Tag: startup

Kitepower: leaving the world a better place

In 2016, a young and motivated engineer, Johannes Peschel, together with his university professor and mentor, Roland Schmehl, founded Kitepower. Kitepower is a pioneering start-up in Airborne Wind Energy (AWE) that generates innovative and cost-effective alternatives to traditional wind turbines. 

It is well-known that wind energy has several advantages, being one of the world’s fastest-growing energy sources. Yet, it comes with different challenges. One of them has been overcome by Kitepower, who developed a product that is remote and does not need good land-based wind sites. Kitepower Falcon uses a ground station, a kite to produce electricity and a robot that flies with the kite and controls it.

What is the story behind Kitepower?

Before the company’s launch, Johannes was a full-time computer science student passionate about kite landboarding. One day during that period, in the centre of Berlin, one unfortunate story turned out to be an amazing business idea that could impact others positively. Johannes broke his arm practising kite landboarding. Some would think, ‘how can you get a business idea by breaking your arm?’. Well, Johannes decided to think further than what seemed to be a very painful event. 

“When I broke my arm landboarding, I experienced the power of the wind: it can blow you up but also drop you down quickly. After that, I said to myself, ‘maybe we can do something better with that energy’.”- Johannes Peschel

After this event, Johannes researched the topic and found out that TU Delft was already working on it. Before he knew it, he moved to The Netherlands and embarked on a journey to make this idea happen. Kitepower started by providing renewable solutions for temporary power to the end-users of the electricity in remote places.

One of the company’s biggest accomplishments is their recent Aruba project that took place in the context of a military exercise with the Dutch Ministry of Defence. Kitepower, as a partner, aimed to develop and test an innovative energy system to support its decarbonisation efforts. When this became a reality, Johannes was thrilled.

“When we first started the company, I had to arrange a photoshopped image of a kite flying on an island, and now that is irrevocably the reality!”- Johannes, in an interview with Green Tech Alliance

Kitepower built credibility by proving that its technology works. That’s how from a start-up, the company became a scale-up. At this stage, when looking at the competition, Kitepower is proud that it managed to surpass companies that are in the business for 13 years, simply because they have a “very simple and easy product”. 

“There are companies that have more funds available and could be that they are more technically developed due to these resources; however, we were the first ones deploying the system on an island, imagine where we could be if we had more financial resources.”- Johannes

So far, Kitepower has achieved its goals through motivation and hard work. However, things would not have happened without financial support. They have been funded via grants (e.g., fast track innovation, European funds), investors, launching customers, and now impact funds. From the European Union, they have received amazing feedback for executing the project with excellence. 

How has YES!Delft helped along the way?

Kitepower profited from training on how to make a company successful, getting the help of experts in different fields, a wide network, and of course, help with funding from YES!Funded. Another important factor was the credibility from the public that came by being associated with YES!Delft.

“YES!Delft came in handy because they had experts for everything, and whenever we would have a problem, we would call and get assistance.”- Johannes

As for the future, Kitepower aims to get people involved in the crowdfunding campaign and then use the resources to make its products available for everyone through festivals and events. They want to show people that their technology works and is safe and reliable with a positive, sustainable impact. If you are interested in joining the crowdfunding campaign, you can find more information here.

“Our vision was always to do this for the people and have them profiting from it.”- Johannes

One thing is for sure: when you have a vision and when you put in the hard work, things do become reality. Believing in your dream and taking action will bring you the right results. For now, Johannes worked on another dream where he “photoshopped the picture of Aruba with more and bigger kites above it”.

Your dream can become reality too. As long as you want to make a change, don’t miss the opportunity to boost your startup by joining the YES!Delft Validation Lab or Accelerator Program. However, if working for a startup resonates more with your ambition, we got you! Check out the vacancies on our YES!Talents page!

2020 success

2020, a year of success

If you’re writing your year-end recap and your first chapter is about a global pandemic, then you may not have had a great year.

Then you remember that it is the hardest years that impose the greatest challenges. And 2020 was definitely one of them. In fact, despite the pandemic challenges, we all have worked very hard this year. 

Discover with us some of the greatest successes and the biggest results of our ecosystem.

DeNoize, UV Smart and PATS Indoor Drone Solutions won the Blue Tulip Awards

The Blue Tulip Awards aims to connect innovators, build powerful collaborations, and accelerate breakthrough innovation. After a three-month journey, the Blue Tulip Awards is awarded to the winning innovations, among those were three of our startups!

In addition, DeNoize also won the Academic Startup Competition, and the James Dyson Award 2020 with Ammos, their brand new home audio system that produces music through a sheet of glass.

Circularise raised €1.5 million in funding, won Get in the Ring Impact Competition, and joined the European Impact Competition at ImpactFest

With the global live stream that saw Dutch impact YES!Delft The Hague based startup Circularise walk away as one of the winners, Get in the Ring’s startup pitch battle show returned home to the Netherlands. The competition aimed at testing, proving and scaling promising Dutch impact startups internationally.

Envision officially launched their glasses

Now shipping worldwide, Envision Glasses are the most advanced AI-powered assistive glasses ever made for the blind and visually impaired. Envision empowers visually impaired people to become more independent by speaking out the visual world around them. Get to know more about the impact of their glasses in their introduction video.

VideowindoW has landed at Rotterdam-The Hague Airport

VideowindoW is part of the Display Revolution, merging tintable glass with modern transparent video displays. Currently building videofaçades of hundreds square meters which combine glare control and media platform functionalities. The company has inked a deal to give Rotterdam The Hague Airport an artistic and high-tech upgrade in an unusual area: the windows. More specifically, the airport has agreed to test and validate the start-up’s system for glare control in its terminal.

T-Minus launched the first commercial rocket from Australian soil

The 34kg, 3.4-metre-long DART rocket was launched from the Koonibba Rocket Range and carried a payload for the Royal Australian Air Force.

For this project the startup joined forces with Australian Defence and Australian companies Southern Launch and DEWC Systems.

2020 success

Bi/ond secured €1.4 Million from Eurostars and €250,000 from UNIIQ

Founded in 2017, Bi/ond has developed a computer chip and platform where biologists can place an individual’s cells. The microchip nourishes, stimulates and monitors the cells as though they were in the body. Bi/ond’s patented organ-on-chip technology allows treatment to be optimised for different applications, including heart, lung, brain and cancer tissues.

Together with Momo Medical, UV Smart, Praxa Sense, Medvice and Voyc, Bi/ond was also among the 200 Dutch Tech Heroes, a list by Techleap.nl.

Loop joined the ecosystem and had their first international shipping

Loop presented the world’s first living coffin made from mycelium. They aim to use living materials that enrich nature, instead of polluting the environment with dead materials. Things went super fast for them: they had their first international shipping!

 

Breeze organised more than 1.000 dates, launched in The Hague and closed their first funding round

The dating app that takes online dating offline again organised already more than 1.000 dates. Further, because of their growing number of users Breeze expanded their service, which means that since November it is also possible to plan your date in The Hague! And to top off their successes, the startups who only joined our ecosystem this year, already secured a €140.000 investment round. 

Gradyent obtained a €1.9 million funding

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

Aquablu turned canal water into drinking water

Aquablu wants to show that by purifying water, the best water is local water: without CO2 emissions from transport, plastic bottles and other waste that contributes to the plastic soup. To make people more aware, they went to Amsterdam to turn canal water into clean and safe drinking water. Then, in August The CleanTech startup donated the proceeds of the Canals Water campaign to the Plastic Whale Foundation, an organization that fights for plastic-free waters worldwide, just like Aquablu.

Before we wrap up this article, we would also like to thank our startups who worked hard to fight the COVID-19 virus. VFA Solutions, UV Smart, Innovattic, Delmic, and Somnox, you did an amazing job! Read more about their contribution in our article about the YES!Delft startups solving the crisis.

We know we missed tons of successes of our ecosystem, so if you aren’t tired of celebrating 2020 with us, keep on reading all of them here.

For now, Happy Holidays from the entire YES!Delft team.
Stay safe, and get ready for next year!

 

 

Flux Medical Systems

Flux Medical Systems

Flux is a Health Management System that optimizes the workflow of medical professionals so that they can do what they do best: provide excellent patient care.

SLAM Orthopedic

SLAM Orthopedic

SLAM Orthopedic is developing a technology for orthopedic surgery, specifically fracture care using metal screws and plates. Our goal is to help surgeons operate more effectively and efficiently. To do this we have created a sensor that gathers data during drilling and shows the required screw length immediately. This eliminates the need for manual measurement of the bore depth which is imprecise and error-prone, improving the lives of the surgeons and the patients.

Prognoix

Prognoix

1 in 5 men worldwide suffers from erectile dysfunction (ED). Using a home-based digital MedTech solution, Prognoix provides reliable ED analysis that improves clinical outcomes for ED treatment.

Loop

Loop

We are a group of entrepreneurs, designers, and scientists who see things differently. We are a new generation that does not want to leave a scar on this earth but wants to enrich our planet.

We are Loop and we are here to restore nature by bringing human nutrients back into the cycle-of-life with the world’s first living coffin, that does not pollute the soil but feed the earth. From graveyard to forest.

 

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.

virtual reality VR

SenseGlove: The hand that lets you feel Virtual Reality

Technology is changing jobs faster than ever. Assembly training becomes an important aspect of many companies, but it is expensive and time consuming. However, there might be a solution that can solve those problems, virtual reality (VR).

VR combines the sense of hearing and seeing and gives the illusion of diving into every possible scenario. Yet, there is one missing aspect, not being able to feel what the eye sees. SenseGlove is solving that problem by bringing the sensing aspect into VR.

FROM A SIMPLE IDEA

It all started with a graduation project. Johannes Luijten was towards the end of his Master’s in Industrial Design at the TU Delft when he took on the task to create a robot that would help people recover after a stroke.

 “He created a big robot, a big exoskeleton that was capable of doing all the natural motions in the arm,” says Gijs den Butter, co-founder of SenseGlove. “From a technology point of view, it was a very interesting finding. The challenge was to translate the design into a feasible business.” This was the point when Gijs came onboard.

 The technology that Johannes had developed was innovative, yet too expensive to fit into a sole business case. A more realistic solution was, thus, to take just one element of the whole robot – in this case the hand – and develop it further.

Originally, Johannes and Gijs made it their goal to develop a glove specifically for people with hand and wrist problems to help them guide through physical therapy. 

THROUGH YES!DELFT

The two co-founders realised that they have an interesting idea with business potential  but getting the certification and hitting the market would take a long time. 

In 2015, they joined the YES!Delft Validation Lab to help them tackle that challenge and soon after, decided to broaden their scope. The team saw that there is a potential need in the VR market, but the change in business models meant that they had to completely redesign the glove.  

“The great thing about YES!Delft is that you have a lot of common-minded people around you,” Gijs says. “Being part of such a community makes it possible to exchange experiences and knowledge with fellow entrepreneurs.” 

TO A GROWING COMPANY

Getting to know their market better, Johannes and Gijs made another decision and this time to shift their focus completely away from medical tech to becoming a VR company.  

The change of business model was also partly due to the interest of car manufacturer Volkswagen (VW) shown in SenseGlove. In 2016, they built their first demonstrator and presented it at the CEBIT conference a year later. That was where VW saw their glove and was interested in using it for their assembling training.

They shipped their first development kits less than two years after the company was founded. Their haptic glove combines force feedback to feel restriction, as well as tactical feedback to feel the texture of an object. This combination enables the users to react similarly as in real life.

“Hand presence in VR is one of the most immersive things. At the moment I grasp this bottle in a virtual environment, I feel resistance with the resistance I feel the density and the size of an object. It feels like I’m actually holding it,” Gijs adds.

In the beginning of 2018, the team wanted to make their first batch of SenseGloves. That was when investor and now Operation Manager Niels Bogert joined the team. Currently, SenseGlove is a team of nine full-time employees, two of whom are the original co-founders. 

For the future, they are working on a wireless version that is less bulky, smaller and easy to clean. The Exo Skeleton can already be purchased as a developer kit. Up until now, SenseGlove sold around 100 kits including clients like Google DeepMind, VW, Scania, Fraunhofer and Airbus.

Milestones

November 2014 – Winners of YES!Delft’s Validation Lab  program

April 2015 – STW grand; – Joined YES!Delft’s Incubation Program

 September 2016 – Secured funding from Unique

 End of 2016 – Change of business model   

 September 2017 – Demonstration at CEBIT

 Beginning of 2018 – Investment from Angel investor and COO

 November 2019 – Funding from Forward.one and Value Creation Capital

Startups

YES!Funded announces its new Director

Following the need from startups for support in their funding journey, we launched YES!Funded a year ago. YES!Funded is a three pillar proposition service, where we help startups become investor ready, introduce them to relevant investors, and if desired we also provide support with actual funding rounds, both in the form of deal making and grants writing. Our service is unique because we provide support to startups in every stage of their funding lifecycle and we can act based on the specific needs of these startups. 

THE FIRST YEAR

When we started YES!Funded, it was all about solving acute funding problems, building trust from scratch with no track record and infrastructure. Because we realized a lack of knowledge on funding issues, we piloted an Investor Readiness Program. In parallel, we built an extensive investors network and sought collaboration with informal investor circles, platforms and banks, in order to organise quick access to a large investor base. We entered into contracts with several startups, succeeding in closing one equity deal, and executing numerous grants applications together with our partner StasburgReeve. 

Now that we know that there is a large need for support in this area, we are going to further build and scale our proposition. To make this possible, YES!Delft asked Bianca Boelema-Noordhuizen to join YES!Funded as the Director. With her experience in M&A (at Philips), venture capital and angel investments, Bianca has in-depth knowledge of the entire startup investment process. Therefore, this new role and task to take YES!Funded to the following stage fits her perfectly. 

THE NEW ROLES

Bianca will be responsible for managing the YES!Funded service from an operational and strategic point of view, and will focus on developing and building the proposition to a national proposition. This includes building a strong team, implementing the Investor Readiness Program, attracting potential partners, establishing an active network of investors and providing startup access to this network.  

Jan Geert is responsible for the investment advice to the startup community, the deal flow and execution of private investment tracks, and together with StrasburgReeve for the grant application flow. With his throughout experience in the tech-startup and investments world, he can advise startups on anything from business planning and finance to startup funding, investor focus, grants, deal structure and governance.

Carola has been part of YES!Funded from the start and played an important role in piloting the Investor Readiness Program. In addition, she supports the startup and investor communities by bringing them together and building an investor network. She makes sure that investors have access to the right investment opportunities, matching their investment focus with startups needs.

Starting your own buisness

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.

 

Join the AI/Blockchain Validation Lab!

 

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 UAV

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. 

 

Starting your own business can be difficult? 

Join YES!Funded

 

10 CES 2020

Las Vegas, our startups are coming! Nowi, Circularise, Sense Glove, Envision, Odd.Bot and Project.BB are 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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