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. 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. However, 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.
“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 presented its nitrogen sensor 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!