Mangostone: from a master thesis project to paying customers

The fashion industry, the 4th most polluting industry in the world, is known for the constant provision of new trends at extremely low prices. This led to a significant rise in the amount of clothing created and discarded in landfills.

Mert Ozturk, writing his master thesis in Supply Chain Management at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, started working with Climpex, a textile collection company, to help them optimize their processes. The thesis project, which started in 2019, led to the founding Mangostone in February 2020, with Climpex being the first paying customer.

How did that happen?

Climpex had multiple containers on the streets where people could discard their unwanted garments. The challenge they faced was that they did not know what and how much there was in the containers, making it hard to decide which roads to take.

“Textile is quite difficult to predict compared to general waste streams. We saw there was a lot of room for optimization. For example, there were times where the containers would be only 10-12% full, and they would need to drive 100 km for that.”- Bas Hoogakker

As a solution, Mangostone thought of a “centre that was better in terms of technology, but also cheaper”. That’s when they knew they had to create a whole cloud software package that works on centre data or predictions (using advanced preventive algorithms) to better optimize the processes.

The focus of Mangostone

The target market of Mangostone is defined by the textile collectors (both commercial and charities) that sell the clothes to textile sorters. After the sorting, everything gets in the hands of textile processors. The clothes end up either in the stores that resell the garments, either on the market of 2nd or 3rd world countries or in companies that have better recycling techniques and can create new garments out of the old ones.

When they started working with Climpex, most of the company’s operations were defined by driving through different locations nationally and collecting the garments from people’s houses. The remaining was defined by the containers, which were only a couple of hundreds. Now, that number has been multiplied many times with the help of Mangostone. Their complex logistical operation was now much cheaper and easier to control.

Looking at the competition, Mangostone is not the only IT company that provides this type of product. They have a few big competitors, yet they focus mainly on the general city waste collection and not textiles. Their direct competitor in textiles does not use advanced software for waste collection, leaving room for Mangostone to educate them.

In terms of funding, Mangostone “pulled out a smart move” since they had the right set of skills within the team. They developed the software themselves and, the chip shortage gave them a new insight: “80% could be predicted without investing in the hardware”. That being said, they sold the software based on a subscription business model allowing them to cover the expenses and reinvest in the development process without needing external funding.

“We did work for 2 years for free, that’s basically the main investment: our time.”- Bas Hoogakker

The impact of YES!Delft

Initially, Mangostone was not sure they needed help from YES!Delft, or at least they did not know they needed it. However, once they spoke with the start-ups that are now scale-ups, they learnt about their experiences and saw how enthusiastic they were about working with YES!Delft.

“From week 1 or 2 we saw that it was worth the money. We learnt a lot about soft skills- both personal and team development, how to be a bit abstract with the ideas and actually address the elephant in the room. Also, the lunches were great”- Bas Hoogakker

Mangostone also benefited from the network of YES!Delft, their advisors, and working with other start-ups that were eager to win. Since they were one of the only start-ups with paying customers, they shared their knowledge with the others and got valuable information in exchange too.

Mangostone kept in touch with their mentor from YES!Delft, and have been advised to stick to the niche they are in for at least 1-2 years before expanding towards another direction. For now, they selected some target markets for the extension, which are The Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom, and potentially Denmark. Their goal is to get more customers and build a name and a well-rounded system for the collection of textiles which can facilitate the sorting processes.

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

Top-10 Startup Success Stories: August

All around the world, August is named to be one of the favourite months as it brings so many good things to cherish! If you would translate Augustus from Latin, it means “the great one”!  And it is a great one, especially for our startups and the community! Read more and find out how YES!Delft startups have been nominated for various awards, received an incredible € 4,000,000 in funding, achieved their set goals and more exciting news in our top-10 startup success stories in this August edition.

1. Aqysta

Aqysta, a startup from YES!Dellft , recently installed their developed Barsh Pump at the highest altitude (4.1 km) in Ladakh, India! For this project, four Barsha Pumps have been used to irrigate the adjacent lands to transform them into pasture lands for grazing local cattle such as Yaks, Pashmina goats, and local cow breeds. See the post here!

2. Bi/ond

Bi/ond was included in the Sifted startups’ selection to watch in their nanotech section. Sifted is the platform backed by the Financial Times to cover Europe’s startup and tech world, on a mission to become the essential, trusted, and independent resource for European tech by building a diverse community of founders, investors, and corporate innovators. It is an outstanding achievement which, in return, supports Bi/ond mission and encourages them to grow even further! Check out the full briefing here.

3. Isispace

Last month Isispace successfully handed a multi-spectral imaging satellite to their customer! Together with their partners, Simera Sence and Pinkmatter, Isispace were able to provide a complete turnkey solution. Also, they presented their first images and in-flight results at the Small Satelite Conference. You can find all the pictures here!

4. Unpluq

Unpluq innovation has been featured on TechCrunch. You can read the full article here. Next to that, Unpluq officially completed its crowdfunding campaign, and all Unpluq Tags were shipped out last week all around the world. And one more exciting news is that Caroline Cadwell is joining  Tim Smits and Jorn Rigter as co-founder and COO at Unpluq! Unpluq is starting a research product to investigate the impact of smartphone on work, if you are interested in participating you can sign up here.

5. Respyre

Respyre has been invited to show their test panels on the national NOS news. Their developed moss panels are attached to typical 1970s houses. A minimum of 30 panels will be added to the current 9 panels to test on a large scale what a startup can do to combat the heat in the built environment. Respyre moss panels contribute to water retention and cooling in the built environment. You can watch the news video here. Also, the co-founder of Respyre Auke Bleij has been nominated as a most promising entrepreneur under “25 onder 25”  Auke Bleij at MT/Sprout. You can leave your vote here

6. Sense Glove

Sense Glove partnered up with a BSD company in Canada, and their developed innovation will be integrated into the XR simulations. In this way, training for enterprises will become more advanced as people will be able to feel and interact with virtual objects.

7. Solar Monkey

Solar Monkey has raised € 4,000,000 in growth capital from investors such as  Eneco Ventures, Helen Ventures, InnovationQuarter and 4impact! With the raised funds, the company plans to invest heavily in their smart software for solar energy and international expansion. In return, it will help Solar Monkey customers to accelerate the transition to more solar energy even more effectively. You can read the full press release here!

8. Somnox

Somnox is excited to announce that they are listed in a Top 250 Scaleups list in the Netherlands for 2022. The Top 250 Scaleups list is one of the main research projects of the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship (ECE) and is a leading centre for entrepreneurship in Europe. Somnox represents one of 14 Dutch Health & BioTech companies that made it onto this year’s list. The company is eager to grow further and help 100 million people sleep better by 2030! You can find the complete list here. Somnox is expanding to the US market, an interview about that with Julian Jagtenberg can be found here.

9. Tiler

Tiler is happy to share that they have received an MIT R&D subsidy from the province of South Holland. With this subsidy, TILER, in cooperation with X.Bike, will develop the Charge&Lock solution, with which users of shared e-bikes can see in the App on which charging Tile they can park and be sure that the e-bike is charging before ending the reservation. This integration ensures that there are always fully charged e-bikes available and that the fleet manager spends less time and costs on charging-related activities. You can find the announcement here!

10. Envision

Envision is partnering up with Aira to create a unique combination of assistive technology with the potential to enhance the independence of blind people in unprecedented ways. From now on Envision Glasses customers with an Aira account can now place hands-free video calls to Aira Agents whenever and from wherever they choose. You can read more about the new partnership here.

Respyre: from lab to real-life environment

Urbanization and climate change need the development of new solutions to sustain and improve the quality of life in our cities. ‘Green cities’ benefit the biodiversity, climate, wellbeing, and air quality, assuring the improvement of the inhabitants’ lives.

Respyre is an aspiring pioneering company that has joined YES!Delft in spring 2022 with the ambition to contribute to the concept of green cities. Respyre has created an innovative, patent-pending, bio-receptive concrete solution that allows moss to grow after hardening. Their solution can be conveniently applied to existing structures while also being efficiently incorporated into new constructions. This makes their product a quick, simple, low-cost alternative to façade covering that can also benefit the urban environment.

From research to a business idea

Respyre looked at the research conducted by TU Delft on why mosses grow on different surfaces next to the railways with the scope of assessing whether it harms them. The conclusion was that the moss does not eat the concrete, yet if the railway’s operators want to prevent them from growing, they should use concrete that does not contain certain characteristics. That was the moment when Mark de Kruijff turned the idea into a business concept. Auke Bleij, his friend, got very excited about the sounds of it and decided to join the company shortly after that.

Auke explained that “many unused vertical surfaces can easily be turned into air filtering or water retaining surfaces”. He saw the potential of this idea and described this experience as being one of the few when he was “intrinsically motivated to keep on working”.

Respyre’s current target market is represented by the infrastructure operators, real estate, and the government (municipalities). Defining the target market helped them launch different paid pilot projects. One of the most exciting pilot projects was with the Municipality of Amsterdam, where they were asked to cover two bridges. Amsterdam has a lot of bridges that are constantly covered in graffiti, and by collaborating with Respyre, they could create “a natural shield”.

“What we try to do is to reach enthusiastic municipalities and empower them as pioneers of the product: meaning that they have the product and use it the way they find fit.”- Auke Bleij

Looking at where Respyre is to be positioned in the market, their biggest competition only focuses on brick and mortar. “That’s also where we want to compete as well. We want to make this as good as brick and mortar.” Their products are not supposed to be “an alternative for vertical greening, but an alternative for façade covering”.

According to Auke, “The Netherlands is a great country for start-ups” since there is a high interest in investing in unique ideas. Within the next couple of months, Respyre aims to gather between € 300-500k. This investment is meant to create “market-ready products”, with the goal of not only having a nice concept but a predefined supply chain and production site, among others. At the moment, they aim to do that by getting affordable loans for social investments and paid pilots with companies who trust the product or want to contribute to the concept’s success.

In a later stage, after 12-18 months, Respyre will then start looking at large rounds of investments (a couple of millions). These investments are expected to happen through private investors, crowdfunding, but also RaboBank, Angels Investors and Innovation Fund of Holland.

In this process, YES!Delft has played an essential factor in the growth of Respyre. The company was offered the general picture of what they have to think about as a business as well as the tools that they need to start building it. Apart from that, they could use their community and network, which has also made it easier to talk to investors.

You have an Excel sheet for everything, and you can easily get your questions answered”- Auke Bleij

The next steps for the upcoming 6-12 months of Respyre is to pay a lot of attention to the pilot projects and everything besides that such as keeping the company going, getting funding, expanding the team, maintaining the website, and formulating different strategies.

“The pilots help validate the business model and the problem-solution fit and, at the same time, it helps us understand our products better.”- Auke Bleij

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

Top-10 Startup Success Stories: July

July is one of the warmest summer months and is regarded as the best for swimming, tanning, holiday planning, and ice cream. But even during this holiday season, our startups are working hard and doing their best to grow tremendously and bring the most technologically advanced services and products to the market. Read more and find out how our startups received funding for their projects, accomplished new collaborations with strategic partners, and released new updates for products in our top-10 startup success stories in this July edition.

1. Magneto

Last month Magneto received € 1 million in funding for their unique innovation from UNIIQ (Delft Enterprises), SHIFT Invest, Graduate Entrepreneur Fund and Rabobank. With this investment, Magneto will build a portfolio of 3D-printed magneto-calorific materials to make the first functional cooling systems. With this material, heat pumps for cooling systems can be made that no longer run on gas but on non-harmless liquids, such as water which makes the system up to 30% more energy efficient. More information can be found here.

2. Momo Medical

Momo Medical stocks were available on the NPEX stock exchange, and in 8 days, they were sold! Starting from € 500, investors who invested in Momo Medical be in the first rank to follow all the latest developments, receive monthly interest, and help Momo Medical continue its rapid growth. The BedSense App developed by Momo Medical provides caregivers insights and an overview of all memory care community residents. The App is linked to a bed sensor that is placed underneath the mattress. With the App, caregivers can work more effectively and ensure a comfortable and safe night for all residents. Find out more information about the Momo Medical stocks here!

3. PerClass

In July, Headwall Photonics, a world leader in high-performance hyperspectral imaging systems and OEM devices for remote sensing and industrial machine vision applications, announced its strategic growth investment in perClass BV. The investment and new partnership will facilitate PerClass’s ability to provide best-in-class solutions to the market for any sensor! For more information, the joint press release can be found here.

4.Praxa Sense

Praxa Sense is proud to announce its success in the most recent Eurostars, a European innovation program and an initiative of Eureka Network and the European Commission,  round, where the company ranked number 1 out of all 428 applications. With the AMBULAS project, the company will further develop its sensor system. An additional revolutionary sensor will be developed that overcomes problems of inaccuracy due to motion sensitivity, one of the biggest obstacles in reliable remote monitoring. In addition, The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate (Ministerie van Economische Zaken en Klimaat), together with RVO (Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO)), made funding available for innovative solutions like Afi. The funds will be used to expand further the possibilities of Praxa Sense medical device, which is now suitable for long-term monitoring of arrhythmias, to be able to be used for the monitoring of Heart Failure patients. More information can be found here.

5. STIL B.V.

STIL has received its ISO13485 certification! It is a formal approval that the startup Quality Management System complies with one of the highest quality standards. It is a big step for a company towards the CE mark of the medical device that can help millions of tremor patients worldwide.

6. Vertigo Technologies B.V.

Vertigo Technologies was nominated recipient of the Top Sector Horticulture and Starting Material International Innovation Prize 2022. Vertigo has been judged as the best candidate for improving the value chain in horticulture. The company will use the prize to optimize its solution and accelerate their unique innovation quickly. If you want to know more about Vertigo Technologie and how we contribute to innovating the fresh fruit value chain, visit their website or follow their journey on Linkedin!

7. AgriData Innovations

In July, AgriData Innovations delivered the new version of our Germination Analysis system to Schoneveld Breeding. This new system is equipped with a handheld scanner to register batch IDs and is designed to make the user experience as smooth as possible. If you would like to learn more about our technology and how it can help in your production, please check out this video: https://lnkd.in/eeV6YA7w

8. Bird Control Group

Bird Control Group installed 7 automated laser bird deterrents at a Hyundai Steel warehouse in South Korea and reduced pigeon presence by more than 90%. Read the full story here.

9. Mangostone

Last month, a mangostone team, together with Opnieuw en Co, installed the first batch of fill rate sensors in the Gemeente Dordrecht  (HVC ), Gemeente Barendrecht, Gemeente Alblasserdam, Gemeente Albrandswaard, Gemeente Ridderkerk, Gemeente Zwijndrecht and Gemeente Papendrecht. Installed fill rate sensors in the difficult-to-predict textile containers allow each collector to make their collection more efficient by up to 50% with a minimal investment. More information can be found here.

10. Physee Technologies

PHYSEE together with Gemeente Delft, Technische Universiteit Delft and YES!Delft had a wonderful summer school! About 30 children from 10 to 12 years old worked in groups for three days on various assignments, experiments and prototypes. This year’s summer school topic was the Sustainable Development Goals. Kids were introduced to the sustainability concepts and came up with the idea of a toilet for a cow! It is an idea conceived and developed only by children to create a more sustainable society. Read more here.

Top-10 Startup Success Stories: June

Happy Summer to Everyone! We know that you are all looking forward to enjoying picnics in the park and the fresh air at the sunny beach but this month, our startups have a bunch of powerful stories to share! Read more and find out how our startups have been nominated for impressive awards, celebrated business anniversaries, signed valuable agreements and much more exciting news in our Top 10 startup success stories in this June edition.

1. Aquabattery

Aquabattery is proud to announce that they have launched a new pilot unit with Waterschap Rivierenland at a sewage treatment facility in Gorinchem! The cooperation drives battery innovation, which the startup considers instrumental in achieving energy neutrality by 2030. AquaBattery pilot unit increases the facility’s self-consumption of solar-generated electricity, further saving costs and reducing CO2 emissions. It is a big step forward for a startup towards achieving its mission: developing sustainable,  low-cost and easily scalable long-duration energy storage to enable 100% renewable energy penetration.

2. Aquablu

Aquablu has been nominated for the Green Product Award of 2022 in the consumer’s good category. The startup is excited to be included in the “Top 100 Best Green Products of 2022” category that stands out in the market while seeking a sustainable option.

3. Circularise

In the middle of June, Hannover Mess Event 2022 took place, where Circularise won “The Best Pitch” nomination! Every year the event gathers innovators and industrial transformers from more than 53 countries around the world in Germany, where companies can share their knowledge and introduce their technology to a broader market! Their team is growing and looking for more developers.

4.Elemental Water Makers

Euronews interviewed YES!Delft scale-up Elemental Water Makers in their latest episode of “Rethink” to answer the question: is solar-powered desalination the solution to the world’s growing water crisis? Watch this inspiring episode here and learn more about how the founder came up with the idea to find an innovative solution for people who are suffering from water scarcity and deep dive into his developed technology.

5. KE-chain

On June 1st, Ke-chain signed a letter of intent with the KLO and the excavation chain. Together they want to set a new standard to help organisations in further digitisation to ultimately have the right information at the right time in the trench. It is a wonderful step forward in digital collaboration in the excavation chain. The startup is very thankful to the board and members of the KLO for their trust.

6. Kitepower

Kitepower’s proposal was awarded by the EU Horizon Commission! The company is one of the industry partners in a Meridional research project led by TU Delft. The proposal was submitted to the EU Horizon Europe call on physics and aerodynamics of atmospheric flow of wind for power production, and they are very happy that the European Commission recognises the importance of developing the toolchain and associated models and supports the airborne wind energy community in achieving its goal of making an impact. More information can be found here.

This month Kitepower started a crowdfunding campaign, more information on that can be found here. If you want to learn more about Kitepower Jurney, read our latest startup story here!

7. Mainblades and FeedbackFruit

This month two of our startups celebrate business anniversaries! 

This June Mainblades celebrates its 5-year anniversary. They have shared their journey and story in the special anniversary video. Watch it here! 

Feedbackfruits celebrates an amazing 10-year anniversary. They say that it was 10 years of incredible dedication and persistence to drive pedagogical innovation, improve higher education, boost lifelong learning and help educators provide organised feedback and effectively convey their knowledge. 

Congratulations to both startups, and we wish them to celebrate many more anniversaries in the future! 🎉

8. ParkBee

ParkBee, for the second time, was nominated as one of the top 250 fastest-growing companies in the Netherlands. Every year Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and nlgroeit research the Dutch landscape and come up with interesting insights about success factors and the growth recipe. You can find a report Here!

9. Qlayers

Qlayers is proud to announce its expansion into the Asia Pacific region and the launch of the APAC subsidiary in Singapore. With this strategic move, Qlayers has also appointed Emiel Lubbers as its Commercial Director to spearhead the company’s expansion. With Emiel’s hands-on experience and track record in building markets and driving strategic growth, a startup is looking forward to bringing the company to its next expansion chapter.

10. Maeve (Venturi aviation)

This month Venturi Aviation changed its name to Maeve Aerospace B.V and has concluded its latest fundraising round with €3.4M. Their team is growing rapidly, which is why they moved to a bigger office in the YES!Delft building. Read more about this news in this LinkedIn post.

Kitepower: leaving the world a better place

In 2016, a young and motivated engineer, Johannes Peschel, together with his university professor and mentor, Roland Schmehl, founded Kitepower. Kitepower is a pioneering start-up in Airborne Wind Energy (AWE) that generates innovative and cost-effective alternatives to traditional wind turbines. 

It is well-known that wind energy has several advantages, being one of the world’s fastest-growing energy sources. Yet, it comes with different challenges. One of them has been overcome by Kitepower, who developed a product that is remote and does not need good land-based wind sites. Kitepower Falcon uses a ground station, a kite to produce electricity and a robot that flies with the kite and controls it.

What is the story behind Kitepower?

Before the company’s launch, Johannes was a full-time computer science student passionate about kite landboarding. One day during that period, in the centre of Berlin, one unfortunate story turned out to be an amazing business idea that could impact others positively. Johannes broke his arm practising kite landboarding. Some would think, ‘how can you get a business idea by breaking your arm?’. Well, Johannes decided to think further than what seemed to be a very painful event. 

“When I broke my arm landboarding, I experienced the power of the wind: it can blow you up but also drop you down quickly. After that, I said to myself, ‘maybe we can do something better with that energy’.”- Johannes Peschel

After this event, Johannes researched the topic and found out that TU Delft was already working on it. Before he knew it, he moved to The Netherlands and embarked on a journey to make this idea happen. Kitepower started by providing renewable solutions for temporary power to the end-users of the electricity in remote places.

One of the company’s biggest accomplishments is their recent Aruba project that took place in the context of a military exercise with the Dutch Ministry of Defence. Kitepower, as a partner, aimed to develop and test an innovative energy system to support its decarbonisation efforts. When this became a reality, Johannes was thrilled.

“When we first started the company, I had to arrange a photoshopped image of a kite flying on an island, and now that is irrevocably the reality!”- Johannes, in an interview with Green Tech Alliance

Kitepower built credibility by proving that its technology works. That’s how from a start-up, the company became a scale-up. At this stage, when looking at the competition, Kitepower is proud that it managed to surpass companies that are in the business for 13 years, simply because they have a “very simple and easy product”. 

“There are companies that have more funds available and could be that they are more technically developed due to these resources; however, we were the first ones deploying the system on an island, imagine where we could be if we had more financial resources.”- Johannes

So far, Kitepower has achieved its goals through motivation and hard work. However, things would not have happened without financial support. They have been funded via grants (e.g., fast track innovation, European funds), investors, launching customers, and now impact funds. From the European Union, they have received amazing feedback for executing the project with excellence. 

How has YES!Delft helped along the way?

Kitepower profited from training on how to make a company successful, getting the help of experts in different fields, a wide network, and of course, help with funding from YES!Funded. Another important factor was the credibility from the public that came by being associated with YES!Delft.

“YES!Delft came in handy because they had experts for everything, and whenever we would have a problem, we would call and get assistance.”- Johannes

As for the future, Kitepower aims to get people involved in the crowdfunding campaign and then use the resources to make its products available for everyone through festivals and events. They want to show people that their technology works and is safe and reliable with a positive, sustainable impact. If you are interested in joining the crowdfunding campaign, you can find more information here.

“Our vision was always to do this for the people and have them profiting from it.”- Johannes

One thing is for sure: when you have a vision and when you put in the hard work, things do become reality. Believing in your dream and taking action will bring you the right results. For now, Johannes worked on another dream where he “photoshopped the picture of Aruba with more and bigger kites above it”.

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

Top-10 Startup Success Stories: May

May is one of the busiest months for the startups at the YES!Delft Incubator. Many startup challenges, workshops, funding procedures and other competitions are taking place just before the summer vacation starts. Therefore this month, we have some celebrations and achievements to share! Read more and find out how our startups become finalists in Europeanian competitions, successfully raised funds, and much more exciting news in our top-10 startup success stories in this May edition.

1. Loop

Our YES!Funded team has been working together with Loop over the past year to explore funding opportunities for the startup. And now, the initiator and builder of the world’s first ‘living’ coffin, is proud to announce that they have raised an investment of €1 million from Dragons’ Den members and serial entrepreneurs Shawn Harris and Pieter Schoen. ​​With this capital injection, founder Bob Hendrikx aims to realize plans for international expansion and scale up his company. He managed to convince the Dragons with his pitch in the latest episode of the Dutch version of Dragons’ Den. 

2. Denoize

Denoize is proud to announce that they have raised 1.1 million euros after an investment round by Innovation Quarter and several business angels! Now Aman Jindal and his team are ready to take DeNoize to new heights and further develop its business. The Startup has developed an active noise cancellation tech to solve the problem of noise pollution as a silent killer affecting the health of millions of people living in busy cities. Their technology converts windows into an active speaker which cancels the outdoor noise by superimposing an anti-phase signal in real-time. More information can be found in this post!

3. DAB.bio

In May, DAB.bio, pioneers in biomanufacturing fermentation technology, announced successful fermentation runs in their FAST (Fermentation Accelerated by Separation Technology) bioreactor, demonstrating that the technology lowers the unit cost by 50% of fermentation-based production at scale. FAST dramatically increases fermentation performance and reduces production costs by continuously removing products from the fermenter. This boosts the amount of product formed and simplifies the purification process and the amount of equipment needed. You can read more about the DAB success story in this press release.

4. EyeContact

MT/Sprout published an article about the YES!Delft startup EyeContact”. They have announced that EyeContact has launched the Portable: a webcam, integrated into a black plate with a special glass plate. According to co-owner Boudewijn van Sambeek, this is the solution that enables natural eye contact during video calls, without having to look at the webcam. The startup has managed to develop the product and the first 280 displays with its own money and now they are looking for one or two angel investors who are willing to experience the adventure with us.

5. Flux Medical Systems

Flux medical systems have officially released its flux software system and now it is available to all healthcare providers who want to be the best healthcare entrepreneur they can be. The software and system guide healthcare professionals along the way, save time to focus on what matters, provide real-time insights into business and work from anywhere even on a mobile device.

6. SenseGlove

SenseGlove shared a case study, created with Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. Volkswagen tested the SenseGlove Nova for its automotive assembling VR training. All trainees who attended the vehicle assembly training preferred the SenseGlove Nova over the use of a controller. Watch this video to learn more about it!

7. Qlayers

The YES!Delft startup has developed a large ‘print head’ that sprays coatings very evenly on an industrial surface. This is done computer-controlled, from under a hood that minimizes paint waste and prevents paint particles from ending up in the environment. The developed product is unique and therefore attractive in the market all around the world. As Qlayers continues to grow well, towards forty employees and with a turnover of millions AkzoNobel became a  partner who truly believes in their technology and helped a company to gain credibility. More information can be found in this press release.

8. Dawn Aerospace

Dawn Aerospace, a Netherlands-, New Zealand-and U.S.-based space transportation company, has been selected by Blue Canyon Technologies to provide turnkey chemical propulsion systems for the X-SAT Saturn satellite bus. The startup will supply thrusters, tanks, control electronics, and full-service support in logistics and propellant loading for the ESPA Grande-class satellite. The full Press release can be found here!

9. Mainblades

Mainblades are proud to announce the release of a new, in-house developed lidar odometry algorithm that has been in daily operation in the maintenance facilities of KLM Engineering & Maintenance for over two months. You can read more about it in this press release.

10. Unpluq

Unpluq launched its first funding campaign on indiegogo.com. Consumers who are interested in the tag that helps break bad scrolling habits, saving over 60 minutes of screen time, every day can pre-order it via this link. The tag will be available for iPhone and Android users as it works wirelessly through NFC. More information about the product can be found on the Unpluq website.

Dimmes Doornhein

Dimmes Doornhein: A strong team is at the heart of every successful company

For a young startup, having a coach who has worked in a wide range of roles and markets sure is invaluable. And when you add to that his passion for building great teams and companies, there is little left you can ask for. Dimmes Doornhein is among YES!Delft’s Entrepreneurs in Residence (EiR) – an experienced founder and investor himself – who is looking to share his knowledge with the new generation of young entrepreneurs.

‘IT’S ABOUT BUILDING THE RIGHT TEAMS’

At the age of 70, Dimmes not only has valuable lessons to share, but he also brings the type of energy and sparks that many young founders need to ignite their confidence. 

Having worked in the fields of city redevelopment, telecommunications – in particular during the liberalization of telecom companies in the 80s, to more recently being involved with newer technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), Dimmes has a wide range of experiences to draw from and pass on to others. 

Yet, perhaps what he knows most about is not a specific field of technology. It is people. It is building and growing successful teams. 

“Throughout the years, I have worked in many multidisciplinary teams and what is characteristic about such teams is that on an individual basis, everyone is brilliant. But then you put them all together and things don’t always work.” In other words, a strong team needs the right chemistry, not just the brightest minds. 

Putting the right teams together and helping them shape the companies of tomorrow is one of the areas that Dimmes focuses on when coaching young founders. What’s more, he makes sure to create the environment entrepreneurs need to shine and grow as individuals, while contributing to the development of the wider team.

While he’s worked in a variety of roles during his career, Dimmes has most often ended up in the position of manager or CEO. In that, he has had hundreds of people working with him. 

Not for him, he emphasizes, with him. 

“The role of CEO is to be a leader and bring the best out of everyone,” he believes. “Probably half of the people I have worked with were smarter than me and I find it important to acknowledge that. It is important to give people the space to do what they are best at as they contribute to the goals of the team.”

Bringing market experience together with the knowledge of complex tech

What Dimmes likes most about working with young people is that he gets to bring both his successes and mistakes, while they bring inspiration, fresh ideas and insights on new technologies. In a way, it is the perfect recipe for bringing together real-life market experience with very specialized technologies.   

One of those technologies comes from the team of YES!Delft startup Flexous. Dimmes is currently with the team and believes their innovative approach to horology has the potential to revolutionize the watch industry. An industry that is hundreds of years old. “If you dare to revolutionize and you do it right, you can become really big,” he says.  

Over the past months, Dimmes has been mentoring the team of Flexous and now sits on their recently created advisory board. “I don’t know it all,” he admits, “but I am here to advise, ask the right questions and ignite people’s creativity.”  

Next to being the person that teams can get advice from, he also strives to be someone they can confide in. “I am there so people can talk to me and know that what they tell me will never leak.” In other words, he creates a safe space for teams to share and work out their differences. 

And why does he do all that? 

In his experience, it is really difficult to keep a team together. In fact, not having the right team and being able to move forward as one is among the three main reasons companies fail. It is, therefore, crucial that startups have things properly set up from the get-go.  

“You need to get things right from the start,” he says. “Think about this. If you leave the port of Rotterdam for New York and you make a mistake of two degrees – just two degrees – you will end up in Rio de Janeiro. This is why it is so important to have the right guidance and avoid any mistakes from the start.”  

Without a doubt, strong teams are at the heart of being successful. Yet, building such teams is easier said than done, especially for young entrepreneurs who have never experienced it before. For those within the YES!Delft community, the knowledge of how to do that is there. And Dimmes is one of the sources of that knowledge.  

Do you have a startup and would you like to enter our incubator, join our Validation Lab or Accelerator Program and meet our Entrepreneurs in Residence.

Top-10 Startup Success Stories: April

April in the Netherlands is a month when tulips start blooming and nature gets greener. This moment brings excitement to everyone, giving extra energy and motivating them to work harder in order to reach set goals. It’s no secret that some of our startups have received special attention this month, both locally and globally, for their hard work. Read more and find out how our startups have been recognised in the news, became finalists in global awards, and helped others in need in our top-10 startup success stories in this April edition.

1. ENVISION

Last month Envision went viral across the internet after Stevie Wonder tested their glasses.. “Stevie Wonder can ‘see’ again with the help of a Dutch invention!” a quote that appeared in many dutch news and newspapers. What an incredible success and great marketing initiative! Next to it, Envision CTO and Co-founder Karthik Kannan presented their startup to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and President of India Sri Ram Nath Kovind (Government of India Official) in The Hague, The Netherlands. The startup was shown on TV in the Dutch press. Here you can watch a video with Vanessa on the NPO Radio 2 morning show https://lnkd.in/eYmRbj4R. In addition they started a free pilot program that allows you to test out the technology in-person with your visually impaired employees to see if it’s the right fit.

2. DuckDuckGoose AI

Deep fake videos are used more and more these days and can have serious consequences. Recently deep fake video’s of Zelensky showed up on the internet, and DuckduckGoose recognised these as Deep fake as you can read here. Detecting deep fake is very important. DuckDuckGoose AI co-founder Mark Evenblij was a guest on a live broadcast of Het Klokhuis Meet Up about image manipulation. In it, Mark tells children in grades 7 and 8 how deepfakes are made and how you can recognise them. Creator of the ‘Bad News game’ Rivka Otten was also at the table. Finally, online parenting expert Jacqueline Kleijer talked about the dangers of online deception. Curious about the broadcast? Watch the video!

3. Hardt Hyperloop

Tim Houter, a co-founder of Hard Hyperloop, presented the startup at the Mobility Congress in the Northern Netherlands. The region will be the heart of hyperloop development, with the European Hyperloop Center as an open test facility. Cooperation of entrepreneurs with the local, regional and national governments is key to making the future of mobility a reality.

4. FEEDBACKFRUITS

FeedbackFruits became a finalist in 2 categories at the 2022 Edtech Awards. Their tool “Automated Feedback Coach” earned a nomination for Artificial Intelligence Solution, while “Group Member Evaluation” was nominated for e-Learning, Blended, Flipped Solution or Remote Solution. Click on the link below to learn more: https://bit.ly/3r1rzwg

5. Fusion Engineering

Fusion Engineering, a Dutch flight control startup based in Delft, announced that it had raised €700k in its first investment round. Investors include the Dutch Graduate Entrepreneur Fund and a consortium of experienced angel investors. The investment will allow Fusion Engineering to bring their flight controller, the ‘brain’ inside every drone, to the commercial drone market. More information can be found in this LinkedIN post.

6. LOOP

The Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad spoke with Bob Hendrikx, CEO of Loop, about the nomination for the Earthshot Prize for their ‘Living Cocoon’. The Earthshot Prize is the most ambitious and prestigious – designed to incentivise change and help to repair our planet over the next 10 years. The prize celebrates new, collaborative action to meet the environmental challenges we face. Read more about this Here

7. PATS Indoor Drone Solutions

PATS Indoor Drones has been nominated for the Theme Award for robotisation and data-driven horticulture. Bram Tijmons, one of the three founders, sees a sophisticated balance between technology and biology as crucial for the future of horticulture. ‘We help growers control pests by combining smart software, high-quality mechanics and biological knowledge,’ says Bram. PATS is part of the Floriade in Almere this year. Here you can read more about the opening of this exhibition that is organised every 10 years.

8. STIL

STIL is featured in an interview by AD.nl about their aims and technology that helps people that struggle with tremors. STIL also achieved a big success. The device is currently being evaluated in the Reinier de Graaf ziekenhuis in Delft. Read more about their journey in this article. On May 19th, they will share their entrepreneurial journey during a Tech & Entrepreneurship event on the EUR, called YOUNITE. Tickets are still available on www.younite.me

9. TILER

Co-founder Olivier Coops of the startup Tiler went to the Ukrainian border to bring refugees to The Netherlands and help them with shelter. Olivier said that many people want to help somehow but don’t know how to do that. In the meantime, many people donated some money to support the foundation behind Olivier’s undertaking, Ukraine Run. This a breathtaking initiative started by two friends two weeks ago when the war started. You can read his story Here!

We interviewed Christiaan van Nispen and wrote a Startup story about their entrepreneurial journey. You can read the article here!

10. AQUABLU

Aquablu introduced an industrial water purifier. Since the war in Ukraine began, there has been a lack of all resources, including access to food and water. The developed purifier was sent to the centre of Ukraine to provide the people of Ukraine with up to 30.000 litres of clean drinking water a day! Watch the video in this LinkedIn post.

Tiler: Building the future of wireless electric charging for bikes

“We want to contribute to making cities greener, yet cities are largely built around cars,” says Christiaan van Nispen, founder and CEO of YES!Delft startup Tiler. “We have identified the need for creating a better infrastructure for electric bikes and are working on a solution that would provide new charging opportunities.”

Electric bikes need the right charging infrastructure

Having been in the business of building sustainable solutions for over a decade now, Christiaan knows what it takes to develop technologies that need time to develop and mature. It was back in 2009 when he started his first company with the goal of making buildings more sustainable. “Back in that day, such technologies were still very new,” he remembers. And while he ended up selling his share of the company, it had taught him plenty on how to develop complex technological solutions and bring them to market.

His connection to the world of sustainability was perhaps most notably forged while working as Innovation Manager for a German company. On behalf of it, he went to the US to set up the company’s footprint of electric vehicle charging stations, which is also where he got to know more about electric vehicles in general. 

“In a meeting that I had with Uber, they told me that light electric vehicles – electric bikes, in particular – will be a big thing in the future.” This was an important insight for Christiaan and what eventually got him thinking on how to build better infrastructure for this mode of transportation. 

He started Tiler (at that time Fesla Charge) in April 2019 with the mission to offer a wireless charging solution for e-bikes and has been checking off one milestone after the next since then. While he was the sole founder at the start, he was later joined by founder Olivier Coops as COO. Joris Koudijs joined the MT as CTO in 2021. The startup has also raised more than 1 million euros from UNIIQ, Delft Enterprises and PVS investments, among others, which has helped it develop its technology fast and enter the market in the Netherlands. 

“Our solution is technologically challenging so we started with a pilot almost immediately,” Christiaan says. They partnered up with Ahoy to see how the technology would work and if it would meet the client’s expectations.

“It was a learning process on what it is like to build a hardware solution,” he says. “Perhaps the main lesson we learned is that it always takes a bit longer than anticipated. The first minimum viable product (MVP) for Ahoy was planned for September 2019, but instead it took until July 2020.” It was certainly not an easy endeavor to take on. 

The team also learned about how to make their solution as easy to use as possible, as well as durable and sturdy. Today, Tiler’s product is essentially a block integrated in a smart kickstand, which could also be used in other light electric vehicles. “The whole idea behind our solution is that users would have a seamless experience throughout – you come, you park, you go.”

On the path to making cities greener

While Christiaan started Tiler with the simple mission to create the necessary infrastructure for electric bikes to thrive in cities, they now have a team of six that are working tirelessly to make this possible. Yet, not without the support of fellow entrepreneurs and market experts.

Just recently, Tiler joined the Accelerator program at YES!Delft is looking to use that experience on several different fronts. “We have already been able to learn from other companies and gain insights into how to manage a hardware company,” Christiaan says. “We want to learn more about how to manage our supply chain as well as how to raise follow-on funding as a deep tech company.”

To date, the startup has delivered six validation pilots of its products, known as Tiles, with a corresponding smartstand. In March 2022, they launched their commercial solution with a bike rental company at an NH hotel with very promising results. There is another batch of 20 Tiles coming up in May to conduct more promising pilots. It is a time-consuming endeavour so the team will take the coming months to find their market fit with existing customers. “We want to make sure that the customers we currently have are happy and order from us again.” 

Further down the line, they will look into ways to scale up slowly while continuously iterating their product and will be looking for a larger round of follow-on funding starting in 2023.

If you ask Christiaan, the future for Tiler is an exciting one. There is a lot he and his team can achieve in making their solution ever better and smarter. “We will be looking into implementing strict safety procedures for our product,” he says. “We already get a lot of data from the batteries, but our goal for the future would be to collect even more of that data and leverage it in a smart way.”

There are ambitious goals ahead of Tiler and its team, and to make that even more tangible, they say: “We want to have 100,000 tiles by 2027 and be in 100 cities by 2040.” And so the targets have been set, may the hard work continue.

Are you inspired by this entrepreneurial journey and interested in giving your startup a boost? Then join one of the programs we offer at YES!Delft; Validation lab or Accelerator Program. If you would like to work at a startup in our ecosystem, check out the vacancies on our homepage!

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