They use the HSD Campus to welcome important international delegations and for workshops.
In Gommers’ view a good entrepreneur is not dependent upon HSD. ‘You have to be able to take care of yourself, otherwise you won’t survive in the long run.’ But a security cluster such as HSD does make life quite a bit easier, especially for starters. ‘It’s a fact that, as a small Dutch company, you will not be visited by foreign delegations. But the municipality of The Hague and HSD regularly welcome such delegations. And HSD makes sure that they get to meet Dutch companies during their visit. That’s how we succeeded in getting to meet international government players and companies and therefore expan- ding into new markets. Gommers also puts his company on the map by using the HSD network to acquire funding and generate attention.
Trusted brand name
In practice, Gommers has found that HSD is a well-known and trusted brand name inside as well as outside the Netherlands. And that does have an effect. ‘A security cluster needs to have a trusted and stable reputation in order to bring companies and governments together in a low-key and relaxed fashion. That is no easy feat. But still they succeed. In my view, that’s a result of the right intentions as well as the integrity of HSD Office, (HSD’s operational arm).’ He mentions the Cyber Security Week as an example. This theme serves as a focal point for organising events, workshops, seminars, and presentations where people from government, the business community, and knowl- edge institutions can meet and talk informally. ‘That kind of thing helps to create mutual trust. And that’s the key in the world of security.’ And of course Gommers also benefits from such a week. ‘My own agenda and that of my team are filled with new appointments afterwards.’
‘Young and innovative companies should be happy that we have Dutch government bodies, such as the mu- nicipality of The Hague and government ministries, as well as major companies that are willing to take risks’, says the CEO of EclecticIQ. ‘On the international stage, I see risk-averse behaviour in many markets. Only mature products that have already proven themselves are purchased. It’s not like that in the Netherlands. New ideas and com- panies are actually supported here.
The government is even willing to be the first party to buy a new product. Internationally, it’s also a very important reference for other companies.’ According to Gommers, our Dutch entrepreneurial culture makes it possible for young companies to succeed and continue growing. ‘We are an example of this, and HSD plays an important role in that respect.
This article is original from the HSD 5 Years Magazine. You can view it in its entirety here.