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When you think of the Dutch chip industry, names like ASML or ASM might quickly come to mind. However, there’s more to it, a lot more. Consider Nearfield Instruments, a global leader thanks to their revolutionary Scanning Probe Microscopy System.

Founder Hamed Sadeghian says, “To produce super-fast computers, new technologies and processes are required. Continuous measurement during the production process is essential to prevent errors. Nearfield Instruments designs, develops, integrates, sells, and maintains advanced measuring machines using our unique Scanning Probe Microscopy System. It enables chip manufacturers to increase the production yield – and consequently the functionality – of their microchips. This leads to the production of smaller, more powerful consumer electronics at lower costs.”

Sadeghian started his company after developing a ‘proof-of-concept’. “The interest in our technology surged as a result. We immediately received numerous requests to demonstrate it on relevant customer products. Typically, this doesn’t happen so quickly with hardware and deep tech innovations. So, we quickly realized that we had found a genuine market gap with our technological solution.”

The entire supply and development chain of the semiconductor industry is concentrated in the Netherlands and Belgium. Therefore, it wasn’t surprising that Nearfield Instruments settled in Rotterdam. “Rotterdam offered us the perfect combination of space and flexibility. We found office space for approximately 75 people, along with a large area to build a cleanroom for product development. Such a place is hard to come by, often providing one or the other. Furthermore, in the vicinity, there are ample educational institutions training people in the fields that deep tech startups like us require.”

Manage the unavoidable, avoid the unmanageable. You should primarily take action and go for it.

Hamed Sadeghian, CEO of Nearfield Instruments

“Up!Rotterdam has introduced me to a vast network of talent and numerous connections at the EU level. We’re regularly invited to gatherings with other startups or with the Rotterdam municipality. However, we do notice that the term ‘startup/scale-up’ still largely conjures the image of software-as-a-service companies. Deep tech companies like us have much longer development timelines and different growth and investment needs to mature.

More understanding in that regard could further enhance Rotterdam’s appeal as a robust tech ecosystem because there is plenty of innovative talent here. To all aspiring entrepreneurs, I’d like to convey: Manage unavoidable things, avoid unmanageable ones. You should primarily take action and go for it.”

Meet the Icons

Hamed Sadeghian is one of our Rotterdam Icons. Curious about the other Icons? Click here to meet them!

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