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Entrepreneurship in the aviation sector: Story of Helder

Helder Reis is a Brazilian professional who works in the private Dutch aviation sector. He is the Co-founder of Hyer Aviation, a private jet charter company based in the Netherlands. In September 2017, Helder came to the Netherlands to pursue an MBA at Tilburg University. He started his business, Hyer Aviation, a year later. Helder's startup thrived because of the country's innovative and supportive ecosystem. Below, Helder explains how exactly he used this ecosystem to help him with his startup.

Helder Reis
Helder Reis

How did you end up with a startup in Eindhoven?

Firstly, I chose the Netherlands as the location for my startup because I was already studying here, and the startup visa program was the perfect way to start my business after graduation. The Netherlands is one of the few countries that allows and encourages staying in the country as an entrepreneur after completing your studies. Furthermore, the strategic location is excellent to connect with other major markets, facilitating business expansion as it grows.  Most people speak English, so usually, you don't need to worry about speaking Dutch, but it also depends on the type of business you run.

The Netherlands is one of the few countries that allows and encourages staying in the country as an entrepreneur after completing your studies.

Eindhoven is home to the country's second-largest airport, a crucial detail for a startup in the aviation industry. We really needed to be close to an airport, especially during the first stages of the startup.

As I was already studying in the country, I took the opportunity to explore the aviation sector, where I had already built my career. I investigated, researched, and talked to people to find the reasons for poor delivery and service in this specific market, and that's how the idea for Hyer Aviation was born.

 

Can you tell us a bit more about Hyer Aviation?

Hyer Aviation provides a platform for booking private jets to fly across Europe. Users can book the entire aircraft or just a seat on an empty flight, reducing the cost of flying privately. We also optimise aircraft utilisation for operators connected to our platform.

We have been operating in the Netherlands for three years and are now targeting international markets, including the UK, Switzerland, and Germany. The only service we have yet to develop fully is group charters for sports clubs and specific events for companies.

 

Hyer Aviation
Hyer Aviation
Hyer Aviation interior
Hyer Aviation

And what kind of process did you follow to set up your startup?

I first used a student visa for an MBA program and then applied for a Startup visa. I found the process for the latter pretty easy, although I had to provide a complete business plan. The process was well-explained, and my university helped me a lot since it was certified for Startup visa sponsorship. After obtaining it, it was easy to migrate to a self-employed visa. The response for the student and startup visas from the IND (The Immigration and Naturalisation Service) was quick, and I did not have to wait long to receive an answer.

 

Are you satisfied with the Dutch aviation ecosystem? How does it compare to Brazil's?

I think Netherlands' aviation ecosystem has a lot to improve as an ecosystem itself. When you compare it with ecosystems in other countries, such as the UK or France, most of the ecosystem here revolves around KLM and Schiphol. In other countries, however, there is a broader, more startup-friendly ecosystem.

There are many initiatives in the Netherlands that focus on creating a more sustainable aviation market in the future.

The most significant difference between the Dutch and Brazilian ecosystems is the level of innovation present here. There are many initiatives in the Netherlands that focus on creating a more sustainable aviation market in the future.

Helder could develop his idea and grow his business thanks to the support provided by Dutch universities and the country's startup ecosystem. His experience setting up a startup in the Netherlands highlights the importance of a nurturing environment for entrepreneurs, particularly in the early stages of their ventures. By supporting young entrepreneurs while they are still studying, the Netherlands helps foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship that benefits students and the wider community. The success of Hyer Aviation is just one example of the many startups that have been able to thrive in the Netherlands thanks to this supportive setup.

 

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Learn more about Brainport Eindhoven and logistics and infrastructure sector in the Netherlands.