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Investering voor LeQuest

Supplier of medical technology education LeQuest has received a € 7 mln. injection from new investors MedFinance and InnovationQuarter and the company’s existing financiers NextGen Ventures, Noaber Ventures and Philips Health Technology Ventures. Hermineke van Bockxmeer, director of Urban Development of Rotterdam congratulates CEO Hicham Shatou with the investment in LeQuest.

Reinventing medical personnel training

LeQuest was founded in 2011 with the mission to reinvent how medical personnel is trained on medical technology. Goal of LeQuest is to improve the quality in healthcare, increase medical technology efficiency and reduce adverse events. LeQuest focuses its simulation-based educational solutions on high risk medical technology in hospitals and more specifically in OR’s, ICU’s and Radiology departments.

Over the last few years LeQuest experienced a strong demand for its services from hospitals as well as manufacturers in order to effectively train and certify healthcare professionals in the use of medical technology. LeQuest is working with Philips, Siemens, Medtronic, GE, and other large medical device manufacturers, and has active users in more than 15 countries in Europe, North- and South-America.

Increasing the quality of care

With this investment round LeQuest will accelerate its growth by intensifying its collaboration with the device manufacturers and expanding its services to hospitals geographically.

“We are proud of the strong network of partners and customers we have attracted and together we look forward to increase our impact globally and serve our customers even better in the coming years. This could not have been possible without the strong will of our dedicated and talented team that want to improve the use of medical technology and increase the quality of care.” says Hicham Shatou, founder and CEO of LeQuest.

Francis Quint, head of InnovationQuarter Capital, is pleased with the opportunity to invest in LeQuest alongside strong consortium partners Noaber/NextGen, Philips Health Technology Ventures and MedFinance: “LeQuest is a good example of how a young, dynamic company can grow from startup to scale-up. The ability to constantly adapt its business model to developments in the market while remaining flexible has brought LeQuest to where it is today. This investment round will enable LeQuest to accelerate its growth together with its strategic partners.”

InnovationQuarter investeert in marktleider in zonnepanelen-software Solar Monkey

Solar Monkey brings international solar panel market ahead

Solar Monkey delivers B2B software for the design of solar power systems as well as remote performance monitoring services. This enables installers to remotely design and offer solar power systems with confidence. Solar Monkey’s products stand out by their great ease-of-use, as well as their unique and accurate yield calculations developed at the TU Delft. Clients experience efficiency gains in their sales process as well as a higher conversion rate of their leads. “I cannot imagine having to work without Solar Monkey anymore,” says Danny Holtrigter at Feenstra. At the same time, the care-free monitoring service gives PV-owners the ease-of-mind that their system is performing up to spec.

Market leader in The Netherlands

The company already serves hundreds of installers in The Netherlands, who combined represent the leading market share of installations. Solar Monkey now intends to enter into international solar markets, as  part of its mission to accelerate the adoption of solar power. Solar Monkey has already made headway in Belgium, in response to customer demand. Other countries beckon, especially those where installers still have to resort to using manual methods for delivering designs and proposals.

CEO Jan Pieter Versluijs: “This funding round enables us to gain a critical competitive edge as we venture abroad. We want to deliver maximum value to our new partners, so every dime goes into improving our product and telling our story.”

4impact and InnovationQuarter invest in impact

To fund their outreach and product development, Solar Monkey has raised the necessary capital in a round led by 4impact in combination with the existing investors InnovationQuarter and an informal investor. The equity round totals over EUR 1 million. The funds will be used for the development of new features and international products, team expansion and the international roll-out. Aside from a strong financial backing, the investors provide international networks and expertise that will help drive the international strategy.

Accelerating the much needed energy transition

For 4impact, a tech and impact focused venture capital fund, the investment in Solar Monkey marks their second investment in March. “Solar Monkey has shown incredible traction in the rapidly growing solar industry. We see the efficiency they provide through their advanced software with easy user interface, which helps to accelerate the much needed energy transition. The opportunities for the company are tremendous and we look forward to working with its driven team and existing investors to see the business expand both locally and internationally”, says Pauline Wink, Managing Partner at 4impact.

Team shows great complementary qualities

InnovationQuarter, a VC fund for the South-Holland region, was an early investor in the company, together with an informal. “We have supported Solar Monkey from a very early stage, and we are extremely satisfied with the progress so far. The founding team has shown a combination of technical, commercial and managerial skills that is the foundation of its success. Together with our partner investors we look forward to help expand this success into new markets”, says Francis Quint, Head of Capital at InnovationQuarter.

Solar Monkey will be present at the Solar Solutions trade market from 19-21 March 2019, where they will launch a sneak preview of what can be expected in 2019.

Numerous inspections between field and fork

Every year in the Netherlands, around 5.400 million kg of vegetables and 650 million kg of fruit is produced. Before a particular vegetable or piece of fruit reaches its final point of sale, it’s been through various sets of hands to guarantee its quality and to sort it into the right quality class. The vegetable is scrutinized manually on deviations in color and shape, and blemishes or damages. All because the standards and norms as set by supermarkets and other retailers are unrelenting and high. Inspection of the produce to guarantee its quality is vital, but the current manual inspections are prone to error and demand a capacity in personnel that is becoming increasingly hard to meet in a sector where staff turnover rates are high.

Gearbox’ solution: an AI-driven grading robot

Gearbox Innovations saw the added value for the different elements of the value chain if both quality control and grading were to become more reliable, more consistent, and faster. The company developed the GearVision Inspector, a stand-alone smart grading robot that is able to deliver a thorough quality analysis, and the GearVision Sorter, an in-line solution to optimally sort the produce according to its quality. The two machines combine vision technology with artificial intelligence to be able to quickly but accurately grade and consequently sort fresh fruit and vegetables. This provides the complete supply chain, from the breeder to the packaging company, with a futureproof approach to quality control that is tailored to their specific needs and requirements. A thorough report provides actionable insights on how to increase the produce’s quality. With the digitization of the grading process, a transition towards fully automated sorting and packaging of fruit and vegetables lies within reach.

Gearbox ontwikkelt digitale keurmeester voor groente en fruit met investering van UNIIQ

Gearbox Innovation will use the UNIIQ investment to further develop the GearVision, unlocking more product varieties and applications, and to expand their activities to foreign markets. Simone Keijzer, together with Johan Kreeft founder of Gearbox Innovations, is very pleased with the investment by UNIIQ:

The GearVision allows the sector to increase both the coverage ratio and the consistency of their grading processes, while taking into account their specific wishes and ‘product recipes’. Our actionable reports create insight in growth- and harvesting data, allowing the grower to actively steer towards a higher qualitative output, and ultimately better yields. With the UNIIQ investment we can expand the GearVision’s crop- and productportfolio, and roll out the innovation internationally.

Liduina Hammer, UNIIQ fund manager: “Gearbox’ intelligent automation solution represents an important step for the entire horticultural value chain. We are very pleased that with our investment, Gearbox can help individual companies in the supply- and value chain optimize their performance. Zooming out, the automation of the grading process of fruit and vegetables fits with the developments and trends we see in the sector as a whole.”

 InnovationQuarter investeert in duurzame ruimtevaartinnovaties van Dawn Aerospace
Foto Remco Zwinkels

Dawn Aerospace was founded in 2016 by Jeroen Wink, Stefan Powell, Robert Werner, Tobias Knop, and James Powell and has locations in Delft and New Zealand. The company is a spin-off from the TU Delft and part of the YES!Delft and StarBurst accelerator programmes. Dawn Aerospace is developing a reusable rocket for satellite launches as well as propulsion systems (thrusters) that are powered by non-toxic gasses. The rocket, also called ‘spaceplane’, will fly autonomously and can enter space several times a day, bringing small satellites into orbit around the earth.

Sustainable space innovations

Dawn Aerospace previously received MIT funding, a subsidy scheme set up by the Province of Zuid-Holland and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, to stimulate regional SMEs to develop new innovative products and services. This grant was used for the early stage development of their innovative thruster and Mk-II spaceplane. The spaceplane was successfully tested in August 2018 and an official launch of the Mk-II is expected in 2020.

Jeroen Wink, CEO Dawn Aerospace:

“In these incredibly exciting times for the space industry, the Mk-II Spaceplane will be the first in a series of reusable spacecraft that will radically change access to space”

Thrusters enable satellites to maneuver once they are in space. Adjustments may be necessary during the lifespan of the satellite, but the thrusters can also be used to push the satellite out of orbit at the end of its life cycle, avoiding space debris. Unlike conventional propulsion systems, which use hydrazine, the Dawn Aerospace thrusters are powered by a combination of widely available non-toxic gases. This makes the thrusters much more applicable, while maintaining the advantages chemically powered thrusters have over electric alternatives. The first thruster is scheduled to be launched from French Guyana in July 2019. A second launch, in cooperation with Dutch satellite company Hiber, will include the MIT-funded system and is planned for October 2019.

New opportunities for the transforming New Space Industry

The thruster technology is used to develop the spaceplane, which will launch small satellites in a more flexible, faster and cost-effective way. This is yet an unfulfilled gap in the ever growing market for small satellites for which Dawn Aerospace will offer a solution.

Francis Quint, head of InnovationQuarter Capital:

“This investment allows Dawn Aerospace to take the next steps in the development of their spaceplane, which enables faster, more cost-effective and greener satellite launches. We expect Dawn Aerospace to develop into a fast growing and important player within the West Holland aerospace cluster.

High pressure on shipping to reduce air pollution

On average, seagoing ships consume 30,000 litres of fuel oil a day, which amounts to 40-50% of a ship’s total operating costs. The maritime industry is under pressure to greatly reduce air pollution and international requirements for monitoring and cutting CO2 emissions in the industry have recently been tightened. New regulations, effective from January 2020, will result in an expected 70% increase in fuel costs as many ships will have to switch to cleaner, more expensive fuels. Legislative authorities have also imposed designated emission-controlled areas (ECA) for shipping.

Monitoring, analysing and optimising fuel efficiency

Delft startup We4Sea analyses and reports fuel consumption and associated CO2 emissions from seagoing ships based on a unique Digital Twin concept. The collected data is analysed and then used to minimise fuel consumption. Ship speed, draft and water depth form part of the analyses as well as wind, waves and currents. The ships are monitored remotely using simulation models. Unlike its competitors, We4Sea can do this without hardware by using the Digital Twin.

As the only company with this technologyWith this software-only technology, We4Sea can therefore provide extremely accurate calculations of a ship’s fuel use and emissions to parties that do not have direct access to the ship, such as charterers and providers of ship finance. For a ship with average fuel consumption, savings can easily add up to thousands of tonnes of CO2 emissions and tens of thousands of euros a year.

1 miljoen ton CO2 besparen in de scheepvaart - ENERGIIQ investeert in We4Sea

In 2016, Michiel Katgert and Dan Veen founded their company We4Sea – incubated as part of YES!Delft’s Port Innovation Lab growth programme – based on the conviction that ships should operate more efficiently and sustainably. This investment will enable them to accelerate the development and roll out of their platform.

Dan Veen, CEO and co-founder of We4Sea:

We’re proud of the growth achieved in recent years, but there’s still a wealth of opportunities that will help us improve our product, connect with more customers and expand the market. This is in line with our mission to prevent one million tonnes of CO2 emissions from shipping.

Nienke Vledder, ENERGIIQ fund manager: “ENERGIIQ is delighted to congratulate We4Sea with the growth investment it has secured through Mainport Innovation Fund II, angel investors and ENERGIIQ. We4Sea’s Digital Twin offers customers transparency in fuel consumption, helps them drastically reduce CO2 emissions drastically and leads to significant cost savings.”

ENERGIIQ is the energy fund of the province of Zuid-Holland and is managed by InnovationQuarter.

European approach of the energy transition

SET Fund III invests in European early growth-stage companies that can impact the future of the energy markets worldwide. With this fund in fund investment, ENERGIIQ accelerates the transition towards clean energy and makes sure that Zuid-Holland is in the picture of European investors and entrepreneurs. It also ensures that ENERGIIQ is actively involved in European energy innovation developments.

ENERGIIQ is one of the investors in this third fund of SET Ventures, and joined forces with European Investment Fund, Korys, PTT Group Thailand, Shell Ventures, BNP Paribas, Sitra and BOM Brabant Ventures to make SET Fund III possible.

SET Fund III will primarily focus on companies that work on balancing the electricity grid, energy distribution and storage or energy saving.

Collaboration in knowledge and capital

Rene Savelsberg, Managing Partner SET Ventures: “We are very pleased with ENERGIIQ’S participation in SET Fund III. It is clear that ENERGIIQ, managed by InnovationQuarter, has a lot to offer to early growth stage companies impacting the future energy system based in the province of Zuid-Holland or those that want to land sufficient relevant business in the region. ENERGIIQ reflects our vision that focussing with deep understanding of the granularities of the energy sector will lead to the best investment decisions. Together we will contribute substantially to the reduction of CO2 both in the region as well as on a European level.”

Nienke Vledder, fund manager at ENERGIIQ:

Our investment in SET Fund III supports our search for technology that contributes to the energy transition in Zuid-Holland.

“In addition, the SET Ventures team is well-established and up to date on developments regarding energy transition. Warm ties with a reputable partner such as SET Ventures is valuable to energy companies in Zuid-Holland with both knowledge and capital.”

Picture of Cybersprint’s CEO Pieter Jansen together with the investors. From left to right: Pieter Jansen (CEO Cybersprint), Maarten Timmerman (COO Cybersprint), Matti van der Gronde (Associate Vortex Capital), Johan Stins (Senior Investment Manager InnovationQuarter), Olivier Magnin (Investment Associate KPN Ventures), Herman Kienhuis (Managing Director KPN Ventures) , Evert-Jan de Groot (Partner at Vortex Capital).

Cybersprint is growing rapidly and has gained a leading position in Digital Risk Protection in the Benelux market over the past two years.

Pieter Jansen, CEO and founder of Cybersprint:

With this investment, we can fuel our rapid growth and further expand our team and business into the European market. Companies and governmental organisations are increasingly aware of the digital risks and challenges they face. Our unique Digital Risk Protection platform helps organisations map all digital risks. By giving our clients control over their entire online footprint, they can better protect their business, brand and reputation. I am excited about the next steps we can take with the support of our current and new investors.

Evert Jan de Groot, partner at Vortex Capital Partners, adds: “The CEO-fraud we have recently seen at Pathé Cinemas is just the tip of the cybercrime iceberg. Cybersprint has deep domain expertise in detecting digital vulnerabilities and is managed by an experienced team. Their platform can, for instance, immediately detect fraudulent domains the moment they are registered, allowing organisations that could be at risk to intervene before the damage is done.”

About Cybersprint

Cybersprint protects organisations from cyber threats by providing continuous, real-time insights into the entire digital attack surface and current online risks. The unique Digital Risk Protection platform works as an automated ethical hacker, continuously in search of online vulnerabilities on web, social media, mobile apps, netblocks, IoT devices and the dark web. Simply by entering the brand or organisation name, the platform automatically reveals all online entry points related to the organisation.

Investing in innovation

Access to Capital is one of the requirements to have the ability to innovate. To support starting and fast-growing entrepreneurs of the security sector, the Access to Capital event has been initiated by a collective of parties. The positive effects for the pitching organisations has been proven, which is why the organising parties: InnovationQuarter, Rabobank Regio Den Haag, Value Creation Capital, TIIN Capital and HSD Office initiated the fifth annual edition of this event, this year.

These kind of meetings where investor matches are made, are an upcoming trend. It is a place where collaborations arise that have a strong spin-off in the region in terms of employment opportunities. Innovation, securing data, and developing knowledge on these topics is something that partners heartily support.

Pitching organisations and winner

During the interactive day of inspiration, sharing experiences and information about funding, 6 innovative entrepreneurs pitched their businessplans within the area of cybersecurity. The winner, Sahar Ismail of Legacy Armour was selected by a professional jury. An overview of all the pitchers and investors that attended the event can be viewed here.

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Investing in innovation

Having access to capital is one of the conditions for companies to be able to innovate. The Access to Capital event was initiated by a number of parties to support starting and fast-growing entrepreneurs from the Digital Health and Security sectors in their search for funding. The event has proven succesful for pitching companies in previous editions of Access to Capital, which is why the organising parties, The Hague Security Delta, InnovationQuarter, Rabobank Regio Den Haag, Value Creation Capital, KPN Ventures, TIIN Capital, and Health Innovation Fund repeated the formula this year.

Pitching organisations and winners

The 12 innovative entrepreneurs pitching their businessplans within the areas of Digital Health and Cybersecurity were hand-picked out of a large pool of registered companies. The winners were selected by a professional jury.

The winner in the category Cybersecurity was HSD Partner Bitsensor

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Chris van ‘t Hof (chairman), Ruben Vreeland (Bitsensor), Johan Stins (InnovationQuarter)

The winner in the category Digital Health was Happitech

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Willem van den Berg (Value Creation Capital), Yosef Safi Harb (Happitech)

Founded in 2012, Exasun started the production of Back-Contact-on-Glass solar panels in The Hague in 2016, after four years of research and development. Local production in the Netherlands is made possible by automated manufacturing of its smaller solar panels, thereby minimizing transport-related CO2 emissions. As the first company in the world, Exasun combines the best cell technology – Back-Contact cells – with special components for an extensive life. In 2016, Exasun was the first manufacturer globally to bring its Back-Contact-on-Glass solar panels on the market. Thanks to the longer lifespan and higher yield of the Exasun panels, their costs of electricity (€ ct / kWh) are the lowest on the market.

Panels, tiles and roofs

Besides solar panels, Exasun makes solar roof tiles. These come in black and orange-red and can be installed between existing roof tiles, which is a quintessential characteristic of Dutch homes. Another product is an entire solar-panel roof, used in newly built homes. These are both more efficient and nicer-looking alternatives for traditional solar panels.

It took four to five years of research and development to get this head start, said Michiel. Now, Exasun will use the investment to introduce a fully automated production line later this year, with a five-fold increase in production capacity. Capacity will be scaled up further in 2019.

“We’re very enthusiastic,” said Mark Weustink, head of ING Sustainable Investments. “Exasun offers an aesthetically and economically attractive solution to putting homes and buildings in the Netherlands and Europe on more sustainable footing.”

“Exasun’s integrated PV-panels provide a perfect solution for the increasing demand for PV-technology within the built environment” says Nienke Vledder, fondsmanager of ENERGIIQ. The panels have a high yield, a longer life expectancy, have great aesthetics and an easy installation system. These advantages advance the adoption of sustainable solar energy induction, which fits perfectly within the objectives of ENERGIIQ.”

Source: Parts of this article were borrowed from an article in The Financial

InnovationQuarter invests in Tiledmedia to significantly increase reach of Virtual Reality-002-980x450

Unrealised potential of Virtual Reality

Despite the many potential applications, Virtual Reality (VR) is only slowly catching on, for two main reasons: the limited availability of content and the high bandwidth required to stream VR – too high for the average internet connection. Tiledmedia solves this problem by cutting up the content into so-called ‘tiles’ and only streaming those tiles that are in the users’ view. The user sees only 13% of the full image, which makes sending the entire panorama very inefficient.

InnovationQuarter brings experience and an extensive network to the table thanks to the many companies it funds. This will certainly help us in the further expansion of Tiledmedia. – Frits Klok, CEO at Tiledmedia

Tiledmedia’s ClearVR technology can either increase quality by a factor of five at the same bandwidth, or stream the same quality as current applications with up to 80% bandwidth reduction. Such substantial efficiency benefits cannot be matched by any competing technology.

Opening the door to a wider audience

Distributors of VR content benefit from the Tiledmedia technology because they can stream their VR productions in the highest possible quality to the widest possible audience at substantially lower costs. This makes it more attractive for media companies to produce VR content, overcoming any cost-related challenges, and serving as a catalyst for the VR market. The company’s technology makes it possible, for instance, to experience your favourite sports event or pop concert live as if you were there, while being at home on the couch with a VR headset.

International network

Founded in early 2017 by Frits Klok (CEO), Ray van Brandenburg (CTO), Arjen Veenhuizen (COO) and Rob Koenen (CBO), Tiledmedia has an experienced management team with a large international network. Rob Koenen is President of the Virtual Reality Industry Forum (VRIF) and plays an important role in international standardisation of media­ technology in ISO/IEC MPEG, known for its MP3 specification. Working at TNO, the founding team spent five years developing the tiled streaming technology, which achieved great commercial potential with the advent of VR.

Widely recognised name

Tiledmedia is a widely recognised name in the global VR ecosystem. In April, the company co-exhibited at the NAB Media Technology Show in Las Vegas alongside industry leaders Ericsson and Harmonic to showcase its ClearVR solution. Tiledmedia’s first customer will soon launch a spectacular VR service and various international parties have expressed interest in integrating ClearVR into their VR platforms.

“Welcoming InnovationQuarter to the existing group of angel investors means that we have the necessary fuel to further develop our marketing and sales, while bringing a professional fund on board,” says Frits Klok, Tiledmedia’s CEO. “InnovationQuarter brings experience and an extensive network to the table thanks to the many companies it funds. This will certainly help us in the further expansion of Tiledmedia.”

Francis Quint, head of InnovationQuarter Capital: “Tiledmedia is a spin-off from TNO, a partner of InnovationQuarter and an important organisation in our regional ecosystem. In addition to the capital injection from the consortium of business angels, this investment by InnovationQuarter will help Tiledmedia commercialise its VR technology and make the application of VR accessible to a wider audience.”

UNIIQ investeert in Numeric Biotech_001-980x450

Senescence and cancer therapy

In the majority of cases, damaged human cells are cleared by the body’s own defence mechanisms. In some cases, however, such cells remain in the body. These so-called senescent cells play a major role in the aging process of the human body, and have been identified to cause disease. Numeric Biotech, in collaboration with Erasmus MC, has shown that their compound is able to selectively clear these senescent cells in mice and demonstrated reversal of the disease process.

The technology of Numeric Biotech has potential treatment applications for a number of diseases, but the company will first focus on oncological indications. “We believe that this important technology will contribute to a better understanding of clearing senescent cells from the human body”, says Hans van Berkum, co-founder and CEO of Numeric Biotech, “the support from UNIIQ allows us to further study age-related diseases and in particular the effect of our drug compounds for treatment of certain cancers.”

UNIIQ investeert in Numeric Biotech_brick_003-980x450

UNIIQ Proof of Concept investment

“We are very enthusiastic about the opportunities for the technology developed at Numeric Biotech”, says Liduina Hammer, Fund manager at UNIIQ. “The field of senescence is rapidly developing and pre-clinical results have shown great potential for future treatments. We are confident that Numeric Biotech, in collaboration with excellent academic institutions such as Erasmus MC, can further improve patient treatment. UNIIQ focusses on investments with major potential impact and with this investment we have clearly found such potential”.

With the investment by UNIIQ and Erasmus MC, Numeric Biotech will be able to further develop their drug compounds in order to perform additional pre-clinical experiments, necessary for the product to enter clinical trials. Numeric Biotech has a worldwide exclusive license from Erasmus MC covering the substance FOXO4-DRI including a wide range of variations.

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Energy savings, CO2 reduction and attractive payback periods

Innecs started out as an engineering consultancy in 2004 and aimed to develop its own products. It has since developed three extremely efficient and robust devices: a low NOx burner (the BoilerBurner), a small steam turbine (the SteamExpander) and a small gas turbine (the PowerBurner). By applying extensive knowledge of turbine technology with smart control systems, Innecs has created premium products that can be used by a wide industrial audience. The smart design and modular production process keeps the purchase price down without compromising on quality. This, combined with the energy savings, results in attractive payback periods.

Industry bears a great deal of responsibility for achieving climate goals, and energy efficiency is the obvious way to give shape to the energy transition in the coming years. -Reidar Koolen, CEO of Innecs Power Systems

Made in Holland

Innecs Power Systems devices are an appealing example of advanced industrial products developed and produced on home soil. The extra bonus is that the Innecs products generate energy locally, thus enabling industry to make a substantial contribution to the energy transition. As industry is responsible for 68% of CO2 emissions in the Netherlands*, it is important to develop industrial applications for energy reduction: this is where genuine gains stand to be made in energy transition.

Reidar Koolen, CEO of Innecs Power Systems: “Industry bears a great deal of responsibility for achieving climate goals, and energy efficiency is the obvious way to give shape to the energy transition in the coming years. For our customers, the return on investment is and always will be their main consideration when investing. Innecs therefore regards it as its mission to provide affordable energy efficiency so that the energy transition is financially attractive and thus embraced.”

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Finindus Investment Director Hans Maenhout: “The Innecs team has succeeded in developing, with relatively modest resources, no fewer than three high-tech products. The pragmatic design means that their solutions often have payback periods of less than three years, in some cases even less than two. This makes the technology very attractive to larger industrial clients too. It is not surprising, therefore, that international clients have also found their way to Innecs.”

ENERGIIQ Fund Manager Nienke Vledder: “Innecs Power Systems is an innovative company with its production and development based in the Netherlands. It aims to provide affordable technology that helps industrial clients increase their energy efficiency and make environmental gains. I am confident that it will achieve its goals, and we are glad to support the company in its further growth with this investment from ENERGIIQ.”

Director of BOM Brabant Ventures Miriam Dragstra: “Innecs Power Systems is not just accelerating the energy transition today but is also experiencing wonderful development as a future-oriented business. BOM looks forward to the international growth of this fantastic tech business.”

*Source: http://staatvan.zuid-holland.nl/Paginas/Factsheets/CO2-emissies.aspx

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© Verkijk.nl

Battery development can’t keep up with market demand

Better and more compact batteries are instrumental in allowing technological breakthroughs in various sectors. Further development and adoption of wireless technology and electric vehicles largely depends on current battery performance. It is therefore crucial to improve both battery capacity and cycle life. However, the battery industry has proven able to only incrementally improve the current lithium-ion batteries (Li-ion) year-on-year. The bottleneck lies in the fact that the negative electrode of the battery, the anode, is currently made of graphite. Graphite is limited in the amount of lithium ions it can bind, thereby limiting battery energy density.

Greatly increased battery capacity due to LeydenJars silicium anode material

LeydenJar replaces the graphite anode with a 100% silicium anode. This leads to a tenfold increase in the capacity of the anode, which is currently the bottle neck to improve the energy density of the cell. The industry has been experimenting with replacing the graphite anode with silicium for years. The problem with the material, however, is that it swells and shrinks upon charging and discharging, making it unsuitable for use in a battery. Silicium therefore currently only makes for a small part in the battery anode composition.

This round of funding allows us to take significant steps in improving lithium-ion batteries over a short time span, making use of a process that is fit to use in current Li-ion battery production facilities – Christian Rood, founder LeydenJar Technologies

Technology from the solar cell industry is key in realizing 100% silicium anodes, and superior battery capacities

LeydenJar has found a way to buffer the shrinking and swelling of the silicium by giving the material exactly the right level of porosity. The material was originally developed by ECN for application in solar cells, but proved to be more fitting in batteries. The utilized plasma process (“PECVD”), which was also developed by ECN, deposes the silicium directly and with the right morphology, allowing for mass production of the anodes.

Over the past year, LeydenJar tested the pure silicium anodes in coin cells, a small battery format. The test results are promising to the extent that several parties are interested to incorporate the material in their test programs. This active market interest is illustrated by the fact that LeydenJar won the BMW Startup Challenge, a competition for innovative startups that help shape future worldwide mobility.

Proof-of-concept fund UNIIQ, BOM Brabant Ventures and private investor Energy Professionals now invest a lump sum of € 550.000. The funding adds to the TKI-subsidy the company raised with partners TU Delft and ECN in the final quarter of 2017, and a subsidy of Metropole Region Eindhoven. With this capital injection, the company is able to further development of both the anode material and the PECVD production process. Research and development activities take place in both the province of Zuid-Holland (material engineering) as the province of North Brabant (process- and machine engineering), covering the regions where respectively UNIIQ and BOM Ventures/Metropole Region Eindhoven are active.

The current round of funding allows LeydenJar to develop a battery prototype fit for use in consumer electronics, an important milestone on the road towards developing superior batteries with applications in energy storage and electric vehicles.

Christian Rood, founder LeydenJar Technologies: “272 years after invention of the Leyden Jar, another Dutch invention will greatly impact energy storage solutions. In our development trajectory, we work closely together with top notch Dutch and German research institutes, the European battery industry, and our financial partners. This round of funding allows us to take significant steps in improving lithium-ion batteries over a short time span, making use of a process that is fit to use in current Li-ion battery production facilities.”

Liduina Hammer, UNIIQ fund manager: “UNIIQ invests in promising and innovative technological ventures in the proof-of-concept phase. The transition towards renewable energy is a relevant theme, and one of the focus areas of the Province of Zuid-Holland. We are pleased to be able to support further development of LeydenJar’s technology, thereby realizing our first investment in this domain.”

“BOM Brabant Ventures, the venture department of the Brabantse Ontwikkelings Maatschappij, is pleased to invest in an early-stage company developing groundbreaking technology for optimizing energy storage”, says senior investment manager Jurgen van Eck. “In the development of the anode production process, the company will make optimal use of the strong machine- and manufacturing industry that is so characteristic for the region of North-Brabant, to ultimately contribute to the transition towards sustainable energy.”

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Ready for a growth spurt

McNetiq, founded in 2014, offers the patented and award-winning Controlock technology. This magnet application is the most secure, cost-efficient, durable and flexible temporary steel connection without the use of (temporary) welds. The Controlock is the first magnet that can be tested and used on different surfaces. It offers considerable advantages compared to traditional steel connections, such as drilling and welding.

With this investment, we can further strengthen our organisation and give the product development a powerful boost. – Willem van der Graaf, McNetiq

McNetiq is ready to launch their product on a larger scale. Participation in the World Port Accelerator PortXL in 2017 contributed to the acceleration of the development and professionalisation of the company and was followed by the entry of the Rotterdam Port Fund.

Boosting product development

The company McNetiq fits the investment profile of the Rotterdam Port Fund. “The potential of the Controlock technology has been proven and extensively tested,” says Frans van der Harst of the Rotterdam Port Fund. “We are excited to support the company in their ambition to apply the technology internationally to many new products to be developed, in different market segments.”

“We are very happy with our new partners,” says director Willem van der Graaf of McNetiq. “With this investment, we can further strengthen our organisation and give the product development a powerful boost. It’s also nice to see that the innovation ecosystem works in Rotterdam.”

“We have been in touch with McNetiq for a long time and see enormous potential in this technology. It’s fantastic to see that the company will make a growth spurt with this investment.  We will support the company’s growth from our wide range of activities.” Says Francis Quint, Head of Capital at InnovationQuarter.

The Rotterdam Port Fund is an independent investment fund that invest in innovative companies with in port-related activities with attractive market prospects. The fund is an initiative of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, NIBC Bank, InnovationQuarter, Koninklijke Doeksen and the Rotterdam entrepreneurs Peter Goedvolk and Luc Braams.

New management

McNetiq’s innovative Controlock magnetic anchors enable cost-effective and safe performance of maintenance and repair work in steel environments. The magnetic anchor points are used in a variety of markets, including for scaffolding in the offshore petrochemical and maritime industry.

With the investment of the Fund, the composition of the management team will change. It will consist of Willem van der Graaf (CEO), founder Edwin van der Heide (CCO) and founder Bas Gravendeel (CTO/CRO).