Tag: Electric air travel

Flux Medical Systems: Alleviating the pains of administrative work for healthcare professionals

If you ever thought the workday of a healthcare professional was a busy and hectic one, you were, well, absolutely right. Add to that the fact that there are ever-higher numbers of patients for fewer healthcare professionals available and the workload continues to grow. One main challenge for workers in the sector is the amount of administration that comes with each new case or patient. Flux Medical Systems, a startup from the YES!Delft ecosystem was created to lessen this administrative strain and let healthcare professionals focus on what really matters – spending as much time as possible with their patients.

Less time spent on admin, more time spent with patients

Maja van Dijk, a co-founder of Flux, knows just how time-consuming administrative work can be in the healthcare sector. As a physical therapist herself – and the owner of a clinic – she is no stranger to long workdays. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that she decided to take matters into her own hands and create a solution to this problem. 

“As healthcare professionals, we are already busy and we also have to do all the administrative work,” she says. “Quite often, I’ve had to finalize my paperwork on weekends.” 

This is not what Maja and many of her fellow colleagues want to be spending their time on. “Admin should never take away from doctors’ time to treat patients,” she is convinced. “With Flux, we want to alleviate the pains of administrative work for healthcare professionals.” 

Launched at the end of 2019, Flux has seen a number of milestones in just over two years. Together with her co-founders Thomas Schiet, a mathematician, and Jan Ferdinand Henseler, a medical doctor, Maja developed a solution that she could already test in her own day-to-day work. 

“Since I’ve been using Flux in my own work, I have had 30% more time,” she says. “Each professional can choose how to spend this extra time, but for me, it is about spending it with patients.”

The first step that Maja and her team took was to create a solution that can automate the revenue cycle, as bookkeeping and financial administration is a rather time-consuming endeavor for healthcare professionals and small clinics. Then they continued on to optimizing other processes, too.

“Our goal is for businesses in the healthcare sector to gain insights into their work through process optimization,” Veerle de Brouwer, Customer Engagement, Sales & Marketing Developer at Flux, explains further. “Next to lowering the manual effort that goes into administrative tasks, our solution can also facilitate the exchange of information so professionals can securely access patient information and grow their business in the way they want to.” 

At the moment, Flux is targeting mainly physiotherapy and dental hygiene professionals but has plans to expand to hospitals and perhaps even the pharma industry as well. The product is already fully compatible with the tools the Dutch healthcare system works with, so scaling it will only be a matter of time.

On to new milestones and further growth

Because of the need to make the healthcare system more efficient – and quickly so – Maja and her team have not wasted time rolling out their solution. They currently have several paid pilot projects underway, the benefits of which are two-fold. On the one hand, they provide initial revenues to the company, while on the other, they are a great way for the team to learn and improve their product.

“Pilots are great for collecting feedback and designing a solution that really works for healthcare professionals,” Maja says. 

Next to these initial revenues, Flux has also been funded by family and friends and a loan from InnovationQuarter. The team is also in discussions with other parties, so they sure have big plans ahead of them. 

While they want to establish themselves in the Netherlands first, they are already looking into the possibilities of expanding abroad. “Our commercialization plan is ready and once our solution has been embraced by the Dutch market, we will look to other countries with similar healthcare systems, such as Denmark, Germany, France, and the UK,” Veerle says. The platform is even available in multiple languages so when the time comes, it wouldn’t take long to roll it out. 

Of course, having progressed so quickly hasn’t been without the help of experts and fellow entrepreneurs from the YES!Delft community. Having been through a number of YES!Delft’s programs, including AI/Blockchain Validation Lab, the Accelerator, and the SocialTech program, the team of Flux has learned a lot about what it’s like to run an innovative business. 

“Perhaps the most important learning was to never stop validating,” Maja says. “We’ve learned to keep an open mind, accept new ideas and talk to our customers on a regular basis.” 

It has surely been an exciting journey for Maja, Veerle, and the rest of the team so far, and by the sound of their ambitious plans, they have plenty more to look forward to in the future.



Venturi Aviation: Building the future of electric commercial air travel

The energy transition is upon us and while it may still be in its early days, it is bound to happen. For Jan-Willem Heinen, that’s a no-brainer. And as an industrial engineer and entrepreneur, he is determined to leave his positive mark on the environment.  

With several entrepreneurial endeavors already behind him, Jan-Willem has been working on sustainable solutions for years now, yet it is perhaps the latest venture, co-founded with fellow entrepreneur and former aviation engineer Joost Dieben, that is set to make some real big impact. Together, they co-founded Venturi Aviation – with the ambitious goal to create the first electric commuter plane. 

And to avoid keeping their audience in the dark for too long, earlier this month they announced their plans and the concept of their first aircraft: Echelon 01. Last Thursday, they finally unveiled their all-electric, 44-passenger aircraft.

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An electric commuter aircraft – now more tangible than ever

The reveal of the Echelon One concept was a moment Jan-Willem, Joost and industry stakeholders had been looking forward to for some time. While small electric aircraft have been in development over the past years, none of them were actual passenger planes. The move of Venturi is a step forward not only in helping decarbonize aviation but also in setting a new technological standard in the industry.

Surely, this is not an overnight project, so Venturi aims to complete its first aircraft by 2029. “Our aircraft will drive the 100% sustainable transformation of today’s regional air travel industry. In its wake, Echelon 01 will also significantly reduce flight operating cost, maintenance cost and noise pollution,” Jan-Willem says. 

As Jan Willem grew up in an entrepreneurial family – his father founded his own company aimed at commercializing and integrating e-mobility solutions, it was only a matter of time for Jan-Willem and his co-fonder to embrace sustainability and create something of his own. 

After graduating from the TU Eindhoven in Industrial Design (BSc) and Innovation Management (MSc), he founded ViriCiti – a company that developed a monitoring system for fully electric buses. It became a European leader in its market and was eventually acquired by American electric vehicle infrastructure company ChargePoint.

Alongside this first venture, he founded a second one, too. Maxem, initially a SaaS energy management system, later made a pivot to a hardware and cloud solutions company that enables customers to install e-mobility and sustainable energy at scale. It was around that time that Joost joined the team and the two got to planning even bigger and better things. 

I felt like with Maxem I also had only limited success and I wanted to have more impact. And what makes more impact than creating an electric aircraft,” Jan-Willem says. With Joost’s background in aviation engineering, it didn’t take long for them to lay the foundation of Venturi Aviation.  

Embarking on a long and capital-intensive journey 

Designing and developing a new type of aircraft, especially based on some of the latest technology out there, is inspiring but it cannot possibly come without its fair share of challenges. 

“With Venturi, our initial plan was to create a commuter plane that could transport 50 people and have a range of 1,000km,” Jan-Willem says. “That was the estimate we made in August 2020.” Yet, because they are in the early stages of a long-term project, the two co-founders knew they needed to make very accurate estimates. 

“Batteries are heavy, but the aircraft needs to be light. We soon realized that the range of 1000km was impossible to make even with the technology of the near future, so we started to cut it down.” 

In the midst of this, Jan-Willem and Joost got in touch with Dutch Airliners and the input they gathered set them on the path they are now. With the expectation being that the number of people travelling by air will grow in the future, airliners main requirement for such a future aircraft was to hold the highest possible number of passengers.  

“A shorter flight range was not a concern for them,” Jan-Willem says, “as the batteries for a frequently operating electric aircraft would need to be replaced every 1.5-2 years, and the technology will be gradually improving in the meantime. The range will come.”

At the moment, the Echelon 01 is being designed to transport 44 people at a distance of up to 550km.

Running such a long-term business sure requires a strong vision. For the team, this translates to: Electrifying aviation and decreasing the industry’s burden on the environment. 

Of course, “it also requires planning, patience, cash and a great team,” as Jan-Willem puts it. It is a capital-intensive endeavor, and it also needs the right people backing it. “Our main challenge is getting people to believe this is possible.”

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To date, Jan-Willem and Joost have put a lot of their own finances to get the project going and they were later joined by several angel investors. At the start of 2022, they aim to close an investment round of 3.75 million euros that will allow them to move on to the next stage of the development: conceptual design. With that, they will also look to expand – and possibly double – their team. 

“Delivering an electric aircraft is hard,” Jan-Willem says, “but we are driven by the goal that we will make a polluting industry so much better.”


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