Anthony Meyer zu Schlochtern
‘I see so many TU Delft alumni doing really cool things!’
Anthony Meyer zu Schlochtern graduated in 2013 as civil engineer in Water Management. His graduation was not without problems. To put it bluntly, there was a good deal of disagreement within the Board of Examiners about his final assessment. The TU Delft teachers thought his approach was brilliant. The others, from the traditional civil engineering industry, were ‘totally unimpressed’. This only served to strengthen Anthony’s conviction that a new way of looking at things is desperately needed in the industry.
During his graduation project he started the company Innovation Booster, together with two friends from Delft. This company helps the customer to bring innovations to the market. The focus is on the customer and the employees of the company itself.
Entrepreneur on a break
Currently Anthony, now aged 32, is an “entrepreneur on a break”. At the end of 2020, he and his co-founders passed the management baton on to the new generation who will lead their company further. “I knew all along that I wanted to go to Delft. I had a distant uncle that I used to go sailing with. He had studied in Delft and was director of HBG (now BAM), and he really inspired me. I remember the fantastic miniature dredgers and sailing boats that he used to play with.”
Delft turned out to be very enriching to Anthony in every respect. As a member of the Delftsch Studenten Corps (DSC), he threw himself into his administrative tasks. Among other things, he was a member of the finance committee, he learned how to get sponsor deals and organised business classes. He also turned out to have a talent for entrepreneurship. “My first real commercial role was in our own student company ANI Entertainment, that we took over with a group. We provided performers, light and sound for large-scale student events. These years taught me a lot about discipline and leadership, and I really learned how to sell things.
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How powerful would it be if we set up a mission together? A story that shows that technology can take us further as humanity, and is not 'evil'.
“In 2012, two fellow Bachelor students and I started our idea for Innovation Booster. We had wild plans, in the loft of Bart’s father’s house, and convinced that experimentation, observation and co-creation should be at the heart of innovation. According to our first customer, the NS, we were very refreshing. After a couple of positive projects, and once we had instituted an Advisory Board who provided input on how to build up the business, things really took off. Since then we have had some great – and some really tricky – adventures, including the expansion of our company to New York.”
Right now, the roller coaster is enjoying a brief rest. In the couple of months ‘downtime’ he has allowed himself since stepping back from business operations, Anthony has established that what he really wants to do is to connect, challenge and build. For this reason he has become a committee member in the Vereniging Oud-Leden of DSC and Good Friend and ambassador for the Delft University Fund. “The world is moving so fast right now. I really believe that if we can find other ways of working together across the generations, ways that are also less hierarchical, it will be better for all of us.”
An important task
Anthony explains his vision in broad terms. “Look, technology keeps getting a bad press in the news. Therein lies an important task for the TU Delft community. How powerful would it be if we were to set down a mission together? A story that shows that technology can take us forward as a human race, and is not inherently ‘evil’. Delft University Fund could play a unifying role in this, bringing together alumni from different generations who want to make a serious contribution to this social task. I see so many young people who are doing really cool things. Working together, we could achieve so much more.” He tells how last year he organised a business tour for a group of ‘older’ TU Delft alumni, visiting a number of great innovative companies started by relatively young alumni. Take PHYSEE for example, with SmartSkin technology for buildings, and the CEAD GROUP which builds 3D printers the size of a living room. “These are working on really cool and innovative things, and it was just so inspirational to experience that together.” In November 2019, he attended the last Good Friends’ live event, Taste of Excellence. He feels this is a strong concept. “But there is so much more we could do to build a real community. Let’s take a theme, line up people from young to old, proclaim our commitment and then really go for it!”