Tag: startup

Starting your own business

TOP 10 TECH STARTUP SUCCESS STORIES: NOVEMBER

Starting your own business can be difficult, yet YES!Delft startups are celebrating successes by securing investments and funds, developing new technology, as well as winning awards. Furthermore, four YES!Delft startups are flying to Las Vegas and attending the biggest tech fair in the world. Read on and find out all about it in this month’s top 10 tech startup success stories!
1 Circularise

The Validation Lab Accelerator and resident in our Digital Hub in The Hague is the only Dutch company that is a finalist in the BASF and Greentown Labs Circularity challenge. Only five teams are selected to move into the finals out of almost 100 that applied.

 

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2 Hardt Hyperloop 

They are on an upward trajectory! The ComplexTech startup received a multi-million Euro investment by the Dutch clean energy conglomerate Koolen Industries. They are developing a sustainable high-speed zero-emission transportation system. Yes, you heard correctly, completely CO2 neutral!

3 Kitepower

This year, they got to beey are awarded asto be the Most Innovative Wind Energy Development Solutions Provider in Europe 2019! They received the award by Corporate Vision Magazine. Each nominee was carefully selected based ony their performance over the past 12 months. Industry partners, as well as an in-house jury, choseselected the winners.

4 Atmos UV

The aviation startup is collaborating with Global Flight GmbH, the biggest drone distributor in Europe. Together, they will be able to provide VTOL fixed-wing Marlyn drones to consumers in Germany and Austria and expand their customer base. 

 

5 SOLHO 

More great news from the Green Village, SOLHO has successfully installed its modular Thermal energy storage (TESMOD). This project is a collaboration with the Propulsion and Power group of the Aerospace faculty at TU Delft. In the upcoming months, they will assess its potential for a district heating application and its scalability. 

6 PATS

Their indoor drone solution will be featured at the 2022 Florida Expo organized by the Urban Green initiative. Their Utopian Island implements new sustainable solutions to make cities greener. Although the Expo will take place in two years, there are many events planned in the run-up to it. 

7 Somnox

They were selected to be the European Robotics startup of 2019! This received the award by Robot Union EU. Their sleeping robot is helping more and more people fall asleep and improve their health. Curious to read more about it? 

 

 

Envision 

The award ‘Dutch Startup of the Year’ goes to Envision! The winner was chosen by the audience and a selected jury at the Computable Awards in which they competed against 10 startups. Moreover, Envision could convince more than 20% of the audience to vote for their innovation.

 

9 ADI (Applied Drone Innovations) 

The robotics startup recieved funding of 250.000 Euro from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific research (NWO)! With this money, ADI is planning on accelerating their technology and growing its core team. The startup is helping farmers to monitor their crops with the goal of minimizing the spread of diseases. 

 

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10 CES 2020

Las Vegas, our startups are coming! Nowi, Circularise, Sense Glove, Envision, Odd.Bot and Project.BB is attending the CES 2020 in Las Vegas. The biggest and most prestigious technology fair in the world with over 180,000 attendees! Furthermore, Royal Highness Prince Constantijn van Oranje will travel with them. They were selected by TechLeap and can represent themselves from the 7th to the 10th of January 2020. Get to know the startups:

Nowi creates sensors that never runs out of power thereby it reduces the need for changing batteries and unwanted cables. 

Circularise solves communication problems within the value chain by using Blockchain to enable a circular economy.  

Sense Gloves’ innovation brings virtual objects to life so that the user can feel touch and interact with them. 

Envision developed a software that provides people with visual impairment to live more independently for instance by reading menu cards or providing assistance when using public transport. 

Project.BB  has built a stand-alone robot that can detect litter and clean the beach from unwanted trash.

Odd.Bot their robot Weed Whacker provides a higher yield with less manual labor and less use of herbicides.

 

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Warp VR YES!Delft success story

Warp VR: Learning by experience, with the help of virtual reality

For large organizations, carrying out safety and procedural trainings for their staff can often be time-consuming and costly. Just think of a fire drill: You need to plan for it, book a designated time slot and make sure that everyone has evacuated the premises according to the established evacuation plan. This is certainly a crucial training, but one that takes a lot of resources, too. 

Now, what if there was another way? Thijs de Vries and fellow co-founders, Adriaan Rijkens , Danny de Bruijn and Guido Helmerhorst, started Warp VR to help organizations create immersive training scenarios using Virtual Reality (VR). And with clients such as KLM, Tata Steel, ErsteBank and others, they seem to be on the right track.

FROM A SIMPLE IDEA

For Thijs, laying the foundation of Warp was a logical step in his professional career. While studying Industrial Design at the TU Delft, he became interested in the psychology of product design. “There’s a lot of psychology going into video games, for example,” he says. “People get hooked, playing for hours, and I was interested in why that happens.”

Gradually, he went on to advising companies on how to use gaming techniques to influence behavior – anything from increasing employee motivation to improving customer experience. After all, influencing behavior for the better has been, and still is, one of his main professional drivers. 

When Thijs, Adriaan, Danny and Guido met in early 2016, they immediately clicked and decided to join forces in the mission to advance learning by using VR. As the core team behind Warp, they create training scenarios for their customers, and by building those with the help of gaming techniques, achieve engaging and immersive experiences. 

Almost immediately after their launch, they signed Dutch airline KLM as their first customer, and that was exactly what they needed to kick-start their business. 

THROUGH YES!DELFT

For team Warp, gaming techniques is what makes experiences both realistic and memorable. “The way games work is by assuming people don’t know anything about the topic,” Thijs says. “They throw them into the deep but create a safe environment for them to learn and make mistakes. That’s how you learn best – by doing and by experiencing.”

Because the training scenarios are so immersive – think a VR-powered fire drill that doesn’t save you the loud blaring of the fire alarm – users are likely to remember the do’s and don’ts of a safety procedure rather quickly. After all, with VR, you are in the situation both physically and emotionally, and that is bound to leave long-lasting memories.

For the team, getting to where they are now hasn’t been without the help of YES!Delft and their team of experts. Warp joined the Incubation Program in February 2017 with the aim to grow their company and make their technology available on a larger scale. 

“YES!Delft has been a great source of a lot of new knowledge in a very short amount of time,” Thijs says. “The program itself has also given us credibility in the eyes of potential customers.”

TO A GROWING COMPANY 

Creating immersive training scenarios is what got the team of four started. Today, they operate a web-based platform where customers can drag and drop their own scenarios and with the help of 360˚ video, completely create their own training programs. What’s more, the platform provides the analytics behind the trainings, enabling companies to gain insights into how their employees – and their organization as a whole – are performing.

Warp has also partnered up with creative companies who can assist customers in creating highly-effective scenarios. “We call these partners Warp Experts and they can help customers with writing scenarios, but also with the media production,” Thijs says. 

Since their early days, the team has not stopped doing customer development. Today, they have several more clients in their portfolio, including CSU, Patyna, the Ministry of Security and Justice and the Dutch Fire Department. For the last of them, they have developed an app training people on what to do if their house is on fire – the app is available here (for iOS) and here (for Android).

“The use of Virtual Reality for training has gained a lot of traction over the last years. In these years, we have learned a lot from working with some of the biggest customers. We have been able to improve our product and we keep on improving going forward. Virtual Reality training is here to stay and we are confident to play a major part in it,” Thijs says.

Milestones

January 2016 – Company founded; – First client signed

September 2016 – Research by the Academic Medical Center (AMC) validated VR learning works better than e-learning

February 2017 – Admission into YES!Delft’s Incubation Program

November 2017 – First major deal, signed contract with KLM

May 2018 – Winner of the VR Rising Star Award

February 2019 – Winner Get in the Ring Award

March 2019 – Winner Learning Innovation Award

GETTING INVESTOR-READY AND BRIDGING THE VALLEY OF DEATH?

Getting investor-ready and bridging the Valley of Death? Jan Geert van Hall answers

Getting investment as a startup is such a challenge that there are specific hurdles, one of which is the Valley of Death. YES!Funded team from YES!Delft aims to demystify this challenge during the Rotterdam Capital Days with a dedicated event. During September 18th – 22nd, the three-day event aims to demystify the world of capital, boosting access to funding for startups and scaleups. Ultimately, with the goal of connecting entrepreneurs and investors. Anyone with an interest in how to attract and raise capital in the area of Rotterdam is invited. Mainly, there will be investors – angels, corporate venture, venture capital, impact, public, and more. YES!Delft service YES!Funded will host an event about the so-called Valley of Death in funding. 
What is the Valley of Death?

Jan Geert van Hall, the investment director at YES!Delft describes the Valley of Death as a European problem – the funding gap startups almost inevitably run into. This funding gap usually comes about around the time they have a well-working prototype and some paying pilot customers but need a financial boost to start production and activate sales. At this point, the startups are too advanced for government subsidies, and at the same time too early stage for VC’s. At least in Europe. During the YES!Delft dedicated event at Rotterdam Capital Days, Jan Geert and guests will share the experiences of YES!Funded about the Valley of Death and explore possible solutions to this problem.

Through the YES!Delft service YES!Funded startups can get help with financial lifecycle planning and securing the right funds. The initiative is lead by YES!Delft investment director Jan Geert van Hall, who employs his decades of experience in tech and finance to help tomorrow’s leading firms. Is your startup is looking for its first investment or your startup is further down the road? Here Jan Geert shares his top five tips that are essential to make and keep your startup investor-ready. Join YES!Funded at the Rotterdam Capital Days, and learn about bridging the Valley of Death.

1. Financial forecasting

“The ability to look ahead and anticipate for the future is a basic entrepreneurial financial skill. The lack of such a vision within a company is a definite red flag as it shows a lack of financial discipline.”

2. Top team

“This is a big one. First off, the chances of receiving investment are very low if you are a single founder. Ideally, you have a team of people with different disciplines. Secondly, there is a shared long term vision in the company. Especially the founders should be on the same page and have the same ultimate goals, whether that is an acquisition or scaling up.”

3. Intellectual property

“IP is another facet investors will look at, and for several reasons. First, to make sure you will be able to defend your product from infringement. But parallel to that, they want to understand what it is your product is capable of and the problems it claims to solve. Why is your product unique, and why hasn’t it been invented before?”

4. Checking important milestones

“Having a roadmap with milestones and a clear vision is essential. It shows your estimated worth at each milestone but also the amount of money you need to get there is invaluable when presenting yourself to investors. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it demonstrates you understand your product, your market and you have thought about de-risking your proposition.”  

5. Quantify the risks

In conclusion, everything comes down to this. When you look from the perspective of the investor, you want to be able to assess the risk of your investment. Sure, you can never completely eliminate risk, but startups who can at least show an understanding or can quantify the risks and milestones, have a stronger case for investors.” 

 

Make sure not to miss the event Bridging the Valley of Death during the Rotterdam Capital Days!

NOWI: A startup story about connecting the future

Twenty-three billion. About this many were the connected devices in the world in 2018, and this number is not here to stay: In less than a decade, it is expected to triple. That is a good 75 billion devices, connected and in need of constant supply of power.

The team of NOWI figured that using cables and changing batteries would soon become overwhelming – to say the least, so they created a solution – a small chip that enables Internet of Things devices to live forever. Instead of needing to continuously bring energy to connected devices in the form of cables and battery changes, NOWI’s technology enables companies to use the energy that is already available around the devices. This can be light, heat, movement or even radio waves.

The power of IoT technology

For co-founders Simon van der Jagt and Omar Link, the idea behind NOWI shaped up gradually while they studied Strategic Product Design at the TU Delft. The program gave them a kickstart: It taught them how to give meaning to technology and use it to solve problems. And so, Simon and Omar decided to apply their knowledge to the Internet of Things (IoT).

Today, technology is getting better, smaller and as energy efficient as ever before, so powering devices requires only a fraction of the energy that was needed decades ago. The question of how to harvest that power is one that Simon and Omar seem to have an answer to: by using the signals that are all around us.

“Energy is all around us. Even the light from lamps in an office, or the temperature difference between our skin and the air can generate enough power to sustain low-power devices. At the moment, frequencies [such as WiFi] are mostly used for communication, but they also send out power,” says Simon.

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Growing with the help of industry experts

After a bit over a year of founding their company in July 2015, Simon and Omar became part of Yes!Delft’s program. At the time, their team consisted of five people, including a professor from TU Delft. Since then, they have won several international innovation awards and completed an investment round. Most recently, the company has secured a 1-million-euro investment from RVO – The Netherlands Enterprise Agency.

“YES!Delft is one of the highest rated incubators in Europe, and especially when it comes to hardware startups. It is really about problem-solving. There’s [also] so much knowledge walking around here, and that has been very valuable to us,” says Simon.

Since August 2015, the company has developed their proof-of-principle to a product-ready chip that has recently been combined with Huawei’s NB-IoT chip at Mobile World Congress in Shanghai.

Finding the right partners to collaborate with

From a startup, NOWI has grown to be a high-tech company with several pilot projects and collaborations established with market-leading companies in smart city applications, smart wearables and NB-IoT sensors.

In the fields of smart wearables, NOWI has caught the attention of Swiss watch manufacturer MMT. The world’s first Plug&ForgetTM smart watch which never requires user-charging can be achieved when the NOWI Power Module is integrated in the MMT smartwatch module.

Recently, NOWI also announced its collaboration with Huawei to create the first energy autonomous NB-IoT solution.

Together with seven patents in energy harvesting, NOWI has won several international innovation awards including the Accenture Innovation Awards, the Semiconductor Innovation Award from Chinese Advanced Semiconductor Association (CASA) and the IoT Innovation World Cup 2019.

A story with the potential to get bigger and better has just only started.

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MILESTONES

  • July 2015: Company founded
  • March 2016: Demo and proof of concept
  • August 2016: Prototype ready
  • November 2016: Won the Accenture Innovation Award
  • May 2017: Won the Smart City Innovation Award
  • August 2017: Smart City Pilot project with DEWA – Dubai
  • October 2017: Smart Road Pilot project with BAM and T-Mobile
  • March 2018: Received €5m Venture Capital investment
  • October 2018: Collaboration with MMT to create the first hybrid smartwatch
  • November 2018: Semiconductor innovation award from Chinese Advanced Semiconductor Association (CASA)
  • January 2019: Raised €1 million from RVO – The Netherlands Enterprise Agency
  • February 2019: Won the 2019 IoT Innovation World Cup Series – Industrial Category.
  • March 2019: First hybrid smartwatch PMIC prototype
  • June 2019: Collaboration with Huawei to create an energy autonomous NB-IoT Solution

Keeping birds away from commercial exploitations

Birds flying high, it can be a real danger – and costly hassle – around airports or on oil platforms, for example. Well, it’s a new dawn in bird control. An animal and ‘hertz’ friendly solution, that makes birds and humans feel good. Bird Control Group has developed a laser that keeps birds away from commercial exploitations, saving major companies millions in damage each year.

FROM ONE SIMPLE IDEA

Founder Steinar Henskes is more entrepreneur than an academic. In 2010, after dropping out of university, he started selling ready-made laser technology. With an interest in lasers and technology, this smart golden boy started developing his own products. He experimented with one of his lasers in a field and noticed that birds flew away. After that, Steinar perfected the technology and took it to market: each year there is over 25 million euro worth of damage done by geese in the agricultural field.

Bird Control Group started selling handheld lasers to farmers.

Yet, Steinar has always had a wish for developing a technology that could serve the aviation industry. So he just wrote an e-mail to someone he thought was important at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, got himself a deal with one of the biggest airports in Europe, and perfected his technology once again.

THROUGH YES!DELFT

Steinar is not a bird watcher, nor is he an environmental activist. He wants to do something good for the world with his technology. So he applied to YES!Delft in 2013, because he wanted his company and small team of engineers to grow and serve more industries. The tech incubator was, according to Steinar, an obvious choice being a high-tech company serving the B2B market.

Without YES!Delft’s network, partners and reputation, Bird Control Group would not have the authority they do now within their market. But, “you are responsible for your own success”, Steinar underlines. At YES!Delft he felt challenged by the other startups – his peers – to just get his company to a higher altitude.

TO A GROWING COMPANY

Bird Control Group is now the market leader in developing and manufacturing automated laser bird repellents. There are conventional methods, but these are noisy, unfriendly to birds and only ‘treat the symptoms’. The challenge for Bird Control Group is to make companies aware of their alternatives. Their ambition is to solve more issues in bird control that could not be solved before.

And that’s also Steinar’s personal ambition as an entrepreneur.

Bird Control Group still resides happily in the YES!Delft building. Steinar describes their workplace as “somewhere where you can actually get some work done”; he likes the functionality of the YES! offices and space. It’s a melting pot of (cultural) backgrounds with English as a common language.

What’s more, Bird Control Group opened their North American office a few years ago. The company solves bird issues all over the world at farms, industrial warehouses, refineries, feedlots, airports, and many more applications.

 

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Milestones

  • July 2013 – laser installation at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
  • September 2014 – contract with Total E&P Nederland
  • November 2014 – the launch of Agrilaser Autonomic
  • December 2015 – adaption of a resolution by the Dutch Parliament to stimulate the use of Bird Control Group lasers
  • March 2016 – take-over of U.S. based distributor

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