Success story

"“Students have the same passion and ambition as the employeneurs of..."

When you think of TMC, you probably think of entrepreneurship and tech talent. You are less likely to think of collaborating with students. But as it turns out, it is a perfect match. The students of TU/ecomotive - who are working on a modular car - are eager to develop and do so with a focus on the future, TMC likes to share knowledge and is always looking for new talent.

Thimo Reijntjens - Business Manager


In November ‘22, several TU/ecomotive students heard about TMC's broad technical expertise through other project teams. Thomas Dekkers, full-time member of the board of TU/ecomotive, and technical manager Victor Klomp, reached out and got in touch with Thimo and Esmée from TMC. Thomas: “They responded very positive to a possible collaboration and Esmée immediately suggested a pizza session to explore how they could help.”

Strong input

These pizza sessions are brainstorm sessions and quite characteristic for TMC. Thimo: “From the moment we got in touch about collaborating we started talking about our pizza sessions. Esmée organizes and supervises this on behalf of TMC Entrepreneurial Lab (TEL), and does so in a creative and very productive way. It’s the perfect way to shape a collaboration. Also, during such sessions, students get an idea of ​​ TMC and become acquainted with our fields of expertise. They also learn more about possible internship and career opportunities.”

Thomas noticed in their pizza session how students write everything down and how TMC makes things visual by drawings. “You can tell TMC has people with quite some knowledge of different work areas. This resulted in really strong input for our project.” Victor fully agrees: “You have a lot of smart people who not only help you, but also come up with solutions you wouldn’t come up with yourself. It was very interesting and helpful. And as far as I'm concerned, I highly recommended other companies to also do this. The fact we also received contact details to ask further questions is really nice.”


Thimo, business manager at TMC, remarks that - because of the possibilities and the future perspective - collaborating with students pays off: “Thanks to these kinds of partnerships, students get to know our engineers. And also, with this we are committed to a long-term collaboration and hope to offer added value for both (future) students and our current population. After all, students have the same passion and ambition as the employeneurs of TMC.” Esmée – innovation expert and project supervisor within TEL – fully agrees. Why this collaboration works so well, she says, is the fact student teams are working on future-oriented technology. “They are the talent of the future and, like TMC, they learn by doing, experimenting and developing. It’s why we are happy to support them with TMC Entrepreneurial Lab.”

TMC's employer Luuc – who supervises the TU/ecomotive student team a few hours a week – is a strong proponent of trying new things. According to him every step, no matter how small, counts when starting something new. “It often involves simple things you don't learn at school, but at work. Also, during a course you mainly look at problems from your own perspective, and you reason for a solution from that same point of view. Because of my experience, I know how to switch within different perspectives quickly and I try to pass that on to the students. I challenge them by asking critical questions about what suits them and about working in a team and individually. It is all about everyone learning how and when to use their strengths.” Luuc would love collaborations like this being established more often. Especially with academic studies: “You lack practical experience and the transition from university to work is enormous. Personally, I would have liked to experience working and learning before I got my first job. That’s why I find it extremely valuable I can offer this to these students.”

The right questions

As a technical manager at TU/ecomotive, Victor is the connection between business and the technical side and all engineering questions go through him. He is quite enthusiastic about the collaboration with Luuc: “He has a lot of knowledge and finds a solution for every problem. Because he was so available and committed, he joined lots of meetings and felt like part of our team. That’s quite unique.” Thomas agrees and thinks Luuc's guidance has really helped the students: “He makes us think from different angles and has more insight than all of us together. When we discuss he always asks the right questions and we learned how important that is.” Victor adds: “Many partners help us with one specific part, while Luuc is the best in thinking about general and larger matters. Such as the issue of tackling the safety problem of our modular car. Luuc was very pragmatic and made things accessible. So, we understood what we needed. His presence makes the collaboration with TMC one of the best for me.”

Luuc is also enthusiastic about the collaboration and would do it again in a heartbeat. In fact, he recommends it to other TMC-colleagues: “This is real self-enrichment. Of course, I teach the students all kinds of things, but I also learn from them. I gain new knowledge and learn new techniques from their studies. And, it is really nice to find a way in this collaboration together. This group is trying to change some consumer behavior with a sustainable car. Because they have a certain idea of how a company should be, there were many strategic discussions about their mission and vision. That was genuinely interesting,” says Luuc.

Will the collaboration be continued and expanded? Esmée is enthusiastic: “This is our first collaboration with TU/ecomotive, so we are still discovering how our interests overlap. Despite that, it went well and we look forward doing this more often and more structurally. For us, that means finding out how to do this in a way that works for everyone.”

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