Top-10 Startup Success Stories: December

December is a very significant month since it includes a variety of crucial days and occasions. And the startups of our community make this month even more special by sharing their incredible achievements and closing huge deals just before entering 2023. Read more and find out how our startups received funding, accomplished new collaborations with strategic partners, and released new product updates, among other news, in our top-10 startup success stories in this December edition.

1. Aquablu

Aquablu introduced its newest innovative product Aquablu REFILL+ designed to un-bottle the beverage industry. Technology dispenses purified chilled and sparkling water enriched with flavours, vitamins and minerals. More information about the product can be found here. The team of Aquablu is expanding. Find some of their vacancies on the Startup job board.

2. Breeze social

Chat-free dating app Breeze has raised 1.3 million euros in funding. The capital injection came from well-known startup entrepreneurs such as Kalo Bagijn, Thomas Plantenga (CEO of Vinted), Thijs Verheul, Thijs Slijkhuis and Sjuul Berden (founders of United Wardrobe), Chris Zadeh (Ohpen) and JC Heyneke (Smarter AI). You can find more information here.

3. Dawn Aerospace

Dawn Aerospace raised $20 million in funding. The $20 million will allow the company based in New Zealand, the Netherlands, and the US to expand its offering of satellite propulsion systems and spaceplane development. The funding will support new endeavours, including developing the Mk-III, an orbital spaceplane, and delivering in-space propulsion products to GEO, lunar and higher-thrust customers. They are grateful to Icehouse Ventures and other investors for backing the future of the company and space technology. The press release can be found here.

4. Envision AI

Envision is excited to share that they are one of the winners of the 11th annual AppleVis Golden Apple Awards. Envision AI empowers people who are blind or have low vision by providing access to everyday visual information. Utilising the iPhone camera, the app can speak out written information, describe surroundings and objects, and even tell you who’s nearby. It became completely free with the release of version 3.0 in July 2022.

5. Mapiq

SaaS scaleup Mapiq extends Series A to 17 million euros! The company specializes in the design of smart offices. With this funding, a scale-up will be able to meet the growing demand of a worldwide organization that is in need of hybrid working models, develop new products and expand its market-leading position on an international scale.

6. Qlayers

Qlayers is raising €𝟭 𝗺𝗶𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗼𝗻 through the NPEX stock exchange to further develop its innovative robotic technology for coating large-scale industrial assets. With the proceeds of €1 million, Qlayers aims to scale up faster in the coming years and provide the best service to customers globally.  You can now become an investor of Qlayers and support the company’s mission to make industrial coating processes safer and more sustainable. Discover more here.

7. Sense Glove

Sense Glove, a startup from YES!Delft community were announced as the winner of the KVK Innovatie Top 100! SenseGlove has developed a ‘robotic hand’ that allows you to touch, feel and manipulate a virtual object as if it were a real object. The innovation offers countless application possibilities that entail dematerialisation, financial savings and sustainability.

8. Smart Ship

Smart-Ship and D&A Electric® join forces to increase fuel efficiency, safety and operator performance on all D&A Electric vessels. It will help to optimize ship operator performance and make it easier when combining traditional propulsion with battery-powered and even wind-assisted solutions. More about the project of Smart-Ship can be found on their website.

9. Maeve aerospace

Maeve Aerospace has been selected for a final injection of 17.5 million euros from the European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA). Maeve will receive a grant of 2.5 million euros and possibly 15 million euros in co-investments. In addition to the investment from the EU, Maeve expects to be able to complete a successful investment round with interested private investors in the short term. More information can be found here.

10. Maeve aerospace, Somnox, Whiffle, CleVR, Hardt Hyperloop

Julian Jagtenberg (Somnox), Remco Verzijlbergh (Whiffle), Guntur Sandino (CleVR),  Tim Houten (Hardt Hyperloop) & Jan-Willem Heinen has been nominated for the Changemaker Impact Award 2022. Let’s all vote for them and reward them! Click on this link to vote until January 8th!

Oasys Now: dealing with your DNA data ethically

Have you ever wondered what happens with your information once it’s processed within a database? Nowadays, every online activity on the internet is valuable both in terms of time and money. Your data is collected, processed, and sold on a daily basis by a variety of companies, websites, and analysis firms.

Every piece of information that we produce is important and says something about us. One of the most important data is our DNA, since it contains the instructions that our body requires to grow, develop, and reproduce. The question is: how can we protect our genomic data (DNA)?

Oasys Now is a start-up that protects your DNA data, founded in 2018 by Nima Salami, Soroosh Torabi, and later joined by  Sara Okhuijsen and Viktor Koppenol. In short, Oasys Now provides a secure storage and computation platform for DNA testing companies & research institutes. Once the data is safely stored, the ownership of this data is given back to the individuals, they can now decide whether they would like to share their data for research purposes in exchange for rewards.

The idea started with a personal story:

Around 12 years ago, Nima – originally from Iran, left the country together with his parents. They moved from country to country before arriving in The Netherlands. Every time they had to travel, what they couldn’t take with them was their medical records. Especially for his mom, this was very important since she had several diseases including asthma. Whenever they would arrive in a new country she would have to be diagnosed over and over again before getting the required medical prescriptions. Nima then realized that the waiting procedure could be deadly for some people, so he wanted to come up with a solution.

“I believe that we have reached a point of advancement in technology where we can practically provide ownership of data to every individual, this is not only the right thing to do with regards to control and transparency but also stimulates scientific repurposing of data.”- Nima Salami, CEO and Co-founder at Oasys Now 

After 2 years, Oasys Now joined the validation program of YES!Delft after they had learnt that the market in which they would like to operate is not easy to enter, especially as a start-up. That’s when they made a pivot to the new idea which has the same mission and vision: bringing technology to the healthcare field and making individuals the owners of their health data; the only difference is that now they focus on genomic data (DNA data) rather than general medical records. Oasys Now started working on validating its new pivot with the help of YES!Delft.

“Genomic data is a defining pivot from general health data, since it is the most interesting data from our point of view. It presents many challenges, which we are excited to solve and see as opportunities.” – Sara Okhuijsen, CSO and Co-founder at Oasys Now

Target market

Oasys Now is a secure data-sharing platform with three main stakeholder groups. The first group is the individuals (citizens, patients) who had their DNA tested, the company /institute who holds their data is the second group, and the third group is the company/ institute who uses this data for (scientific) insights.

The people interested in the data are researchers, which Oasys Now calls the data consumers. They use the data to conduct large research or case studies in the field of healthcare. Therefore, since there is demand, Oasys Now wants to be the enabler for these transactions to happen ethically. On their platform, the individuals are the decision-makers on what happens to their data.

The individuals are eventually at the core of what they are doing from an ethical perspective, but it’s the data consumers that are the major source of income for Oasys Now. They want to serve the individuals, not monetize from them.

Stage in which Oasys Now is at the moment

Oasys Now is in the product development phase whereby they are piloting their solutions with several customers to make sure that everything is set down correctly since they work with sensitive data. The market in which they operate is relatively new and in some ways, they are at a level of ‘market creation’. There are several parties and organizations in this field, and the goal of Oasys Now is to bring them under the same umbrella and help them work seamlessly together enabled by their platform.

How has YES!Delft helped Oasys Now along the way?

Oasys Now validated the idea with YES!Delft after their pivot. Nima attended many events and programs at YES!Delft through which he learned a lot about entrepreneurship. At the moment their office is located at YES!Delft Rotterdam. The association with the Rotterdam office made sense since it focuses on Social and ClimateTech.

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: November

2022 is heading towards the end. The days are getting shorter, and the temperatures are falling. However, startups in our community are busy finalizing this year’s accomplishments and preparing for the next year by setting new goals. Let’s deep dive into how YES!Delft startups have been nominated for global awards, received funding and more stories about what November has brought to our community members in this top-10 startup success stories edition.

1. AgriData Innovations

AgriData Innovations is happy to share that in a partnership with CambridgeHOK and SEC Storage, they will develop breakthrough vertical farming technology for Harvest London’s upcoming farm! Together they have the combined expertise necessary in the fields of vertical farm engineering, logistical automation, and smart vision technology to answer a significant and unmet need. “We aim to simultaneously track the growth and health of all the different batches throughout the entire vertical farm,” says William Simmonds, founder & CEO of ADI. You can find an article about it here.

2. Aquablu

Aquablu has been nominated in the Challenger50. This prestigious nomination is awarded to the most innovative and promising companies that are not afraid to think outside the box. Aquablu got into the list along with companies like Crisp, Picnic and VanMoof. They hope to change existing business practices by showing companies how to evolve using a more sustainable approach. More information about the nomination can be found here.


Bi/ond is celebrating its 5th birthday! During these years, they have achieved: 12 employees; 6 different nationalities among our team; 22 mentored interns; 4 Million in funding; 3 awards received. Congratulations to the team and success in the future!

4. BeeSage

BeeSage, a startup that has joined the YES!Delft community, via the Accelerator program this year October, is happy to share that they have won a pre-startup prize (€10,000) during the annual Haagse Vernieuwers challenge by ImpactCity.The challenge focuses on scale-ups to solve social issues around the topics such as sustainability, energy climate, food and safety. BeeSage aims to ensure that The Hague becomes the first city in the world with fully connected urban beehives, enabling data-driven beekeeping for productivity and sustainability.

5. Circularise

Circularise won the Automotive Global Awards 2022 in the sustainability category at the Destination Zero Live, organized by automotiveEV and Automotive purchasing and supply chain. Also, a company secured €11 million in funding to advance its mission and bring a circular economy to industrial supply chains.

6. Micro-Cosmos

Micro-Cosmos has placed its developed bed hood in the dutch VVT sector at the Nursing Alerimus in Oud-Beijerland. It is a unique opportunity for startups since this is the first healthcare organization in the VVT sector to try out the bed hood in the Netherlands. During the test placement, this location will get acquainted / gain experience with the working method and benefits of the bed hood. More peace, fewer stimuli and a safe environment for the resident!

7. Nowi

Nexperia, the expert in essential semiconductors, on the 11th of November, announced a broadening of its portfolio of power management products to include energy harvesting solutions and acquired Nowi. The manufacturing capacity and capability of Nexperia, as well as its global infrastructure, will ensure that together, Nowi will be able to speed the production of these solutions enabling higher volume production and shipping by the end of 2022 and early 2023.

8. SenseGlove

SesnseGlove is proud to share that Team Nimbo from Germany, using the SenseGlove DK1, has won the $5M prize after intense competition in Long Beach, California, USA. ANA Avatar Xprize is an event that takes place over the span of four years, with teams competing from all over the globe. The participants are tasked with creating an avatar system to transport human presence to a remote location in real time. Read the full article here.

9. Praxa Sense

Most visitors at the G100 exhibition at Dutch Design Week indicated the heart monitor Afi, developed and designed by Praxa Sense, is their favourite industrial design! Therefore the product has been nominated as the top 1 in terms of design. 

10. Tiler, Ubiqu, Villari, Circularise

The dutch delegation to the Sluch event is growing each year! This year four, YES!Delft startups also participated. Tiler represented its charging tile for e-bikes that inductively charges via the kickstand. Ubiqu represented its innovative solution to provide the highest digital security for the business’s essential information. Villari represented its wireless structural health monitoring technology that aims to help make a data-driven maintenance decision. And circularise represents its software platform that provides end-to-end traceability and secure data exchange for industrial supply chains.

Meet the Accelerator Batch Fall 2022

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

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.

Shore Systems

Shore systems were founded by Victor Sooneveld, Thom van den Homberg & Ralph Krook, who aimed to develop hydrogen-powered drones that inspect industrial assets remotely. Their developed technology enables drone operators to inspect offshore wind turbines from shore, removing the need for personnel to go offshore. A startup has a young team building this innovation and specializes in control software and the production of lightweight composite airframes.


Beesage was founded by Ru Wikmann & Girts Kagis, who developed a modular beehive monitoring system that boosts productivity and honey yield to benefit the Earth through data-driven pollination. Software and hardware designed by BeeSage, such as Smart Beehive Scales, help beekeepers mitigate risks and enable informed decisions while turning every apiary into a weather station. They’re also building HiveMap as a data analytics product that enables beekeepers’ associations, environmental organisations and other stakeholders to turn beehive and satellite data into valuable insights.

Starnus Technology

Starnus Technology is a robotics startup built by researchers and students of the Technical University of Eindhoven. Their dream started with a student team, two founders, and an ambition to create the most flexible robot in the world. Since then, more people have trusted in a startup dream, and now, they have developed the most flexible indoor robot for internal logistics. Their product represents a highly flexible and incredibly affordable robotic solution that any logistic company, irrespective of their size of operation, can implement and benefit from the unique capabilities of Starnus Technology robots.

Conical Systems

For a world with safer and more inclusive urban mobility, Conical systems introduce Swing, a zero-emission driverless pod for short trips. Designed for sharing from scratch to navigate freely on bike-lanes away from traffic.


CyberHydra offers automated sampling and data-rich experimentation solutions for fine-chemical R&D laboratories. The company aims to make chemistry a high-tech data-driven field. There is a long way from the discovery of a certain molecule in the laboratory to the moment it can become a new super-effective drug, a safer food ingredient, a more effective fuel, or a game-changing material. This process requires years of research and thousands of experiments. All this translates into enormous investments and even an environmental footprint. Each one of these experiments hides a lot of valuable data which is currently not used. With the new data-rich experimentation and automation tools, CyberHydra can access and use this information to accelerate the development process. 


SHE LEADS in TECH | 17th of November 2022

Press Release | SHE LEADS in TECH | 17th of November 2022

Date: 11-10-2022

YES!Delft launches a new conference: SHE LEADS in TECH with a focus on female-led impact startups. A co-production with Erasmus Center for Entrepreneurship and Erasmus Enterprise.

The annual SHE LEADS event of the Erasmus Enterprise Community in Rotterdam gets a Delft-based partner event: With SHE LEADS in TECH, the leading tech incubator YES!Delft in collaboration with Erasmus Center for Entrepreneurship and Erasmus Enterprise, launch a new conference platform for (future) female founders and leaders in tech. SHE LEADS in TECH focus on impact-driven female founders with a focus on impact by technology: health tech, climate tech and deep tech.

With SHE LEADS in TECH YES!Delft, we want to showcase outstanding female tech leaders and female-led startups from YES!Delft and the wider ecosystem, as well as connect future (female) talent to tech startups through YES!Talents. YES!Talents is a new service by YES!Delft that helps to build winning startup teams and recruit the right talent.

Anna Handschuh, Managing Director, YES!Delft Rotterdam about the new conference:

“You cannot be what you cannot see. We have two goals with SHE LEADS in TECH: First, we want to inspire the next generation of female tech entrepreneurs by showcasing the startups of great female tech leaders. Secondly, we want to build a community around this outstanding female talent. From my experience, female founders are substantially more driven by creating a significant impact on health and climate through tech. We want to give these female tech trailblazers a stage with their great companies and technologies. The challenges ahead of us are gigantic – they range from the age of pandemics to the escalating climate crisis. These women add a much-needed, new perspective to the male-dominated tech sector and make sure that we have fantastic high-impact technologies, health tech, climate tech and deep tech.”

With SHE LEADS in TECH, we would like to create an inclusive community for (emerging) female tech leaders. And SHE LEADS in TECH is for anyone interested in impact-driven entrepreneurship in health tech, climate tech and deep tech and who is looking for outstanding talent in this space.

SHE LEADS in TECH is jointly organised by the Erasmus Enterprise community consisting of the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship, YES!Delft, ERBS – Erasmus Research & Business Support, and in collaboration with partners from the innovation ecosystems from Erasmus University Rotterdam and TU Delft.

Visit the website: SHE LEADS in TECH for more information and a detailed program with speakers and startups participating.

Contact Details:

Event location SHE LEADS in TECH |  November 17th: 


Molengraaffsingel 12

2629JD Delft

Event location SHE LEADS Annual Event | November 10th:

Erasmus Enterprise

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50

Erasmus Enterprise buildings (Q&N)

Rooms NT-02 to NT-05

3062 PA Rotterdam

Qlayers: translating nature into technology

Have you ever looked at the way nature sustains itself or at how everything is there for a reason? Well, if you haven’t, it’s never too late to dive into that. Take sharks as an example: they play a crucial role in the ecosystem. They remove both the weak and the sick from the oceans while maintaining a balance for species diversity. But what makes them so unique?

The sharkskin has tiny denticles which allow the sharks to swim faster and more quietly in the water since they decrease drag and turbulence. Imagine if planes, ships, race cars, or fast trains would have this feature on their surface to make them faster. This would automatically reduce fuel consumption, lowering CO2 emissions.

Ruben Geutjens (CTO of Qlayers) and Josefien Groot (CEO of Qlayers), who met back in 2017 through TU Delft, were simply inspired by nature and, in particular, the sharkskin. Therefore, they  came up with the idea to imitate it and develop a technology that can apply sharkskin microstructures on industrial surfaces to increase their functionality and make them more energy efficient.That’s when Qlayers was founded.

When Qlayers conducted market research and looked into big industries such as storage tanks, maritime and wind turbines, Ruben and Josefien realized that current coating applications are still done by hand. Therefore, they felt the need to disrupt the current methods and made a shift from developing sharkskin microstructures to first applying coatings automatically using high-precision robots.

Their first concept is the 10Q robot which was designed for the storage tanks industries, followed up by the 7CS robot (for the maritime industry) and the BL8 robot (for the wind turbines industry). The robots automate the coating processes for these certain assets.

Qlayers is developing a unique coating technology that will increase not only the safety but also the accuracy and productivity of coating operations. The shielding system on the robots prevents overspray and the release of paint chemicals and fumes into the air, making the process more environmentally friendly.

Qlayers’ 10Q paint robot is in the commercial phase and has been deployed in several coating projects in tank terminals around the world while the 7cs and BL8 robots are in the development phase.

Stage of the company:

“We went in just 5 years from the start-up to the scale-up phase and that comes with a lot of changes, but our team is ready to conquer the global industrial coating application market!”- Shadi Parsa, the Head of Marketing at Qlayers

Due to its unique technology, Qlayers receives interest from potential clients all over the world. The company’s expansion into the global market started last year with its first international projects in the UK and the USA. The company also launched its APAC subsidiary in Singapore in June and plans to open an office in the US and the Middle East by the end of the year.

How has Qlayers been funded so far?

The co-founders began with some non-dilutive capital (personal savings; contributions from family and friends who believed in their vision), as well as cash from prizes obtained. Their paying customers also played an important role, and since the company is expanding globally, they are looking for more investment.

One of the milestones of the company was to sign an investment round with ECFG (a venture capital from Eindhoven) and AkzoNobel– which is both a partner and an investor. The relationship with AkzoNobel goes back to 2019 when Qlayers won AkzoNobel’s “Paint the Future” award.

Concerning that, YES!Delft has also played an important role since Qlayers got their first customer through their network. YES!Delft provided a lot of opportunities and support at a very early stage of funding, as well as access to valuable information and office space.

“The relationship with YES!Delft has always been amazing.”- Shadi Parsa, the Head of Marketing at Qlayers

Steps for the upcoming 6-12 months:

Since the company is growing and is focused on expansion, they aim to create an excellent service experience for customers and distributors around the world. In 2023, Qlayers will produce additional 10Q robots to meet demand in various regions. in addition, there will be more demos and trials for the 7cs robot

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!

Be part of the change, as change starts with you…

Top-10 Startup Success Stories: October

In October, autumn comes into full swing. As we enter the fourth quarter of this fiscal year, startups often think of new ways to reach potential customers that allow their businesses to continue growing and thriving and, of course, end the year with fantastic memories and achievements! Read more and find out how YES!Delft startups received outstanding awards for being the most promising deep tech companies, have been selected and represented as the top 100 best-designed products and many more beautiful accomplishments in our top-10 startup success stories in this October edition.

1. CleVR

Virtual Reality has proven to be effective in the treatment of (social) anxiety, panic complaints and suspicion. Therefore CleVR, together with MET ggz kicked off the virtual reality (VR) exposure therapy pilot! Seven practitioners have followed a training course provided by CleVR and will now work for a year on using VR during anxiety and phobia treatments. More info can be found here.

2. DuckDuckGoose

DuckDuckGoose AI  won the Digital Innovation Award 2022 at IDnext! DuckDuckGoose uses the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to detect deepfakes in a fast, reliable, yet insightful and explainable way. Their developed technology met all the assessments of the nomination criteria taking into account technological and commercial innovativeness, respect for privacy, potential impact, and added value for users and other stakeholders! Want to know more? Read the article about the DuckDuckGoose journey here!

3. IMSystems

The European Innovation Council (EIC) invests € 9 million in IMSystems with the goal to commercialize the Archimedes Drive. IMSystems invented the Archimedes Drive, a new highly precise speed reducer technology which is fundamental to enable the creation of more accurate robotic technologies. With this funding, EIC shows the importance of automation improvement in further strengthening the position of Europe. More about this can be found here.

4. AgriData innovations

AgriData Innovations will be the autopilot for farms of the future in order to future-proof food security and agricultural production. This will be realised by deploying imaging systems and crop monitoring AI, modelling crops to extract insights and intelligence and driving automation of controlled environment agriculture. Also, this year a startup had the privilege to be 1 of 8 outstanding deeptech startups that are making great strides in the Agri & Food sectors. More information about it can be found here.

5. Qlayers

Josefien Groot, CEO and co-founder of Qlayers, has won EY‘s Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year of 2022 award! The independent jury was impressed by the enormous drive and vision of the young entrepreneur! Josefien will also be one of the speakers at the SHE LEADS in TECH event that will take place on the 17th of November at YES!Delft. Curious about the journey of Qlayers? Stay tuned! Next week we will release an article about it!

6. Respyre

Auke Bleij, a co-founder of Respyre, out of 9 Top Talents that focuses on concrete initiatives, on how we can green our cities, remove CO2 and nitrogen from the air, among others, has been nominated as the Top 1 ‘Most Innovative Student of the Netherland 2022’. Respyre developed a concrete and a concrete plaster that accommodates moss growth on its surface. With the bioreceptive concrete, Respyre turns any unused surface into an opportunity to bring vegetation into the urban environment. If you are interested in hearing all 9 pitches, you can find them here. Would you like to know more about Respyre’s journey? Read the article here!

7. Momo Medical

Momo Medical was announced as one of the winners at the Oranje Handelsmissiefonds! The winning startup will be invited to major national events aimed at international business, receive workshops in financing, tax, and legal affairs, tailor-made interviews with representatives from the Oranje Handelsmissiefonds International Network and more! Also  through NPEX, it was possible for everyone to invest in Momo Medical at the end of July. Within a week, a startup reached its target, and that is why Rudmer Hoekstra and Alan van Griethuysen visited their office on Wednesday to present an award and to reflect on this moment together.

8. Loop, Scoozy, Tiler, Super Sola, Hable one, Praxa Sense

YES!Delft startup products such as Praxa Sense, Loop, Scoozy, Tiler, Super Sola, and Hable one, a startup that participated in the SocialTech validation Lab, have been selected and represented as the 100 Best Dutch designed products that are not only a solution to the real problem but are also innovative and/or original, well designed by a Dutch designer or for a Dutch company and not older than 2 years.

9. Villari

Villari is excited to announce that it has secured EUR 350.000 in funding from UNIIQ – Finance for the Future. These funds will allow a startup to further develop its technology, install its sensor base and expand its team. They have several open vacancies that can be found here! Feel free to contact Villari if you’re interested in becoming part of the next leading company in structural health monitoring!

10. Tiler

Tiler is happy to announce that last week they launched a new product – Tiler UNO! The new design of the TILER Charge Tile and Charge Stand is even more robust, sleeker, and made with an eye on sustainability. The new Charge Stand is an accessory for a bike and is very easy to install. The Stand and the Tile are easy to maintain and repair when necessary and are designed for end-of-life recycling! The product is displayed on the Dutch Design Week in hall three at the Klokgebouw in Eindhoven.

DuckDuckGoose: making the online environment a safer place

Spending so much time in the online environment and being exposed to so much information can make it challenging for users to distinguish between what’s real and what’s not. But how do we know that the information is fake when our eyes and ears tell us otherwise? Nowadays, deepfakes are taking over the internet representing a threat to cybersecurity and society.

This problem didn’t go unnoticed by a group of students at TU Delft. Back in 2019, Parya Lotfi, together with four other students, analyzed this social technical problem and decided to talk with potential end-users to see if they would be willing to use their product and pay for it. The product they came up with is based on algorithms that can detect what the human eyes cannot: an image or video that has been manipulated or completely generated by artificial intelligence.

The journey

The prototype, which was created by one of the co-founders- Mark Evenblij, was presented to their potential customers (the police and the government) along with different case studies of fake news or false evidence that could happen in court. The idea was highly appreciated, and they gained valuable insights and feedback. As a result, they founded DuckDuckGoose in March 2020.

“Our goal is to create a safe digital environment where we can still believe what we perceive. Deepfake attacks have an impact on every level of society and we want to prevent that from happening.” – Parya Lotfi, CEO, and co-founder of DuckDuckGoose

At first, the focus of DuckDuckGoose was on the police industry and the government. During this period, the company noticed its reactive nature- meaning that something has to happen to take action. That’s when they realized that even though there is a lot of interest in their product, the process can take longer simply because there is a lot of bureaucracy involved. In consequence, they decided to investigate other markets, such as the digital identity verification market, with a focus on financial institutions.

“Nowadays, banks or other financial or governmental institutions verify the identity of their customers or new employees remotely. That can happen via a zoom call or asking them to take a selfie and a passport picture and send it through. All of them are vulnerable to deepfake fraud.”- Parya Lotfi, CEO, and co-founder of DuckDuckGoose

Since they founded the company, DuckDuckGoose has gained 5 customers that bring revenue along with the subsidies they receive from the government. Their team is growing, and their next goal is to work together with a couple of big American companies that are relevant to their scope. At the moment, they are in close touch with them, making it very likely to convert them into real customers. Once they do that, they would immediately become a scale-up.


DuckDuckGoose has a few competitors in The Netherlands, other European countries as well as in the United States of America. However, in The Netherlands, they positioned themselves as the experts when it comes to deepfake and synthetic media detection, since they have the first movers’ advantage and because they offer an explainable AI for deepfake detection. When they first entered the market and started interviewing people, they noticed there was no one doing what they do.

“How we distinguish ourselves is based on the technical aspects such as the explainable module. We do not only classify the input as deepfake, but we also explain the reasoning behind the decision of the neuronal network.”- Parya Lotfi, CEO, and co-founder of DuckDuckGoose

So far, DuckDuckGoose didn’t need to look for external funding since the revenue they generated could cover the expenses. However, they noticed the interest from investors in their idea and they are open to getting external funding since they want to grow their company even more.

How has YES!Delft helped DuckDuckGoose

The start-up benefited from access to the ecosystem of YES!Delft is defined by theoretical knowledge, networking events, and support from mentors and other experts, among other things. The two mentors that they worked together with, Ian Wachters and Jin Han, became part of their advisory board. Ian and Jin, having a very strong entrepreneurial spirit and detaining a lot of experience, shared their knowledge and expertise with DuckDuckGoose, contributing to their learning curve as well as helping them take their business to the next level.

In the upcoming six to twelve months, DuckDuckGoose wants to develop its technology even more by adding sound checks as well as improving its algorithm in terms of accuracy. When it comes to marketing and sales, they plan on visiting more events and making their name known in the market to gain more customers. 

Your dream can become 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!

Be part of the change, as change starts with you…

Top-10 Startup Success Stories: September

For some people, September might not be the most exciting month since it is a clear sign that autumn is back. Yet, for our startup ecosystem, it is a month full of new exciting stories and achievements. This time our top 10 startups’ success stories include the news about the startups that made it into the finals of the outstanding competitions, product releases and exciting pilot launches, among other developments in this September edition.


After a successful online pitch, BBBLS has been selected as one of the 15 most outstanding startups out of 37 countries competing against each other in five regional contests at the Start.up! Germany Tour! This means BBBLS received an entry ticket to the finals and will travel to North Rhine-Westphalia in October to compete! Success!

2. Circularise

Circularaise is excited to announce that, together with ISCC – International Sustainability and Carbon Certification launched a pilot with 10 companies to test blockchain technology to complement mass balance certification!  The pioneering companies in this project were material suppliers such as Asahi Kasei, Borealis, Neste, Trinseo and Shell, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), brands Arçelik Global, Philips Domestic Appliances and EVBox, as well as trading companies Marubeni Corporation and ITOCHU Corporation.

This is the first time ever that so many chemical industry players and appliance companies got together to test the ISCC Plus certification to make auditing of certified parties more efficient and to strengthen the integrity of certified data. Read the full Press release here.

3.DAWN Aerospace

Dawn Aerospace has been awarded as 1 out of 5 finalists for the New Zealand International Business Awards 2022. The winner will be announced on the 27th of October. Success!

4. Kitepower

Kitepower is proud to share that with the €4.1 million raised funds from the previous investment rounds, a startup has been able to develop its mobile airborne system into a mature and applicable system. After three successful pilots – including a pilot with defence – and 9 versions of the Kitepower system, the Delft startup is ready for the next phase: marketing the first mobile airborne wind system (AWES). Therefore,  they are starting an investment round via the crowdfunding platform Crowdcube. More information can be found here.

5. Momo Medical

Menno Gravemaker, the CEO of Momo Medical, went to Netherlands Consulate in San Francisco and pitched for Queen Maxima and the Netherlands delegation, including Ernst Kuipers, Vivianne Heijnen, Liesje Schreinemacher, Robbert Dijkgraaf! The goal of the visit was to start a collaboration with healthcare organisations in the United States to solve a staffing shortage that is an immense challenge and to introduce how the Dutch system can be an example in showing how innovation does contribute to future-proof healthcare systems. The pitch was perceived very well, which, in return, brought some amazing new introductions to Momo Medical!

6. Mythronics

Mythronics is proud to announce that after several months of hardcore development and validation in an operational setting at their customer’s site, a startup finally launched its first commercial product – Skout. The Skout robot is an autonomous scouter that moves around in the greenhouse every day and night. It inspects every individual subunit for diseases and tracks crop growth rate and forecast yield providing real-time data analysis to the grower through a cloud dashboard.

7. Qlayers

Josefien Groot , a co-founder and CEO of Qlayers has been selected for the EY Emerging Entrepreneur Of The Year award. Qlayers is a fast-growing high-tech hardware scaleup with unique robotic solutions that allow overcoming the limitations of manual coating of large industrial surfaces by creating an environmentally friendly, safe and reliable coating application process. Read more about the co-founder here. Also, Qlayers are selected as finalists in PIER71™‘s Smart Port Challenge 2022!  You can visit the startup showcase page here.

8. Tarnoc

Vincent Wijdeveld a co-founder of Tarnoc, was selected as the best young entrepreneur of the year by the MT/Sprout’s 25 under 25  jury and votes. Tarnoc, with its innovative technology, aims to make homes gas-free! Tarnoc’s disruptive turbine boiler makes the conversion to all-electric houses many times cheaper compared to conventional solutions. In contrast to regular heat pumps, the device can be installed without cutting or breaking work and does not require an outdoor unit. More about this can be found here!

9. is proud to announce that its partnership with MÜLLER-BBM has been strengthened, as Müller-BBM AG acquired a 40% share in VIBES. Next to that, welcomed Dennis de Klerk to its board as CEO.  Read more about the partnership here!

10. VideowindoW

VideowindoW has welcomed  Francisco Ayala Le Brun as a co-founder. VideowindoW is very happy to have him on board as CTO and looking forward to further developing its mission to reimagine public spaces through the glass & art and set new standards for sustainable media platforms. Have you already seen the VideowindoW we have at the entrance of YES!Delft?

Breeze social: your atypical dating app

Baby Boomers, Millennials or Generation Z? Regardless of which generation you are part of, you have to admit that dating at all times can be challenging… Nowadays, dating apps are taking over, and things happen a lot in the online environment. But how do that impact face-to-face interaction and people’s way to perceive themselves?

The lack of success is one of the biggest problems of online dating apps. People are experiencing a lack of self-esteem since everyone seems to be evaluated, and it is determined whether they are interested in being dated based on their looks. This problem didn’t go unnoticed by a group of students at TU Delft.

Back in 2019, Marsha Goei, together with 6 other light-minded students, noticed how much time people around them spent on dating apps. Their friends would keep on swiping, deciding in a split second if they like someone based on appearance, or start talking to someone- sometimes even for weeks- without an actual result. That’s when they knew something has to change in the dating industry, and that’s how Breeze was created.

“It’s just so weird to me that we are constantly on our phones seeking for that human interaction or connection, but we eventually don’t even know each other in real life where the real spark really happens.”Marsha Goei, Co-founder of Breeze Social

The goal of Breeze was to create an environment where people emphasise on creating real-life connections rather than just sticking to the online environment. After they understood how the current dating industry generates revenue, the 7 co-founders came up with a different business proposition which is based on organizing offline dates.

“All the other apps earn money by making you addicted to the screen. They show you ads or sell you the ‘premium’ subscription. We work differently. We have established partners in different cities, and we charge you € 7,50/date and you also get a free drink.”Marsha Goei, Co-founder of Breeze Social

Since Breeze organizes offline dates in different cities across The Netherlands, their users are targeted mainly based on location, age, and interests (people who want to spend time offline dating). Usually, they have users between 25 and 35 years old, but they also see younger students or people older than 35 interested in the app. The main important thing is that “everyone is serious about dating or simply serious about going on dates”. The reason behind focusing on this age group is that they aim to increase the experience for them, however, in a later stage, they want to expand their horizon.

Stage in which Breeze is at the moment

The app has over 100 thousand users, from which 1/3 is active. Up until now, Breeze has organized around 35 thousand dates, being live in 15 cities and having 130 established partners. Given their progress, their team is growing steady (currently 15 employees), and they are more than proud to say that their app is the 3rd biggest fastest growing in terms of downloads.

“We have a Breeze baby! One of the couples that got together through Breeze has now a beautiful baby. We are beyond excited to see all the beautiful stories and people being happy together!”- Marsha Goei, Co-founder of Breeze.

In terms of competition, the only apps that get more downloads than Breeze, at the moment, are Tinder and Bumble. “The dating industry is an interesting industry where people have multiple apps on their phone”- Marsha Goei. A dating app is not a substitute product; therefore, users can have all of them at the same time, making it a highly competitive market. However, the concept of Breeze is so different that they get to speak with a whole different audience.

How has Breeze been funded?

Back in October 2020, they attracted some funding through a round of family and friends that loved the idea and believed in the concept. In 2021 they found two strategic angels that wanted to invest in them. They are currently in the process of closing their (pre)seed round, for which the goal is to gather more insights about the right marketing channels to use, how to scale abroad and to hire more key players in the team.

How has YES!Delft helped Breeze along the way?

As students, they followed all the events organized by YES!Delft, together with the courses and trips, and decided to apply for the program. Once they were accepted, they benefited of the support of YES!Delft’s community, their knowledge and network, as well as their guidance (from legal advice to finance and marketing).

“I’m kind of sad that we are not sharing the same building anymore… Yet, we always come back for the events!”- Masha Goei, Co-founder of Breeze

What’s next for Breeze?

Breeze has a lot of potential; therefore, their goal is to keep on growing. After closing their investment round, they have the time and resources to try out new things. Breeze wants to experiment with new marketing channels and new customer bases to learn what works best and implement that in new cities or countries.

“Experimentation has always been at the core of what we do. Everything leads to the product, which leads to organic growth.”- Marsha Goei, Co-founder of Breeze

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!

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