Tag: CleanTech

Surfing

Aquablu: Eliminating single-use plastics, one water bottle at a time

Almost 1 million plastic bottles are sold every minute. In one year, that number goes as high as 480 billion. This is what a report found back in 2019 and those numbers are likely to keep increasing in the future. Finding alternatives to single-use plastics, and in particular water bottles, has thus become a priority embraced by governments as well as businesses.

Aquablu, a Dutch startup from the YES!Delft ecosystem, is one of those companies working towards a more plastic-free future. With their smart water purifying technology, the team have set themselves the ambitious goal to eliminate 1 billion bottles by 2030. 

But how did it all start?

A few years back, co-founder Marnix Stokvis was on a trip to South Africa when he got the idea for what is now known as Aquablu. “I was in Cape Town, surfing, when I encountered the plastic problem South Africa was facing,” he says. “Plastic pollution was very evident there, and especially so in the water. It got me thinking about water accessibility and what could be done to minimize the use of plastic bottles.”  

Marnix reached out to his friend and soon to be fellow co-founder Marc van Zuylen and the two turned his initial idea into a business concept. They founded Aquablu at the end of 2016 and started developing their first water purification system. Yet, their ambition went way beyond a single product. 

“We came together around one core mission and that was to enable a plastic-free world,” Marc says. 

In working towards that mission, Marc and Marnix knew that their solution would also be an ambitious one. They set off to develop a smart purification system that would not only provide clean drinking water, but also feed its users a wide range of data about the quality of the water and the technical status of the system, among others. In the spirit of personalization, it also makes it possible for users to quantify their positive impact on the environment by knowing just how much water they have purified with their Aquablu system. 

The smart technology behind the solution plays another important role, too. The fact that their technology can monitor how much water is being purified with their systems enables them to make very specific promises. 

“Together with the Made Blue Foundation, an entrepreneurial charity in the Netherlands, we offer the Liter for Liter promise. That means for every liter of water that is purified with our systems, a liter of clean drinking water is donated to places where it is a scarcity,” Marnix says. 

Purifying water – at home and abroad

And while Aquablu has a global mission, the team has made the conscious choice to start at home before they expand far and wide. “Our  initial idea was to sell internationally – and we did that. We delivered our system to 13 different countries,” Marc says. But with time, he and Marnix kept talking to people around them and realized that even in the Netherlands, where there is access to clean drinking tap water, many still buy single-use plastic bottles. “We decided to tackle the issue at home first.”

Since then, they have tweaked their business approach and are mostly focusing on the local B2B market with their Aquablu Refill solution, which transforms “ordinary tap water into purified mineral water.” Large offices and commercial buildings have been among their key customers. As of recently, they are also running a pilot project with supermarket chain Jumbo. 

“We currently have our system at a Jumbo supermarket in Amsterdam, where customers can either refill their own bottle or buy an Aquablu bottle with purified water,” Marnix says. The goal for the future is to expand their offering to more supermarkets and become a feasible alternative to bottled water. 

While already having its own revenue flow, the startup is still dependent on external funding – so far made available by family and an investor – in order to scale its R&D and production. Once they are well established in the Netherlands, the team will look to expand to the rest of Benelux, Germany and then further into Europe. 

“In up to three years, we are aiming at total domination in Europe,” Marc and Marnix laugh but they sure mean it. “After Europe, we will expand towards either the US or Asia. It depends where the need is greater and where we find reliable partners first.” 

The plan ahead of the two co-founders and their team is big but after all, their goal is to eliminate 1 billion bottles by 2030. Ambitious as they are, “we think we can even exceed it.”

Are you inspired by this story and would you like to boost your business and become part of the YES!Delft ecosystem as well? Sign up for our accelerator program!

If you would like to work for a startup like Aquablu check out our vacancies and become visible to more than 300 startups in the YES!Delft ecosystem.

 

Tarnoc

Tarnoc

As a high-tech renewable energy company, Tarnoc is creating next-generation heat pump technologies. We are driven by a mission to decarbonize the urban environment using space-age technology. Our latest heat pump, the Turbineketel, was created to accelerate the electrification of heating systems in the built environment. Using groundbreaking centrifugal compressors and refrigerant free technology, the Turbineketel offers high capacity and temperature heating in a superbly compact footprint.

Air quality

MRDH City of Future Air Quality Challenge

YES!Delft, the MRDH, and the municipalities of Ridderkerk and Wassenaar are looking for a solution for air quality pollution and to make residents aware of this.

The municipalities of Wassenaar and Ridderkerk are committed to tackle the quality of the air in their regions. Not just to battle the effects of pollution, but to understand the root cause of it and work together with their residents for improving the air quality in the region.

The Challenge

Ridderkerk and Wassenaar are both located close to important highways and are influenced by the activities of the Port of Rotterdam. For the municipality of Ridderkerk, understanding what are the main stressors on the air quality of their area could be used not only for limiting those activities but also for instilling awareness in their inhabitants.

The Municipality of Wassenaar is very aware of the impact of its neighboring highway and want to improve the quality of nature in their town. They also understand that air pollution is more complex than that, so they seek to understand the elements in the air in their region. That way they can make the right decisions for the residents and nature in their area. 

Does your company have an innovative solution to give the municipalities a better understanding of the air quality, the causes of the quality, and its effect? Then sign up now and get the chance to win a paid pilot with the municipality of Ridderkerk and/or Wassenaar.

SELECTION CRITERIA
  • You have a product that measures properly the air components, and can be used by the municipalities for improving the air quality;
  • You already had a successful MVP or prototype;
  • You have a strong team with at least two co-founders and really creative data scientists;
  • You have a scalable solution, thus you’re ready to have a pilot with the municipalities in the coming months;
  • You have a platform that can present that data in a comprehensible way to the inhabitants, and that platform can be configured in Dutch.
More about this challenge

The Metropole Region of Rotterdam and The Hague (MRDH) has had a partnership with YES!Delft for years in order to support their municipalities to become Cities of the Future. Last year in December, we helped the municipalities of The Hague and Leidschendam-Voorburg to tackle their parking pressure challenges. This month, the pilot with Parkeagle has been realized. Is your startup going to be the next solution implemented in the municipalities in the MRDH?

Shell New Energy Challenge 2020

Shell, Rockstart, YES!Delft and Get in the Ring are looking for innovative hardware, production processes, and underlying digital solutions in hydrogen, future fuels and sustainable chemicals.

The New Energy Challenge is a start-up competition, jointly organized by Shell, Rockstart, YES!Delft and Get in the Ring. The competition is designed for entrepreneurs in Europe and Israel who are developing advanced technologies and disruptive solutions that could be vital in accelerating the energy transition.

Collaborations between start-ups and industry leaders create the opportunity to fast-track the development and introduction of breakthrough technologies. In order to challenge the status quo and bring innovation forward, the New Energy Challenge calls for European and Israeli start-ups and scale-ups to come forward and propose game-changing solutions that will shape the low-carbon energy infrastructure of the future.

The New Energy Challenge consists of two distinct tracks: a track for start-ups in TRL 2-5 stage, up until and including seed stage and a track for scale-ups in TRL 6-9 stage with early revenues, market validation by pilot(s), Series A and higher.

Track 1 – Start-ups

Track One offers early-stage start-ups an intensive programme designed by YES!Delft for finalists to validate their business plans and exchange ideas with coaches and experts. The winning finalist will receive €100.000 towards a proof of concept within the Shell GameChanger programme, giving them a quick and cost-effective way to test the technical and commercial viability of their solution.

Track 2 – Scale-ups

Track Two offers scale-ups the opportunity to engage with experts from Rockstart and exchange knowledge and ideas as well the opportunity to design a pilot proposal. The winner will further develop and potentially execute the pilot, together with Shell Ventures and Shell’s Hydrogen, New Fuels or Chemicals business.

Criteria to join the programme
  • Start-ups must be in TRL 2-5 stage, up until and including seed stage.
  • Scale-ups must be in TRL 6-9 stage with early revenues, market validation by pilot(s), Series A and higher.
  • Have a solution that is focused on the transition to a sustainable energy future, with an explanation on how Shell connects to this solution.
  • Have a unique scalable product or service.
  • Be a registered company in Europe or Israel (equivalent to the Dutch B.V. (eg UK – Ltd., Germany – GmbH).
  • Have at least 2 founders.

Sign up from 14 April until 22 May 2020.

Cleantech Startups in Delft

TOP 10 TECH STARTUP SUCCESS STORIES: OCTOBER

CleanTech startups in Delft are taking over the country, if we look at Kitepower, aQysta, and Physee Technologies. And this is even with three months less until we round up 2019. One could think there would be fewer awards granted, but check out all the achievements from this month’s startup success of our tech incubator in Delft. 

 

1. VideowindoW

The Accelerator alumnus is implementing their dynamic blinds at Rotterdam The Hague Airport. Concretely, from now on, the passengers can see the transformation of glass into media content at the departure hall between the gates seven and eight. Hopefully, all airports will have VideowindoW instead of regular glass in the future!

 

2. Circularise

The Blockchain startup, a resident in our Digital Hub in The Hague, announced two new partnerships. They are collaborating with Domo Chemicals and Covestro to create a circular economy for the plastic industry. This could have a major impact on the sustainability standards for plastic materials. 

 

Join the AI/Blockchain Validation Lab!

 

3. Mythronics

The AI/Robotics startup Mythronics received a donation of 20,000 Euro from Rabobank Delft Innovation Fund. They will use the funding to accelerate the development of their technology.

 

4. PHYSEE Technology

The CleanTech startup won the first prize in the category ‘Top 100 innovation’ by KVK (Dutch Chamber of Commerce) with their SmartSkin technology. This innovation generates renewable energy from fully transparent windows, thus generating green energy and contributing to a sustainable future.

 

 

5. aQysta

The CleanTech startup competed in the Social Impact Lab 2019 organised by PwC Nederlands. Over 125 startups and scale-ups applied with a social mission! 13 finalists got selected and aQysta is one of the four winners! They presented their sustainable hydro-powered pump that uses juust water to create an alternative energy source. Yes, you read that well, this means it works without the use of fuel or electricity!

 

6. PATS

The Accelerator alumnus just got featured in the AD newspaper. PATS is creating small indoor drones that can fight against vermin in greenhouses. Farmers can stop using pesticides and eliminate pests in a sustainable manner.

 

7. Kitepower 

The CleanTech startup located in Delft is back in the news! The public poll, created by KVK Innovatie Top 100, resulted in enough votes for making Kitepower be amongst the Top 22 of the most innovative companies in South Holland. Their Kitepower system generates renewable energy by only using wind power. In addition, the votes got them to be amongst the Top 80 most innovative companies in the Netherlands.

 

8. Momo Medical

This MedTech startup won the Smart Solution Award 2019 organised by World of Health Care 2019. Their innovation BedSense can detect a person’s movement and send signals to the caregiver when no movement is detected. The award is granting them to join any international trade mission organised by Task Force Health Care. 

 

9.  Braindrop 

During the Dutch Design Week 2019, Braindrop will be present. How? One might wonder, since they’re no design company. Their chemical fire protection, TNF, is used on one the showcased building – The Growing Pavilion! This is a pilot cooperation with Stichting Nieuwe Helden (Company New Heroes). You can visit The Growing Pavillion from the 19th to the 27th of October in Eindhoven!

 

10.  Meld een Vermoeden

The resident of our Digital Hub – Meld een Vermoeden, one of our startups in YES!Delft The Hague, announced that the Gemeente Alphen aan den Rijn is using their platform. This makes them the 15th municipality in The Netherlands to do so! Together, they improve communication to fight against crime to create a safer environment for society.    

 

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Do you have a startup success story to share? Let us know and send an email to marketing@yesdelft.nl for the next edition of the top 10 startup success stories.

 

Join the Energy Transition – Shell New Energy Challenge 2019

To support the transition to a low-carbon future, Shell, Rockstart, YES!Delft and Get in the Ring launched the fouurth edition of their signature startup challenge. The New Energy Challenge is designed for European and Israeli startups and scale-ups to tackle the future of energy. Are you ready for a challenge? Deadline for applications is 24th of May!

Clean Tech challenges are myriad, but in essence, Clean Tech is about increasing productivity while decreasing energy use, pollution, the overall impact on the environment and cost. In our tech incubator, we learned from our beginning in 2005 how challenging it is to operate a Clean Tech startup. What it comes down to, is that if a startup wants to have impact on a global scale, they will always encounter large corporates, governments, infrastructure organisations, and more.

The New Energy Challenge is open to young entrepreneurs in Europe and Israel who are developing advanced technologies and disruptive solutions that could be vital to meeting future energy needs worldwide. This is the perfect opportunity to overcome challenges in the roadmap of the CleanTech industry!

“Innovation is key in the energy transition and CleanTech startups play an essential role in transforming the energy business. The Shell New Energy Challenge is a great opportunity for you as a startup to boost your network and collaborate with the industry to create a lasting impact together. You will be able to implement your rapid innovation skills on a global scale and create impact with large industry players. With this program Shell, YES!Delft, Rockstart and Get in the Ring open the doors for you to meet the right people at the right time. This is your chance to make a difference!” – Maureen Gribnau, Innovation Manager, YES!Delft

The winning finalist receives at least €100,000 towards a proof of concept within the Shell GameChanger programme, giving them a quick and cost-effective way to test the technical and commercial viability of their solution.

Last year the New Energy Challenge welcomed 300 applicants from 49 countries. The top ten finalists were invited to Amsterdam. In the aftermovie from last year’s edition, you can hear from the finalists, winners, and runner-ups to inspire you further!

 

With this program, YES!Delft, Shell & Rockstart open doors to the industry and enable you to meet the right people at the right time. The focus is on startups and scale-ups that offer innovative, low-carbon energy solutions related to the future of mobility, energy management, energy storage, hydrogen, and the retail station of the future.

YES!Delft is involved in Track One, which offers early-stage startups a specially designed Validation Lab. In the intensive program, finalists validate their business plans and exchange ideas with coaches and experts. This is an actual pressure cooker program, a three-day sprint within the Finals Week. The finalists will get access to YES!Delft’s extensive network of coaches and experts, which will help them validate their business proposals, find their product-market fit and prepare to pitch for an expert jury during the Finals Day event.

 

Apply to the New Energy Challenge

Application deadline: May 24, 2019.

Shell New Energy Challenge 2019

Shell, Rockstart, YES!Delft and Get in the Ring believe a meaningful energy transition can only be realized with breakthrough innovation and integrated technologies that are effective, scalable and profitable. 

Register now

To make the fourth edition of the New Energy Challenge even more impactful, this edition has two distinct tracks: a track for start-ups (Seed phase) and a track for scale-ups (Series A). In doing so, the challenge will offer companies with different levels of maturity business value that suits their specific needs.

  • Track One offers early-stage start-ups an intensive programme designed by YES!Delft for finalists to validate their business plans and exchange ideas with coaches and experts. The winning finalist receives at least €100,000 towards a proof of concept within the Shell GameChanger programme, giving them a quick and cost-effective way to test the technical and commercial viability of their solution.
  • Track Two is all about the retail station of the future. The track offers the opportunity to design a pilot, as well as the opportunity to engage with experts from Rockstart. The winner will further develop the pilot together with Shell’s Retail business, ultimately launching it at a Shell retail site!

Additionally, the New Energy Challenge generates new partnerships and enables the exchange of knowledge and expertise, offering multiple paths to benefit start-ups and scale-ups:

  • Access to Shell’s extensive network as well as coaching and advice from experts.
  • Tailored mentoring and training by the experts of Rockstart and YES!Delft.
  • The chance to pitch in front of the Shell Ventures and Shell GameChanger investment committee.

The New Energy Challenge is open to European and Israeli start-ups and scale-ups with innovative technologies and solutions for the energy transition. Deadline for completed entries is 24 May 2019.

APPLY NOW TO THE CHALLENGE

UNIIQ invests in Qlayers

Congratulations to YES!Delft startup QLayers! At the Metropoolregio Rotterdam Den Haag-event 2018, it was announced that investment fund UNIIQ will support the further development of QLayer’s coating print head to the tune of € 300,000.

QLayer’s print head, the Slash100, enables fully the automated and controlled application of paint to large, industrial surfaces, while minimizing paint loss through mist. This makes the Slash100 an efficient and environmentally friendly solution, without compromising the quality of the finished product.

The full press release (in Dutch) can found on the UNIIQ website.

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