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 

Delft Circuits and YES!Funded: Matching the right startup with the right investor

Collaboration is a key ingredient in every startup-advisor relationship out there. Especially in their early days, startups need specialized advice and support in order to steer their business in the right direction. Yet, what they also need is a strong business case to start with. The startups with the strongest product, service or technology are the ones that would make it all the way. Only then, in fact, can a startup-advisor relationship really thrive.

This is exactly the case with Delft Circuits, a young innovative company providing quantum hardware solutions, and YES!Funded, a service launched by YES!Delft to support startups with their funding needs.

Bringing startups and funding together

“If you want to be investor-ready and do things properly, you need to have the right knowledge and experience,” says Daan Kuitenbrouwer. As co-founder and COO of Delft Circuits, he knows what it takes to build a high-tech company and look for ways to make it financially sustainable. “You need guidance along the way and you need to always look ahead towards your next step.” 

Founded in 2017, Delft Circuits provides hardware solutions for quantum engineers and, in particular, flexible cabling for cryogenic systems. They are specifically focused on making cables that enable quantum computing in low-temperature conditions. It is a complex technology solving a complex issue for quantum engineers. 

The market potential for a niche solution like this is big, but potential alone is not enough to make it a success. Knowing this, the startup reached out to YES!Funded to help them find the right financing tools and connections, and eventually leverage that market potential. 

“We started YES!Funded about a year ago and what we soon found out is that startups don’t have much knowledge in how to structure their company or make it financially viable,” says Jan Geert van Hall, Investment Director at YES!Delft. “To help them, we decided to launch a program that would support startups in financial lifecycle planning and securing the right funds.” 

In essence, YES!Funded enables young companies to match up with the right investors, both public and private, and helps them apply for the funds that fit them best. The program is open to YES!Delft companies as well as to startups outside of the incubator’s network. The selection process, however, is strict and the startups that do make it into the program are the ones that (1) have a very strong business case and (2) are ready to look for an investor. 

“Each company we select needs to have something special,” says Jan Geert. “It needs to have  market potential, but also be ready to take the next step in developing itself. When it came to choosing Delft Circuits, we were convinced from the start because what they have is world class.” 

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise then that soon after they started working together, the startup was selected for a project worth 2 million euros in a grant from the European Innovation Council to further develop their solution. 

The importance of choosing the right type of funding

The way to look at YES!Funded is as an independent party for startups’ funding needs. They are the ones assessing the funding needs of each startup in their program and looking for the right funding instruments for them. 

“For everybody who comes in, we make an initial funding plan and advise them on what to do,” says Jan Geert. “What most companies do when they come in is to ask us to find them an investor, but in reality most of them are not ready for that step. So what we try to do is, first, help raise their knowledge and expertise, and then start working with the ones that we think are ready and in need of a specific funding structure.” 

The startups that are considered ready are usually the ones that have a solid business plan, know their product-market fit and have a strong team already assembled. 

Perhaps one of the key unique selling points of YES!Funded is that they look at a wide range of financing instruments in order to find the most suitable for the startups in their network. “Most consultants tend to focus on one type of financing instrument, while for us it is crucial to do blended funding,” says Daan. 

Leveraging both public and private funds can eventually help strengthen a startup’s position in the market. A lot of governmental funds want to see a private investor vouch for a company before they decide whether or not to provide a subsidy, and vice versa. Many private investors want to know that a certain innovation technology or solution is backed by public funding before they assume any risk of their own.

“We see that it’s possible to leverage a lot of instruments simultaneously and that it can bring a lot of benefits, especially for a young company,” says Daan. With the recent public funding, Delft Circuits is clearly on the right path. It is only a matter of time for them to reach their full market potential. 

TOP 10 Startup Success Stories: April

We started working from home almost six weeks ago already, and although it feels like more and more people are getting used to this new situation, we are still in a crisis. With this in mind, we are extra proud of our startup, who keep on building tomorrows leading firms from home. Their hard work led into us sharing another month of successes with you, all made possible by them!

1. SD-Insights

SD-Insights has attracted its first investment. Three investors have bundled their capital and knowledge, and started to helping SD-Insights their coaching app NEXTdriver, which will make sure that the logistics sector is and remains sustainable and safe on the road.

2. Aquablu

The CleanTech startup announced that it will join forces with Waterluxe, a Dutch company specialist in water softening. Together they would like to make clean drinking water accessible to everyone in The Netherlands and Belgium.

3. BI/OND

This startup donates a set of chips to EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne), which will be used for a Lung-on-Chip model. This donation will enable quick and effective drug testing. BI/OND challenges other Organ-on-Chip companies to start contributing as well by donating to research groups.

4. Mapiq

Although this post is called ‘Top 10 Startup Success Stories’ there is obviously also room for our scaleups. Mapiq, a developer of smart office software, got an investment of € 3.4 million. This capital injection, done by energy innovation fund ENERGIIQ, informal investors and existing shareholders, will be used to scale up the software platform of Mapiq.

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5. Craytive Technologies

This brand new edition to our ecosystem just launched their website, with which they kicked off their search for early adapters to test their initial versions. The startup incorporates 3D Geological models into a real world environment using Mixed and Augmented Reality, to optimize the 3D modeling processes and team collaboration around the globe.

6. FeedbackFruits

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, colleges and universities are in the need of solutions to continue their lectures online. University Business has listed FeedbackFruits as one of these solution providers, because they offer higher education resources at no charge. All institutions can now use their LMS tools without any financial costs until September 2020.

7. Nurtio Technologies

Nurtio Technologies, the startup incorporating the smart sensors and AI into the indoor gardening process, has received € 300.000 of funding from the RvO (Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland). This capital will help Nurtio finish their new prototype, go through the certification process, and prepare the product for the market launch.

8. Physee Technologies

Together with Kindow and Luxaflex, PHYSEE Technologies introduced a new energy-generating facade concept. The concept consist of PHYSEE’s energy-efficient glass facade and Kindow’s intelligent roller blinds, which provides 65% more daylight in buildings and 20% energy savings on cooling, heating and lighting. Luxflex supplies the mechanical systems and a premium awning fabric.

9. Philips Innovation Award

ADI (Applied Drone Innovations) and DeWarmte got selected as two of the five Innovators to compete at the Grand Final of the Philips Innovation Award 2020, which is the largest student-entrepreneur award in The Netherlands. On May 18th we will hear who is going to be this years winner.

10. Circularise

The Blockchain startup got selected by the Plug and Play Tech Center Italy, for their 12-week Business Development Program in the Sustainability Batch. The goal of Circularise is to focus on their development, according to expressed industry challenges and prepare themselves for implementing this with corporate partners.

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MYTHRONICS: ‘AI CAN HELP MINIMIZE FOOD LOSS IN THE VALUE CHAIN’

About a third of all food produced goes to waste, and more than 30% of that one third is lost before it reaches the supermarkets. This data may seem shocking, but what’s worse is that it’s real. The reason for this is that quality control with the products is often done by people and problems are not detected in time.

This doesn’t have to be the case, though. With their solution, the team of Mythronics makes it possible for vegetables and fruits to be graded and sorted autonomously, thus minimizing error and maximizing efficiency.

FROM A SIMPLE IDEA

For founder Soheil Jahanshahi, starting a business for the agricultural industry was not a hard decision. “When I was a kid, my father and my uncle had an apple farm back home in Iran, so agriculture has always been close to my heart,” he says. “In a time when people are moving more towards consumption of high quality fresh products, it is crucial that more and more fruits and vegetables (among others) reach the supermarkets in a good condition.”

The key to making that happen is by sorting and grading the product at the right time. Yet, in this specific industry segment, there has been – and still is – a shortage of qualified labor, Soheil says. Technology can fill this gap.

“From speaking to many (potential) clients, we found out that there are simply not enough people to do the job,” he explains. “Quite often, companies have to hire people from abroad and invest in training them, only to see them leave in a year. We want to avoid that.”

With a background in software engineering, Soheil knew that he could tackle this challenge and help decrease food waste in the value chain. With Mythronics, he and his team of three are developing solutions based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics that can: (1) detect when plants are ready for harvesting, (2) detect defects and other attributes in the product and (3) help with sorting it.

A simple idea that they have taken to the market in under two years.

THROUGH YES!DELFT

Soheil and his team are certainly up to something, with their ultimate goal to make AI more understandable and accessible to businesses in the agricultural industry. Naming the company Mythronics was also not a coincidence. “For many people, AI is still a myth and we want to change that,” Soheil says.

Supporting them along the way has been YES!Delft and their network of experts and mentors. Soheil joined the AI/Robotics Validation Lab in May 2018 and quickly learned about how to match his business proposition to the right target market.

“I met with a lot of potential clients, which helped me validate my idea and better understand the market I was aiming for,” says Soheil. “I also got exposure to a wide range of investors.” Only months later, Mythronics was accepted into YES!Delft’s Accelerator program.

TO A GROWING COMPANY

Today, the startup is already testing their product on several commercial solutions. The team is targeting two different market segments – greenhouse owners and growers on the one hand, and companies on the packaging and logistics side on the other.

For greenhouses, they have developed a mobile assistant that can autonomously detect problems with the crops. It can also tell them when certain crops are ready for harvesting, eliminating the need to train people for it.

On the logistics side, Mythronics has focused on developing an AI-driven solution that can help eliminate subjective quality inspections and ensure that all products are in the high quality sought after by supermarkets.

“We are building this product together with our customer, ABC Logistics,” says Soheil. “In essence, we’ve created a sorting box with sensors and an integrated technology that grades fruits. So you can put up to 60 different types of fruits on a conveyor belt, run them through the box, and it will identify each of them individually. As they go through the box, a robotic arm helps sort those fruits.”

In the relationship between the two companies, ABC Logistics has been providing a lot of the knowledge and a test site, while Soheil and his team have been bringing the technical expertise.

With two solutions already out for customers to work with, the team of Mythronics is well on their way to fulfilling their goal of reducing food waste, even if only on a local scale for now.

MILESTONES

2018

  • Company established
  • Accelerator Alumni at YES!Delft and RoboValley

2019

  • Team grows to three people
  • Received funding from Horizon 2020; pilot tests with first client

2020

  • Development of Robotic Sorting machine
  • Joined Startlife program from Wageningen

Online Pitches during the AI/Blockchain Validation Lab

Online PITCHES during the AI/BLOCKCHAIN VALIDATION LAB

At the beginning of February of this year a new batch of 7 startups joined our incubator for a period of 10 weeks to validate their business idea, during the AI/Blockchain Validation Lab. In this period the corona virus hit The Netherlands, and we had to move our program activities to an online environment. Although this was a completely new way of working for us, it worked out, due to the flexibility and dedication of this batch. We would like to thank them for accepting this challenge with us and creating a new way of working.
Normally we end our programs with a final day, where startups pitch their ideas. In this case, we asked startups to sent in a video, which makes it possible for us to share this with everyone! So are you interested to see where this period brought them? Watch their online pitches below!

Birds.ai

At Birds.ai, we use artificial intelligence to convert images into meaningful figures and numbers. We do this in three simple steps (1) digitize: we collect the input: images or videos (2) make it smart: we tune a suitable A.I. engine, and (3) provide insights: we visualize the output in a meaningful overview. Our customers use our expertise for anomaly checks, statistics, and intelligent monitoring.

Bitprop

Bitprop enables large scale formal investment into small scale property development in the developing world, helping impoverished individuals validate land ownership and generate income while providing market returns to investors.

The Bitprop system enables this by managing and supporting the end-to-end process.

Onetwomodel

Have you always wanted to become a model? Many people do, but find it very hard to enter the scene. Few responses, little feedback and lack of trustworthy agencies all play a role in this process. OneTwoModel is a platform that matches models to the right agencies in a smart and automated manner, leveraging computer vision and machine learning. Solving problems for both sides, we introduce the next phase for model scouting.

Geronimo.ai

Geronimo.AI predicts when roads need to be maintained. This allows road managers at provinces and municipalities to plan road maintenance in a smart, data-driven way. This increases the ease of planning and prevents unexpected, expensive maintenance. Together, this results in better roads for lower costs.

Cybermundus

Cybermundus is a security company focusing on protecting cloud environments. Today most companies fail to identify breaches, which leaves hackers a long time to steal their data, IP or sabotage their systems. Our solution brings down the time to detect breaches from months to minutes by automatically detecting new methods of compromise and sharing the insights with all parties. We do that by combining the latest technologies like machine learning with our innovative modelling approach.

Jild Technologies

Armed with our technology, freshly developed at the TU, we entered the validation lab. We’ve spoken to dozen potential customer, large and small, learned invaluable lessons, and acquired a tremendous set of new skills. But the most important realization was, that way more people can benefit from our technology than we could ever cater. And in hindsight, it was obvious; who wouldn’t want a blockchain framework that scales infinitely, while ensuring sub-second transaction time.  This is why we have an exciting announcement to make: We are going open-source, stay tuned!

Roseman Labs

Roseman Labs builds privacy technology with a strong focus on secure multi-party computation (MPC). MPC enables data analytics across multiple data sources without the need to see, own or transfer that data. We have built a scalable high-performance engine that leverages industry-grade implementations. Our focus markets include financial services, cyber security and location-based services. Can you help us build a scalable sales model as well?

TOP 10 Startup Success Stories: March

In light of the ongoing pandemic it is very quiet at both our offices, but all our startups are still working hard to keep on building tomorrow’s leading firms from home! To hopefully spread some positive vibes in this ongoing strange and difficult situation, we will share this month’s Top 10 Startup Success Stories with you! Stay healthy, and we hope to see everyone soon again.

Multiple startups are busy with implementing their technologies to fight the corona virus. We already shared a blogpost with you last week, which was dedicated to these startup. But although we mentioned them before, we couldn’t leave them out of the Top 10 Startup Success Stories of this month, because of all the successes they are booking within the current crisis. So we start this months successes off with these startups!

1 VFA Solutions B.V.

It was already a few weeks ago, when Dutch television program Hart van Nederland interviewed Founder of VFA Solutions B.V., Eliane Khoury, who creates devices that destroy all harmful substances in the air, including the corona virus. Since the virus many new customers have come forward. “The corona crisis feels like the last droplet that the market needed to realize the importance of proper air quality and its impact on people’s health,” says Eliane.

2 UV Smart

Oral masks are normally used only once but due to the current shortage UV Smart started to look at different ways to disinfect and safely reuse them. Hospitals started with the disinfection of mouth masks with UV Smarts’ prototype of UV light equipment. This prototype is a derivative of an existing UV-C disinfection device, which just received the official proof that it reduces viruses on oral masks with 99.999%.

3 Somnox

Everybody probably knows that sleep is essential for a good health, but did you also know that sleep is an amazing immune system booster? This made Somnox, the startup that knows all the ins and outs about sleep, decide to make all their sleep-knowledge available for free. They went even further, by making some of their products available to borrow for healthcare employees, so they can get the rest they deserve. To top this off, Somnox started to use their 3D-printers to make ventilation masks out of sports brand Decathlons snorkeling masks. They will deliver these to the hospital, to help them prepare for the expected peak.

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4 Delmic

For patience who need to be examined at the hospital, this startup developed a the DAAD (Diagnose At A Distance) system, which makes it possible for medical staff to examine potential patients without being in direct contact with them. “Our current proposal is not in our core business at all so that has been a big change,” says CEO Sander den Hoedt. Yet a change that he and his team have embraced in order to help minimise the impact of the coronavirus.

5 Innovattic

This startup has been approached by the LUMC (Leiden University Medical Center) to develop is a CoronaBox with a thermometer and an oxygen saturation measurement device. This box makes it possible for potential corona patients to stay at home and do the necessary measurements from there. “That way, they will not infect other people in the hospital and at the same time, the box can help monitor them from their home in case their health deteriorates fast”, says Lauwerens Metz, CEO of Innovattic.

6 Envision

Besides all the corona virus related initiatives, our startups also booked other successes. Like the YES!Delft The Hague based startup, Envision, who launched their pre-ordering campaign. With their new AI-powered smartglasses, Envision empowers the blind and visually impaired to be more independent. Watch the amazing campaign video below!

7 Polytential

This startup made their first sale. Their quality analysis tool, the Virtual Chemist, is at the National Test center for Circular Plastic this month, where it will be used to gain insight in the material composition after plastic packaging has been sorted. In addition, Polytential also received a grant of €50.000, after being one of the winners of the P>Act Challenge.

8 VIBES.technology

This startup joined forces with Dutch tech company Lightyear, who is creating a solar car with a focus on range and efficiency. Within this collaboration, VIBES’ expertise is used to set up a robust sound and engineering process, which is an important step towards further growth and acceptance of electric vehicles.

9 Clevr

The MedTech startup Clevr was part of the television program Nieuwsuur from the NOS, where the increasing popularity of VR glasses in mental health care was discussed. The VR glasses are causing a revolution in the mental health care, because virtual reality is changing therapy from talking to doing. That means practicing in a customized world and applicable for a wide range of complaints.

10 VIKTOR

The construction companies BAM Infra Nederland, Ballast Nedam and Heijmans joined forces to develop applications. The companies have opted for an open collaboration in which they collectively automate on the VIKTOR platform, which enable builders to jointly build their own online applications. The first application has already been launched within three months, and was presented to the entire construction industry.

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YES!Delft startups contribute to solving the corona crisis

There is no doubt that the current COVID-19 developments are changing the way people go about their daily lives and the way they work. For entrepreneurs, in particular, those are times that test their ability to not only adapt to this new situation, but also find creative solutions to contribute positively to it. 

At YES!Delft, we are lucky to have some of the brightest examples of innovation, creativity and technical excellence. From developing new generation air purification and ventilation technologies, to smart solutions for diagnosing and monitoring patients at home, to using UV light to disinfect medical equipment in a matter of seconds, startups are working around the clock to add their value to the current situation. And they’re not the only ones.

Contributing to a cleaner living and working environment

VFA Solutions, in which VFA stands for Virus Free Air, is an expert in the field of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and filtration technologies. Its work focuses on air cleaning and disinfection from hazardous airborne contaminants such as fine particles as well as bio aerosols like bacteria, viruses, spores and fungi, among others. “The corona crisis feels like the last droplet that the market needed to realize the importance of proper air quality and its impact on people’s health,” says founder Eliane Khoury. 

VFA’s ASPRA air purification solutions help purify indoor environments – and at the moment largely healthcare institutions – by removing airborne viruses, pathogens and dust particles. “Inside our device, bio aerosols are guided through an electric field, where the majority are killed or deactivated. The viruses, bacteria and other pathogens are then captured in the collector (the filter) and permanently removed from the air, thus reducing the risk of spreading.”

Because sales volumes are growing for VFA, yet certain components are either not available or have a long delivery time, the team has had to be creative and has decided to simplify the design of their products and outsource production to partners and suppliers. 

UV Smart, another startup in the YES!Delft portfolio, also plays its part in helping hospitals and healthcare centers maintain a clean working environment. Born out of the need to minimise the spread of resistant organisms and viruses, and maintain the highest possible hygiene in  healthcare, the company has developed an innovative solution based on UV light that helps disinfect medical instruments and devices within seconds. 

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, a number of hospitals in the Netherlands have approached the team to use their technology in disinfecting face masks so medical personnel can reuse them. “We have been working around the clock on a suitable solution for our customers,” says co-founder Daan Hoek. “The first 20 products with our technology are being delivered to different hospitals in the last week of March. From now on, we have to scale up production as fast as possible to get our devices available for the various hospitals.” 

Daan and his team are also thinking about ways to offer their technology internationally.

Working towards more efficient and risk-free screening

Without question, healthcare professionals are among the people who are most exposed to the risk of contracting the corona virus. Hospitals have taken multiple measures to curb that risk and startups are looking for ways to contribute. 

Innovattic is a company that builds digital solutions for social impact, including apps, websites and serious games. Since the coronavirus has been spreading, the startup has been approached by the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) to develop the CoronaBox, a medical kit that (potential) patients can take home to do a self-check.

“We are making a CoronaBox with a thermometer and an oxygen saturation measurement device so potential corona patients can go home and do the necessary measurements,” says Lauwerens Metz, CEO of Innovattic. “That way, they will not infect other people in the hospital and at the same, the box can help monitor them from their home in case their health deteriorates fast.”

This solution can not only help screen more people, but also allow healthcare personnel to focus on the cases that are most urgent, without losing the overview of everyone else who might need their attention. 

For those patients who do need to be examined at the hospital, though, Delmic has developed a different solution. As a spin-off of the TU Delft and the materials institute AMOLF, the startup makes microscopes for (academic) research in materials and life sciences. “Our current proposal is not in our core business at all so that has been a big change,” says CEO Sander den Hoedt. Yet a change that he and his team have embraced in order to help minimise the impact of the coronavirus. 

What they have developed is called the DAAD system, or the Diagnose At A Distance system, which makes it possible for medical staff to examine potential patients without coming in direct contact with them. 

“This solution allows doctors to screen patients without using personal protection measures, thus reducing the chance of doctors getting infected as well as patients getting infected from their protective gear.” The first system is being rolled out in the last week of March and Sander and his team are looking to scale their solution from there. 

Somnox is a startup that is developing a soft robotic that makes sure users have the best night’s sleep possible. Over the past few weeks, the team has adapted to the current coronavirus developments in several different ways. On the one hand, they have made all their sleep knowledge available for free since “sleep is an amazing immune system booster,” says CEO Julian Jagtenberg. On the other hand, “we are also making some of our products available for healthcare employees to borrow so they can get the rest they deserve for free.” 

In addition to that, Somnox has also taken on a more creative approach to contributing to the current corona developments. With the help of the 3D printers in their office, they are making ventilation masks out of Decathlon snorkeling masks and aim to deliver them to hospitals that are preparing for the peak. Anyone with a 3D printer is encouraged to join. 

In the meantime, Eliane from VFA has also been busy setting up a new, similar initiative to fight the shortage of face masks for healthcare personnel. 

At the end of the day, solving this crisis is about innovation, creativity and working together, and those startups seem to be on the right track. 

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