TOP 10 Startup Success Stories: July

Summer is not slowing our startups and scale-ups down! Dutch Analytics, Physee, Qblox and The Helia all had exciting news to share! Curious about their stories? Read on in this month’s top 10 startup success stories!

But before we start, would you like to join our ecosystem and follow in the footsteps of the companies below? Apply now for our AI/Blockchain Validation Lab or Accelerator Program, and we may be sharing your successes in a few months as well!

1. Dawn Aerospace

The aviation startup, located in Delft and Christchurch, unveiled its new spacecraft. The Mk-II Aurora has the capacity to fly to the edge of space, which is at an altitude of 100 kilometres, before it flies back to the runway autonomously. After landing, the spacecraft only needs to be refuelled and is able to make a new space flight within a few hours. The Mk-II Aurora will be the first vehicle in the world that can do this, and is currently in preparation for an intensive test flight campaign for the next 12 months.

2. Dutch Analytics

The YES!Delft The Hague based startup Dutch Analytics just released their new major version (v2.1) of the Xenia platform. They made improvements to the underlying architecture, which results in better performance, faster response times and higher reliability of Xenia.

3. DeNoize

The startup announced that they are currently conducting a research with support of the Royal Schiphol Group. With the research DeNoize is gaining insights into the perception of aviation noise by local residents’, and how this affects the quality of life.

Would you like to know more about DeNoize? We just published an article about this startup!

Read it now

4. Envision

Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant wrote a really nice article about Envision, and the smart glasses they developed for blind and visually impaired. And did you know that the first hundred copies of the Envision glasses will be send next month already?

5. UV Smart

The startup, who developed an innovative solution based on UV light that helps disinfect medical instruments and devices within seconds, obtained substantial financing from the Rabobank. With this investment UV Smart is able to further accelerate their market introduction (internationally).

6. SLAM Ortho

Also the MedTech startup SLAM Ortho successfully applied for the Rabobank Innovation Loan. The funding will give the startup boost their development and bringing the technology to hospitals and patients.

7. Physee

The scale-up Physee developed a coating for greenhouse horticulture that increases the yield of the crop. Their application to the Rabobank’s Innovation Fund was honoured with an award of € 50,000 for a test programme.

In addition, a little shout out to Physee for organising the GESTE Summer School. With this project Physee interactively taught children from 9 different primary schools in The Netherlands how they can contribute to the energy transition. They’ve learned that diversity, creativity and teamwork are the core ingredients of innovation, while having lots of fun at the same time!

8. Qblox

Qblox received an investment by UNIIQ to make quantum computing scalable. Their technology will eventually enables quantum computer users worldwide to solve complex and socially relevant issues.

9. McNetiq

The Rotterdam-based company, that has developed a technology that allows steel anchors to be realised safely with magnets, just launched their new line of magnetic anchors for fall protection when working at height.

10. The Helia

Joshua Vasilda, the co-founder of The Helia, only just finished our Deep Tech Validation Lab and already got selected for the DJ100, a list of the 100 most innovative people working in the field of sustainability. Congrats!

As you may have noticed, it was another month full of investments! Do you need help with your funding plan, and would you like to get matched to our investor network?

Apply now for our Investor Readiness Program

 

CoronaMelder: From intelligent lockdown to intelligent opening

The coronavirus has had a huge impact on our society, both from a health perspective as well as economically. It is crucial that society can manage the spread of the virus while minimising the broader impact of measures put in place to contain it. To help contain the virus, the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport is launching the CoronaMelder notification app on the 1st of September – which locally tracks contact exposures. Your phone later notifies you if you have been exposed to someone who was infectious. You can get a test for free after receiving such a message, to prevent you from unconsciously transmitting the virus to other people.

Engagement of YES!Delft

PrivateTracer was established in March as a non-profit public-private collaboration with the goal of contributing to the development of a contact tracing solution for the Netherlands. Initiated originally by Milvum, YES!Delft got involved very early on and helped to engage the wider ecosystem as well as drive the technical solution. Key parties from the YES!Delft ecosystem that got engaged included Cybermundus, Milvum, Circularise, Odyssey and the Municipality of The Hague. Together all parties worked hard on the development of an open source exposure tracking app, which supports the GGD process.

“It was great to see how a young startup like Cybermundus could contribute seamlessly to this unique public-private partnership. I believe the diversity of participants, from large multinationals, public institutions and academia to startups, was one of the particular strengths that allowed us to create something valuable so rapidly. PrivateTracer demonstrated the enormous potential of a multi-stakeholder collaboration to solve the world’s most pressing challenges in an open and innovative way.”, thus Rene Honig, co-founder of Cybermundus.

The impact of PrivateTracer

It didn’t escape the notice of the Ministry that the parties behind PrivateTracer have taken up that gauntlet with great energy, professionalism and commitment. And critically the open source and transparent approach that the coalition leveraged meant that both significant elements of the PrivateTracer solution as well as core team members were integrated into the Ministrys’ delivery team.

“PrivateTracer is a collaboration that I believe we can all look back very proudly on, given the depth and professionality of the solution that we all pulled together in incredibly short (but intense) weeks. My personal thanks to all involved – it was a pleasure working with you!”, says Neil Smyth, CTO of PrivateTracer and Digital Technical Director and Blockchain Focus Area Manager of YES!Delft.

Interested in other initiatives that are contributing in solving the corona crisis?

Read another article

Delft startup DeNoize on its way to tackle noise pollution

Noise pollution is nothing new to people living and working in big cities, yet what many may not be aware of is that it is also a major health risk. Delft-based startup DeNoize knows all about it and has made it its mission to tackle the challenges of noise pollution and enable a healthier living environment. How? By installing its active noise cancellation technology – similar to that in noise-cancelling headphones – into the frame of windows, drowning out the noise of the busy streets underneath and the large planes flying overhead.

FROM A SIMPLE IDEA

During his studies, Aman was looking into how to design airplanes to be less noisy and more efficient, and had a strong interest in mitigating aviation noise. “There is a lot of potential in finding a way to make airplanes less noisy,” says Aman, “but if I were to turn that into an impactful solution business, it would have taken years and years.”

Instead, he wanted to create something here and now, so he focused on putting a new spin to his research and findings. “I started looking at the problem from a different angle and decided to tackle noise issues on the receiver’s end instead of its source,” says Aman. He joined the incubator program of Deep Science Ventures, a six-month pressure cooker for entrepreneurs who want to solve key societal problems, to help him kickstart his venture.

“That’s where the whole idea came together. I decided to develop a solution that can be integrated into the facade of a building and isolate it from the outdoor noise.” In a nutshell, he made a plan to create a new generation of smart windows.

With active noise cancellation at the heart of it, a very specific type of technology in itself, Aman saw the need to look for a co-founder. He found that co-founder in the face of Olivier Schevin, a fellow entrepreneur based in France, with years of experience in exactly this field.

THROUGH YES!DELFT

With the Deep Science Ventures program behind him and a round of financing that he got at the end of it, Aman moved back to the Netherlands to continue working on the DeNoize technology. In December 2018, he and Olivier got accepted into YES!Delft’s Accelerator Program, which gave them the know-how and network they needed to take the startup to the next phase.

“YES!Delft is a specialized incubator that gave us the stamp of approval we needed in the market,” Aman says. “When we joined, we were also paired with a mentor, who has quite some experience in the glass industry, and that has been of great value to us.”

The community of startups that YES!Delft has built over the years has also proven to be beneficial to Aman and DeNoize.

“There are startups in different stages of their development so there is always someone who has been in your shoes and can advise you when you’re facing a challenge. Physee, for example, is working in the same market as us and it is always good to spar with them,” Aman adds.

TO A GROWING COMPANY

Today, in only two years’ time, DeNoize has grown from one man with an innovative idea to a team of over 20. Olivier is still based in France, with four students and an intern working alongside him. In the Netherlands, the startup has two full-time employees and three groups of students working on various design projects for it.

So far, the technology is in the prototyping stage and on its way to being converted into a product. “We’re working together with a glass manufacturer to make sure that our technology can fit into their products,” says Aman. “And based on recent tests, it looks good.”

While glass manufacturers could be a key customer segment for DeNoize, at this point they see them as their closest partners – working together on prototyping and knowledge-sharing. The product that will eventually be integrated in the frames of windows is planned to be ready within a year from now.

Keeping them going until then are several financing opportunities that the team has secured, including a loan from Rabobank, a round of funding from UNIIQ and grants from the government.

Perhaps one of the most notable achievements of the team so far is their collaboration with the Royal Schiphol Group, which they announced recently. The agreement between the two companies is for studying the effects of noise pollution on people who live in close proximity to Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport.

The research is planned to start in October 2020 for a duration of one month. The goal will be to understand the effects of noise on residents’ well-being and investigate how DeNoize can play a role in improving the quality of life of those living close to major noise sources like airports, highways, and train stations.

“We are doing research on people’s perception of noise with regard to their comfort, stress levels and mood. We then want to simulate how our technology can improve their acoustic environment,” Aman says.

While the technology is not market-ready yet, Aman and his team are already talking to potential customers to make sure they have them lined up when the time comes. DeNoize is mostly focusing on real estate developers such as Schiphol Real Estate and Heijmans, who can increase the value of their buildings by integrating the startup’s noise cancelling technology.

From this point on, DeNoize will be focusing on putting their technology on the market and getting the right partners and customers onboard. Working together with a partner like Schiphol Group is sure to boost the startup on its way to success.

Milestones: 

March 2018: Aman started working on the DeNoize concept in London

May 2018: Founded DeNoize together with Olivier Schevin

July 2018: Raised £70,000 as pre-seed funding

August 2018: Built the first proof-of-concept prototype of DeNoize

October 2018: Joined the Get Started Program by ECE

February 2019: Joined the YES!Delft Accelerator Program

August 2019: 1st paid pilot with potential customers

October 2019: Raised €150,000 from Rabobank

December 2019: Set up a collaboration with a major airport

January 2020: Expanded the DeNoize team

With DeNoize set on a path of growth, the team is currently looking for programmers. Do you know someone or are you one? Get in touch with them now!

Apply now for our upcoming programs, and become part of an ecosystem with startups like DeNoize!

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Meet our Accelerator Program Batch 2020

Meet our accelerator program batch 2020

We would like to present to you the six startups who are part of our latest Accelerator Batch! With the help of our experts and mentors, and through workshops and one-on-one sessions the startups are more than ready to change the world with their innovative ideas. Read all about it in this article.

Breeze

“We once heard that ‘a dating app’ used to be used as an example of a startup you would never see at YES!Delft. And here we are. We are an unusual big group of cofounders with an unusual product and market for this incubator. Yet this accelerator program is a good fit for us. Not only because of the in-house experience and knowledge, but also because of the drive and mindset of the people we meet here. It will definitely help us in scaling and reaching our goal of changing the online dating industry. We look forward to getting to know the ecosystem and add to it with our enthusiasm and fresh perspective. Want to know more about Breeze or a do you just want a coffee date? Drop by our office (B5 1.03)!”

All popular dating apps work in the same way: there’s superficial swiping, a lot of chatting but rarely real dating. With Breeze we critically reduce the effort it takes to meet someone you’re attracted to face to face. Our active users receive two high match potential profiles each day, suggested by our algorithm. If there is a match users cannot chat, instead they go directly to our date picker where they find a suitable day for the date. The unique thing about Breeze is that we organize the date for you. Matches can choose out of relevant date activities, depending on the user profile, season and the current corona situation. We let you know where to be at what time, the rest is up to you!

Villari

Steel is the cornerstone of modern-day construction. Bridges, cranes, ships, windmills and offshore platforms could not be built without this material. When steel bends due to millions of loading cycles, small cracks start to appear which are the primary reason for replacing these structures. Villari provides breakthrough permanent monitoring and guarding of such aged assets using wireless sensors. This leads to elongated structural lifetime, less unneccesary repairs, and reduced cost of inspections.

“These days, a lack of continuous information leads to huge amounts of preventive repairs and premature replacements of large steel assets such as highway bridges, container cranes, and shipping vessels. We are working hard to revolutionize the way people think about predictive maintenance and repair in the coming years. Through the peer-to-peer sessions with other startups as well as the large network of mentors,  advisors, and other partners at YES!Delft we have been capable of making leaps forward in a short amount of time. Not only as a company, but as founders too.”

VOYC

“This call may be recorded for quality assurance and training purposes”.

You may be familiar with this phrase, but did you know that on average only 2% of call center calls are monitored by companies? Call monitoring is essential to identify potential risks, improve agent performance and ultimately enhance the overall customer experience. Companies may be aware of the benefit of ardent call monitoring but, the high cost of employing human capital and limited call center capacity means most business will settle with just the “tip of the iceberg” approach.

Voyc does the impossible by enabling business to QA 100% of calls. Voyc eliminates the tedious task of listening to lengthy call recordings and provides companies with the right toolset to focus on implementing change. Voyc promises a self-service user experience with bank-grade security. With Voyc assisting with call monitoring, business is enabled to dedicate their time to training and coaching agents and improving customer satisfaction.

“At Voyc, we are on a mission to ensure the fair treatment of companies and their customers. We envision a world where customers decide which companies to trust based on the fact that Voyc is monitoring their call centers.
Being part of the YES!Delft Accelerator has been great because it has enabled us to spend more time with other like-minded founders and learn from each other through the peer-to-peer sessions.”

Sensible

Sensible is dedicated to a healthier humanity through modern, connective and unnoticable sensing of parameters that characterize common diseases such as diabetes. Sensible’s first product, idi, is a glucose sensor that feels like a normal bandage patch and integrates seamlessly with any patient’s treatment preferences.

“We are honored to be part of such a diverse community of entrepreneurs. Only when such a myriad of different industries, backgrounds and stages of development are represented can every single meeting be valuable.

Craytive

With 25 years of experience in 3D Geological Reservoir Modeling in the Oil and Gas Industry, we are a software development company providing innovative cloud solutions and mixed reality experiences to optimize remote operational workflows.

Craytive develops tablet and mobile apps, cloud based infrastructures and desktop applications. Using latest technologies as Microsoft HoloLens and Augmented Reality, we incorporate 3D Geological models into real-world environments to optimize the 3D modeling processes and team collaboration.

“Craytive Technologies stands for creative and innovative software solutions in the area of 3D Visualization and Collaboration. We are using state-of-the-art technologies like Mixed and Augmented Reality and Microsoft HoloLens to develop the future of 3D Remote Collaboration which can be applied in many different industries. By working together with Yes!Delft and various other startups we expand our network and knowledge, we validate our products and we develop the right business strategies. We are proud to be part of this high-tech and world-class innovation center!”

BBBLS

“A next generation greenhouse design for growing with unprecedented efficiency”

BBBLS uses an innovative method of providing extra insulation for greenhouses with soap bubbles. This enables the production of high quality food with much less energy. Our vision is to create a desired growing climate, accounting for external climate and seasonality to provide the most favourable conditions for greenhouses, or short: Controlled Climate As A Service.

“We are building climate-neutral greenhouses by using smart insulation with bubbles in a double roof construction. Our greenhouses are so economical that 4.5% of the Dutch climate objectives will be achieved if all Dutch greenhouses are replaced. Thanks to the YES!Delft Accelerator Program we want to lift the organization to a higher level and accelerate our growth.”

Is your startup ready to be part of the next Accelerator Batch?

Get to know more

Erasmus University Rotterdam and YES!Delft join forces

“Together we can accelerate innovation in South Holland”

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), TU Delft and the Municipality of Delft have decided that EUR will become a shareholder of tech incubator YES!Delft. This means that YES!Delft will be part of the recently established Erasmus Enterprise. All parties aim to further stimulate the region’s innovation potential. EUR, TU Delft and the Municipality of Delft see innovation as a key opportunity to have impact on concrete social issues.

“The collaboration with YES!Delft is a natural progression of the convergence strategy of EUR, Erasmus MC and TU Delft, and further enhances the use of knowledge with respect to several big social themes. We aim to connect the Rotterdam and Delft ecosystems and link our expertises. The regional innovation climate will receive a boost through stimulating diversity in startup teams (tech, Business and Social)”, thus Rutger Engels, Rector Magnificus of Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Innovation through diversity

The Rotterdam region is a rich breeding ground for diversity and entrepreneurship. A multidisciplinary approach is vital for innovation and to find solutions for challenges in the region. Innovation demands a combination of different perspectives (tech, social, commercial) starting both from the solution as well as the need. Startup teams that can make use of that diversity can innovate faster and better, which is why the convergence of EUR and YES!Delft is an important driver of enterprising initiatives. The synergy between EUR disciplines on the one hand and TU disciplines on the other, results in more diverse teams that can better respond to social challenges. We believe that we can accelerate startups in this way.

“Successful startups always have a diverse founder team in which the team members complement each other and often differ in profile. This collaboration enables us to bring together EUR Business talent and TU Delft technical talent, so that we can form optimal startup teams in the region”, explained Evert Jaap Lugt, managing director of YES!Delft.

Entrepreneurship as vehicle for social impact

In the context of its Strategy 2024, in the coming years EUR aims to increase its impact in the Rotterdam Delft region. This is why we are investing in entrepreneurship. “Entrepreneurship offers a route to create that social impact. Together with YES!Delft, existing EUR initiatives, such as ECE and ERBS will form one entrepreneurial community within Erasmus Enterprise. The collaboration with third parties will be stimulated and facilitated here, and innovative students, staff and alumni can find space here to collaborate on their social initiatives and/or innovative startups”, stated Rutger Engels.

In addition to the initiatives offered in locations in Delft and The Hague, in Rotterdam YES!Delft is going to offer programmes that connect to the expertise on the Woudestein campus. YES!Delft is concentrating here on specific focus areas (verticals) such as Social Tech. Here resolving urban issues, such as children and family services and care for the elderly, have an important position. “Technology enables us to have a huge impact in the social area; an area that has been neglected by the market for too long. We want to use this collaboration to change this”, stated Evert Jaap Lugt.

The Municipality of Delft is wholeheartedly supporting this development, explained deputy mayor Bas Vollebregt from the Municipality of Delft. “YES!Delft has proved hugely successful in supporting promising companies. Together with the other shareholder, TU Delft, we are implementing a strategy in which we aim to increase this impact. This includes expansions to other strong economic clusters in the region in which the collaboration with Erasmus University is a perfect match. The technical talent from Delft and economic talent from Rotterdam can complement each other beautifully.”

[Picture] Prof.dr. Vareska van de Vrande Academic lead Erasmus Enterprise and Michiel Muller chairman of the Erasmus Trustfonds and EUR Alumnus.

YES!Delft regional incubation powerhouse

YES!Delft was founded by TU Delft, TNO and the Municipality of Delft, and the incubator plays a key role in the innovation ecosystem in TU Delft and the South Holland region. “TU Delft is proud of the success of YES!Delft. Various spin-offs have been able to develop successfully there, and the incubator is a household name on TU Delft Campus. Different companies have joined in from the Rotterdam region in recent years, and we are now joining forces to stimulate entrepreneurship in our region on important social themes. This is a perfect match for the close collaboration between TU Delft, EUR and Erasmus MC”, stated Executive Board Chair, Tim van der Hagen.

Top 5 incubators

In the annual UBI ranking, YES!Delft is considered to be one of the top 5 incubators in the world. With over 120 tech startups in the incubator, over 100 mentors and over 40 corporate partners, YES!Delft manages the largest startup ecosystem in the Netherlands. Examples of successful initiatives with a social approach include the Somnox sleep robot (now established in Rotterdam as a spin-off from TU Delft) and, something vital in these times, UV Smart, in which medical equipment can be disinfected in seconds using UV light.

Online Pitches during the Deep Tech Validation Lab

Online PITCHES during the Deep tech VALIDATION LAB

On the 21st of April our very first, fully online program kicked-off! 9 startups joined us for a 10 week program, to validate their business idea. Before the current pandemic we used to end the Validation Labs with a final event, where startup pitch the idea they worked on during the program. This time we asked our startups to sent in a pitch video, which makes it possible for us to create an even bigger online stage from them!  So are you interested to see where this period brought them? Watch the online pitches of our Deep Tech Validation Lab batch below!

FIX

FIX is a startup that wants to unlock the construction industry with affordable environmentally friendly houses. We take construction out of the age of craftsmanship into the age of eco-industry. Our houses are not built on a construction site, but manufactured with the latest green- technologies. Reducing construction time from years to months. Offering high quality architecture on a budget. Our houses are affordable, circular and energy and carbon neutral.

CorrelImage

Correlimage developed the Corrosion Imager, a simple tool that researchers can use during the development of their next generation coatings. The Corrosion Imager makes use of scientifically proven image recognition software to assess the degradation in coatings and other surface treatments up to 10 times more accurate and is 3 times less expensive compared to the current methods. Interested to have this Corrosion Imager in your lab? Reach out to us and let’s organize a live demonstration!

Appsilon Enterprise

Appsilon Enterprise is a deep tech company that grows diamonds in the lab. We re-create the earth’s process to grow diamond. Our plasma chamber is like the Sun on the Earth. Atom by atom, the diamond lattice form and it’s the same with how diamond forms in nature. 

Diamond is a key material for future technologies like quantum. As Appsilon, we are here to make the highest quality diamond accessible for the  current sensor technologies. 

The Helia

At The Helia, we design, build and manufacture renewable energy systems that can deliver power wherever you need it, whenever you need it. Our goal is to make renewable energy the standard and not the exception.

Bluemethane

Bluemethane will develop innovative technology and business models to capture methane emissions and generate energy from them, allowing selected hydropower plants around the world to generate up to 8% of additional installed capacity, even under the most challenging environmental conditions and with minimum or no intervention on the existing infrastructure.

NLR-RebelLion

Marc de Smit, Maria Montero and Gerrit Kool founded the startup NLR-RebelLion in 2020.  After many years of experience with metal 3D printing, they developed the SpreadChecker™ for measuring the powder performance in the printing process. This idea was born after disappointing results from the currently available testing tools for this purpose. NLR-RebelLion delivers easy-to-use inspection tools and qualification services for who is involved in 3D metal printing of high-tech products.

Flapper Drones

Flapper Drones takes inspiration from nature to develop animal-like flying drones for events, concerts, and theme parks.

Flapper Drones fly by flapping their wings, like hummingbirds and insects. Thanks to their light weight and soft wings, they can be operated safely near people. They produce natural, flapping sound, which, together with their animal-like appearance, makes them attractive and engaging, in comparison to conventional drones. They can be operated autonomously – individually or as a flock.

SolvGE

At SolvGE we are producing the world’s first hydrogen peroxide printer for on-site, on-demand and safe access to rocket grade hydrogen peroxide. With our printer, access to this green energetic fuel has never been more convenient, flexible and cost-effective. Our vision is to provide green sustainable solutions for the space propulsion industry and many others where hydrogen peroxide is currently in use. 

SolvGE, fuelling the rockets of tomorrow and more.

IPCITA

Hi, we are Berend and Jai’ Amir from IPCITA. We studied biology at the Utrecht University. We developed a method where we can directly capture CO2 from the atmosphere with microorganisms. These organisms are able to capture the CO2 and use it to grow. With this microorganism biomass, we produce a biobased form of carbonblack through an anaerobic burning process. Now we are looking for help in realizing our mvp and experts in growing biomass on a large scale.

Interested in joining our incubator as well? Apply now for our upcoming programs!

TOP 10 Startup Success Stories: June

While temperatures were rising this month, our startups and scale-ups were not slowing down! From securing investments to partnering up with big corporates and winning awards. Are you curious to read all about this? Find it here, in this months Top 10 Startup Success Stories.

1. Blue Tulip Awards

We would like to kick-off this months successes with the three YES!Delft startup who won a Blue Tulip Award. DeNoize won their award in the Living & Working category, UV Smart in the Health category and PATS Indoor Drone Solutions took the award in the Nutrition category back home. Very well deserved!

2. Gradyent

Capricorn Partners, Helen Ventures and energy innovation fund ENERGIIQ jointly invest € 1.9 million in Gradyent. This investment, which was obtained with the help of our service YES!Funded, will enable the startup to further develop its innovative software and commercialize its services.

Do you need help with becoming investor ready?

Join YES!Funded

3. Aquablu

Aquablu wants to show that by purifying water, the best water is local water: without CO2 emissions from transport, plastic bottles and other waste that contributes to the plastic soup. To make people more aware, they went to Amsterdam to turn canal water into clean and safe drinking water. Every year 60,000 kilos of plastic, 700 dead animals and 12,000 bicycles are fished out of the canals in Amsterdam. Although the quality of the canal water is getting better and better – especially during the lockdown – it has never been drinkable before.

4. Hardt Hyperloop

This startup is developing an affordable, zero-emission, high-speed transportation with their hyperloop. Hardt Hyperloop conducted a study, together with Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, which shows that their hyperloop can be a sustainable alternative for the short-haul flights, and therefore accommodates the growth of the airport in the upcoming decades.

5. Conference Compass

Conference Compass, the startup that makes it possible for you to get in touch with your members anywhere and at anytime; before, during and after an event, got funded by Rabobank, which enables them to accelerate their growth and to launch a number of product updates fast than ever.

6. Dutch Analytics

Also the AI startup Dutch Analytics got an investment from Rabobank. This will help with speeding up the development of the Xenia platform, which helps companies to operationalize, manage and integrate data science models in an accessible way with existing IT systems.

7. Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge 2020

BBBLS, the startup that is currently enrolled in our Accelerator Program, GoodHout and aQysta got selected out of 650 applications as two of the 25 nominees for the Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge 2020, one of the largest competitions for sustainable entrepreneurship. All three startups are in the run to win €500,000.

8. Circularise

Circularise secured € 1.5 million funding from Horizon 2020, a program of the European Commission to stimulate European research and innovations. In addition, the co-founder of Circularise Mesbah Sabur was named as one of the 2020 “30 under 30” by GreenBiz, based on a their goals that helps shaping the next generation of sustainable businesses.

Are you interested in joining our next AI/Blockchain Validation Lab and follow in the footsteps of Circularise?

FIND OUT MORE

9. Ampelmann

The YES!Delft scale-up Ampelmann, the global offshore access provider, has secured a contract with Dutch shipyard Royal Niestern Sander, member of the Royal Wagenborg Group, for the sale of a winterised A-type, a new motion compensated gangway system that has the ability to operate in extreme cold weather. This will enable year-round safe transfers of the crew to and from platforms.

10. Techleap.nl

Techleap.nl showcased 200 Dutch Tech Heroes that are fighting the Coronavirus, and YES!Delft startups BI/OND, Momo Medical, UV Smart, Praxa Sense, Medvice and Voyc.ai are featured among these heroes!

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Blue Sparrows: The medtech investment fund made by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs

Incubators and communities like YES!Delft are there to offer startups the support and know-how they need to start their innovative businesses and grow. They introduce them to a network of fellow innovators that they can draw resources and inspiration from. And every so often, that network yields some pretty interesting collaborations. 

Bo Wiesman is a seasoned entrepreneur and the CEO of NewCompliance, an innovative company that offers predictive dashboarding and analytics solutions to hospitals. As of a few years ago, he is also the co-founder of Blue Sparrows, an investment fund for early-stage medtech companies.

Bo started Blue Sparrows together with six fellow medtech entrepreneurs and as a group, they are an example of what networking at YES!Delft can lead to. 

“We are all entrepreneurs from YES!Delft and this is where it all started back in 2014,” says Bo. “Because we were such a strong group of entrepreneurs, we got many requests from other medtech founders to provide advice or coaching, so we came up with the idea of setting up our own investment fund.” 

It took Bo and the rest of the team about four years to set the fund up and get it to do what it was meant to do – invest in high-potential medtech companies from across the country. Today, it also has two experienced fund managers onboard, whose expertise complements the entrepreneurial experience of the rest of the team.

An investment fund run by entrepreneurs

What makes Blue Sparrows different from other funds is that while it does have people with an investment background onboard, it is first of all run by entrepreneurs. 

Having built – and some even sold – their own business in the medtech sector, Bo and the rest of the team know what it takes to create a company from scratch. They have been through the ups and downs of being an early-stage company and can guide current startups to success, while avoiding the mistakes that they had once made. 

“We can help startups on a very operational level – from validating their idea or already existing product, to creating a business model that works, to clinical validation and medical certification,” says Bo. As a team, they believe that adding actionable knowledge and experience to a company early on can significantly increase their chance of success. They also look beyond the financials and at the potential that a startup holds. 

“We are entrepreneurs and not fund managers, so we can determine from our own experience whether a specific proposition has the potential to be successful. And because we are entrepreneurs, we can determine that way more clearly than fund managers can. They look mainly at the financial aspects, while we look at the product, the business model and the team – and help make adjustments where necessary.” 

Focusing on early-stage medtech startups – a conscious choice

A lot of people might think that investing in an early-stage, innovative company is risky business. And they wouldn’t be wrong. Yet, for Bo and the rest of Blue Sparrows, it was very clear why they should focus on that specific group. Making one wrong step early on in a business can be detrimental, so getting the right knowledge and advice at the right time is crucial. The team of Blue Sparrows is, therefore, of the opinion that they should only invest in companies that they can add real value to. 

“We tend to invest in the areas that we know extremely well, and that is medical technology,” says Bo. “It is not only about the money we invest, but also about the knowledge and coaching we can offer. That, too, has to be on a high level.” 

To date, they have made five investments in startups that they believe have the potential to develop a solution, which creates value for both patients and doctors. In the initial stage, Blue Sparrows invests typically between 200,000-250,000 euros per startup, and mentorship and coaching come as part of the package. The fund subsequently continues to invest as the company grows and achieves new milestones.

One of their most recent and also successful investments has been in a startup called UV Smart, which has developed an innovative solution based on UV light that helps disinfect medical instruments and devices within seconds. “We invested in UV Smart about 18 months ago, as we recognized that they have a great team and an advanced technology,” says Bo. 

As with all medical technologies, though, certification takes a long time and first revenues do not come in overnight. The current COVID-19 situation, however, has created an urgency for a solution like the one of UV Smart. “Normally they wouldn’t be selling yet, but due to the circumstances, they have had  their product medically certified last  month,” adds Bo, whose team has been advising the startup in the process. 

It is surely of great value for a young medtech company to have experienced advisors – with the right business and industry knowledge – supporting them. Especially in times of uncertainty. 

Blue Sparrows have found just the right niche to focus on. From here on out, they are looking to add new companies to their portfolio and later raise a second fund to continue investing in early-stage medtech startups. In the end, the only way to add value to the sector is to keep supporting its rising stars. 

TOP 10 Startup Success Stories: May

We are almost halfway through the year, and although it sometimes may feel like you are not getting anywhere within this changed situation, the startups are there to prove us wrong! Continue to work hard, keep on building tomorrow’s leading firms, and don’t lose sight of your goals. Read where that mindset brought them in this months Top 10 Startup Success Stories!

1. UV Smart

UV Smart announced that their D25 has officially been registered as a CE certified medical device. This allows the startup to support even more healthcare institutions in need to disinfect their medical instruments and devices.

2. Medvice

The MedTech and AI startup successfully applied for a Rabobank Innovation Loan. With this loan Rabobank is supporting clinical pilots and further development of the MIA suite of Medvice. 

3. Praxa Sense

The corona crisis is showing the importance of the ability to monitor patients remotely. This is exactly why Rabobank also granted their Rabobank Innovation Loan to the MedTech startup Praxa Sense. This loan will help the startup accelerate greatly while they also deploy Afi for the monitoring of COVID-19 patients.

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4. Tradecloud

Alfen, a specialist in smart energy solutions, launched the Tradecloud Supply Chain Platform. With this platform they would like to optimize their supply chain management in the coming years.

5. Villari

The ComplexTech startup, who are currently enrolled in our Accelerator Program, has been granted a VroegeFaseFinanciering (VFF), which consists of a € 350.000, loan by The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO). The startup will use the fund for further developing their next generation wireless crack monitoring sensors.

6. Supersola

Electro retail gigant BCC starts selling the startups innovative plug and play solar panels. BCC sees that consumers experience the step to solar energy as very complex, but with the modular design of the Supersola panels, everyone can easily and quickly produce green electricity. 

7. Gerrard Street

The startup who makes a fully modular headphones system, by which all parts can easily be (dis)assembled by head, got selected for the Sustainable Young Top 100 of 2020. You still have time to vote!

8. Birds.ai & Geronimo.AI

Both startups only just finished our AI/Blockchain Validation Lab, and already worked on a case of Rijkswaterstaat, together with Data Science Initiative (The Hague). With the help of Netherlands Space Office, they set up a manual on how to use satellite data and aerial images to solve challenges within governmental institutions.

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9. Somnox

The scale-up that develops products and services for a better night’s sleep, has raised a growth capital from the Dutch investment fund of Health Investment Partners (HIP). HIP indicates that especially in the current situation it is essential to invest in sleep to build a good resistance. HIP’s growth capital is supplemented by bank loans from the Rabobank.

10. DeNoize

The startup that brings an active noise cancellation technology integrable inside window frames is one of the finalist of the Accenture Blue Tulip Awards. This year-round ecosystem-driven program has its online Final Stage on the 11th of June.

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Urbandine: The hospitality solution for the 1.5-meter economy

The hospitality industry has taken a hit over the past months, with the COVID-19 outbreak keeping restaurants, bars and cafes closed. Opening up again, while impatiently awaited, may turn out to be a slow start for many of those businesses. Urbandine, a YES!Delft startup, has developed an intelligent mobile ordering and payment platform that allows customers to order and pay directly through their smartphone. A platform that can make work at 1.5m distance that much easier. 

FROM A SIMPLE IDEA

Urbandine is the brainchild of Jaikishen Jayesingha, Jay for short, and Bhagya Goonewardhane, two friends who first met in high school in Sri Lanka. While they have known each other for over 13 years, they have not walked the same paths. After high school, they each pursued their own interests – Jay went to the UK to study Mechatronics, while Bhagya made his way to Singapore for a degree in Biomedical Engineering. 

While in Singapore, Bhagya made his first steps in the hospitality industry by working on a food discovery platform. He wrote more than 350 for the platform’s blog until it was acquired by the Uber equivalent of the region. By writing all those reviews, Bhagya learned a fair bit about the inefficiencies of how restaurants operate, especially when it came to customer experience. 

He knew that technology could improve customer experience and started looking into mobile ordering as a way to do that. Around the same time, he reconnected with Jay and found out that his friend, too, was thinking of starting a business along the same lines. They joined forces and laid the foundation of Urbandine. 

“We started out by developing a solution that would allow customers to order and pay at restaurants directly from their mobile phones. At the same time, we were also doing market research and we looked at Singapore as a possible entry market,” says Bhagya. Yet, with some competition already there, they quickly changed course and turned their eyes to Europe. “We had both been to the Netherlands for leisure and had noticed that there were always a lot of vacancies for restaurant or cafe personnel. We thought this might be a good place to start, as there is certainly a product-market fit.”  

What also tipped the scales towards choosing the Netherlands were the possibilities that it offered to non-EU entrepreneurs. Jay flew in in late 2018 to meet several facilitators who could help them apply for the Startup Visa. YES!Delft was one of them. 

In proving that they can add business value to the Dutch market, Jay and Bhagya applied for YES!Delft’s Blockchain/AI Validation Lab, sailed through their Selection Day and joined the program in early 2019. The rest is history.

THROUGH YES!DELFT

The Validation Lab turned out to be exactly what Jay and Bhagya needed to establish their solution on the European market. “During the 10-week program, we got to meet with over 60 restaurant owners and validate the need for our product,” Jay says. “We quickly identified beach clubs as a potential market segment, as they often have large terraces that are difficult for waiting staff to service at all times. We ran a pilot with two beach clubs in Scheveningen, starting in August 2019, and managed to bring in new revenue lines for them.” 

While beach clubs rely on customers to sit down and order at their location, with Urbandine they could also get orders from people on the beach, thus getting a boost in sales. This finding proved to Jay, Bhagya and restaurant owners alike that there is unexplored value to be derived from a solution like Urbandine. 

Still, having only beach clubs as customers was not going to be enough to run a self-sufficient company. It is a seasonal business and the two co-founders knew that rather well. 

TO A GROWING COMPANY

Between the end of the season for beach clubs, which is around October, until February 2020, Urbandine made itself known in a different market segment. “We offered our technology for use at events and made it possible for visitors to order food and drinks from a number of different vendors,” Bhagya says. 

One of those events was Horecava, the largest annual hospitality trade fair in the Netherlands. For the vendors at the event, having Urbandine as the solution to order food and drinks meant more business, while for the event organisers, it meant more interaction on the floor. 

For Urbandine, the buzz generated by this move was crucial. It was an opportunity for them to have restaurant owners, who were the key target audience of the event, experience their solution from the other side of the table, as the customer. “The feedback we got was invaluable,” Jay says.

It would only be fair to say that Jay and Bhagya have made leaps of progress since they first moved to the Netherlands just over a year ago. They have also secured a convertible loan of 100,000 euros from six Dutch investors and UK-based entrepreneur Agash Navaranjan, who has since joined Urbandine as co-founder and CTO.

To keep growing at the same, and an even higher pace, the team needed to kick 2020 off strong. For one, they wanted to make sure that they open the season together with terraces in the Netherlands. Yet, nobody could have predicted a global pandemic slowing them down as it did. 

“March has been quite dormant for us, but that doesn’t mean that we have not been working on our proposition,” Jay says. “We have stayed in close contact with our customers and are jointly looking for ways to restart operations once the current measures have been lifted.” 

“We want to offer Urbandine for two months for free to help restaurant and cafe owners to get back on their feet as quickly as possible,” Bhagya adds. “So far, restaurant owners have reported a loss of about 90% of revenues due to closing down their physical locations and they’ve had to cut ties with a lot of their flexible workforce. It is much harder to bring workers back than to let them go, so we want to help owners in this transition phase. We are preparing the restaurant market for a scenario where they would have to work with fewer waiting staff and keep 1.5m distance to their customers.” 

At the moment, the team is talking to more than 150 customers and is aiming to launch their solution with them as soon as the restrictions have been lifted. Urbandine wants to make it easier on restaurant, bar and cafe owners to do their job post-COVID-19, but they also want to establish themselves as the go-to solution for even better and more efficient customer service. 

Given their growth and business approach so far, even in difficult times, it is clear that Urbandine takes challenges in stride and turns them into opportunities. And it can only go up from here.

Milestones 

Jan 2019 – POC pilots in Sri Lanka 

February 2019 – Joined YES!Delft’s Blockchain/AI Validation Lab

June 2019 – MVP built and validation completed

July 2019  – 100K pre seed convertible loan secured

August 2019 – Beachhead market pilots at Beachclubs 

October 2019 – Joined YES!Delft’s Accelerator Program

October 2019 – Exhibited at CES Unveiled in Amsterdam

November 2019 – Agash Navaranjan joins Urbandine as co-founder and CTO

November 2019 – First trade show as partner – Strand Nederland Beurs

November 2019 – Selected to represent The Hague at Web Summit ALPHA AI stream

December 2019 – First flagship location – Stads Koffyhuis

January 2020 – Official launch of Urbandine at the Horecava Innovation Lab and Expo

February 2020 – Exhibited and partnered with HorecaBeurs trade show in Goes 

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