Student Luc Jonkers pitched his project at SXSW 2023

Fontys Information and Communication Technology
Within Open Learning, students are given the freedom to design their own learning route. Luc Jonkers, an ICT & Software Engineering student, chose this route and struck out on his own. What started as an internship assignment, in which he was allowed to develop a decentralised content platform, became his great passion and now his own start-up. Even better, he was asked to pitch his innovative solution at South By South West (SXSW) 2023; the event for tech innovation.

Students learn in and with practice within Fontys ICT. This is often at partner companies, but can also take the form of their own venture. 'Reflix' is one of the start-ups currently based within the Fontys ICT InnovationLab. With Reflix, Luc focuses on video makers from the indie/underground circuit.

Delta programme
The Open Learning format offers students a lot of freedom in how they learn. Within this, Luc follows the Delta programme. Within this, excellent students are allowed even more freedom to follow their own interests. For Luc, this started with an internship at Copyright Delta, where he explored the ways in which blockchain could add value for content platforms. In doing so, he became fascinated by the possibilities in a media landscape where content creators have few options: "There's a big gap between YouTube and Netflix, but content creators pull the short straw. Either you retain ownership of your creation and earn nothing, or you sell your content and lose all control. There is room in between."

From project to start-up
Within the programme, Luc found the opportunity to take over the project as a start-up: "You get a lot of space, but also support and opportunities to get started with such an idea. What the project is about is ownership and a direct transaction between creator and consumer, via blockchain technology. The challenge with that is that a lot of the technology is still very young, which makes it challenging. On top of that, if you want to build something with blockchain, which is not there yet, you are the only one working on it. So if I don't succeed, no one will." He is now fully engaged with this start-up, together with a number of partner organisations. Eleven students are now doing internships with his project and one partner organisation, Eluvio, invited Luc to pitch his project at the innovation hall SXSW 2023.

Pitching at SXSW 2023
Luc grew up in Australia and already travelled a lot, but going to the United States alone to pitch his project as a 21-year-old was a challenge. Still, he did it: "Despite having a good pitch ready for Eluvio's Web3 Media meetup, I was nervous and a bit overwhelmed. But SXSW is the place to make connections and pitch your project as a startup. Being so young does make it extra exciting, but it also has its advantages! My biggest lesson from this though is that you just have to be yourself."

The project was well received by the experts at Eluvio and SXSW has provided Luc with a lot of inspiration and connections for his next steps. Chief among them is really shaping the startup: "We are building a decentralised video platform for alternative content with a transparent revenue model. With this, we are diving into the gap between the big players with an alternative and it turned out that there is a lot of demand and enthusiasm about this within that industry. SXSW helped me to expand my network, but also to get my vision sharp. I'm going to work on that now."