YES!Delft at the Odyssey Hackathon 2019

As part of our partnership, YES!Delft visited the Odyssey Hackathon in Groningen, the largest AI and Blockchain hackathon in the world. Managing Director of YES!Delft The Hague Ras Lalmy, Technical Director for the Blockchain Focus Area Neil Smyth, Focus Area Manager for AI Noor Figdor attended the hackathon as jedis.

 

From Friday until Sunday, 100 teams battled it out 20 different challenges. In the 48 hours allotted, the teams looked for AI and Blockchain solutions for anything from Tokenizing Ecosystems to Crisis & Disaster Management. The ambitious challenges attracted many ambitious teams, of which our very own,  Circularise and Mythronics.

 

Apply to the AI/Blockchain Validation Lab

Application deadline: April 22, 2019.

 

And the winner is….

Circularise is one of the startups that have moved to the YES!Delft The Hague. They are working on solving communication barriers in the value chain with blockchain technology to enable a circular economy. In Groningen, the Circularise team was victorious in the Tokenizing Ecosystems track.  They worked on visualizing investments in open source protocols for investors, and generating smart contracts that run the protocols, allocate transaction fees, and govern a voting system.

Mythronics, one of our Accelerator program alumni, was awarded the second place in the Fossil Free Future track! The team created a solution for households with solar panels to confidently certify their solar energy production and provide accurate insight for the entire ecosystem in household energy production.


“It’s great to see YES!Delft startups Circularise and Mythronics do so well at the Odyssey Hackathon. It has been a tremendous experience for everyone, a huge amount of positive energy from all kinds of participants who are driven to re-imagine how we solve societies challenges. Well done to Rutger and the team on bringing all the people together!

Neil Smyth, Technical Director for the Blockchain Focus Area

 

The power of team

For startups, the team is essential for success. This becomes even more clear in a pressure cooker environment like a hackathon. We spoke to Socialtec: a team of three colleagues, a family member of the team captain, and two other guys that flew in from Berlin. How is that for teamwork? They were part of the Inclusive Banking track developing a way to transition to a local, circular and inclusive economy.

 

Meet like-minded entrepreneurs!
Join Co-Lab!

 

So instead of exchanging money for goods and services, their answer is an app where people can easily trade and asses their offerings. This means there would be an ecosystem that allows you to exchange whatever you have in abundance. We bartered a handful of our YES! bars with team captain Michiel for his pitch.

“All the offers on our network are available through blockchain. Because there is an issue in peer2peer networks because you cannot see the entire system. Therefore you have to centralize this information on some medium, so you can access it, but then who owns it? That’s where blockchain comes in. We put the offers on the blockchain so that it’s centralized in a decentralized way.  These are the words of our smart developer who was smiling when he was explaining it to us.”

Michiel Heij, SocialTec Team Captain

Another team that caught our attention were the Future Fire Fighters team, who only met in real life on the first day. Even though two team members that participated in the last year’s hackathon, this year they teamed up with one Italian girl and two Bulgarian guys. Their solution to help emergency responders make faster and safer decisions. Their solution was to collect and analyze information from both closed and open data streams. With this they won the Crisis & Disaster Management track.  

“The next step is to realize the potential in the teams and ideas from the hackathon. Here I believe that YES!Delft can play a key role with our proven startup Validation Labs together with our new Digital Hub in The Hague focused on AI and Blockchain.  Our goal is to make the Digital ecosystem in The Hague a vibrant reality – and these challenge winners are clear examples of ideas that we can help realise so I encourage them to apply for our upcoming AI/BC Validation Lab. An inspirational 5 days but only the first step!”

Neil Smyth, Technical Director for the Blockchain Focus Area

 

Apply to the AI/Blockchain Validation Lab

Application deadline: April 22, 2019.

Tech Startup Case: Adeezy

Startup life is unpredictable. In the YES!Delft startup incubator we believe in sharing successes as well as failures. We want fellow entrepreneurs to inspire each other and learn from each other. By telling their stories on a case by case basis, you can learn about all the different (and sometimes wholly unexpected!) things you might encounter on your startup journey. 

 

Adeezy is a SaaS-startup from the YES!Delft AI/Blockchain Validation Lab. They are focused on building a platform where brands and agencies can plan and execute cost-effective social media campaigns. Adeezy uses the latest technological solutions such as Blockchain and Artificial intelligence to deal with problems in current online marketing, such as ad fraud, transparency and aversion to advertising.

 

The eleventh hour

After Adeezy’s initial investor ended up being unable to deliver right before the holidays, they had to re-start the arduous process of searching for new investors. Then, after the New Year, when Adeezy was in the process of finalizing a new investment, the deal fell through at the eleventh hour. This left the team without funding while developing their product – and the bills were due.

“It was a Thursday night, and things were looking pretty bleak for us. The next morning we were meeting with an investor, but we didn’t expect much of it – it felt like a last-ditch attempt. That Friday morning the rollercoaster began, and the one-minute pitch we perfected in the Validation Lab proved to be the key.”

Marco Berkheij, Adeezy co-founder

 

The Friday morning investor meeting proved to be successful, even though it didn’t provide all the funds Adeezy needed. However, because they were in the YES!Delft AI/Blockchain Validation Lab, Adeezy had access to all the YES!Delft services.

 

YES!Funded

One of those services is YES!Funded. On the advice of startup trainer Noor Figdor, Adeezy got in touch with Investment Director Jan Geert van Hall. They met on  Friday before noon, pitched their story, and Jan Geert immediately referred the team to an investor meetup in Amsterdam that same afternoon.

 

“While is it extremely unique to find funding so quickly- within the space of a day – it speaks volumes about the quality of the company, the team, and their pitching skills. At YES!Funded we have quick access to the right investor networks for our startups, a benefit of being with such a prestigious organization as Yes!Delft.”

Jan Geert van Hall, Investment Director

 

In the YES!Delft AI/Blockchain Validation Lab the Adeezy team had perfected their pitching skills with startup trainer Noor, and so was more than ready with a strong and relevant proposition for the investors. And it paid off – 12 out of 15 attending investors visited Adeezy’s breakout session and showed interest in potentially investing. The Adeezy team went home that evening, satisfied their startup journey would continue.

 

Apply to the AI/Blockchain Validation Lab

 

“During our training in the YES!Delft AI/Blockchain Validation Lab the Adeezy team did great with their pitch – they worked hard, and we challenged them to condense their story and highlight the strength and relevancy of their proposition. This success goes to show the importance of a fantastic pitch, and how much of a difference it can make.”

Noor Figdor, Startup Trainer

 

About YES!Funded

YES!Funded is a YES!Delft service launched in January 2019. The service is aimed to assist entrepreneurs in planning their financial strategy and seeking funds. Do you want to know what YES!Funded can do for you? Visit the website!

 

About AI/Blockchain Validation Lab

The AI/Blockchain Validation Lab is a unique YES!Delft program, based in the brand new Digital Hub YES!Delft The Hague. During this unique two-month ‘pressure cooker’, aspiring entrepreneurs discover the business potential of their ideas. The part-time program helps participants to explore and validate their ideas, product/market fit, and business model while enabling them to continue to work on their business. Participants also get access to the extensive YES!Delft ecosystem of experienced mentors, investors, corporate partners and launching customers.

 

The next AI/Blockchain Validation Lab kicks off this May! APPLY BEFORE APRIL 22, 2019

Apply to the AI/Blockchain Validation Lab

Circularise

Enabling the circular economy

Recycling is the most critical step in achieving a sustainable, circular economy. Simply put: bringing products back to their building blocks is the way to prevent wasting valuable materials. Yet, while recycling has been gaining popularity over the years, there is still a lot of knowledge that is simply missing.

For Mesbah Sabur and Jordi de Vos, founders of Circularise, the problem is obvious – there is a communications barrier between product manufacturers, end users and recyclers – that prevents materials from being disposed of as efficiently as possible. The two have, thus, created a software platform that aims to break down that barrier and give people a space to collaborate.

FROM A SIMPLE IDEA

Mesbah and Jordi first got to know the potential of the circular economy during their Master’s studies at the TU Delft. What caught their attention was the concept of ‘Critical Raw Materials’, which the European Commission describes as the raw materials that are crucial to Europe’s development and quality of life.

So how does Europe, as a large economy, make sure that it always has those raw materials at hand? – they asked themselves. One answer stood out: “By recycling the materials that we already have in our products,” Mesbah says.

While recycling has become a priority for state authorities across Europe, Mesbah and Jordi quickly managed to identify one major problem that persists throughout the entire value chain: the lack of communication. The organizations mining the materials don’t communicate with those manufacturing the products, who, in turn, don’t communicate with the ones responsible for recycling.

“Our goal is to solve these communication barriers in the value chain and enable a circular economy,” both Mesbah and Jordi explain.

 

Apply to the first AI / Blockchain Validation Lab in Europe

 

THROUGH GETTING STAKEHOLDERS ONBOARD

To reach this goal, the two entrepreneurs decided to develop a platform where relevant stakeholders would come together and have direct access to any information on raw materials they might need. While the initial idea was to establish a link between product manufacturers and recyclers, Mesbah and Jordi soon found out that was no easy task.

Talking to a variety of companies, they realized that brands are not necessarily interested in having a direct communication line with recyclers, mainly due to their reluctance to share IP-sensitive information.

With the help of YES!Delft’s LaunchLab program and the expertise of its mentors, Mesbah and Jordi kept on validating until they discovered how to provide a value-add to all stakeholders involved. While manufacturers may not be likely to communicate directly with recyclers, they are interested in getting information about their products – where and to whom they get sold, and how they’re being used. By purchasing the Circularise label that they can put on their products, brands are sure to get the data they are most interested in.

Users, in turn, get a unified customer experience across different brands and a digital passport for all their products – everything from interactive user manuals to warranty tracking.

Most importantly, though, manufacturers have access to a platform where they can log in details about the materials they use in their products, and lock that data in time, without sharing it with third parties. “We are building the system with blockchain technology combined with zero knowledge, so […] everyone in the value chain can communicate about products without having to share sensitive information.”

TO A GROWING COMPANY

With a current team of thirteen, Circularise is looking to hit several ambitious milestones over the next months: from finishing their MVP to establishing an industry standard.

They’re already doing pilots with several producers and recyclers, and they’re hoping those projects will be a stepping stone to ever-larger opportunities.

For the time being, the team is focusing on consumer electronics as one of their main markets, because “this is the fastest growing waste stream in Europe,” Jordi says. “It’s also the most complicated one, with devices becoming smaller and more complex,” Mesbah adds. The founders are certainly not shying away from challenge, yet a grand vision needs grand ambition, too.

 

Milestones:

June 2016
– Concluded ‘Ready to start up’ course
– Founded company
– Received EIT Raw Materials grant
– Joined YES!Delft’s LaunchLab program

2017
– Started first pilot project with a recycler in Italy
– Joined YES!Delft’s Incubation program and signed first two customers
– Launched beta version of consumer app
– Received H2020 grant

2018
– Expanded team and advisory board
– Signed more partnerships and customers

 

Apply to the first AI / Blockchain Validation Lab in Europe

 

Get in touch



© Copyright 2019 YES!Delft