Tag: validation lab

Anything Connected: lowering the barrier for measuring nitrogen

Nitrogen (Stikstof) is a pressing concern in the Netherlands, drawing significant attention in the media. The extensive industrial activities of Dutch companies contribute to high nitrogen emissions, damaging biodiversity and ecosystems. Therefore, measuring nitrogen to assess its impact accurately and implementing effective mitigation strategies for sustainable environmental management is crucial. Together with their partner TiQiT, Anything Connected has found a way to lower the barrier for measuring nitrogen emissions with its innovative sensor.

Easy data-gathering in the construction industry

Co-founders Frederik Westerouen van Meeteren, Jochem Janssen, and Pieter Ernst developed a sensor that can stick to the outside of machines to gather asset data of construction equipment for maintenance. However, many companies don’t have the time to inspect each machine physically. That is why Anything Connected originally only provided datasets about the performance status of machinery collected by the sensors. Next, in-house data analysts use that data for better overall equipment efficiency. Together with TiQiT, they  have now identified another application for their sensor: the efficient measurement of nitrogen.

In the construction industry in the Netherlands, it will soon become mandatory to keep track of nitrogen emissions. In a few cases, a nitrogen measurement can be done by a consultant However, this is expensive and costs a lot of time. Instead, the Anything Connected sensor is simply glued on the outside of the machines without the need to replace or modify existing equipment. Data can be viewed on platforms such as provided by TiQiT.

“We are now delivering the first sets of sensors to customers wanting to measure their nitrogen emissions. The current stock is already completely sold out, which is very cool. I’m looking forward to the first results.” – Frederik Westerouen van Meeteren, co-founder and Managing Director of Anything Connected.

The mindset of an entrepreneur

When Frederik and Pieter started six years ago, they followed the YES!Delft validation lab and Accelerator program. The programs helped to develop their product, business cases, and propositions. It is also where they learned the much-needed startup mindset when things don’t go as planned, and a business encounters hardships.

“I’m a huge fan of the YES!Delft incubator, and I knew I wanted to follow their programs when I started Anything Connected. For me, it was like an MBA. I learned everything I now know about business. Also, I’m very grateful for the network of other entrepreneurs, customers, partners, and companies they linked us to.” – Frederik Westerouen van Meeteren, co-founder and Managing Director of anyThing Connected.

Like many companies, Anything Connected has had many ups and downs. For instance, back in 2020, they needed to physically be present to install the sensor to collect data. Because of that, Covid-19 had a profound impact on the business. When it became clear that a lockdown was imminent, they decided to close up until further notice, reducing the burn rate to just a couple of hundred euros per month. It was a good example of a setback that turned out to enable the startup to survive.

Then, when they finally started again, they put their money and energy into a vast potential deal. Unfortunately, it fell through at the last minute because of an unexpected failed merger on the client company’s side. Another massive setback. At the same time, this made them take a step back and realize the opportunity, in measuring nitrogen emissions in the construction industry. 

A new path

At the end of February 2023, Anything Connected and TiQiT presented their nitrogen solution at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, Spain. They sold their current stock and are currently working on reliably running their customer support. Also, they are looking into gathering more insights about the needs of the construction industry and ordering their next batch of nitrogen sensors soon. Their innovative way of measuring nitrogen could be an excellent opportunity for many companies looking to gain insight into their emissions, so if you are interested, contact them!


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


Noria Sustainable Innovators: Combatting Plastic Pollution

Every year, tons of plastic waste find their way into waterways, posing a grave threat to aquatic life and ecosystems. Rivers are crucial conduits, transporting plastic from inland areas to the open sea. In this light, Noria Sustainable Innovators is a startup that develops methods and techniques to deal with plastic waste close to the source of pollution. They believe that by catching the plastic as early as possible, they stop plastic from ending up in the sea, thereby having less chance of harming animals, the environment, and our health.

A steady start

Co-founders Rinze de Vries and Arnoud van der Vaart met at their full-time job. They connected and had many conversations during the weekly Friday afternoon drinks. After a year, they asked their employer to work part-time, so they could attribute the other half of the week, their evenings and weekends, to validating their idea, with the help of the YES!Delft Validation program. During that period, they immediately found some customers, which soon enabled them to work full-time in their startup. 

“During my studies, I wanted to find an impactful job to improve the world. So when I met Rinze and his idea to clean domestic waterways, I deeply felt that this was a cause I fully wanted to commit to.” – Arnoud van der Vaart, co-founder of Noria Sustainable Innovators.

Monitoring and cleaning waterways

Noria Sustainable Innovators is an environmental service that helps clean water and nature from plastic. They work for the governmental institutions: Rijkswaterstaat, water authorities, municipalities, and provinces. Noria’s unique approach is to clean up the water as close to the source of the pollution as possible. They believe it is the most cost-effective and scalable way to remove plastic from the water. At the same time, they provide insight into where plastic enters the water and how it transports. Noria installs cameras, then uses AI to analyze that data, which gives great insight into the origin of the pollution. That is important because the problem can be dealt with quickly.

“We don’t think of other companies as competitors. Rather, the plastic in the water is our competitor. It’s quite an idealistic aspiration, and we all have the same goal. However, Noria has a unique approach we believe is most effective.”  – Arnoud van der Vaart, co-founder of Noria Sustainable Innovators.

Business operations and future steps

During the validation lab, co-founders Rinze and Arnoud learned to focus on the problem first to determine how to optimize their solution. They did so by speaking to many potential customers so that they could come up with the needed techniques. After the validation lab, co-founders Rinze and Arnoud continued with the Accelerator program, where they learned how to lead a business. They also had an office in the YES!Delft building for 1,5 years, which was valuable for their network and business.

Because Noria Sustainable Innovators found customers quite early in their journey, thanks to the outcome of the YES!Delft Validation lab, they started without any financing. However, though their complete solution is affordable, they use hardware to monitor the waterways. That means an initial investment is needed to get started. So, to provide the hardware, they got funded by the Water Innovation Fund. So, to provide the hardware, they got funded by the Water Innovation Fund, which is a fund that Hoogheemraadschap Hollands Noorderkwartier finances.

Noria Sustainable Innovators is ready to scale up. They have six proven techniques in both monitoring and removal of plastic litter. In the Netherlands, they aim to monitor the entire Wadden coast and then want to expand to the Danish and German Wadden shores. They are also working on two big European projects as one of the partners, where they can use their monitoring techniques. Meanwhile, they are exploring opportunities to expand to more countries. In conclusion, Noria Sustainable Innovators takes steps daily to clean up our waterways and improve the world for humans and animals.


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


UbiOps: Platform for AI and ML models

Many scientists are great at writing code for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) models, even though it’s not easy. However, another big challenge is to create a custom application to run those models in the cloud. Usually, this takes much time to build. To make this easier, UbiOps offers data scientists and engineers a platform that helps them run, manage and scale their models, saving them the trouble of building and maintaining such infrastructure themselves.

The road to UbiOps

Yannick Maltha met Victor Pereboom during his chairman year at YES!Delft students. They became friends and often talked about entrepreneurship. Then, seven years ago, helping BAM with some important data challenges, they decided to take the leap and start their first business: Dutch Analytics. One year later, Jorick Naber also joined as co-founder. Over the years, their activities evolved from helping customers build AI and ML models to a platform to deploy those models efficiently. That is why they began to turn Dutch Analytics into UbiOps three years ago.

“ When building AI and ML models for customers such as Prorail, Siemens, BAM, and FrieslandCampina, we learned many things about the requirements for turning models into scalable cloud applications. With this experience, we started building the UbiOps platform.” – Yannick Maltha, co-founder and CEO of UbiOps.

Making a difference

The target market of UbiOps consists of companies that want to productize their data science: building digital products from code and scaling them. The users of their platform are usually data scientists or engineers. They can use UbiOps to manage their code in the cloud without building a custom environment, and the platform also allows running multiple models simultaneously.

UbiOps offers its platform to multinationals as well as startups. Their services provide special discounts for early-stage and later-stage startups to support them in applying innovative ideas and scaling up faster. They do so because UbiOps believes in helping startups to spread their innovative ideas. They help both early-stage and later-stage startups. For example, they work with DuckDuckGoose, which specializes in deep fake detection.

“We have a customer creating AI models for creating more effective immunotherapy to treat cancer. They use UbiOps to run their models. It is rewarding to see customers with these kinds of products advance using our platform.” – Yannick Maltha, co-founder and CEO of UbiOps.


The Journey of UbiOps

UbiOps followed the validation program of YES!Delft. They significantly benefit from the network they have gained through the incubator. There are startups within YES!Delft using UbiOps, which has helped to validate the product. So far, they have been funded by BAM, the Rabobank, and Global Founders Capital.

Currently, they are in the scaleup phase. The platform is mature, helps dozens of customers, and has over a thousand users. They are active in multiple countries, with employees in the UK and USA. The aim is to expand the team, and they work together with YES!Talents to recruit new employees.  

One of the critical keys is to scale while keeping in mind data privacy. Many European customers using UbiOps are building fundamental AI and have strict regulations concerning storing their data in the cloud. The other important factor is sustainability: the calculation power of the GPUs used generates CO2 waste and heat. UbiOps is already working with parties to ensure residual heat is used as district heating. 

In the upcoming year, UbiOps wants to scale using partners in the ecosystem, both with consultants and cloud providers. To grow, they want to expand their marketing and sales internationally. For example, they are at the World AI Summit in Montréal, Canada, in April 2023. In short, they are ready to tell the world about their platform and UbiOps, so they can help accelerate AI and ML technology.


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


Nurtio: technology to monitor your office plants on a large scale

Don’t you love it when you walk into your office and are greeted by plants, providing you with a healthy work environment throughout the day? Well, don’t take them for granted. Behind those plants is the interior landscaping industry, which involves designing, installing, and maintaining indoor plants and gardens for commercial and residential settings. Maintaining these environments can be very costly.

Iryna van der Meij and Marco Zijlstra founded Nurtio to help monitor and maintain indoor plants in commercial real estate using advanced technology. It helps avoid long-term problems and is cost-effective because gardeners can work more efficiently.

Building a High-Tech Solution

In 2016, Iryna van der Meij relocated from Kyiv, Ukraine, to the Netherlands to participate in an international MBA program. Nine years before, in 2007, she had started her own company in her home country: a landscaping and gardening service for corporate customers. Now, she remains a non-executive director at that company and is currently focused on building Nurtio Technologies as a co-founder and CEO. This company was born as a solution to the pains she experienced in her first company: mainly the inefficiencies in maintaining interior landscapes, especially for real estate. Therefore, she aimed to create a high-tech solution for the interior landscaping industry and streamline the processes to become a category-defining enterprise in the connected plantscaping industry, including outdoor landscaping, cityscaping, and horticulture.

Nurtio is also the first company to build a centralized data pool to see how plants are maintained indoors on a large scale. As a result, Nurtio already sees dependencies between light, temperature, ambient climate, season, and the plant’s life cycle, which allows the company to build accurate predictive models of plants’ future behavior.

“The idea of this company was born from the pains I experienced in my first business. There are many inefficiencies in processes in the landscaping service industry. For example, plant technicians don’t see plants every day. Sometimes they even have to use their fingers to test the soil’s moisture, and it’s easy to miss long-term problems such as a plant not getting enough sunlight. As a result, maintaining many plants on various sites costs time and money that could be used otherwise. Regardless, it’s the 21st century, so things shouldn’t be so outdated.” – Iryna van der Meij, CEO and co-founder at Nurtio.

Target Audience

Nurtio works mainly in the B2B industry. Their primary target audience is professional plant service companies that maintain plants in the office, hospitality, or real estate environments. They take care of hundreds of thousands of plants daily. Therefore, the scale of operation is very different from the existing consumer solutions. A solid business case exists for those companies: using Nurtio’s technology saves money and enables growth. The primary focus of Nurtio is on the interior landscaping markets in the USA, the United Kingdom, and the Nordics.

“I just came back from a big event in the USA. I see a huge market opportunity worldwide. But first, you need to understand the market, as it has a complex composition and supply chain. But this is where our strength in Nurtio lies: we come from the B2B plantscaping industry. So we can confidently say we know it inside out” – Iryna van der Meij, CEO and co-founder at Nurtio.

Entrepreneurial Journey

Back in 2018, Nurtio joined the validation program of YES!Delft and learned how to do market validation. Afterward, they immediately proceeded to the Accelerate program. Thanks to YES!Delft, Nurtio had a solid base to create a minimal viable product. Currently, four people are working at Nurtio: the co-founders, a senior software engineer, and a project manager for marketing.

So far, Nurtio has been funded mainly through governmental grants. In January 2023, Nurtio closed its first institutional funding from Shamrock Ventures, a Dutch early-stage impact venture capital fund. They primarily fund early-stage companies that positively impact society and the environment. It is an excellent opportunity for Nurtio to test several new product ideas and improve its portfolio.

“We have an experimental mindset at Nurtio. We experiment with the sensors at our homes, too. We do dozens of small daily experiments; if something fails or underperforms, we have the mindset and capability to change direction fast.” – Iryna van der Meij, CEO and co-founder at Nurtio.

Making significant impact

Nurtio is preparing to raise more capital, and the funding round remains open. They are quite meticulous about finding other partners that are an excellent match to accelerate their growth. Nurtio looks to build its presence in the USA for the upcoming year. There are also big plans on the technical side, such as developing new software features and releasing a new version of hardware for the new market segments. They will take every opportunity to make an even more significant impact.


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


Oasys Now: dealing with your DNA data ethically

Have you ever wondered what happens with your information once it’s processed within a database? Nowadays, every online activity on the internet is valuable both in terms of time and money. Your data is collected, processed, and sold on a daily basis by a variety of companies, websites, and analysis firms.

Every piece of information that we produce is important and says something about us. One of the most important data is our DNA, since it contains the instructions that our body requires to grow, develop, and reproduce. The question is: how can we protect our genomic data (DNA)?

Oasys Now is a start-up that protects your DNA data, founded in 2018 by Nima Salami, Soroosh Torabi, and later joined by  Sara Okhuijsen and Viktor Koppenol. In short, Oasys Now provides a secure storage and computation platform for DNA testing companies & research institutes. Once the data is safely stored, the ownership of this data is given back to the individuals, they can now decide whether they would like to share their data for research purposes in exchange for rewards.

The idea started with a personal story:

Around 12 years ago, Nima – originally from Iran, left the country together with his parents. They moved from country to country before arriving in The Netherlands. Every time they had to travel, what they couldn’t take with them was their medical records. Especially for his mom, this was very important since she had several diseases including asthma. Whenever they would arrive in a new country she would have to be diagnosed over and over again before getting the required medical prescriptions. Nima then realized that the waiting procedure could be deadly for some people, so he wanted to come up with a solution.

“I believe that we have reached a point of advancement in technology where we can practically provide ownership of data to every individual, this is not only the right thing to do with regards to control and transparency but also stimulates scientific repurposing of data.”- Nima Salami, CEO and Co-founder at Oasys Now 

After 2 years, Oasys Now joined the validation program of YES!Delft after they had learnt that the market in which they would like to operate is not easy to enter, especially as a start-up. That’s when they made a pivot to the new idea which has the same mission and vision: bringing technology to the healthcare field and making individuals the owners of their health data; the only difference is that now they focus on genomic data (DNA data) rather than general medical records. Oasys Now started working on validating its new pivot with the help of YES!Delft.

“Genomic data is a defining pivot from general health data, since it is the most interesting data from our point of view. It presents many challenges, which we are excited to solve and see as opportunities.” – Sara Okhuijsen, CSO and Co-founder at Oasys Now

Target market

Oasys Now is a secure data-sharing platform with three main stakeholder groups. The first group is the individuals (citizens, patients) who had their DNA tested, the company /institute who holds their data is the second group, and the third group is the company/ institute who uses this data for (scientific) insights.

The people interested in the data are researchers, which Oasys Now calls the data consumers. They use the data to conduct large research or case studies in the field of healthcare. Therefore, since there is demand, Oasys Now wants to be the enabler for these transactions to happen ethically. On their platform, the individuals are the decision-makers on what happens to their data.

The individuals are eventually at the core of what they are doing from an ethical perspective, but it’s the data consumers that are the major source of income for Oasys Now. They want to serve the individuals, not monetize from them.

Stage in which Oasys Now is at the moment

Oasys Now is in the product development phase whereby they are piloting their solutions with several customers to make sure that everything is set down correctly since they work with sensitive data. The market in which they operate is relatively new and in some ways, they are at a level of ‘market creation’. There are several parties and organizations in this field, and the goal of Oasys Now is to bring them under the same umbrella and help them work seamlessly together enabled by their platform.

How has YES!Delft helped Oasys Now along the way?

Oasys Now validated the idea with YES!Delft after their pivot. Nima attended many events and programs at YES!Delft through which he learned a lot about entrepreneurship. At the moment their office is located at YES!Delft Rotterdam. The association with the Rotterdam office made sense since it focuses on Social and ClimateTech.

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


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