BBBLS: The company that uses soap bubbles to make horticulture more sustainable

“The Dutch horticulture industry emits five million tons of CO2 every year and we’d be able to cut out about four million tons of that. That’s the impact we can make.” 

As co-founder and managing director of BBBLS, Anton Paardekooper knows what it takes to be a small company with a big mission. He and his team have developed an innovative technology, based on soap bubbles, that provides extra insulation for buildings. Their current focus is on greenhouses, helping their owners decrease energy emissions. 

“The world’s population is growing, and we need to start eating food that is healthy and has an ever-smaller CO2 footprint. We need to start growing climate-neutral fruits and vegetables.” 

Using soap bubbles for better insulation

The concept that BBBLS is built on is not necessarily a new one, but until less than 10 years ago, it was not used even on a semi-industrial scale, Anton says.

“If, between two surfaces, you have air that doesn’t move, you can use it as insulation. The same goes for soap bubbles,” he explains. “In any building with a double wall you can put bubbles. They serve as insulation and help decrease energy loss.” 

Yet, soap bubbles can also have another function. While in the winter, they help keep the warmth in, in the summer when there is a lot of sunlight, they help control how much of it goes through a glass surface. This is particularly useful in greenhouses where climate control and the right amount of light are key. 

Anton and his team have chosen horticulture companies and greenhouses as their main market for a reason: they can help them become more sustainable. About 30% of the expenses of a greenhouse are for energy, he says, and better insulation can really make a difference. 

Learning to build energy-saving greenhouses

Anton joined the company in 2014 and is one of four co-founders. For a few years, they used grants, their own financial resources and first revenues to keep the company running. Their first project was with ReKlima in Norway, who is one of the early adopters of the BBBLS technology. 

“Norway is a bit more advanced in terms of sustainable innovations,” Anton says, “but we are happy to be seeing more of that in other places, including in the Netherlands, now as well.” 

It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that their prototype greenhouse is in Norway, and it is operating for a third season in a row. “At the moment, we are able to build small greenhouses up to one hectare and it takes us about eight months to have one of those up and running.” In June, the team closed a deal with one of the early adopters in Dutch horticulture to build a large demonstration greenhouse and will be sharing more details in the near future.

For all the projects, BBBLS works with a number of long-term partners responsible for different scopes of the work, including its construction or the climate control it requires. The automation of the BBBLS technology is something the team does almost entirely on their own. 

To date, the company has enjoyed the support of a number of organizations, too, of which YES!Delft has played an important role. “The main benefit of joining YES!Delft has been the access to talent,” Anton says. “We have been able to hire new employees and trainees that have come through their network. When it comes to fundraising, we have also learned a lot, especially in our sparring sessions with Jan Geert van Hall, their Investment Director. Just recently we were awarded a donation from the Rabobank Innovation Fund, solid proof of Rabobank’s “growing a better world together.” 

Over the past years, BBBLS has raised 1.3 million euros and is looking towards a Series A round of 1.0 million euros in the near future. “We are looking for funding both in the Netherlands and abroad, but our experience so far is that it is good to be close to your investors. We are looking for smart money so a good match and proximity to each other would be crucial.”

A successful next round of investment would also mean growing the team and scaling their production processes and technology. There are certainly big plans ahead of the team and they seem to be ready for that next step.

Check out the open vacancy from the YES!Delft startups, and be the next talent to join their team!

Check out the YES!Talents jobs page

Prognoix: The tech company behind better analysis and care management for sexual dysfunctions

There is a wide range of medical conditions that patients simply don’t feel comfortable talking about – neither to their family or friends, nor to their doctor. Founded in 2018, Prognoix is a company that sees the need to provide a safe environment – next to a great tech solution, of course – to tackle a group of such stigmatized disorders: sexual dysfunctions. 

The startup’s mission is to bridge the gap between the healthcare system and its patients, and create an inclusive and open environment that allows diagnosis and treatment of these conditions in the comfort of people’s homes. Prognoix’s first product is an innovative tool that diagnoses the cause and severity of impotence (erectile dysfunction or ED) in order to prescribe the right care required for alleviating it.

Creating the solution that patients need

Founder Abhinav Jain knows that being proactive and addressing health concerns in time is crucial for staying in good health in the long run. Yet, to achieve that, patients need to feel comfortable to address those concerns in the first place. 

What’s more, certain sexual dysfunctions, such as ED, may even indicate early onset of diabetes or cardiovascular diseases. At the moment, there are no simple and objective tools available to diagnose ED, and because of that, the precious window of opportunity to reverse the problem is often lost. This serves as a motivator for the Prognoix team to utilize their medical device development and clinical expertise to create solutions that help both the patients and the clinicians serving them.

“I love the journey of designing a product,” Abhinav says. “It’s always unique, customer-centric, and meant to serve a purpose.” His passion and the relationship of trust he shares with his business partner – Timo Tscharnkte, have allowed the two men to develop innovative products by adopting an ambitious, yet pragmatic approach.

Prognoix takes into account that ED can be caused by various reasons – physiological and quite often, psychological too. To develop a solution that fits the needs of the specific target audience, “we have gathered feedback from more than 250 patients and medical professionals. Sadly, we have also learned that more than half of all ED patients experience depression or anxiety because of the condition,” Abhinav says.

It is essential to clearly identify the cause of the problem first before starting a treatment. The solution that Prognoix has developed will be initially used as a prescription tool under the strict supervision of clinicians. The startup is currently working with a Dutch academic hospital to conduct clinical studies to ensure their product matches customers’ and regulatory expectations. 

The long-term ambition is to have this solution available as an over-the-counter product, thus reaching out also to the patients who are uncomfortable to even talk about this topic with their doctor. 

Finding just the right product-market fit

For a long time, the startup has been bootstrapped by the founders and has also secured funding and commercialization support from JUMPstart, a MedTech-focused accelerator in Singapore.  

The team also received a boost when Dr. Christoph Pies, a renowned German urologist who has been regularly seeing ED patients for the past 24 years and authored three books on men’s health, made an investment in Prognoix and joined as their medical officer. This is especially important as it validates the market needs and enables the startup to develop a product based on them.

Prognoix is looking to raise up to €800,000 over the course of the next year. 

Starting with Europe as its beachhead market, Prognoix aims to expand to its main target market in the US. While the company started and is currently registered in Singapore, Asia does not seem to be their key focus at the moment, Abhinav says. “Unfortunately, sexual dysfunction is still seen as a wellness problem in several Asian countries with little to no push from their healthcare systems.”

Prognoix has also taken part in YES!Delft’s Accelerator program, which has helped them secure several partnerships with product developers and manufacturers, as well as clinical studies. In the short time that they have been around, they have checked off quite a few milestones – and have many more lined up.

Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship and YES!Delft join forces to connect young talents to the world of startups and scaleups

Talents United is an initiative by the two incubators from Erasmus University Rotterdam and TU Delft to connect talents to startups and scaleups and prepare them to establish and grow the leading companies of tomorrow.  

Over the past ten years, the number of support programmes for students and starting entrepreneurs offered by our own incubators has grown impressively. While this is a great achievement, these programmes were largely developed with our own target audience in mind. As a result, we see that at present there is an insufficient exchange between startup teams coming out of our universities. This leads to a lack of diversity in skill sets, which we believe to be crucial to solve the pressing issues of today and to realize a better future. 

In order to break down the boundaries between the alpha, beta, gamma and medical sciences, Talents United will facilitate the creation of more multidisciplinary startup teams. We do this by actively connecting students from different backgrounds to each other and to the startups and scaleups active in the region. By joining the Talents United community, students and young professionals have a direct and personal link to both YES!Delft and Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship. We offer personal advice to connect talents to the right opportunity or network, provide services that boost multidisciplinary collaborations and collect relevant entrepreneurship opportunities from our partner network in a monthly newsletter. 

“What I hope to see in five years is that all startup teams coming out of our incubators each include team members from different study fields and universities.” – Martin Luxemburg,  Director Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship

Talents United is part of the broader strategy of Erasmus University to stimulate and accelerate entrepreneurship on and across campus via its new entity, Erasmus Enterprise, which includes Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship, YES!Delft and ERBS. Through this collaboration, we want to broaden students’ horizons and excite them about the entrepreneurial opportunities that exist outside of their own fields of study and traditional career paths. To that end, Erasmus Enterprise channels all existing entrepreneurship activities on campus and enables students to navigate the entrepreneurial landscape. 

Opening up the ecosystem networks of Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship and YES!Delft, Talents United functions as a matchmaker on – and beyond – the campuses of Erasmus University, Erasmus MC and TU Delft. With 40.000 students, internationally acclaimed research and education activities and programmes in all disciplines, it is only a logical next step in becoming the world’s leading universities for solving pressing issues. Together with the efforts of Erasmus Enterprise that support the connection between talents and new businesses, Talents United is also committed to strengthening the regional innovation ecosystem in South Holland.  

“We want to enable startups and scaleups in the region to easily source talent from our universities so they will stay in the region while growing their businesses. This is crucial to ensure the competitiveness of province South Holland.” – EJ Lugt, Managing Director YES!Delft

Do you want to get connected to the world of startups and scaleups?

JOIN TALENTS UNITED HERE

 

THE KICKOFF OF THE FIRST SOCIALTECH VALIDATION LAB

THE FIRST SOCIALTECH VALIDATION LAB IS FINALLY HERE!

At YES!Delft we aim to achieve societal impact by supporting startups to apply smart and innovative technologies. That is why we decided it is time to kick off our brand new program: SocialTech Validation Lab. Partnering up with Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) enables us to produce the best curriculum and ecosystem to make disruptive social innovation happen. It is the first of many programs we will be organizing under the roof of the brand-new incubator at the EUR, Erasmus Enterprise. Thanks to the collaboration and the hard work all our experts put in, we managed to once again exceed our goals.

We are proud to present to you the 6 startups who enrolled in the program at the end of April, and are currently validating their business idea through our 10-week lab. Scroll down, and find out about their mission and ambitions.

EMOSYS

Emosys aims to alleviate the burden of epileptic seizures. For this, they combine the latest findings in neuroscience and wearable technologies and power it with artificial intelligence (AI).

“The first generation of our smart wearable system will detect seizures with unparalleled accuracy. The second generation will also predict seizures before happening. These innovations will free the patients from the need of constant supervision.”

 

HABLE ONE

“Imagine not being able to use your smartphone. Your world would become incredibly small. For millions of people with blindness this is the case.”

The Hable One is a smartphone controller that allows people with blindness to fully operate their phone in a simple, fast and private way. With a combination of eight buttons, you can type, move over the screen or use shortcuts, all whilst the feedback is in the form of audio. With Hable people with blindness regain control over their phone.

HEALTH-THING

“Have you or your loved ones ever experienced an endless search to what could possibly improve their personal well-being? Through our online learning environment – we bring people together, collect experiences that we harmonize, analyze and translate into practical insights, curated by us or involved experts. Insights enabling citizens to truly learn from each other and work on their quality of life more effectively.”

Health-Thing challenges and guides them so that they do not have to endlessly search.

HARRY SENIOR

Harry Senior is here to give you access to a network of verified and trustworthy service provides who can help solve issues in and around the home for the aging population, empowering them to be independent for a longer time.

“Our parents got older and we found ourselves struggling to help them with tasks they cannot do themselves. That’s why we build our platform that brings the network of trustworthy service providers to help with their tasks.

Leave the annoying stuff to us and go have fun!

We are Harry Senior and we are here to help.”

FINANCIAL FIT

Financial Fit helps employers address financial stress in the workplace. They do this by focusing on prevention, awareness, trust and support.

“In this way, we work to create a situation where the employer and employee feel free and safe to discuss money worries, and where the employer has the knowledge and skills to provide effective support to the employee. Our ultimate dream is to completely eliminate financial stress.”

SKETCHOAR

SketchoAR develops an online platform consisting of multi-sensory contents using Augmented Reality, customised virtual space for education and online collaboration, and sharing content platforms.

“Our mission is to make a virtual space entertaining by sparking people’s imaginations. We research how we can make a virtual space to boost creativity and engagement and have a better experience of learning, creating, and communicating.”

IS YOUR STARTUP READY TO BE PART OF THE SOCIAL TECH VALIDATION LAB?

GET TO KNOW MORE 

Meet the accelerator batch 2021

MEET OUR ACCELERATOR PROGRAM BATCH 2021

We are excited to present you the nine startups who are joining the 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. Learn more about their goals, aspirations and cutting-edge technologies in this article.

MYST WORKS

Myst Works are building aerial robotics solutions (ARS) for emergency services. The goal is to increase the safety & efficiency of emergency responses using aerial robotics with simple operation. These robotic solutions will integrate to provide increased situational awareness to front line workers.

Myst Works are determined to realise the full potential of aerial robotics and we are already seeing that! They have participated in Y Combinator School, located in Silicon Valley. Next to that, they got to the semi-finals of the biggest student entrepreneurship award, Philips Innovation Awards. In 2021 Myst Works were ranked as one of the top 50 Industry & Infrastructure innovations of the Blue Tulip Awards.

We are extremely passionate about aerial robotics, and its potential to change the world for the better. Our vision is to build a suite of different ARS that have a direct and marked positive impact on the safety and efficiency of frontline workers.

“This picture marks the beginning of our team, where we all met together for the first time and discussed our vision of the future during our hikes in the Swiss alps.”

UNPLUQ

Tim Smits and Jorn Rigter, the founders of Unpluq, know how much time you spend on Social Media apps. Just like many others, spending three, three and a half hours a day on WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, was normal for them. During their studies, they were often distracted by their smartphones, and noticed this with many people around them as well. When talking to Millennials, they discovered that most of them found that current software solutions don’t work – they’re too easy to turn off or circumvent, and therefore don’t change your habits. That’s when they created their own solution, where a physical input makes the choice for using distracting apps more conscious.

Unpluq is a combination of Android software and a USB key, with two modes. The normal mode enables you to access all of your apps. When you plug out the physical key, distracting apps of your choice are blocked, and their notifications are blocked as well.

“Smartphones have started to take over control, we want to give the control back to you. We want you to regain control over your smartphone usage. With Unpluq users save an average of 69 minutes of smartphone screen time per day!”

OSIRIS

Osiris have experienced what it is like to be restricted as a musician and audio professional. Being part of the audio engineering industry as researchers and specialists for 10 years, they have discovered the problems that limit the productivity of musicians and audio professionals.  That’s why they designed a hardware that helps audio professionals to save cable-management time and discover new creative possibilities.

“We design our line of products to fill the gap in the market that was restricting our workflow as musicians and audio professionals.”

LOX SOLUTION

Every day 1.3 million parcels are being invoiced incorrectly on the European Parcels that are either not being delivered, have incorrect surcharges, or are just invoiced against the imprecise amount.

Recognising that this has a huge impact on the e-commerce industry, Lox came up with a solution to audit the carrier invoices and make sure we the correct amount is paid, by handling the claim.
With powerful dashboard that provides clarity on logistics, all insights in a single touch, the easiest set up procedure, and all the popular carriers, Lox Solution is on the way to refining how we deliver parcels.

“Why do e-commerce companies choose for Lox? Because it is a success-fee model and starting is super easy. Just share your carrier invoices”

VENTURI AVIATION

Over the last decade air travel has almost doubled, and it is expected to double again in the coming decade. This growth is not without consequences on emissions and ultimately our climate. The time for radical innovation in aviation is needed now.

Venturi’s mission is to enable 100% sustainable regional air travel and in turn improve airlines flight operating costs. To ensure zero emission regional air travel, Venturi aims to deliver world’s first all-electric zero emission aircraft, seating 50 passengers with a flight range of 1000 km, by 2027. Supported by Venturi’s own ultra high-speed Recharge Network we guarantee competitive aircraft turnaround times. In other words, we make aviation greener, simpler and cheaper.

The future of sustainable air travel is electric! And YES!Delft team can’t wait to help Venturi accelerate this transition!

SOURCE

Source is creating a sustainable and fair food system by accelerating the transition to greenhouse agriculture.

“We are making greenhouses more scalable by developing the world’s most advanced artificial grower. Our software and AI models help growers to define optimal seasonal crop plans and provide greenhouse autopilot functionality to ensure flawless daily growing operations.”

Source has received funding from MIT’s venture capital fund (E14) and several leading Dutch industry players. We are in an exciting phase of growth and are actively developing and testing our software in some of the most advanced greenhouses in the world.

The founding team has deep experience in developing and deploying artificial intelligence software solutions at scale in large complex operations.

MICRO-COSMOS

More than half of the patients leaving the hospital have sleep deprivation. Meanwhile, sleep is vital for physical and mental recovery. Furthermore, patients lack the availability to control their environment and do not have any privacy during the day.

Micro-Cosmos is here to change this, through innovative technology that helps the patients’ ability to recover, rest and improve the hospitalisation period.

“At Micro-Cosmos, we help hospitalized patients who want to recover faster by reducing external stimuli, giving patients a more private and secure environment which they are able to control, so they can sleep better and go home faster. Our dome provides a personalized, healing environment for patients.”

Micro-Cosmos has participated in the EIT Health Validation Lab and are fully suited to join our Accelerator Program.

ADDOPTICS

Addoptics are game changers in the manufacturing of High Precision Optical Products. Delivering fully functional prototype optics within 6 working days, at affordable price point, while capitalizing on the benefits of Additive Manufacturing for Sustainable production processes. The combination of 3D Printing & Casting technologies for optimal Design and Manufacturing Flexibility allows for fast-tracking your product development cycle.

“We offer a flexible manufacturing service for prototyping and series production of custom optics. We reduce manufacturing time from 6 weeks to 6 days, through innovative 3D printing and vacuum casting techniques. Not only does this make custom optics manufacturing cost effective but also closer to achieving environmental sustainability in this field.”

DAPHNE TEXTILE RESEARCH

At YES!Delft we have mission to bring the best sustainable innovations to market. Daphne Textile Research is one of them. Using cutting-edge biofabrication techniques, Daphne Textile, are accelerating the sustainable transition in the textile industry.

“The clothes on your back: Cotton? Woollen? Synthetic? No matter what makes up our everyday textiles, mass-produced raw materials are not sustainable. Daphne Textile Research BV is using cutting-edge biofabrication techniques to propel the ancient industry of textiles to a cleaner future.”

 

IS YOUR STARTUP READY TO BE PART OF THE NEXT ACCELERATOR BATCH?

GET TO KNOW MORE 

Tarnoc: The heat pump technology that will help make homes more sustainable

Heat pump technology is a sustainable solution that has a lot of potential on the global market and – in due time – can help replace standard gas cooling and heating systems. Tarnoc – an innovator and designer of heat pump technology, and a member of the YES!Delft community – has made it its business mission to provide affordable heating solutions for Dutch households.

A heating system that is future-proof

The idea for Tarnoc came about as a result of its founders’ shared interest in heat pump technology. Tijmen de Jong and Vincent Wijdeveld both agree that heating systems have plenty of potential to become more sustainable and heat pumps are one way to achieve that. 

“At the moment, heating is largely done by using natural gas and we believe heat pumps are a replacement of that,” Tijmen says. “The problem with most heat pump solutions currently on the market, though, is that they are quite expensive. We see huge potential in solving this and believe that we can achieve that with our technology.” 

Tarnoc focuses on the electrification of Dutch households and understands the eco-friendly advantages heat pumps can bring. A lot of houses in the country are poorly – and at times not at all – insulated, which makes them very difficult to warm up. Heat pumps have the capacity to do away with that challenge. 

What’s more, “the Dutch have a resistance to the outside component,”, says Tijmen, pointing out that you don’t see many air conditioning systems in The Netherlands. Tarnoc’s solution seems to be just the right fit. “Because of their high capacity, our heat pumps can work entirely indoors and successfully transfer heat throughout the whole household.”

Vincent adds to the discussion by acknowledging that Tarnoc wants to end up replacing gas boilers instead of being just another solution next to them. This secures the company an advantageous position over its competitors.

Adopting a ‘learning by doing’ approach

In 2021, the team achieved one of its biggest milestones to date, as it successfully installed its first heat pump with a launching customer. Tarnoc’s launching customers are housing corporations, some of which have already shown interest in collaborating with the business in the future.

The startup has expanded its horizons by joining the YES!Delft Validation Lab in 2019, followed by their participation in the Accelerator Program a year later. The YES!Delft community has helped the team learn what it takes to run a company and secure their first customer. 

It has also brought them another key lesson – “to look for funding even if we don’t need it at the moment”, says Vincent. After all, there is no better time than the present to build a strong investor network. Funding for the company so far includes grants, subsidies and revenues gained from putting their first system on the market. 

In the coming months, the company will start testing eight new systems, along with expanding by adding an engineer to their team. They are looking forward to the initial results of their first project to be able to integrate the learnings in future iterations of their heat pump technology. Tarnoc has adopted a ‘learning by doing’ approach, which is bound to keep them moving forward and continuously improving their products. 

VACANCY: YES!Delft is looking for a Marketing Manager

Are you ready to build tomorrow’s leading firms?

YES!Delft is hiring a Marketing Manager (0.8-1.0 FTE)

YES!Delft

Over the last 16 years YES!Delft has become one of the leading start-up incubators in the world! We support entrepreneurs in building and growing technology companies in the Netherlands and we are the birthplace of companies such as Epyon, Ampelmann, Nightbalance, Somnox and Swapfiets. YES!Delft offers guidance and support to graduates, scientists, engineers and corporate professionals in their entrepreneurial journey. Our services turn promising tech-ideas into solid start-ups and help them grow into successful companies. Entrepreneurs get access to mentors, experts, investors and corporate partners who share their know-how and experience. Basically, we support entrepreneurs and connect them to the world!

Your Mission and Ideal Outcome

Your mission is to engage the existing community and expand it through communicating our services, our projects and our results to the world. You’ll be working in close contact with all the departments of YES!Delft: from supporting the communication of our talents and funding services to helping our scouting team with recruiting campaigns. You’ll be involved in the branding and positioning process of new projects, working together with all our external partners and stakeholders. In addition to that, you’re going to be responsible for the communication regarding the activities organized by our corporate innovation department: Innocubes.
We’re satisfied when our offline and online communities grow. When people approach us and know what we are doing, and more importantly why we are doing it.

Your Role

As marketing manager you will be leading the brand and marketing initiatives from creation until execution. The role requires you to be planning, managing, delegating and monitoring all activities. This position will give you a very broad scope of tasks and an opportunity to experience building a brand and promoting different services. In this role you will:

  • Develop and execute marketing plans ensuring that it drives and supports strategic objectives for YES!Delft in a flexible, cost-effective way
  • Develops and executes digital and non-digital campaigns to support a variety of services to market and maximise impact and share of voice
  • Monitors and reports on agreed marketing KPIs to understand effectiveness and ROI
  • Execute the marketing and communications campaign managing the inside and outside human resources (marketing team and freelancers)

Competences:

  • Able to create a multi-channel marketing strategy
  • Able to work on a strategy for our (social) media channels and able to understand marketing strategies
  • Skilled in email marketing
  • Visual eyes and strong sense of aesthetic
  • Able to work with Canva
  • High copywriting skills
  • Skilled at SEO and Google & Facebook ads
  • Able to work with Mailchimp, Later, Zapier and Google Analytics
  • Work structured, organized and well-planned
  • A love for technology & startups and the possible impact of those on society
  • Able to edit and implement websites (in webflow or wordpress) is a big plus!
  • Skilled in Adobe suite is a big plus!

Job requirements:

  • You have a completed WO or HBO education or have obtained this level through work experience, preferably in communications, marketing or similar.
  • In addition, you have 5-6 years of relevant work experience, preferably as a marketing manager, marketing lead, digital marketing specialist.
  • You have proven experience in project and team management
  • Proficient in both spoken and written Dutch and English

We offer you:

  • An inspiring startup environment where you have the opportunity to develop yourself and where you are able to implement your ideas and improve our offerings wherever you see fit.
  • Driven and ambitious team that goes above and beyond to support startups and builds a thriving ecosystem, day-in-day-out.
  • Unique opportunity to contribute, learn and grow in the world of tech-entrepreneurship.
  • Competitive salary based on experience
  • Flexible working hours

More information and application procedure

Please send your CV and motivation letter to: edoardo@yesdelft.nl to the attention of Edoardo Repetti before Friday 25th June.

For questions please contact Edoardo Repetti via edoardo@yesdelft.nl.

Top 10 Startup Success Stories: April

It’s has been a busy month at YES!Delft – we kicked off our Accelerator Program, AI/Blockchain Validation Lab and our very first SocialTech Validation Lab! And our startups have been hustling too!

1. Ampelmann

Jan van der Tempel, founder and CEO of Ampelmann, has been named finalist for the  European Inventor Award 2021! He got nominated by the European Patent Office for his invention of the Ampelmann motion compensated gangway system and for raising the standard of safety in the offshore access industry. Part of the event is also the Popular Prize, which will go to the finalist with the most votes from the public. Vote directly for Jan van der Tempel.

2. Momo Medical

Momo Medical signed a partnership agreement with the Stichting tanteLouise. Together the parties created a solution that is offering more overview and tranquility in the departments of the care facility.

3. YoooM

YoooM launched a new solution called 123familie, which provides simple video calling for people with dementia and their loved ones. This solution also won the JainChallenge, awarded by Alzheimer NL.

4. Qlayers

Qlayers completed their first investment round together with ECFG’s Eindhoven Venture Capital Fund II (EVCF II), and AkzoNobel. This investment is the next step in scaling beyond the European market, growing as a global leader in robotic coating application.

5. Physee

Physee got nominated for the Futureproof award: PropTech Company 2021 Global. If you think Physee deserves to win, you can help them by voting on their innovation.

6. Bi/ond

Bi/ond announced their newest product: The MUSbit™. This is the only Organ-on-Chip that allows you to create muscle microtissues combined with blood vessels. This provides the ideal environment to analyze the effect of drugs on the rate and force of contraction for efficacy and toxicity testing.

7. Breeze

After the successful pitch of Breeze at Dragons’ Den, the startup saw a surprising amount of young professionals signing up from Brabant. Breeze decided to listen to their users and is from now on also available in Breda and Den Bosch!

8. Gerrard Street

Gerrard Street got awarded with the Start in Circular, by the climate counselor of Rotterdam Arno Bonte. The jury unanimously chose Gerrard Street: ‘this initiative is truly circular: reduce, reuse and recycle are very well reflected in the concept’.

9. PATS Indoor Drone Solutions

At the end of March, PATS Indoor Drone Solutions had the opportunity to pitch to the members of the Rabobank Innovation Fund. The startup could now announce that the fund supports them with a grant of €25,000! The bank’s contribution will be used for further development of the solution for sustainable pest control.

10. Startups in the media

Multiple startups got featured by big media outlets this month! Het AD wrote articles about E-Trailer and Envision, and you could find SenseGlove in het Financieel Dagblad, Loop on Business Insider and Breeze in de Volkskrant!

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Digital innovations in the public sector are gaining momentum

In 2019, the digital hub YES!Delft The Hague was founded focussing on software startups and digital innovations. Over 50 startups with innovations based on Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain have already been supported by YES!Delft The Hague. Recently, a new GovTech program got launched. GovTech refers to the application of new innovative technologies, driven by collaboration between the public sector and start- and scale-ups. YES!Delft The Hague and Digicampus joined forces for the development and implementation of the GovTech Validation Lab.

Digital innovation in the public sector

The goal of GovTech is to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of governmental organizations and to improve public services. There is a strong need for innovative digital solutions. YES!Delft and Digicampus developed the GovTech program which supports digitalization of public sector.

The reason for developing the GovTech program is clear. Ras Lalmy, Managing Director YES!Delft The Hague, explains: “We experienced a rising demand for innovation support from various governmental organizations. This demand intensified due to the COVID-19 impact revealing the urgency of innovation in the public sector. However, we also observe that many innovations do not reach the finish line. We want to increase the success rate of digital solutions in the public sector.” 

Giulietta Marani, Program Director Digicampus adds: “Many digital innovation pilots are initiated within the public sector. These pilots frequently focus solely on one organizational context or system, a broad target group or shaking up the status quo. After completion of the pilot, it turns out that the solution cannot be widely deployed. Consequently, scaling these innovations is not possible. So we wondered how we could thoroughly validate concepts earlier on to ensure widely applicable implementations.”

The collaboration between YES!Delft The Hague and Digicampus

YES!Delft The Hague and Digicampus complement each other well. Digicampus has a lot of knowledge about collaborative innovations within the public sector and YES!Delft is specialized in guiding innovations to the market. Ras explains: “Our joint experience and knowledge increases the chances of success of a project within the public sector.” Giulietta: “Digicampus wants to stimulate innovation beyond boundaries. The GovTech program fit perfectly.”

The content of the GovTech Validation Lab is focused on thoroughly validating a concept with all stakeholders at an early stage. Giulietta: “The GovTech Validation Lab shows that different parties are needed for a solid business case and a sustainable business model. Often the sponsor of a pilot is not the end-user who will later pay for the service or product. By using multi-stakeholder methods like ecosystem value mapping and stakeholder sessions,  GovTech concepts are validated in an early phase with all stakeholders.”

Digicampus and the Municipality of The Hague were two of the first participants of the GovTech Validation Lab. Yvo Hunink, Digital Innovation Consultant, Municipality of The Hague shares his experiences: “Together with the winning team of the Conscious Cities challenge from the Odyssey Hackathon, we participated in the GovTech Validation Lab. All relevant stakeholders were committed to helping validate our solution. We have managed to apply a prototype of a Scalable and Secure Smart City solution to an urgent problem in urban safety and security. The GovTech Validation Lab has made a huge contribution to convincing our complex ecosystem. ”

The GovTech Validation Lab is different from other startup programs of YES!Delft.

Ras: “Where normally the startup is at the heart of the program, the GovTech Validation Lab works with a team consisting of the problem owner, the startup and relevant stakeholders. We call this a ‘crew’. The advantage is that a crew works together systematically towards a clear case and a pilot proposal that takes into account the interests of all stakeholders. This ensures acceptance and scalability of the pilot.”

Giulietta: “A customer-supplier relationship does not exist in this program. We build an ecosystem in which problem owners design, develop and validate the concept together with problem solvers. I really like that about the GovTech Validation Lab. It also helps to get long-term involvement from stakeholders. The different crews are also on a journey together. They really learn and help each other”

Future plans

The collaboration between YES!Delft The Hague and Digicampus goes further than the GovTech Validation Lab. The first edition of the Validation Lab was a success, so plans are made to add new GovTech programs.

Ras: “We are really ambitious. We work on a complete range of programs to maximize the chances of success from concept to broad implementation. For example, we are finalizing a module that offers continuity to crews after completion of the GovTech Validation Lab. This allows us to further support projects towards scaling up.”

Giulietta: “We also look at GovTech Funding, which zooms in on financing the entire lifecycle of a GovTech innovation and on the roles of stakeholders in this process. Obtaining funding for a pilot is one thing, but getting funded for scaling is often way more difficult.”

The next GovTech Validation Lab is planned after summer. Digicampus is participating with at least one team.

Ras: “Governmental organizations that want to thoroughly validate a concept after for example, a hackathon or during a startup challenge can participate in the program.”

Giulietta: “Anyone who has a widely applicable concept and wants to validate it together with stakeholders can sign up. It is important that you already have a solid plan, for example, a prototype. If you only have a pilot idea, the GovTech Validation Lab is less suitable.”

The official call to join the GovTech Validation Lab will follow soon. Interested parties can find more information on the GovTech landing page.

About Digicampus: 

Digicampus is convinced that government, the market, science and residents together can translate needs from society into innovative services of the future. Digicampus wants to be the place where government, market, science and citizens design the public services of tomorrow. Digicampus works together with all these parties on issues that transcend organizational-, domain-, and national borders and eliminates barriers to innovation.

About YES!Delft: 

Since 2005, YES!Delft has grown into one of the most successful startup incubators in the world. Today, more than 200 startups have access to the unique YES!Delft ecosystem of mentors, experts, investors and corporate partners, which is one of the largest ecosystems in Europe. YES!Delft currently offers nine focus areas, each with its own specialized network, ranging from Aviation to Cleantech, Robotics and MedTech. YES!Delft The Hague focuses on software-related startups, in particular Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain and YES!Delft Rotterdam has its focus on the SocialTech domain.

VideowindoW: smart technology that transforms windows into screens

The number of buildings and public spaces in cities is increasing, demanding from them to be more sustainable and to create a pleasant environment for the people who use them. Glass buildings and their facades, in particular, pose plenty of opportunities to make our surroundings more appealing. Remco Veenbrink, founder of innovative company VideowindoW – part of the YES!Delft community, saw the potential and made it his mission to turn any glass surface into an amazing video experience. 

‘It all started as an artistic endeavor’ 

The initial idea of VideowindoW was born when Remco passed through Amsterdam Airport Schiphol several years ago. “I walked through the traverse to the parking lot, which has glass-tiled walls. I wondered whether these could work like pixels in a screen, which was the first time I imagined what ultimately became VideowindoW,” he says.

While this may have been just an idea to someone else, for Remco it was all it took to embrace it and turn it into a successful company. As a commercial film director himself and with a background in advertising, he was well equipped to take on this project. And being as determined as he is, he didn’t waste time thinking about it.

Remco started work on a proof of principle, which resulted in 10x10cm liquid crystal mono-cells – or in other words pixels in a transparent screen. He quickly created a render of what he had in mind and went to Schiphol Media to present his idea: a transparent video screen to be used as a branding opportunity and experience for the passengers.

Schiphol Media liked the added experience and branding tool potential, but it needed to make more commercial sense. The resolution basically had to increase to use VideowindoW as a digital signage tool. This first customer validation encouraged Remco to continue developing VideowindoW as a transparent media platform. 

He asked Mark Oudenhoven, a long-time friend with a background in finance, to help further analyze the market potential and develop a business model.

‘Media platform becomes fun, profitable and sustainable glare control’ 

Their business plan soon led to government funding, after which Remco and Mark quit their jobs to officially found VideowindoW.   

They first developed a proof of concept to be able to showcase their solution to potential customers. This led to an innovation partnership with Rotterdam The Hague Airport and in September 2019, they installed a 25m2 VideowindoW in the terminal. The solution contributed to an improved passenger experience and created value for the airport. 

VideowindoW makes a strong case for sustainability, too. “Based on sensors and our algorithm, we constantly adapt the transparency of each individual pixel. Our innovative glare control reduces the need for artificial lighting and results in a more efficient use of climate control. Both help to reduce a building’s carbon footprint up to 30%,” Remco says.

VideowindoW is the first to introduce segmented tintable glass in the industry, and by using pixels it is able to transform an entire glass facade into an integrated media platform.

Besides commercial content, Rotterdam The Hague Airport also leverages VideowindoW by offering it as a platform for cultural and educational content. This generates additional regional support for the airport. For example, museums such as Boijmans van Beuningen and the Kunstmuseum Den Haag show content from their archives to a wider audience. Additionally, Willem de Kooning Academy students create video content for the airport.

Going forward, VideowindoW aims to expand beyond its beachhead market of airports and other public transport hubs, and install its solution in hospitals, offices, libraries and more. The startup wants to increase the sustainability of the build environment with its innovative glare control, while creating memorable video experiences.

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