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!

Accelerator Program

Meet the accelerator batch spring 2022

We are very proud to welcome the following companies to our Accelerator batch this spring! 

With the help of our experts and mentors, 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.

DuckDuckGooseFairm

Fairm BV develops natural and low-impact building materials based on biotechnology, enabling suppliers in the built environment to catch up with the growing demand for low impact and circular building products. Their main focus is to grow the future of buildings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Tiler

Tiler develops the intuitive charging solution that helps to create a self-managing e-bike fleet. Park the e-bike with the Charging kickstand on the Charging tile and that’s it; the e-bike starts charging immediately. No more hassle and clutter with cables, or the risk that an e-bike isn’t charged, charging goes intuitively. Users will have an e-bike fleet that is always ready to go for their guests, employees or tenants.

Respyre

Respyre has developed and patented a new bio-receptive concrete product, which – when applied to existing structures – facilitates the spontaneous growth of moss. While enhancing beneficial ecosystems of moss the underlying construction is protected against weathering, effectively extending its lifetime. Respyre is working towards a final product that will be easy in application, cost-effective and low in maintenance. Their value proposition is to make vertical greening much more simple, sustainable and accessible by combining concrete waste and mosses into a self-sustaining vertical landscape.

Diwama

Diwama aims to provide the best image recognition of waste types and brands across the entire waste value chain, and therefore become the go-to company for big data on waste. Diwama’s vision is to make waste management seamlessly accessible and affordable by bridging the technology gap between developing and developed countries through the use of AI and data.

MangoStone

MangoStone is a company that develops software and hardware solutions to enable waste collectors to achieve the highest level of logistical efficiency and transparency. The company creates a fundamental piece of infrastructure on which circular economies can be built. This is achieved by significantly decreasing the costs of collecting waste through a dynamic collection process (up to 40% in cost reduction), monitoring the exact origin, destination, and quality of the collected waste, and bringing important data insights to light so that circular economies can be improved.

Civinc

Civinc is a customizable digital platform for civic education where students can engage in meaningful discussions with peers who think differently. In safe, anonymous, one-on-one chat-based ‘speed dates’ they can form their opinion, expand their horizon and develop vital civic skills, while the data gives teachers valuable insight on sentiment, language and performance.

BioFashionTech

BioFashionTech is an innovative start-up that makes use of a scalable biotech process to turn pre and post-consumer textile waste into valuable products that can be used for biocomposites and chemistry. Furthermore, the company separate polyester and dyes to create a closed-loop solution. The technology does not involve the use of any harmful chemicals and can process cotton, viscose, and poly/cotton blends. As a result, BioFashionTech brings 85% of textile waste that currently is incinerated or ends up in landfills to sustainable, circular biobased products. At the same time, a startup reduces the amount of fossil fuel used to make synthetic fibres, which account for 52% of the global fibre market.

Hoursec

Hoursec is founded on a breakthrough technology with a competitive advantage based on an innovative learning model architecture (HW/SW) which merges a completely new kernel architecture, allowing real-time, low power on device inference and training. Hoursec’s architecture is characterised by flexibility and robustness in non-linear dynamical inputs. Wider programmability and model-free applications for the Edge Computing Market.

 

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

Nature’s Principles: Driving sustainable lactic acid production – and contributing to the circularity of Europe’s economy

“We are an impact company and want to contribute to the European goals for becoming more sustainable and circular. We want to have a positive impact on the economy.” Jules Rombouts is CTO of Nature’s Principles, a startup from the YES!Delft ecosystem, and together with fellow CEO Jan Pieter van Tilburg, he’s working hard on a technology that would revolutionize the way new chemicals are produced. The goal? To develop and implement fermentation-based production technologies that would replace oil-based chemicals and create improvement in terms of emitted CO2, water and arable land usage.

Market validation and the potential of sustainable lactic acid

For Jules, it all started in May 2019 when he and his previous co-founder joined YES!Delft’s Validation Lab to test the main assumptions of their technology. “We did a lot of customer interviews to understand the potential of the market. Our technology is an innovative one and is able to make lactic acid, among other chemicals in the future, from biomass.” 

The technology behind Nature’s Principles is indeed unique in that it uses biomass, or in this case sugar beet, to produce lactic acid with a much lower carbon footprint. Sugar beet, compared to sugar cane, which is what traditional technologies are currently based on, requires less water for irrigation as well as less land usage. 

“Our goal is to increase the use of bio-based resources in order to create carbon-neutral chemicals in the long run,” Jules says. 

For Jan Pieter, in turn, getting to know Jules and the idea behind Nature’s Principles was a welcome next step in his career. Having worked for years for an oil major in Brazil, he was determined to move away from the industry. “I wanted to make a positive impact on the world,” he says.  

“I was looking for technology with the potential to get involved in and I liked the drive behind Jules’ idea. We decided to team up for three months as a trial, at the end of which we realized that we wanted to continue working together.” 

The rest is history.  

Since Jan Pieter officially joined Nature’s Principles, the team has been scaling up their efforts to choose the right applications for their technology as well as the first customers to help them make the first move into the market. 

“The technology has many applications,” Jan Pieter says. “Lactic acid is a good antibacterial so it can be used in food preservatives, and it is also a potent descaling agent, making it suitable for cleaning products. The biggest market is bioplastics, but that will take more time to develop. That’s our end game.”

About 60% of conventional plastics can be replaced by polylactic acids (PLA), he says, yet producing PLA plastics is still far from being a price competitive alternative for all possible uses. This is something Nature’s Principles are determined to change – and they are well on their way to do so.

A growing team and an expanding technology

Just a few months ago, the team announced securing their first investors and a total amount of 500,000 euros. The funds are being used to expand the team and test a larger scale production in a pilot project in Balk, Friesland. As part of it, the startup will convert European sugar beets into lactic acid, validating its patented fermentation process at a 1,000x larger scale. 

 “Our current team of seven will be working to make this pilot a success and we will be looking to grow to at least 10 people by the end of this year,” Jan Pieter says. This will be necessary if they are to meet the ambitious goals they have set themselves for the future. 

The next step following the pilot in Balk would be to build a commercial plant for their technology, “probably in the Netherlands and definitely in Europe.” Both Jules and Jan Pieter are strongly committed to contributing to the European economy and its transition towards circularity, so local production is something that is very important to them.

While they have now launched their technology with a focus on creating lactic acid in a more sustainable manner, there are other biochemicals that can be produced and that hold great potential, too. They will be part of the team’s expansion strategy in the future. 

For now, Jan Pieter and Jules are looking to continue validating their technology, build key partnerships and encourage other entrepreneurs to step up and develop more sustainable technologies. 

“We want to encourage people to start businesses that make an impact, especially bioengineering businesses,” Jules says. “We need more people that want to make a difference.”

Top 10 startup success stories of March.

Top-10 Startup Success Stories: March

Spring has brought to the YES!Delft startup’s many new challenges as well as new experiences and exciting moments. Read more and find out how startups are introducing their companies by attending various events, releasing new products, signing new agreements, entering new markets and many more in our top-10 startup success stories in this march edition.

1. Flux Medical Systems

Because of the need to make the healthcare system more efficient Flux Medical Systems rolled out a solution to optimize the process of workflow. They currently have several paid pilot projects underway that provide initial revenues to the company and are a great way for the team to learn and improve their product. Next to these initial revenues, Flux has also been funded by family and friends and a loan from InnovationQuarter. The team is also in discussions with other parties. Read more about their story here!

2. Envision

Envision showed up on Omroep West last week in a show called ‘Zo doen wij dat’ hosted by Johan Overdevest. It reveals the story behind Envision and some practical applications of Envision Glasses. The glasses tell blind people what they are looking at. They presented their product at CSUN Centre of Disabilities in California. There, they had a chance to demonstrate Envision Glasses to the legendary Stevie Wonder. He was curious and enthusiastic about the possibilities of the glasses. MedCity news and Intelligent Living also wrote an article about their product.

3. BINKIES 3D

To give shoppers a reference point for the size of a phone, KPN‘s visitors now have the best shopping experience: they have the option to visually compare their future phone right next to a credit card. Check out the clean integration of our SizeWise feature in the video in this post.

4. NOWI

On the 31st of March Nowi will be launching its newest chip. The unique features of Nowi’s latest design unlock a wide range of applications and fit their company vision. Special guests will be joining us to tell us about their experience with the new chip and our collaboration evolution. They will cover everything about the new chip in the presentation. In case you want to know more, you will get a chance to ask us at the end of the presentation in a Q&A session. Check out the registration site.

5. QBLOX

This month QBLOX have attended two big events – the American Physical Society (APS Physics) March Meeting and tech conference with 60k attendees! QBLOX were invited to represent the best of the Quantum Flagship at 4YFN – 4 YEARS FROM now (Mobile world congress in Barcelona). Also, they have been able to join the dutch delegation organised by the Netherlands Business Support Office Barcelona (NBSO), TNW, InnovationQuarter, Netherlands Point of Entry and Techleapnl. These exceptional events helped them to learn from key stakeholders in awesome venues around Barcelona.

6. BI/OND

Bi/ond, one of the world’s leading Organ-on-a-Chip technology firms, announced that its commercial and clinical success working with two of Europe’s top 10 leading medical centres has led to a total of over $4 million in funding, including investment from the leading industrial venture firm FORWARD.one

Bi/ond’s technology has already been deployed across Europe, including at Leiden University Medical Center, where clinicians are making heart tissue using Bi/ond’s microchips and Erasmus University Medical Center where researchers are using patients’ own breast cancer samples to guide therapy. Bi/ond is led by Cinzia Silvestri, PhD., a leader in nanomaterials and silicon microfabrication for biotechnology who has also been acknowledged for advancing diversity in a male-dominated sector.

If you are interested to be part of a challenging and exciting environment, Bi/ond is looking for an inside sales specialist! Check the position via this link!

7. Whiffle

Pondera has entered into a license agreement to use Whiffle’s ultra-high-resolution atmospheric Large Eddy Simulation (LES) model for wind energy applications. The model will be mainly used to improve the wind energy modelling capabilities of Pondera in their consultancy projects, varying from wind resource assessments to advanced energy yield and wake studies, both onshore and offshore. Remco Verzijlbergh, Whiffle’s Director of Operations: “We are very happy to welcome Pondera as a client and to support them in making the break-through LES technology available for their clients. More information can be found in this post.

8. Sense Glove

CPO Gijs den Butter has co-authored a book about XR haptics together with Chris Ullrich from Immersion Corporation, Rafal Pijewski from Actronika SAS and Eric Vezzoli from Interhaptics

The book, ‘Haptics in XR: Design and Implementation is the result of hundreds of hours of interviews, discussions and pooling of knowledge of the four co-authors and their networks of expert colleagues, academics and industrial collaborators. It is a pragmatic step-by-step guide designed to enable real-world outcomes. Sense Glove is hoping that readers will find it useful to learn how to approach the implementation of haptics in a controlled way with clear milestones, deliverables, and risks along the way.

9. Praxa sense

Leonard Moonen is featured in an interview with Financieel Dagblad. The first wave of the corona pandemic made them realise their product had a wider purpose than originally intended. Their sensor helps doctors to monitor people at home. The company is growing and looking for staff, check out their available vacancies on their website!

10. FeedbackFruits

Feedback Fruits is proud to announce the new released updated and enhanced version of the Automated Feedback tool which is helping teachers save time and students improve learning with instant feedback on written work! Now automated feedback addresses errors in the citation, grammar and content structure, allowing teachers to spend less time correcting spelling mistakes and more developing cognitive skills and the critical argumentation of concepts. Students are able to develop their writing skills without having to depend just on the teacher’s time. Click on the link to learn more.

Flux Medical Systems: Alleviating the pains of administrative work for healthcare professionals

If you ever thought the workday of a healthcare professional was a busy and hectic one, you were, well, absolutely right. Add to that the fact that there are ever-higher numbers of patients for fewer healthcare professionals available and the workload continues to grow. One main challenge for workers in the sector is the amount of administration that comes with each new case or patient. Flux Medical Systems, a startup from the YES!Delft ecosystem was created to lessen this administrative strain and let healthcare professionals focus on what really matters – spending as much time as possible with their patients.

Less time spent on admin, more time spent with patients

Maja van Dijk, a co-founder of Flux, knows just how time-consuming administrative work can be in the healthcare sector. As a physical therapist herself – and the owner of a clinic – she is no stranger to long workdays. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that she decided to take matters into her own hands and create a solution to this problem. 

“As healthcare professionals, we are already busy and we also have to do all the administrative work,” she says. “Quite often, I’ve had to finalize my paperwork on weekends.” 

This is not what Maja and many of her fellow colleagues want to be spending their time on. “Admin should never take away from doctors’ time to treat patients,” she is convinced. “With Flux, we want to alleviate the pains of administrative work for healthcare professionals.” 

Launched at the end of 2019, Flux has seen a number of milestones in just over two years. Together with her co-founders Thomas Schiet, a mathematician, and Jan Ferdinand Henseler, a medical doctor, Maja developed a solution that she could already test in her own day-to-day work. 

“Since I’ve been using Flux in my own work, I have had 30% more time,” she says. “Each professional can choose how to spend this extra time, but for me, it is about spending it with patients.”

The first step that Maja and her team took was to create a solution that can automate the revenue cycle, as bookkeeping and financial administration is a rather time-consuming endeavor for healthcare professionals and small clinics. Then they continued on to optimizing other processes, too.

“Our goal is for businesses in the healthcare sector to gain insights into their work through process optimization,” Veerle de Brouwer, Customer Engagement, Sales & Marketing Developer at Flux, explains further. “Next to lowering the manual effort that goes into administrative tasks, our solution can also facilitate the exchange of information so professionals can securely access patient information and grow their business in the way they want to.” 

At the moment, Flux is targeting mainly physiotherapy and dental hygiene professionals but has plans to expand to hospitals and perhaps even the pharma industry as well. The product is already fully compatible with the tools the Dutch healthcare system works with, so scaling it will only be a matter of time.

On to new milestones and further growth

Because of the need to make the healthcare system more efficient – and quickly so – Maja and her team have not wasted time rolling out their solution. They currently have several paid pilot projects underway, the benefits of which are two-fold. On the one hand, they provide initial revenues to the company, while on the other, they are a great way for the team to learn and improve their product.

“Pilots are great for collecting feedback and designing a solution that really works for healthcare professionals,” Maja says. 

Next to these initial revenues, Flux has also been funded by family and friends and a loan from InnovationQuarter. The team is also in discussions with other parties, so they sure have big plans ahead of them. 

While they want to establish themselves in the Netherlands first, they are already looking into the possibilities of expanding abroad. “Our commercialization plan is ready and once our solution has been embraced by the Dutch market, we will look to other countries with similar healthcare systems, such as Denmark, Germany, France, and the UK,” Veerle says. The platform is even available in multiple languages so when the time comes, it wouldn’t take long to roll it out. 

Of course, having progressed so quickly hasn’t been without the help of experts and fellow entrepreneurs from the YES!Delft community. Having been through a number of YES!Delft’s programs, including AI/Blockchain Validation Lab, the Accelerator, and the SocialTech program, the team of Flux has learned a lot about what it’s like to run an innovative business. 

“Perhaps the most important learning was to never stop validating,” Maja says. “We’ve learned to keep an open mind, accept new ideas and talk to our customers on a regular basis.” 

It has surely been an exciting journey for Maja, Veerle, and the rest of the team so far, and by the sound of their ambitious plans, they have plenty more to look forward to in the future.

 

Top-10 Startup Success Stories: February

Another month full of highlights, developments and news from our incubator. We have collected the top-10 succes stories for you in this article. Enjoy reading!

1. Talent overview and best entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Netherlands

This year’s Talent overview in FD contains at least 10 people from our ecosystem! We are so proud to have so much young talent around. The fact that our region is rated the best Entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Netherlands by Universiteit Utrecht and Birch Consultants shows that we have a strong network to build on!

2. Whiffle

Whiffle secures €3 million to accelerate energy transition with revolutionary weather model. The capital injection is financed by impact investors SHIFT Invest and ENERGIIQ. Read more about this news in this link and find a nice video in this LinkedIn post. 

Whiffle’s highly advanced weather model makes renewable energy production more predictable. The technology is of great value to the energy sector because better forecasts reduce the costs of weather risks. 

3. Gerrard Street

Headphones with a lifetime service guarantee, if something breaks it can be fixed. A sustainable, circular solution that prevents unnecessary waste. Musicians of the Metropole Orchestra have chosen these durable and comfortable headphones for their live performance on stage and in the studio. Gerrard Street is very proud and launched a limited edition, 30% of the sales of these headphones will be donated to the Metropole Orchestra. Read more in this post and the site of the Metropole Orchestra.

4. Hardt Hyperloop

Scale-up Hardt Hyperloop is growing and decided to move to a new building in Rotterdam. They are moving into an 800m2 space, which is twice as big as the current location. Hardt is also building an Experience Centre there, where in addition to experiencing the hyperloop, there will also be room for co-creation between the business community, knowledge institutes and the government for the further development of the hyperloop. The full story can be found on their website and this LinkedIn post from one of the founders.  

Hardt Hyperloop is involved in The Hyperconnected Europe initiative. The goals of the initiative are to explore various aspects of the future European hyperloop network, such as its layout, passenger and cargo services, stations, and impact on Europe’s sustainability goals. Read more about this initiative here or watch the video. On February 21st they revealed the design for the partners and on the 23rd for the general public. 

5. Manometric

Manometric has also recently moved to a larger facility in The Hague. YES!Delft awarded them with the Scale-up of the year award because of the growth they have shown in the past years. Their team expanded to 25 people in the last four years and is still growing. See their vacancies here. Recently the team partnered up with Maikel Lobbezoo and Jim van Eeden, through UNETI Labs and the Atomico Angel Programme. More information on that news can be read here.

6. Tarnoc

Tarnoc delivered a pilot in a home in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. This is the first home in a pilot of 8 houses that will receive Tarnocs all-electric turbine heat pump. These products allow a fast transition from gas to electricity. The product fits in the same place as the original product and does not require any additional units outside of the house. The pilot is done together with De WarmteWissel. Read more information in this post.

7. Circularise

Circularise communicated they are partnering up with BEC GmbH, Grundfos, Minviro and REIA to lead a three-year innovation project. This project will help companies improve the transparency and sustainability of their supply chains when it comes to critical and rare earth materials. The company is growing and looking for more team members. They have been selected as a finalist of the Grand Prix ACF AutoTech. The Finals are on April 14th and can be attended online. They have also been selected in the second cohort of ENECHANGE Insight Ventures!

8. Nature’s Principles

SHIFT Invest and Jeroen van Rotterdam have announced they are investing in Nature’s Principles, see this post on LinkedIn. The investment will be used to expand the team and to test a larger scale pilot production. Check out the vacancies for open positions.

9. SOLHO

SOLHO develops solar off-grid energy systems to power horticultural projects, enabling unparalleled growth opportunities for greenhouse manufacturers. They are developing valuable local partnerships in the MENA region to boost solar thermal projects. Earlier this year they were selected among the four finalists in the global startup competition “Get in the ring” at the Dubai expo.

10. Sense Glove

TNO has created a Haptic Bimanual Telexistence System using SenseGlove DK1. The system enables the operator to interact with the environment many miles away by touching and feeling remote objects with the robotic arms. 

Thanks to force-feedback technology the operator gets to feel what the robot “feels”, experiencing the size and density of the remote objects. This concept could help military personnel and emergency services to safely undertake dangerous tasks. Read more in their LinkedIn post.  Sense Glove is listed as one of the Best Haptic VR devices 2022 by XR Today.

Next month the new Accelerator program will start again and we will present a new batch of startups to you after the 10th of March.

 

 

 

 

 

Awards 2021

YES!Delft Awards 2021: these are the winners!

In 2021 we continued to get used to online meetings, bump fists instead of shaking hands, and work from home where possible. We are proud of all startups in our ecosystem and would like to continue the tradition of the YES!Delft Awards to show our appreciation for the perseverance, endurance, and energy that everyone put into their company. 

This year’s categories are:
– Rookie of the Year
– Rising Star
– Scaleup of the Year
– Best Promo Campaign

Reliq

Reliq won the Rookie of the year award 2021! The three co-founders, Michele, Kyriakos and Zois joined the Validation lab and the Accelerator Program at YES!Delft. They were surprised they won this award as they are still building their first product. They design hardware that helps audio professionals to save cable-management time and discover new creative possibilities.
The team indicated that they are very happy they joined YES!Delft because it enabled them to meet many inspiring people who helped them get access to funding, find a way to build a plan and business profile, and broaden their network. Keep an eye on their website this year and follow their entrepreneurial journey!

Reliq

Venturi

The future of sustainable air travel is electric! Venturi’s mission is to enable 100% sustainable regional air travel and improve airlines flight operating costs. They recently unveiled the design of their Echelon 01 electric aircraft during an event at airport Teuge. The design of their first aircraft accommodates no less than 44 passengers. The next stage of the development is the conceptual design. Recently Venturi announced their partnership with Airborne on the joint engineering of low-capex manufacturing processes for flexible, lightweight airframe components and structures. 

With that, they will also look to expand their team. Check out the vacancies on their website. This rising start is a company to keep an eye on going forward! YES!Delft awarded Venturi with the Rising Star Award 2021! 

Manometric

Manometric’s mission is to transform orthoses and prosthetics from necessities to products people love to wear. Over the last four years, their company has grown to a diverse team of 25 people – from software engineers to orthopedic technicians. They started in a shared office at YES!Delft after joining the Accelerator Program. Recently they moved to a new office in The Hague where they could have everything under one roof and provide a pleasant environment for patients. We awarded them with the Scale-up of the Year award 2021! 

In 2021 they received funding from NextGen and InnovationQuarter, which allowed them to optimise their production process and hire the best people. Pieter mentioned that a great team is essential to their organisation. His advice to entrepreneurial graduates with the ambition to start their own company is to start their career at a startup. It’s the best learning school – a steep learning curve and unique opportunities to grow into leadership positions. Manometric is also looking for additional team members! Check out the vacancies on their website and the YES!Delft startup jobs!

Continue reading

Wolter Wefers Bettink

Wolter Wefers Bettink: Look out for the sharks

After a successful career of 28 years as a lawyer and partner at various renowned law firms, Wolter Wefers Bettink decided to dedicate a day per week to advising startups on topics like intellectual property, negotiating, dealing with conflicts and other legal matters. 

As a partner at Houthoff in 2012, he initiated a program providing legal support to startup companies. The main driver was the realisation that startups often do not have their legal matters adequately set up, which may only become apparent when an investor conducts due diligence. At the age of 62, he retired at Houthoff, and it was Duke Urbanik (Entrepreneur in Residence) who convinced him to join YES!Delft as a Legal Counsel in Residence in 2015.

Intellectual Property

At YES!Delft Wolter could advise founders to set things up correctly from the start instead of stepping in when things had already gone wrong. “IP is key”, Wolter says. “In Delft, there are two major IP areas of importance: Patents on technical inventions and software copyright. It is important to be informed about the possibilities and the consequences for various scenarios.”

Most of the time, startups start with a couple of founders that have an idea (often they are friends), they set up an organisation and start working together. If, after some time, one of the founders decides to leave and start a new adventure and nothing was agreed on intellectual property or copyright, this may create a severe hazard to the organisation. What if the person leaving takes their contribution with them to a new organisation?

It is gratifying to give startups the information they need at the right time

Over the past seven years, Wolter has seen many companies spread their wings and fly. He is proud and happy to have contributed to the success of these startups. “It is gratifying to give startups the information they need at the right time,” Wolter says. He has seen some successful companies from close by that started with a group of students, like, for example, Swapfiets. They began in 2015 and have grown into 1500 employees in four different countries, taken over by Pon in 2019. Another example Wolter has advised from the start is ParkBee, a company that quickly grew out of the YES!Delft facilities and is now scaling up internationally.

“It is important that entrepreneurs are correctly informed about their rights concerning Intellectual Property and patents. Lack of appropriate information about their rights could result in contracts they regret later. In 2020 a new regulation was created by VSNU and NFU, which calls for transparency and fair dealings with (student-)entrepreneurs,” Wolter says. “Another important element is the fact that master students have the right to request an embargo for their thesis. Thereby, they have the opportunity to apply for a patent for an invention made in the master phase, before the information becomes public.” The same applies to agreements startup founders make with clients in the case of a pilot.

A network is an essential benefit

Sometimes startups deal with issues that are too complex to discuss in a couple of hours or they require specific expertise. In these cases, Wolter referred the startups to lawyers, patent attorneys or civil law notaries in his network that could help. This network is an essential benefit of the Entrepreneurs in Residence at YES!Delft. Wolter is realistic about networks too and says: “My network watered down a bit”.

In 2019 he realised it was essential to add legal expertise in investments, shareholders agreements and financing, and he introduced Philip van Verschuer, a former partner at Loyens & Loeff. Philip is continuing his work as Legal Counsel in Residence at YES!Delft. To make up for Wolter’s departure, YES!Delft is partnering with several law firms, where startups can purchase legal advice on contracts and IP at reasonable rates. Another positive development he has seen over the years is that YES!Delft is currently more focused on funding, which is crucial for startups.

What is the best advice for young entrepreneurs thinking of starting a company?

Wolter indicates that the most crucial element is creating a team of good people who click together. This is one of the reasons that part of the YES!Delft Accelerator program focuses on team analysis.

In addition to this, it is essential to have endurance and resilience to keep going. There will be rough moments in the entrepreneurial journey, and persistence will pull you thru.

Furthermore, you should be able to make the right decisions at the right time. This sometimes means you need to say goodbye to people who are not a good fit for your organisation, or develop a new product when there is no market for the original one.

And last but not least: Look out for the sharks! Become streetwise and do not agree to any binding contracts with people with different intentions.

After seven years, we say goodbye to Wolter. We are very thankful for all the energy Wolter put into our startups. Looking ahead into the future, Wolter indicated he would like to stay active and spend more time with his family. He will also remain active as a mediator in his own company Wefers Bettink, perhaps do some writing and give legal advice to startups if requested. There will undoubtedly be interesting new challenges on his path!

—————————————————————————————————————————

Editorial note: If you would like to find more information about Intellectual property and the legal position for TU Delft students, visit: https://www.tudelft.nl/en/student/legal-position/intellectual-property

Do you want to see who and what can help you in your way to startup? Then visit the TU Delft Campus website to find an overview of the several programmes, events and parties.

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.

 

Get in touch