Author: Tessa van Breeden

NeoStove: The Sustainable Cooking Pan Revolution

There is usually a buzz of activity in the kitchens of restaurants. To serve delicious meals for customers on time, many cooking pans are used on a gas stove simultaneously. According to NeoStove, traditional pans utilize only 25% of the heat from gas stoves, and the rest of the uncaptured heat ends up in the kitchen, making it an uncomfortably hot environment for the kitchen staff. Additionally, these inefficient pans cause high gas and energy bills to the restaurants while increasing the carbon footprint. 

To solve these issues and to cook more efficiently, NeoStove invented SpacePan – an efficient cooking pan that can revolutionize the way of cooking as it requires only half the gas to cook a meal.

Learning to cook

Founder Surya Prakash grew up in India under his mother’s wing and her fantastic cooking skills. When he moved to Europe for studies, he started cooking himself. He found that cooking pans heat quite inefficiently, taking only a quarter of the heat provided by the gas. The residual heat warms up kitchens, for example, the student kitchen Surya shared. In restaurants, it’s even common for the temperatures to rise above 40 degrees Celsius. So, as an engineer, he was keen on solving that problem and did so using space technology. 

Surya created the first prototype of his cooking pan for a course at the TU Delft. Initially designed for a class called Smart Energy Products, the professor was very enthusiastic and even gave him his first investment: some starting money to develop the project further. Decidedly, he put it on his backlog, focusing on finishing his master’s degree first. At Space Expo in Noordwijk, he got the idea to use space technology to develop an even more helpful cooking pan.

Once he graduated, Surya decided to work for another startup first to gain know-how about the ins and outs of running a startup, however, with his cooking pan project at the back of his mind. In 2020, he participated in the “The Hague Innovators Challenge” and won 10,000 euros for his project. Also, NeoStove was admitted to the European Space Agency business incubation center in Noordwijk, which provided the funding to start developing some other prototypes immediately.

“Cooking is something we have been doing since the invention of fire (or so we think!). Food is fundamental to humans but also costs a lot of energy. The SpacePan cooks twice as efficiently and even helps the environment by using fewer resources.” – Surya Prakash, Founder of NeoStove.

Sustainable Cooking

As with many industries, the sustainability demands within the cooking industry are high. Despite several sub-niches within sustainable cooking, such as water usage or animal welfare, NeoStove focuses on solving the carbon footprint problem. With their SpacePan, they aim to reduce the amount of gas used, lowering the energy bill by 50 percent and reducing gas emissions.

In addition to the incubator in Noordwijk, NeoStove also joined the YES!Delft.  Being a solo founder, Surya found the inspiring community of entrepreneurs especially useful. Also, his mentor Angela Pellaupessy via the YES!Delft program helps him with second opinions and some accountability, which is particularly useful for solo founders. NeoStove has an office in the YES!Delft building, from where they are busy testing and adjusting the prototype with the help of restaurants.

“Our SpacePan cooks way faster than the traditional pans. One of the chefs testing the cooking pan said it was so efficient that you could fry eggs using candlelight, so to speak. Restaurants are helping tremendously with testing our product, and I’m delighted with the feedback so far.” Surya Prakash, Founder of NeoStove.

Next steps upcoming 6-12 months

NeoStove is funded by grants and won 25,000 euros from Rabobank earlier this year. Their primary focus is to make the SpacePan a perfect fit for restaurants so they can start selling their product. Although they are already testing their SpacePan with several restaurants, they still want to increase their use base and gather more feedback. So, they are looking for more restaurants that wish to reduce their gas emissions and the temperature in the kitchen, and to cook faster. 

As a startup, their goals are fast and ambitious: NeoStove is now focusing on finalizing the design. The next step is to look for manufacturing partners and pilot production. Of course, this also means expanding the team as it requires considerable effort to hit their ambitious goal of selling 10,000 SpacePans in 2024 to restaurants and helping the restaurant industry to become more sustainable and profitable. 

Restaurants wanting to try SpacePan can contact Surya directly here:

Motivated interns and thesis students interested in accelerating sustainable cooking together with NeoStove can send their applications year-round here (


Your dream can become a reality too. As long as you want to make a change, don’t miss the opportunity to boost your start-up by joining the YES!Delft Validation Lab or Accelerator Program. However, if working for a start-up resonates more with your ambition, we got you! Check out the vacancies on our YES!Talents page!


CareTech program: is the Captain of Remote Care

In general, humans are doing well. We have developed new treatments and medicines for all kinds of diseases, and our lifespan gets longer and longer. However, it also means our healthcare system is under more pressure. Fewer people work in healthcare, and the workload is ever-increasing. That is why stimulating innovations in healthcare is more important than ever.

The CareTech Network Program helps startups in care or assistive technology to expand their network and thereby realize innovations in healthcare. In six weeks, they receive masterclasses and access to various stakeholders in the social domain. Finally, a jury selects the most promising idea. The winner will receive an opportunity to run pilots with the help of the municipality of The Hague, the Netherlands.

Last year, won first prize: their Live app makes remote care assistance possible. Thanks to ‘two-way’ augmented reality (AR), a doctor or nurse can provide step-by-step real-live aid to patients. In this interview, founders Walther Boon and Remko Huigen discuss their experiences with the CareTech Network Program and show where they are now with their startup.

Two men standing holding a cheque

Congratulations on winning the award in 2022! What is

Walther: helps provide remote care to anyone – anywhere. I am a doctor and mainly work in the maritime industry. It is an enormous challenge if you have a medical problem as a captain at sea. There is no hospital nearby. At our training center, captains learn to provide necessary care assistance. That’s where the idea for came about. So, now we also offer applications for remote care. Of course, these can be used everywhere, not just at sea. With that in mind, we participated in the CareTech program last year and won the prize.

How has the CareTech program helped you?

Remko: It is beneficial to talk to many stakeholders: the municipality of The Hague, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, hospitals, healthcare suppliers, investors, and, of course, other startups. It is nice to exchange experiences and add various parties to your network.

Walther: Participating in the program also helps to validate your product. The jury consists of people who understand it, from YES!Delft and Innovation Quarter, among others. It’s a good sign if these experts think your solution is a good idea.

How has winning the award helped the growth and development of

Remko: We will start a trial this month with a supplier of care devices. For example, people often return wheelchairs with problems easily solved at home. So, we are going to help repair care devices remotely. That was an unexpected turn because we monitor care cases in the maritime industry. We are also preparing another trial, which focuses on remote care assistance on land.

What advice would you give to medical startups considering getting involved?

Remko: There are many startups with good ideas, but they need to remember to validate them properly. We sometimes forget to do that, too. I recommend engaging in market research and product validation as early as possible. It’s a cliché, but you really have to work from the needs and problems of your target group.

Walther: Within the program, relatively objective experts give their opinion. Participating in a program such as the CareTech program offers you an opportunity for honest feedback.

What is the most positive experience you have had with

Walther: With the help of satellites, it is possible to establish fast and stable connections at sea, which can be a technical challenge. Last week, a Greek doctor at sea quickly resolved a care problem thanks to our Live app. That’s precisely the sort of message that inspires me to keep going. Of course, it’s nice to win prizes. But helping people with our technology is the best part of my job.

Remko: The idea is simple: you start the Live app, log in, and help each other. Making it happen is challenging, but our technology works both at sea and on land. We have created something that benefits people, and that makes me happy.

Conclusion helps people remotely with care situations everywhere: at sea and on land. The app has many possibilities, and thanks to the CareTech program, is testing various uses of their versatile app. In addition to the pilots they run with the municipality of The Hague and additional partners, they are also open to other collaborations.

If you have a technology that can help people live independently at home, sign up for the CareTech Network Program. Visit this webpage for more information.

MEMSYS: the future of self-powered devices

Batteries and accumulators are everywhere, from laptops to your electric toothbrush and electric cars to industrial machine sensors. But, over time, all batteries need to be replaced. We expect to need increasingly more batteries, which will impact the environment negatively.

MEMSYS aims to reduce the replacement of batteries. They do so by developing energy harvesting technologies and their application in small devices that can power themselves. Their first product is a self-powered sensor for the railway sector that monitors the wagons.

From lab to the world

Thijs Blad founded MEMSYS as a spin-off of the TU Delft. Thijs Blad studied mechanical engineering and came across energy harvesting during his master’s thesis. He found a technology that harvests energy from vibrations using piezoelectric materials: solid materials that hold electric charge, resulting from pressure and latent heat. Using that energy is possible on a small scale, making generating energy within devices possible.

During his Ph.D., Thijs developed a mechanism and wanted to bring this to application in the world. He noticed many problems with the batteries of industrial sensors. Sometimes within specific industries, thousands of batteries must be replaced. That requires new batteries, which impacts the environment. In addition, the process of replacing many batteries at the same time can be complicated and expensive. All in all, a challenging job.

“At one point during my Ph.D., I was working with 11 students on my energy harvesting project. I love working on an idea with many people and striving for the same goal together. It is one of the reasons I started MEMSYS: to be able to build something from scratch with a team.” Thijs Blad, Founder and CEO of MEMSYS.

Data collection on freight trains

In 2022, Thijs joined the Validation Lab of YES!Delft. Since 2023, MEMSYS has an office at the YES!Delft building. They also participated in the accelerator program. The program helped Thijs to find a product-market fit and to learn about the practicalities of building a business. 

Thijs found a problem with freight trains transporting goods during the Validation Lab. Those wagons have no electric power, so batteries would have to power the sensors. That leads to problems such as scheduling maintenance timely or wagons that are lost. Thijs believes that all these operational problems could be easily prevented if there was a way to collect data on the wagons. So, he asked Gerrit-Jan Mollink to join MEMSYS as COO because of his vast experience within the railway industry, and they embarked on a journey to help solve this problem.

“At first, I only had created a technology. I was searching for ways to apply that technology to solve challenges. So, I conducted market research in several industries and found a problem that MEMSYS can help to fix. Thanks to YES!Delft, this was easier because they helped me during the Validation Lab.” Thijs Blad, Founder of MEMSYS.

Funding and next steps

The first sensors were recently installed on trains in Germany to collect data. Within three weeks, we could help our partner by identifying  weak spots in the track, and our partner could schedule maintenance accordingly . The company was pleased with that; it saved much time and research and prevented bigger problems. Placing the first sensors is made possible by an investment of UNIIQ earlier this year. Additionally, MEMSYS has received a grant from the NWO. 

The data will be used to make the prototype of the self-powered sensors. In the upcoming year, MEMSYS wants to set up a core team with expertise in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, data analysis, and software development. All in all, MEMSYS is developing the first sensor that will power itself via energy harvesting, aiding the railway freight transport industry to become more efficient. Ultimately, this first project will open up opportunities to diminish battery usage worldwide.


Your dream can become a reality too. As long as you want to make a change, don’t miss the opportunity to boost your start-up by joining the YES!Delft Validation Lab or Accelerator Program. However, if working for a start-up resonates more with your ambition, we got you! Check out the vacancies on our YES!Talents page!


Erasmus MC : Collaborating with frontline healthcare professionals

Erasmus MC is actively involved in innovating their healthcare daily. The Create4Care department aims to make work more efficient and accessible through technology. They achieve this by establishing collaborations with doctors, nurses, patients, students, and researchers. There are also external initiatives, such as the partnership between Erasmus MC and YES!Delft, where startups contribute to healthcare innovation through the Health & Care Tech program. One of the individuals involved within Erasmus MC is Karin Schröder-de Bruin, who has worked as a nurse in Erasmus MC for almost 20 years, 17 of which were spent in the day treatment center.

Karin is responsible for patients who do not need to stay overnight, such as patients undergoing minor procedures or those requiring infusion treatments. “Every day, we treat many patients with various cases. That requires knowledge about all health specialties, which keeps my work challenging and interesting,” says Karin. “I often say I know a little about everything.”

Karin participated in the “Innovation Champions” course within Erasmus MC. She developed a click system for securing infusion poles, as the traditional system causes wrist problems. “We have specific chairs for eye surgeries. When using general anesthesia, there needs to be an infusion pole attached to the chair. However, it’s not necessary for local anesthesia. The IV pole is currently secured with an inconvenient screwing system at the bottom of the chair,” explains Karin. Nurses have to bend down to loosen or tighten the IV pole; adjusting is not always possible if it is too tightly secured. “We have to loosen the poles regularly because we receive new patients with different procedures twice or thrice daily.The current pivot system warps and cracks the wheelbase. Bacteria can get in there, which is not a pleasant thought when someone is in operation,” says Karin.

Therefore, Karin, Create4Care, and Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences students designed a click system. This system is much more efficient and less burdensome for nurses. “We are currently testing the system. Overall, everyone is satisfied; it is much easier. I hope to complete the testing phase before the summer vacation,” proudly shares Karin.

On the one hand, Karin believes that making work more ergonomic will result in fewer colleagues experiencing health issues, and on the other hand, she hopes that it will provide more opportunities for nurses to have a say. “Many great things will emerge,” says Karin. “When we allocate time for the development of innovations, we will work much more efficiently. If we can easily remove an infusion pole from a chair, doctors in the operating room won’t have to work around it anymore. I derive a lot of energy and satisfaction from this project, which makes me feel better on the work floor. It is essential to involve all stakeholders in the thinking process.”

Erasmus MC – Create4Care: Alleviating Challenges in Healthcare

At the Create4Care department of Erasmus MC, nurses, doctors, patients, researchers, and students work together to make work in healthcare more efficient and effective. Onno Helder is the initiative’s coordinator. “I was trained as a pediatric nurse at the Erasmus MC-Sophia Children’s Hospital. We did some things in an inconvenient way, and I often wondered if our work could be made easier,” says Onno. This interest led to a desire to do more research. 

Eventually, Onno completed a Ph.D. in infection prevention for premature infants. “During my defense, I told about my wish to develop a feedback system that supports employees to comply with the 30-second hand alcohol drying time. Then the hands are optimally disinfected to be able to touch the baby in the incubator. I just couldn’t design the feedback system because I’m not an engineer. I was put in touch with Ronald van Gils, senior lecturer at Hogeschool Rotterdam, and we eventually started Create4Care together. Students helped to develop the Neonatal Incubator’s Traffic Light. It significantly improves the hand disinfection drying time, and I am very pleased with that. With Create4Care, we now mainly focus on healthcare innovations in the hospital.”

“The strength of Create4Care lies in collaborations. Nurses, doctors, patients, and students provide input so that we meet the needs in the workplace,” says Onno. “An example of this is the TrulyEasy clamp, which allows easy height adjustment of an arterial line. It recently won the Anna Reynvaan Practice Award.” An arterial line is used to measure blood pressure. However, when a patient changes position, the line must be adjusted for a reliable measurement. Loosening and tightening the line is difficult and often painful for the wrists and forearms of nurses. Onno says, “This was a practical problem for which we came up with a good solution. It seems simple, but it’s not. Strict quality requirements bind us, and, of course, we must first thoroughly test innovations.” The ultimate goal of Create4Care is to roll out innovations nationally. Onno says, “Because the practical problems in Erasmus MC also occur in other hospitals.”

What is the significance of developing these innovations? In addition to making the practice easier and preventing ergonomic injuries, the HealthTech sector provides a new perspective on healthcare demand. “There is an increasing demand for care while fewer employees are available. In addition, we look at a future scenario in which more hospital care is moved to the patient’s home situation,” says Onno. “We need to organize this smartly, and technology can help.”

Collaboration between different parties is crucial. Therefore, Erasmus MC has recently started working with YES!Delft: startups contribute to technological solutions to make healthcare easier through the Health & Care Tech program. Onno Helder says, “In the future, I want to integrate education, scientific research, and innovations seamlessly. We already see the success among nurses: they are incredibly proud of what they have contributed.”

Erasmus MC : Leader in HealthTech

Innovation and technology are increasingly important in the healthcare sector as they can improve the quality of care. From advanced medical equipment and more accurate diagnoses to solutions that make nurses’ and doctors’ work more pleasant and efficient, the relatively new HealthTech industry aims to make healthcare more effective and accessible for everyone.

The Erasmus Medical Center (Erasmus MC) in Rotterdam is a frontrunner. In 2019, the Create4Care department was created, which focuses on innovations daily. The main questions: how do you shape new technological ideas based on improvement points asked for in practice? And what does the future of healthcare look like?

At Create4Care, nurses, doctors, patients, researchers, and students collaborate on various innovations to solve practical problems. For example, the digital baby length meter currently being developed is much more convenient and hygienic than the traditional measuring rod, making it easier and safer to measure a vulnerable baby in an incubator. Another example: the SoftKees is a cushion developed in response to a patient’s question to relieve the drain’s pain and prevent pressure sores.

By solving practical problems with innovative physical solutions using technology, Erasmus MC and Create4Care contribute to a sustainable future of healthcare. By working more pleasantly and efficiently, the nursing profession remains more attractive, contributing to healthcare workers’ retention. Innovations also help with the quality of life of patients.

Innovations also contribute to the quality of life for patients. Recently, Erasmus MC has started collaborating with YES!Delft is the largest tech incubator in Europe for tech startups, including MedTech startups. Within the Health & Care Tech program, startups work with Erasmus MC to contribute to the practical challenges in the hospital. The ultimate goal is to introduce innovations nationally so that all hospitals in the Netherlands have the opportunity to innovate healthcare.

SoundCell: Empowering Rapid Diagnostics

Sometimes, you may experience an infection. Although your immune system will strive to restore your health, antibiotics may be necessary to assist with the healing process. However, finding functioning antibiotics can be challenging as antibiotic resistance is becoming more common. To help the patient recover quicker and fight antibiotic resistance, SoundCell has found a way to diagnose antibiotic resistance within an hour so that doctors can prescribe the correct medicine as soon as possible.

From research to a practical solution

Aleksandre Japaridze, Irek Roslon, Farbod Alijani and Peter Steeneken met at the University of Delft. As a biophysicist, Aleksandre has always been interested in biology. He studies the behavior of single cells at the Department of BioNanoscience at Delft University. Together with Irek, Farbod, and Peter, he tried to find a new way to understand the behavior of single cells as fast and accurately as possible. They developed a hypersensitive diagnostics device, and as they progressed, they realized the potential their machine holds for rapid clinical diagnostics, particularly in determining the effectiveness of antibiotics. 

Usually, investigating bacteria and their antibiograms takes about three days. So, doctors often prescribe antibiotics immediately to prevent the patient from getting sicker. The downside is that in 10 percent of cases, the antibiotics don’t work. As a result, the patient only gets sicker and may even die. Unfortunately, antibiotic resistance is also becoming increasingly common nowadays. The diagnostic device of SoundCell can be used to find out within 1 hour which antibiotic will be effective against the bacteria a patient is infected with. 

Their innovation represents a novel approach. By listening to the sound of cells, the subtle movements and behaviors of the cells are accurately detected. This way, the patient immediately receives proper medication, and misuse of antibiotics is contained, which in turn can prevents antibiotic resistance.

Reference: Nature Nanotechnology (Nat. Nanotechnol.) ISSN 1748-3395 (online) ISSN 1748-3387 (print)

“Initially, we developed an ultrasensitive method for research purposes to determine whether a single cell is alive, dead, growing, or dormant. By talking to clinical experts, we realized that doctors could use our research in a practical way.” – Irek Roslon, CTO and co-founder of SoundCell.

Building the startup

SoundCell operates in biomedical sciences and clinical diagnostics. Their target audience includes technicians and healthcare professionals prescribing antibiotics to combat infectious diseases.

The startup joined the renowned incubator YES!Delft, which has provided valuable support in networking, expertise, and coaching. Being part of the ecosystem has helped the founders mitigate risks, gain experience, and navigate the complex landscape of medical device development. Additionally, the startup has received funding from UNIIQ, Delft Enterprises, Graduate Entrepreneur, and various scientific grants, which have been instrumental in progressing their work.

“One thing I like about YES!Delft is that we gained a wonderful network of expertise with motivated and talented people willing to help you”. Aleksandre Japaridze, CEO and co-founder of SoundCell.

Upcoming 6-12 months

Currently, SoundCell focuses on deploying its machine at hospitals alongside existing diagnostic systems. Also, they aim to expand the team and acquire talent to manage software, connections, and data analysis. In the coming months, they plan to refine their product, seek regulatory certifications, and scale their operations to impact clinical diagnostics significantly.

SoundCell’s innovative technology advances our understanding of single-cell behavior. It provides clinicians with a rapid and accurate diagnostic tool for infectious diseases. By revolutionizing the field of clinical diagnostics, they are battling antibiotic resistance and improving healthcare outcomes.


Your dream can become a reality too. As long as you want to make a change, don’t miss the opportunity to boost your start-up by joining the YES!Delft Validation Lab or Accelerator Program. However, if working for a start-up resonates more with your ambition, we got you! Check out the vacancies on our YES!Talents page!


Anything Connected: lowering the barrier for measuring nitrogen

Nitrogen (Stikstof) is a pressing concern in the Netherlands, drawing significant attention in the media. The extensive industrial activities of Dutch companies contribute to high nitrogen emissions, damaging biodiversity and ecosystems. Therefore, measuring nitrogen to assess its impact accurately and implementing effective mitigation strategies for sustainable environmental management is crucial. Together with their partner TiQiT, Anything Connected has found a way to lower the barrier for measuring nitrogen emissions with its innovative sensor.

Easy data-gathering in the construction industry

Co-founders Frederik Westerouen van Meeteren, Jochem Janssen, and Pieter Ernst developed a sensor that can stick to the outside of machines to gather asset data of construction equipment for maintenance. However, many companies don’t have the time to inspect each machine physically. That is why Anything Connected originally only provided datasets about the performance status of machinery collected by the sensors. Next, in-house data analysts use that data for better overall equipment efficiency. Together with TiQiT, they  have now identified another application for their sensor: the efficient measurement of nitrogen.

In the construction industry in the Netherlands, it will soon become mandatory to keep track of nitrogen emissions. In a few cases, a nitrogen measurement can be done by a consultant However, this is expensive and costs a lot of time. Instead, the Anything Connected sensor is simply glued on the outside of the machines without the need to replace or modify existing equipment. Data can be viewed on platforms such as provided by TiQiT.

“We are now delivering the first sets of sensors to customers wanting to measure their nitrogen emissions. The current stock is already completely sold out, which is very cool. I’m looking forward to the first results.” – Frederik Westerouen van Meeteren, co-founder and Managing Director of Anything Connected.

The mindset of an entrepreneur

When Frederik and Pieter started six years ago, they followed the YES!Delft validation lab and Accelerator program. The programs helped to develop their product, business cases, and propositions. It is also where they learned the much-needed startup mindset when things don’t go as planned, and a business encounters hardships.

“I’m a huge fan of the YES!Delft incubator, and I knew I wanted to follow their programs when I started Anything Connected. For me, it was like an MBA. I learned everything I now know about business. Also, I’m very grateful for the network of other entrepreneurs, customers, partners, and companies they linked us to.” – Frederik Westerouen van Meeteren, co-founder and Managing Director of anyThing Connected.

Like many companies, Anything Connected has had many ups and downs. For instance, back in 2020, they needed to physically be present to install the sensor to collect data. Because of that, Covid-19 had a profound impact on the business. When it became clear that a lockdown was imminent, they decided to close up until further notice, reducing the burn rate to just a couple of hundred euros per month. It was a good example of a setback that turned out to enable the startup to survive.

Then, when they finally started again, they put their money and energy into a vast potential deal. Unfortunately, it fell through at the last minute because of an unexpected failed merger on the client company’s side. Another massive setback. At the same time, this made them take a step back and realize the opportunity, in measuring nitrogen emissions in the construction industry. 

A new path

At the end of February 2023, Anything Connected and TiQiT presented their nitrogen solution at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, Spain. They sold their current stock and are currently working on reliably running their customer support. Also, they are looking into gathering more insights about the needs of the construction industry and ordering their next batch of nitrogen sensors soon. Their innovative way of measuring nitrogen could be an excellent opportunity for many companies looking to gain insight into their emissions, so if you are interested, contact them!


Your dream can become a reality too. As long as you want to make a change, don’t miss the opportunity to boost your start-up by joining the YES!Delft Validation Lab or Accelerator Program. However, if working for a start-up resonates more with your ambition, we got you! Check out the vacancies on our YES!Talents page!


Noria Sustainable Innovators: Combatting Plastic Pollution

Every year, tons of plastic waste find their way into waterways, posing a grave threat to aquatic life and ecosystems. Rivers are crucial conduits, transporting plastic from inland areas to the open sea. In this light, Noria Sustainable Innovators is a startup that develops methods and techniques to deal with plastic waste close to the source of pollution. They believe that by catching the plastic as early as possible, they stop plastic from ending up in the sea, thereby having less chance of harming animals, the environment, and our health.

A steady start

Co-founders Rinze de Vries and Arnoud van der Vaart met at their full-time job. They connected and had many conversations during the weekly Friday afternoon drinks. After a year, they asked their employer to work part-time, so they could attribute the other half of the week, their evenings and weekends, to validating their idea, with the help of the YES!Delft Validation program. During that period, they immediately found some customers, which soon enabled them to work full-time in their startup. 

“During my studies, I wanted to find an impactful job to improve the world. So when I met Rinze and his idea to clean domestic waterways, I deeply felt that this was a cause I fully wanted to commit to.” – Arnoud van der Vaart, co-founder of Noria Sustainable Innovators.

Monitoring and cleaning waterways

Noria Sustainable Innovators is an environmental service that helps clean water and nature from plastic. They work for the governmental institutions: Rijkswaterstaat, water authorities, municipalities, and provinces. Noria’s unique approach is to clean up the water as close to the source of the pollution as possible. They believe it is the most cost-effective and scalable way to remove plastic from the water. At the same time, they provide insight into where plastic enters the water and how it transports. Noria installs cameras, then uses AI to analyze that data, which gives great insight into the origin of the pollution. That is important because the problem can be dealt with quickly.

“We don’t think of other companies as competitors. Rather, the plastic in the water is our competitor. It’s quite an idealistic aspiration, and we all have the same goal. However, Noria has a unique approach we believe is most effective.”  – Arnoud van der Vaart, co-founder of Noria Sustainable Innovators.

Business operations and future steps

During the validation lab, co-founders Rinze and Arnoud learned to focus on the problem first to determine how to optimize their solution. They did so by speaking to many potential customers so that they could come up with the needed techniques. After the validation lab, co-founders Rinze and Arnoud continued with the Accelerator program, where they learned how to lead a business. They also had an office in the YES!Delft building for 1,5 years, which was valuable for their network and business.

Because Noria Sustainable Innovators found customers quite early in their journey, thanks to the outcome of the YES!Delft Validation lab, they started without any financing. However, though their complete solution is affordable, they use hardware to monitor the waterways. That means an initial investment is needed to get started. So, to provide the hardware, they got funded by the Water Innovation Fund. So, to provide the hardware, they got funded by the Water Innovation Fund, which is a fund that Hoogheemraadschap Hollands Noorderkwartier finances.

Noria Sustainable Innovators is ready to scale up. They have six proven techniques in both monitoring and removal of plastic litter. In the Netherlands, they aim to monitor the entire Wadden coast and then want to expand to the Danish and German Wadden shores. They are also working on two big European projects as one of the partners, where they can use their monitoring techniques. Meanwhile, they are exploring opportunities to expand to more countries. In conclusion, Noria Sustainable Innovators takes steps daily to clean up our waterways and improve the world for humans and animals.


Your dream can become a reality too. As long as you want to make a change, don’t miss the opportunity to boost your start-up by joining the YES!Delft Validation Lab or Accelerator Program. However, if working for a start-up resonates more with your ambition, we got you! Check out the vacancies on our YES!Talents page!


YES!Delft Behind the Scenes – A Change of Leadership

For the past six years, YES!Delft has grown exponentially and is currently the biggest tech incubator in Europe. The team was led by Evert Jaap Lugt, enabling a thriving environment for startups to be their best. Now, it’s time for Evert Jaap Lugt to pursue new adventures. So, Ras Lalmy will take over the Managing Director role at YES!Delft. We have interviewed them to get more insight into the incubator from Delft and its leadership.

From Delft to Rotterdam and The Hague

Originally, Managing Director Evert Jaap Lugt was an engineer trained at TU Eindhoven. However, he is a passionate entrepreneur and founded multiple companies. This experience was of tremendous value the past six years as Managing Director of YES!Delft.

“I learned a lot as an entrepreneur and wanted to give back, which I could do at YES!Delft. I strongly believe that you must have experience in startups. For example, if you are leading a team that runs programs for startups,” says Evert Jaap Lugt. “I have a huge passion for entrepreneurship, so it has been very nice to be involved in many startups and be able to help them. I came across many different innovative ideas at YES!Delft, too. It’s fascinating to work with so many startups; products and services range from quantum to photonics to robotics.”

Six years ago, Evert Jaap came to Delft with high ambitions for the YES!Delft incubator. He wanted to expand its reach beyond the city walls of Delft and create more opportunities for startups to grow. That hasn’t always been easy, as YES!Delft was originally a not-for-profit public entity without a business model. That also posed the question of how to expand the incubator regionally.

“I had to be creative and use my entrepreneurial mindset to create the regional expansion to Rotterdam and The Hague,” says Evert Jaap. “First, it was important to convince stakeholders. Second, we needed to find a way to create more money to finance a growing YES!Delft Team, as well as multiple locations. We created a commercial proposition that worked and enabled us to help even more startups, and I’m very proud of that.”

YES!Delft now has three locations: Delft, Rotterdam, and The Hague. Ras Lalmy was in charge of opening the office in The Hague. He will take over from Evert Jaap Lugt as Managing Director on May 1st.

Next steps

Ras has been active in the tech startup scene for ten years as a co-founder of multiple startups. That way, he came into contact with YES!Delft and was immediately excited about its programs and community. 

“Over coffee, Evert Jaap asked me if I wanted to set up an office in The Hague. Coming from Amsterdam region, I didn’t know The Hague well, so I thought it was a good learning opportunity,” shares Ras. “Working with YES!Delft, I became even more enthusiastic.

 I knew Evert Jaap was thinking about pursuing other opportunities. So, after some soul-searching, I decided to go for the role of Managing Director.”

Giving back is very important to Ras Lalmy. It brings him a lot of fun and pleasure to help passionate founders succeed.

“I love sharing knowledge and experience with aspiring entrepreneurs. Things I wish I had known in my first years as an entrepreneur. If I had followed some of our programs it definitely would have saved me some blood, sweat and tears.”

What are the plans for the future?

“The past years, YES!Delft has made great progress. However, there are still many opportunities to strengthen and improve. From inspiring future entrepreneurs to guiding high quality tech startups on their road to success. And in close cooperation with great partners like TU Delft, Erasmus University and Erasmus Medical Center we can become a real powerhouse for tech entrepreurship”  says Ras Lalmy. 

Evert Jaap Lugt smiles as he says: “I will keep on working, even past my retirement. I will certainly remain active in the YES!Delft ecosystem; I am an entrepreneur in heart and soul, like many here. Building a new company is not easy, and everyone should have much respect for people who start their businesses.”

Any famous last words?

“I am happy that Ras has accepted the role of Managing Director. He knows YES!Delft very well and has done a great job with opening our office in The Hague. He also is a serial entrepreneur, like me. Ras, I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. Good luck!” says Evert Jaap Lugt.

Ras Lalmy adds: “I’d like to thank you, Evert Jaap, for your accomplishments over the past six years. You established growth using your entrepreneurial mindset and created a solid foundation from which I can work.”

With the change of leadership set to take place on May 1st, Ras Lalmy and Evert Jaap Lugt are looking forward to this new chapter for YES!Delft, the team, and the startups that are under their wings.

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