getting funds

Gradyent and YES!Funded: The importance of getting the rights funds at the right time

A good click is key to every startup-advisor relationship out there. In their early days, in particular, startups need specialized support to steer their business in the right direction and they need the right advisor to help them do that. This is exactly the case with Gradyent, a startup developing an artificial intelligence (AI) cloud platform for making district heating networks more efficient, and YES!Funded, a service launched by YES!Delft to support startups getting funds. 
From 0 to 2 funding rounds in just over a year
A lot of startups tend to take their time in validating their idea, finding their product-market fit and signing their first customer. Gradyent is not one of those startups. On the contrary, they hit the ground running.   It was early 2019 when four serial entrepreneurs – Hervé Huisman, Robert Vrancken, Freek Smelt and Pieter Broekema – got together to found an innovative company that would tackle the inefficiencies that district energy networks often struggle with. With their combined experience in building successful businesses and scaling analytics technologies in the energy industry, this new venture was just the right fit for them.  “We started out knowing that there is a problem to solve when it comes to making district heating networks more efficient,” says Hervé. “Many of them have old and even outdated control systems, which has them lagging behind in terms of digitization.” The solution they had in mind was an AI platform in the cloud that can help network owners reduce energy losses and improve efficiency. 
It was the start of Gradyent.
Winning their first customer soon after they launched the company was proof of the potential of their solution. Yet, as with any young company looking to grow fast, potential and an initial success weren’t going to be enough. They needed extra funds. Knowing this, the team reached out to YES!Funded to help them find the right financing tools and connections, and grow even further from there.  “We started YES!Funded about a year ago because we found out that startups don’t have much knowledge on how to structure their company or make it financially viable,” says Jan Geert van Hall, Investment Director at YES!Delft. “When it comes to raising their first rounds of funding, they often don’t even know where to start.”  With the help of YES!Funded, this is no longer a problem. In only a few months of working alongside Jan Geert, Hervé and the team of Gradyent had their first round of financing in the bag. It came from henQ, a venture capital (VC) firm supporting B2B software startups. “It was a small first round, but it helped us accelerate our product development, connect new customers and gain traction,” says Hervé. It was a stepping stone towards increasing their valuation and going for a much more prominent second round later on.  Needless to say, the team didn’t sit around waiting for that second round to come. They rolled up their sleeves and spoke to more than 20 potential investors in just a few months. With the help of Jan Geert, his network and financial expertise, they identified the most suitable candidates and eventually signed with three European investors for the sum of 1.9 million euros. Those include Dutch energy innovation fund ENERGIIQ, and VCs Capricorn Venture Partners from Belgium and Helen Ventures from Finland. 
Addressing the right opportunities at the right time
Gradyent secured their second round of funding in June 2020 and are already using it to further develop their AI solution and expand their network beyond the Netherlands.  “We are happy to have these three investors onboard, as each of them brings something valuable and different to the table,” says Hervé. “Capricorn is an experienced VC fund with a strong track record, which adds credibility to our company. ENERGIIQ brings us their regional network in South Holland and expertise in the field, with Helen Ventures providing us with an opportunity to enter the Scandinavian market, which is the most advanced district heating market globally.”   It all sounds like Gradyent have found the right partners at just the right time. Yet, that doesn’t mean their journey hasn’t had its ups and downs. About a year ago, without yet the support of Jan Geert, Hervé and the team took it upon themselves to manage their fundraising. One of their first moves was to approach UNIIQ, the proof-of-concept fund of Innovation Quarter (IQ), focusing on early-stage innovative companies from the West Holland region. Although they were a great match, what the team didn’t realize is that they already had too much traction for what the fund was looking for. 
Timing, they learned, is everything.
“From experience we know that the most challenging period for a startup is finding their first investor and getting the deal done,” says Jan Geert. “For each step of your customer traction or product development, you need to have a funding plan. In each step, the opportunities will be different and perhaps even diverse.”  Both Hervé and Jan Geert agree that not approaching UNIIQ on time was a missed opportunity. Yet, the strong team and business proposition of Gradyent made an impression and they were soon in negotiations with ENERGIIQ, another fund of IQ. With Jan Geert’s timely advice, they were soon able to seal the deal.  “It is crucial for startups to use the right instruments of financing,” Jan Geert continues. “The bad news is VCs don’t often look at early-stage companies. The good news, though, is that there is a wide range of other instruments that you can combine to get to the target of your round.”  Jan Geert is the person with the overview of those instruments and the knowledge of when to use which one. In fact, advising Gradyent on the timing for each investment round and approaching the right funds or VCs has been one of Jan Geert’s main contributions to the success of the team so far. He has supported them on a strategic as well as a more practical level by introducing them to investors, steering the due diligence procedures and establishing necessary shareholder agreements.  In essence, he has helped create a structure that Hervé and his team can follow each time they go for a next investment. “Securing our first round of funding was complicated because there was no foundation for us to step on,” says Hervé. “The second one was a whole different story and that is largely because of the support of YES!Funded.”  With a committed team, a strong advisor and the right approach, Gradyent is well on its way to success. Their next big milestone may be just around the corner. 

Would you like to follow in the footsteps of Gradyent and secure investments yourself? Apply for our Investor Readiness Program now and get the help you need!

Investor Readiness Program (Deadline September 12)

startup scout

[CLOSED] VACANCY: Junior Startup Scout

Are you ready to build tomorrow’s leading firms?

YES!Delft is hiring a Junior Startup Scout! (1,0 FTE)
YES!Delft – Building Tomorrow’s Leading Firms YES!Delft is the start-up incubator that supports entrepreneurs in building and growing technology companies in the Netherlands. Over the last 15 years YES!Delft has become one of the leading incubators in the world! YES!Delft offers guidance and support to graduates, scientists, engineers, professionals, and corporates in their start-up journey. Our programs turn promising technology ideas into solid start-ups and help them grow to successful companies. Entrepreneurs get access to mentors, experts, investors, and corporate partners who share their know-how and experience. Basically we train entrepreneurs and connect them to the world! You, your purpose & the ideal outcome As a startup scout, your purpose is to get the best tech entrepreneurs in the country at YES!Delft. You constantly look for new and efficient tactics and strategies to find and keep in touch with promising founders, technologies, teams, and startups. We expect a data-driven work approach. You explore and test online & offline channels to see which scouting tactics help you achieve your goal. You will also be working on screening & selection of the teams for our corporate programs and challenges. Most important: You are the main point of contact for tech startups, you represent YES!Delft and explain our programs, and our purpose to entrepreneurs. The ideal outcome would be thousands of high-quality applications consisting of enthusiastic & committed teams for our incubator and our programs. Competences: – You have top communication skills, talking with people you don’t know is second nature to you – You are solution-oriented and a real team player – You are passionate about technology and want to learn everything about the next tech innovations – You like structure, you find Excel easy to work with, and are fascinated about data – You’re eager to learn a lot about startups Job requirements: – You have a completed WO or HBO, recently graduated – Fluent in English (Dutch is a bonus) – Looking for a Junior position in which you can learn and develop yourself We offer you A world-class incubator: An inspiring start-up environment where you have the opportunity to develop yourself and where you are able to implement your ideas and improve programs wherever you see fit. You will work with a driven and ambitious team that goes above and beyond to support start-ups, funding and builds a thriving ecosystem, day-in-day-out. YES!Delft offers a truly unique opportunity to contribute, learn, and grow in the world of tech-entrepreneurship. More information and application procedure We look forward to your application, send your resume and tell us about a situation in which you overcame an obstacle and how you handled it. Please keep it within 2 paragraphs (no more than 300 words). Lastly, send your application, including the resume and your story, to to the attention of Andreea Bota before the 22nd of September 2020.

Meet the EIT Health Validation Lab batch 2020

Meet this years EIT Health Teams

Last week we kicked-off our very first, fully online MedTech program! A record amount of 17 startups, from all over Europe, the UK and Turkey, are joining the 6th edition of this EIT Health Validation Lab for 8 weeks, to validate their business idea. Scroll down, and get to know them a bit better!

Meet this fantastic cohort yourself on the 27th of October at the Grand Finale. 

Register for the event


Berdac proposes the use of IMA Hub for patients alerting, medication dispensing and real-time adherence monitoring.

“Joining EIT Health Validation Lab is a new step forward for Berdac’s objective to monitor people’s treatment with chronic diseases, thus improving their health and providing peace of mind to their environment. We are convinced that IMA is a solution that will mark a before and after in medicine management, reducing health care spending, both public and private.”



Tackling major problems in elderly care, Visseiro allows the switch from hospital-centred sick care systems to a community based and integrated health care system.

“Our Goal is to provide Best Quality of Life for Elderly People: Healthy, Independent, Safe and At Home.”


Lucero is creating an automated, optics-based, solution to help cell biologists study and understand complex diseases at the single-cell level more effectively.

“In 5 years we see our technology helping scientists discover the keys to the next generation of personalized medicine.”

Crescent Technologies

Crescent Tech is developing an innovative and smart headcam system that facilitates remote peer-to-peer communication for telemedicine and medical education. The system provides a safe and comfortable way to record and live-stream the clinicians’ unique perspective and aims to keep a simple interface that allows plug & play interaction.

“We want to be the go-to headcam in healthcare education and want to help healthcare practitioners educate, communicate, and share knowledge more effectively by digitizing their medical space. We joined the EIT Health validation lab to help us realize this dream!”


Micro-Cosmos develops a dome on the beds of patients in hospitals, so that they can get their required rest. By shielding the patients from external sound and light, and creating their own environment, we make sure that patients sleep better and recover faster.

“We are sure the EIT Validation Lab will help us make a huge impact in improving the environment for patients to recover. At the end of the program we would like the patients and medical staff to be just as happy with our prototype as I was with our first demo version in the photo. “


GlakoLens is developing a proprietary biosensor embedded contact lens and its wearable readout system for 24-hour continuous monitoring of intraocular pressure fluctuations. Our technology will provide previously unattainable diagnostic information enabling personalised treatment options for better management of ocular hypertension and glaucoma.

“We hope to learn how to confirm the product-market fit for our technology and to take necessary actions to implement this methodology by going through this programme. Consequently, we hope that we can improve our product and business offering leading to the benefit of all stakeholders in the glaucoma field, starting with the patients and ophthalmologists.”


MindSave is developing a therapy to reduce the cerebrovascular damage that causes vascular dementia, thereby improving patients quality of life, offering new treatment options to physicians and saving the healthcare systems hundreds of millions in care costs.


Fusedbone provides streamlined workflows management and document creation system to enable hospitals to manufacture custom-made medical devices at the point of care.

“Fusedbone started with the idea of bringing 3D printed medical implants to hospitals, we pivoted as we understood that hospitals’ biggest problem is not 3D printing itself, but how to tackle with regulatory challenges. That’s when we pivoted to a fully online based workflow system to enable hospitals to produce regulated medical devices at the hospital.”

Lifelet Medical

Lifelet Medical is developing fully synthetic durable and sustainable heart valve leaflets for life, to improve the lives of patients with heart valve disease


Rocknroo is developing a smart pillow for inconsolably crying babies suffering from infantile colic. By emulating the principles of Kangaroo Care, our non-invasive hands-free solution will relieve the pain and discomfort brought by colic and allow parents to carry on with their daily activities.

“Hi, we are Rocknroo! We are developing a smart innovative solution for crying infants with the aim to make parenthood more enjoyable! Throughout our journey, we have accomplished many milestones, such as becoming one of the top 3 finalists at the Philips Innovation Award 2020, sharing our story with Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, and now, starting the EIT Health Validation Lab 2020 with YES!Delft. Our proudest moment thus far has been watching the first babies enjoying their time on Rocknroo!” 


“We at Quantana are committed to democratize accurate biomolecule quantification for research and diagnostics. Our technology constitutes a cost-effective alternative to currently available methods and our products will enable any laboratory to perform state-of-the-art biomolecule analysis. The EIT Health Validation Lab by YES!Delft is a unique and exciting opportunity for us to develop our business idea and find our product/market fit.


Virtuleap is a VR brain training game designed to help increase attention levels, and address cognitive illnesses, disorders, and learning challenges.

“Within the next decade, VR brain training will become normalized as part of a healthy routine and regime, just like going for a run and eating a healthy diet. Our technology will help extend the quality of life of the elderly, help children with learning challenges, and empower employees and the general population to perform at their peak cognitive levels, particularly by better understanding and being able to train their weakest abilities in order to become more wholesome as enabled individuals.”

XTremedy Medical

XTremedy Medical is developing a treatment for Osteomyelitis (bone infections) to selectively eradicate infected tissues, improving surgical success rates (currently as low as 60%) and patients outcomes (reduce number of surgeries, treatment times and recurrence rates).


CradioCrown is a MedTech startup focused on the development of smart accessible technologies for the healthcare sector.


PointPressure is a non-invasive treatment system for patients with leg spasticity.

“We are PointPressure and we are fully committed to be the next big leap in non-invasive spasticity treatment. Our team is composed of: Ismael Ordoñez, a neuro-physiotherapist with a great experience in treating neurological disabilities and Marc Casellas, a mechanical engineer with over 8 years of experience in mechanical design and sales work. 
Together we have the goal that in 5 years we will be selling our device in Europe, and we will be extending our product to target overseas markets.”


Vesiq is developing the next generation of urodynamics, a diagnostic technique that is used to determine the cause of incontinence in a patient. Our solution will be more accurate, quicker and easier to use than existing systems.

“In 5 years we want to be one of the leading worldwide companies in incontinence diagnostics and treatment. We hope that the EIT Health Validation Lab will help us learn more about the best way to approach the international market.”

Biogemix Pharma

Biogemix Pharma integrates precision analysis of high dimensional data, construction of enriched knowledge models and validation of molecular diagnosis prototypes to develop precision medicine in age-related conditions with a focus on neurodegenerative diseases, physiological disorders and trauma.

Interested to see where the program will bring them? Join the Grand Finale of the EIT Health Validation Lab on the 27th of October, where the 10 most promising startups of this batch will give their final pitch.    

Register for the event

success stories

TOP 10 Startup Success Stories: August

Did you come up with great innovative ideas in the past few months? Maybe this was due to this new situation where our minds urge us to get creative. Read this months Top 10 startup success stories and get inspired to turn these ideas into your own business!

1. UV Smart
New lab research showed that the corona virus can be effectively destroyed on objects with UV-C light. This has been established by research agency Eurofins on behalf of the MedTech startup UV Smart. This is a study using UV-C disinfection equipment that is now used in hospitals and care institutions to reduce the risk of infection.
2. Villari
This startup got awarded with a €20,000 MIT-Haalbaarheid subsidy by the province Zuid-Holland. This fund will be used to perform a feasibility study towards the application of remote and continuous asset integrity monitoring of crane systems.

Villari just finished our Accelerator Program! You only have a few more days to apply for this program yourself and join YES!Delft this fall!

Accelerator Program (Deadline September 6)

3. Noria
One of the other success stories Noria got selected as 1 of the 9 finalists for the Water Alliance Innovation Stimulation Award, where the winner gets a marketing support package worth €10,000 to help kickstart new growth when they win! Would you like to help Noria with getting plastic removed from rivers even faster?! Vote for them now!
4. SenseGlove
The MedTech startup was featured on the primetime Dutch scientific television show ‘De Kennis van Nu’, where their COO Niels Bogerd is explaining how 5G will enable the birth of tactile internet. Did you miss it? Watch it here.
5. Computable Award 2020
Two YES!Delft The Hague based startups, Circularise and Dutch Analytics, made it to the Top 10 of the Computable Award 2020! The winner will be announced on the 24th of November.
6. Circularise
In addition, Circularise raised €180,000 from EIT RawMaterials. The blockchain startup will use this fund to develop functionalities required to make their system ready to scale.
7. Aquablu
A few months ago Aquablu went to Amsterdam to turn canal water into clean and safe drinking water. This was only the beginning of a battle against plastic-free waters worldwide. The CleanTech startup just announced that they will donate the proceeds of the Canals Water campaign to the Plastic Whale Foundation, an organization that fights for plastic-free waters worldwide, just like Aquablu.
8. Breeze
While this startup is still developing their dating-app they already organised 1000 dates! To celebrate this milestone Breeze shared some of the most funny, intimate, awkward and beautiful stories people told them about their Breeze dates.
9. Mapiq
There is always room for our scale-ups in this blogpost! This month Mapiq shared that they got chosen as the number one supplier of technology in the ‘Smart buildings’ category by Facto, a platform for facility management and housing.
10. Scoozy
The startup who is building a next generation mobility scooter, empowering independent mobility with unprecedented design and functionality, made it into the top 10 list of Electric Wheel Chairs from New Era Tech!

Be the first one to receive even more YES!Delft updates by following us on LinkedIn!

Click here and start following

cleaning bot

Ahold Delhaize announces winners of Cleaning Bot Challenge

Zaandam, the Netherlands, August 14, 2020Ahold Delhaize announces today that it has selected Fybots and Adlatus Robotics as the winners of the company’s first-ever Cleaning Bot Challenge, a global competition to scout and select smart technology solutions to perform cleaning tasks in stores. More than 380 companies were initially scouted for the challenge, with nine reaching the finals of the event. From all over the world the finalists pitched their solutions in two tracks. In the first track, contestants pitched directly applicable cleaning solutions. The winner of that track, Fybots, was selected because of the flexibility of their autonomous solution. They are now invited to conduct in-store pilots at one of Ahold Delhaize’s local brands. The second track focused on promising future technologies that can be co-developed. Adlatus won this track on the strength of the company’s technical capability. They will now explore a partnership with Ahold Delhaize AIRLab to co-develop new applications for their robotics technology. The challenge underscores the ambition of Ahold Delhaize to help create the future of retail, supported by technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and robotics. “Smart technology, such as Artificial Intelligence and robotics, offers countless possibilities for the retail industry, the consumer, and society at large,’’ said Frans Muller President and CEO of Ahold Delhaize. ‘’With this challenge, we wanted to further develop our ongoing initiatives and explore how our great local brands and support offices can use this technology to better support associates as they serve customers. I was impressed by the quality of the pitches and the innovation behind the solutions.’’ He added, “A clean environment for associates and customers is now more important than ever. Cleaning tasks are often physically demanding and include many repetitive tasks. Increased cleaning cycles, due to COVID-19, have put teams under a lot of pressure. Robotics can help these associates. By reducing their time spent on repetitive cleaning, associates can focus more on customers, where they can make an even greater difference.’’
About AIRLab Delft
AIRLab Delft is the joint industry lab of Ahold Delhaize and the TU Delft, driving innovations at the intersection of retail, AI and robotics. It recently opened a test site where researchers – supported by RoboValley and tech incubator YES!Delft  – can work with partners, students, startups and other companies to build and test prototypes of robotic solutions, and study ethical implications of such solutions.
Cautionary notice
This communication includes forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical facts may be forward-looking statements. Words such as to, will, explore, for, ambition, future, possibilities, further, ongoing, can, increased or driving, or other similar words or expressions are typically used to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that are difficult to predict and that may cause actual results of Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize N.V. (the “Company”) to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to the risk factors set forth in the Company’s public filings and other disclosures. Forward-looking statements reflect the current views of the Company’s management and assumptions based on information currently available to the Company’s management. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made and the Company does not assume any obligation to update such statements, except as required by law.
top 10 startup success stories

TOP 10 Startup Success Stories: July

Summer is not slowing our startups and scale-ups down! Dutch Analytics, Physee, Qblox and The Helia all had exciting news to share! Curious about their stories? Read on in this month’s top 10 startup success stories!

But before we start, would you like to join our ecosystem and follow in the footsteps of the companies below? Apply now for our AI/Blockchain Validation Lab or Accelerator Program, and we may be sharing your successes in a few months as well!

1. Dawn Aerospace
One of the top 10 startup success stories, The aviation startup, located in Delft and Christchurch, unveiled its new spacecraft. The Mk-II Aurora has the capacity to fly to the edge of space, which is at an altitude of 100 kilometres, before it flies back to the runway autonomously. After landing, the spacecraft only needs to be refuelled and is able to make a new space flight within a few hours. The Mk-II Aurora will be the first vehicle in the world that can do this, and is currently in preparation for an intensive test flight campaign for the next 12 months.
2. Dutch Analytics
The YES!Delft The Hague based startup Dutch Analytics just released their new major version (v2.1) of the Xenia platform. They made improvements to the underlying architecture, which results in better performance, faster response times and higher reliability of Xenia.
3. DeNoize
The startup announced that they are currently conducting a research with support of the Royal Schiphol Group. With the research DeNoize is gaining insights into the perception of aviation noise by local residents’, and how this affects the quality of life.

Would you like to know more about DeNoize? We just published an article about this startup!

Read it now

4. Envision
Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant wrote a really nice article about Envision, and the smart glasses they developed for blind and visually impaired. And did you know that the first hundred copies of the Envision glasses will be send next month already?
5. UV Smart
The startup, who developed an innovative solution based on UV light that helps disinfect medical instruments and devices within seconds, obtained substantial financing from the Rabobank. With this investment UV Smart is able to further accelerate their market introduction (internationally).
6. SLAM Ortho
Also the MedTech startup SLAM Ortho successfully applied for the Rabobank Innovation Loan. The funding will give the startup boost their development and bringing the technology to hospitals and patients.
7. Physee
The scale-up Physee developed a coating for greenhouse horticulture that increases the yield of the crop. Their application to the Rabobank’s Innovation Fund was honoured with an award of € 50,000 for a test programme. In addition, a little shout out to Physee for organising the GESTE Summer School. With this project Physee interactively taught children from 9 different primary schools in The Netherlands how they can contribute to the energy transition. They’ve learned that diversity, creativity and teamwork are the core ingredients of innovation, while having lots of fun at the same time!
8. Qblox
Qblox received an investment by UNIIQ to make quantum computing scalable. Their technology will eventually enables quantum computer users worldwide to solve complex and socially relevant issues.
9. McNetiq
The Rotterdam-based company, that has developed a technology that allows steel anchors to be realised safely with magnets, just launched their new line of magnetic anchors for fall protection when working at height.
10. The Helia
Joshua Vasilda, the co-founder of The Helia, only just finished our Deep Tech Validation Lab and already got selected for the DJ100, a list of the 100 most innovative people working in the field of sustainability. Congrats!

As you may have noticed, it was another month full of investments! Do you need help with your funding plan, and would you like to get matched to our investor network?

Apply now for our Investor Readiness Program


CoronaMelder: From intelligent lockdown to intelligent opening

The coronavirus has had a huge impact on our society, both from a health perspective as well as economically. It is crucial that society can manage the spread of the virus while minimising the broader impact of measures put in place to contain it. To help contain the virus, the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport is launching the CoronaMelder notification app on the 1st of September – CoronaMelder locally tracks contact exposures. Your phone later notifies you if you have been exposed to someone who was infectious. You can get a test for free after receiving such a message, to prevent you from unconsciously transmitting the virus to other people.
Engagement of YES!Delft
PrivateTracer was established in March as a non-profit public-private collaboration with the goal of contributing to the development of a contact tracing solution for the Netherlands. Initiated originally by Milvum, YES!Delft got involved very early on and helped to engage the wider ecosystem as well as drive the technical solution. Key parties from the YES!Delft ecosystem that got engaged included Cybermundus, Milvum, Circularise, Odyssey and the Municipality of The Hague. Together all parties worked hard on the development of the open source exposure tracking app CoronaMelder, which supports the GGD process. “It was great to see how a young startup like Cybermundus could contribute seamlessly to this unique public-private partnership. I believe the diversity of participants, from large multinationals, public institutions and academia to startups, was one of the particular strengths that allowed us to create something valuable so rapidly. PrivateTracer demonstrated the enormous potential of a multi-stakeholder collaboration to solve the world’s most pressing challenges in an open and innovative way.”, thus Rene Honig, co-founder of Cybermundus.
The impact of PrivateTracer
It didn’t escape the notice of the Ministry that the parties behind PrivateTracer have taken up that gauntlet with great energy, professionalism and commitment. And critically the open source and transparent approach that the coalition leveraged meant that both significant elements of the PrivateTracer solution as well as core team members were integrated into the Ministrys’ delivery team. “PrivateTracer is a collaboration that I believe we can all look back very proudly on, given the depth and professionality of the solution that we all pulled together in incredibly short (but intense) weeks. My personal thanks to all involved – it was a pleasure working with you!”, says Neil Smyth, CTO of PrivateTracer and Digital Technical Director and Blockchain Focus Area Manager of YES!Delft.

Interested in other initiatives that are contributing in solving the corona crisis?

Read another article

Noise pollution

Delft startup DeNoize on its way to tackle noise pollution

Noise pollution is nothing new to people living and working in big cities, yet what many may not be aware of is that it is also a major health risk. Delft-based startup DeNoize knows all about it and has made it its mission to tackle the challenges of noise pollution and enable a healthier living environment. How? By installing its active noise cancellation technology – similar to that in noise-cancelling headphones – into the frame of windows, drowning out the noise of the busy streets underneath and the large planes flying overhead.
During his studies, Aman was looking into how to design airplanes to be less noisy and more efficient, and had a strong interest in mitigating aviation noise. “There is a lot of potential in finding a way to make airplanes less noisy,” says Aman, “but if I were to turn that into an impactful solution business, it would have taken years and years.” Instead, he wanted to create something here and now, so he focused on putting a new spin to his research and findings. “I started looking at the problem from a different angle and decided to tackle noise issues on the receiver’s end instead of its source,” says Aman. He joined the incubator program of Deep Science Ventures, a six-month pressure cooker for entrepreneurs who want to solve key societal problems, to help him kickstart his venture. “That’s where the whole idea came together. I decided to develop a solution that can be integrated into the facade of a building and isolate it from the outdoor noise.” In a nutshell, he made a plan to create a new generation of smart windows. With active noise cancellation at the heart of it, a very specific type of technology in itself, Aman saw the need to look for a co-founder. He found that co-founder in the face of Olivier Schevin, a fellow entrepreneur based in France, with years of experience in exactly this field.
With the Deep Science Ventures program behind him and a round of financing that he got at the end of it, Aman moved back to the Netherlands to continue working on the DeNoize technology. In December 2018, he and Olivier got accepted into YES!Delft’s Accelerator Program, which gave them the know-how and network they needed to take the startup to the next phase. “YES!Delft is a specialized incubator that gave us the stamp of approval we needed in the market,” Aman says. “When we joined, we were also paired with a mentor, who has quite some experience in the glass industry, and that has been of great value to us.” The community of startups that YES!Delft has built over the years has also proven to be beneficial to Aman and DeNoize. “There are startups in different stages of their development so there is always someone who has been in your shoes and can advise you when you’re facing a challenge. Physee, for example, is working in the same market as us and it is always good to spar with them,” Aman adds.
Today, in only two years’ time, DeNoize has grown from one man with an innovative idea to a team of over 20. Olivier is still based in France, with four students and an intern working alongside him. In the Netherlands, the startup has two full-time employees and three groups of students working on various design projects for it. So far, the technology is in the prototyping stage and on its way to being converted into a product. “We’re working together with a glass manufacturer to make sure that our technology can fit into their products,” says Aman. “And based on recent tests, it looks good.” While glass manufacturers could be a key customer segment for DeNoize, at this point they see them as their closest partners – working together on prototyping and knowledge-sharing. The product that will eventually be integrated in the frames of windows is planned to be ready within a year from now. Keeping them going until then are several financing opportunities that the team has secured, including a loan from Rabobank, a round of funding from UNIIQ and grants from the government. Perhaps one of the most notable achievements of the team so far is their collaboration with the Royal Schiphol Group, which they announced recently. The agreement between the two companies is for studying the effects of noise pollution on people who live in close proximity to Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport. The research is planned to start in October 2020 for a duration of one month. The goal will be to understand the effects of noise on residents’ well-being and investigate how DeNoize can play a role in improving the quality of life of those living close to major noise sources like airports, highways, and train stations. “We are doing research on people’s perception of noise with regard to their comfort, stress levels and mood. We then want to simulate how our technology can improve their acoustic environment,” Aman says. While the technology is not market-ready yet, Aman and his team are already talking to potential customers to make sure they have them lined up when the time comes. DeNoize is mostly focusing on real estate developers such as Schiphol Real Estate and Heijmans, who can increase the value of their buildings by integrating the startup’s noise cancelling technology. From this point on, DeNoize will be focusing on putting their technology on the market and getting the right partners and customers onboard. Working together with a partner like Schiphol Group is sure to boost the startup on its way to success.
March 2018: Aman started working on the DeNoize concept in London May 2018: Founded DeNoize together with Olivier Schevin July 2018: Raised £70,000 as pre-seed funding August 2018: Built the first proof-of-concept prototype of DeNoize October 2018: Joined the Get Started Program by ECE February 2019: Joined the YES!Delft Accelerator Program August 2019: 1st paid pilot with potential customers October 2019: Raised €150,000 from Rabobank December 2019: Set up a collaboration with a major airport January 2020: Expanded the DeNoize team With DeNoize set on a path of growth, the team is currently looking for programmers. Do you know someone or are you one? Get in touch with them now!

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Meet our Accelerator Program Batch 2020

Meet our accelerator program batch 2020

We would like to present to you the six startups who are part of our latest Accelerator Batch! With the help of our experts and mentors, and through workshops and one-on-one sessions the startups are more than ready to change the world with their innovative ideas. Read all about it in this article.


“We once heard that ‘a dating app’ used to be used as an example of a startup you would never see at YES!Delft. And here we are. We are an unusual big group of cofounders with an unusual product and market for this incubator. Yet this accelerator program is a good fit for us. Not only because of the in-house experience and knowledge, but also because of the drive and mindset of the people we meet here. It will definitely help us in scaling and reaching our goal of changing the online dating industry. We look forward to getting to know the ecosystem and add to it with our enthusiasm and fresh perspective. Want to know more about Breeze or a do you just want a coffee date? Drop by our office (B5 1.03)!”

All popular dating apps work in the same way: there’s superficial swiping, a lot of chatting but rarely real dating. With Breeze we critically reduce the effort it takes to meet someone you’re attracted to face to face. Our active users receive two high match potential profiles each day, suggested by our algorithm. If there is a match users cannot chat, instead they go directly to our date picker where they find a suitable day for the date. The unique thing about Breeze is that we organize the date for you. Matches can choose out of relevant date activities, depending on the user profile, season and the current corona situation. We let you know where to be at what time, the rest is up to you!


Steel is the cornerstone of modern-day construction. Bridges, cranes, ships, windmills and offshore platforms could not be built without this material. When steel bends due to millions of loading cycles, small cracks start to appear which are the primary reason for replacing these structures. Villari provides breakthrough permanent monitoring and guarding of such aged assets using wireless sensors. This leads to elongated structural lifetime, less unneccesary repairs, and reduced cost of inspections.

“These days, a lack of continuous information leads to huge amounts of preventive repairs and premature replacements of large steel assets such as highway bridges, container cranes, and shipping vessels. We are working hard to revolutionize the way people think about predictive maintenance and repair in the coming years. Through the peer-to-peer sessions with other startups as well as the large network of mentors,  advisors, and other partners at YES!Delft we have been capable of making leaps forward in a short amount of time. Not only as a company, but as founders too.”


“This call may be recorded for quality assurance and training purposes”.

You may be familiar with this phrase, but did you know that on average only 2% of call center calls are monitored by companies? Call monitoring is essential to identify potential risks, improve agent performance and ultimately enhance the overall customer experience. Companies may be aware of the benefit of ardent call monitoring but, the high cost of employing human capital and limited call center capacity means most business will settle with just the “tip of the iceberg” approach.

Voyc does the impossible by enabling business to QA 100% of calls. Voyc eliminates the tedious task of listening to lengthy call recordings and provides companies with the right toolset to focus on implementing change. Voyc promises a self-service user experience with bank-grade security. With Voyc assisting with call monitoring, business is enabled to dedicate their time to training and coaching agents and improving customer satisfaction.

“At Voyc, we are on a mission to ensure the fair treatment of companies and their customers. We envision a world where customers decide which companies to trust based on the fact that Voyc is monitoring their call centers.
Being part of the YES!Delft Accelerator has been great because it has enabled us to spend more time with other like-minded founders and learn from each other through the peer-to-peer sessions.”


Sensible is dedicated to a healthier humanity through modern, connective and unnoticable sensing of parameters that characterize common diseases such as diabetes. Sensible’s first product, idi, is a glucose sensor that feels like a normal bandage patch and integrates seamlessly with any patient’s treatment preferences.

“We are honored to be part of such a diverse community of entrepreneurs. Only when such a myriad of different industries, backgrounds and stages of development are represented can every single meeting be valuable.


With 25 years of experience in 3D Geological Reservoir Modeling in the Oil and Gas Industry, we are a software development company providing innovative cloud solutions and mixed reality experiences to optimize remote operational workflows.

Craytive develops tablet and mobile apps, cloud based infrastructures and desktop applications. Using latest technologies as Microsoft HoloLens and Augmented Reality, we incorporate 3D Geological models into real-world environments to optimize the 3D modeling processes and team collaboration.

“Craytive Technologies stands for creative and innovative software solutions in the area of 3D Visualization and Collaboration. We are using state-of-the-art technologies like Mixed and Augmented Reality and Microsoft HoloLens to develop the future of 3D Remote Collaboration which can be applied in many different industries. By working together with Yes!Delft and various other startups we expand our network and knowledge, we validate our products and we develop the right business strategies. We are proud to be part of this high-tech and world-class innovation center!”


“A next generation greenhouse design for growing with unprecedented efficiency”

BBBLS uses an innovative method of providing extra insulation for greenhouses with soap bubbles. This enables the production of high quality food with much less energy. Our vision is to create a desired growing climate, accounting for external climate and seasonality to provide the most favourable conditions for greenhouses, or short: Controlled Climate As A Service.

“We are building climate-neutral greenhouses by using smart insulation with bubbles in a double roof construction. Our greenhouses are so economical that 4.5% of the Dutch climate objectives will be achieved if all Dutch greenhouses are replaced. Thanks to the YES!Delft Accelerator Program we want to lift the organization to a higher level and accelerate our growth.”

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Erasmus University Rotterdam

Erasmus University Rotterdam and YES!Delft join forces

“Together we can accelerate innovation in South Holland”

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), TU Delft and the Municipality of Delft have decided that EUR will become a shareholder of tech incubator YES!Delft. This means that YES!Delft will be part of the recently established Erasmus Enterprise. All parties aim to further stimulate the region’s innovation potential. EUR, TU Delft and the Municipality of Delft see innovation as a key opportunity to have impact on concrete social issues.
“The collaboration with YES!Delft is a natural progression of the convergence strategy of EUR, Erasmus MC and TU Delft, and further enhances the use of knowledge with respect to several big social themes. We aim to connect the Rotterdam and Delft ecosystems and link our expertises. The regional innovation climate will receive a boost through stimulating diversity in startup teams (tech, Business and Social)”, thus Rutger Engels, Rector Magnificus of Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Innovation through diversity
The Rotterdam region is a rich breeding ground for diversity and entrepreneurship. A multidisciplinary approach is vital for innovation and to find solutions for challenges in the region. Innovation demands a combination of different perspectives (tech, social, commercial) starting both from the solution as well as the need. Startup teams that can make use of that diversity can innovate faster and better, which is why the convergence of EUR and YES!Delft is an important driver of enterprising initiatives. The synergy between EUR disciplines on the one hand and TU disciplines on the other, results in more diverse teams that can better respond to social challenges. We believe that we can accelerate startups in this way. “Successful startups always have a diverse founder team in which the team members complement each other and often differ in profile. This collaboration enables us to bring together EUR Business talent and TU Delft technical talent, so that we can form optimal startup teams in the region”, explained Evert Jaap Lugt, managing director of YES!Delft.
Entrepreneurship as vehicle for social impact
In the context of its Strategy 2024, in the coming years EUR aims to increase its impact in the Rotterdam Delft region. This is why we are investing in entrepreneurship. “Entrepreneurship offers a route to create that social impact. Together with YES!Delft, existing EUR initiatives, such as ECE and ERBS will form one entrepreneurial community within Erasmus Enterprise. The collaboration with third parties will be stimulated and facilitated here, and innovative students, staff and alumni can find space here to collaborate on their social initiatives and/or innovative startups”, stated Rutger Engels. In addition to the initiatives offered in locations in Delft and The Hague, in Rotterdam YES!Delft is going to offer programmes that connect to the expertise on the Woudestein campus. YES!Delft is concentrating here on specific focus areas (verticals) such as Social Tech. Here resolving urban issues, such as children and family services and care for the elderly, have an important position. “Technology enables us to have a huge impact in the social area; an area that has been neglected by the market for too long. We want to use this collaboration to change this”, stated Evert Jaap Lugt. The Municipality of Delft is wholeheartedly supporting this development, explained deputy mayor Bas Vollebregt from the Municipality of Delft. “YES!Delft has proved hugely successful in supporting promising companies. Together with the other shareholder, TU Delft, we are implementing a strategy in which we aim to increase this impact. This includes expansions to other strong economic clusters in the region in which the collaboration with Erasmus University is a perfect match. The technical talent from Delft and economic talent from Rotterdam can complement each other beautifully.”

[Picture] Prof.dr. Vareska van de Vrande Academic lead Erasmus Enterprise and Michiel Muller chairman of the Erasmus Trustfonds and EUR Alumnus.

YES!Delft regional incubation powerhouse
YES!Delft was founded by TU Delft, TNO and the Municipality of Delft, and the incubator plays a key role in the innovation ecosystem in TU Delft and the South Holland region. “TU Delft is proud of the success of YES!Delft. Various spin-offs have been able to develop successfully there, and the incubator is a household name on TU Delft Campus. Different companies have joined in from the Rotterdam region in recent years, and we are now joining forces to stimulate entrepreneurship in our region on important social themes. This is a perfect match for the close collaboration between TU Delft, EUR and Erasmus MC”, stated Executive Board Chair, Tim van der Hagen.
Top 5 incubators
In the annual UBI ranking, YES!Delft is considered to be one of the top 5 incubators in the world. With over 120 tech startups in the incubator, over 100 mentors and over 40 corporate partners, YES!Delft manages the largest startup ecosystem in the Netherlands. Examples of successful initiatives with a social approach include the Somnox sleep robot (now established in Rotterdam as a spin-off from TU Delft) and, something vital in these times, UV Smart, in which medical equipment can be disinfected in seconds using UV light.

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