On June 7, the local newspaper in Waalwijk, Netherlands officially announced the departure of Nicoline van Enter, founder and head of SLEM (Schoenen Leder Educatie Museum), and its commercial director Thijs Torreman. Countering a report in the newspaper that they had been dismissed by municipal authorities, van Enter said that the resignations were voluntary, citing differences of interests. They will make space for a new director who can fulfil the local aspirations of SLEM and will build the related shoe museum into the inspiring place that was originally envisioned, she added.

“I am very proud of what we have achieved with SLEM in the past 4 years, but now I am eagerly spreading my wings to fulfill my international aspirations, which reach way beyond Waalwijk,” van Enter said on her Facebook page. In September she will head up her own company again, continuing what she started in Waalwijk, but on an international scale. Until then she remains creative director of SLEM. Under her leadership, SLEM has been organizing conferences and training people on new technologies in the shoe and leather sector such as 3D manufacturing. We'll publish an extensive report on one of those conferences soon.

SLEM is pursuing new activities, despite van Enter's departure. It is opening today the first temporary exhibition of its future museum. Also, the organization has just announced the launch of Slemcubate, described as an intense three-month program for innovative start-ups in the footwear sector, intended to accelerate their growth and to help them to find investors. The program consists of bi-weekly two-day work sessions at Slem's campus at Waalwijk, in the Netherlands. Entrepreneurs and potential incubators, investors and partners are invited to a kick-off of the program at the Wet Blue Café in Waalwijk on June 16 at 5 PM.