Happy belated new year! We can’t wait to see what 2023 has in store for us. Traditionally, we relive the highlights of the year at Mercator Launch by putting a few of our startups in the spotlight. This year we’re doing things a bit different. Instead of looking back, we’re looking ahead. And we do so by paying special attention to 10 startups that are likely to have great impact.
We start off with startup Radix Security. The mission of founders David Rupprecht and prof. Katharina Kohls is to make mobile network security accessible, by providing reliable services and products to their customers. And their efforts are paying off. For example, they secured base stations against eavesdropping attacks by finding and disclosing implementation flaws in large-scale deployments. Besides, they recently got a €500K grant for funding!
Speaking of security: Levi Bouman and Mohammed Saeb aim to prevent fraud whilst selling tickets for events, by using blockchain technology. To do so, they founded Soteria Tickets last year. This SaaS (Software as a Service) developer delivers ticketing software to event agencies. Other benefits are that event agencies receive royalties from the ticket sale and that neither organizers nor visitors have to deal with cryptocurrencies or wallets – everything is done through iDeal. Levi and Mohammed are currently adding the finishing touches to their startup and plan on going live in the second quarter of 2023.
We’re staying at the software department just a little longer. Founders Stan Wijn and Tim Govers of Medip Analytics develop software to assist Biotech and Medtech companies. This software allows them to show the added value of technology, for patients and for society. 2022 revolved around laying the foundation for the startup and finding investors. Now, the founders received the Startup Fonds Gelderland pre-seed loan for startups. They’re going to use these funds to permanently settle on the Novio Tech campus, hire employees and further work on the development of their software.
Next up is ReneoLabs. Remco Gevers and Jeroen van Wijk are developing a unique kind of lipbalm that can reduce taste dysfunction due to COVID, pregnancy or chemotherapy. The lipbalm has a certain scent and putting it on makes the nasty tastes less strong. They’re currently testing the product on safety, shelf life, and compatibility at SkinConsult. The result will be a very comprehensive information sheet, which makes the product ready for introduction on the Dutch market. By the way, they want to test more scents in the future. So if you have any suggestions, let Remco and Jeroen know!
EnginX also has exciting things on the horizon. This startup makes software for engineers, to help them make better and faster decisions. In June, EnginX received funding from Startup Fonds Gelderland, which enabled it to get its own office! To celebrate, the whole team flew in for a grand opening of the office. According to co-founder Saskia Eijkelhof, EnginX currently has one paying customer, and is in the process of getting more. Meanwhile, they’re talking with European investors, to secure local funding so they can accelerate even more.
Marcel van Gerven and Nasir Ahmad haven’t exactly stood still, either. Their startup Constence is active in the field of neuromorphic computing; inspired by the human brain, the team has developed a new AI algorithm which can realize enormous performance gains and energy efficiency. In 2022 they received a Takeoff grant, which enabled them to engage with various relevant companies and validate their proposition in the market. Their goal for 2023? To get commitment from their first customer.
Another promising startup with an honorable goal is GlycoTherapeutics, founded in 2022 by Johan Pijnenborg, Emiel Rossing, Nienke Eerden, Thomas Boltje, Christian Büll, and Leendert van den Bos. Despite the successes in immuno-oncology, less than 50% of individuals with cancer obtain a durable response. To fill this improvement potential, GlycoTherapeutics develops first-in-class anticancer drugs, targeting sugars which play important roles in tumor progression. They were awarded a KWF PPS grant of €697.550,-, an NWO Take-off phase 1 subsidy of €40.000,-, and €10.000,- for their first place in the Mercator Launch Innovation Competition. On top of that, GlycoTherapeutics presented at the HIHR-EIT Health pitch event in Brussels.
Now we’d like to introduce you to Casper Peters, Sebastian Quiroz Monnens and Marieke Rutten. They met each other during the Student Company course in 2021. They jointly worked on a project, which was such a successful collaboration that they all joined the Venture track at Mercator Launch together. There they founded FitsWell: a startup that aims to ensure that everyone can order the right size clothing in one go while online shopping. They do so by developing a programme, that can give a recommendation for the right size based on a picture. FitsWell is currently developing the technique, so they’re still very much in the startup phase. But the founders are having a blast trying various things and meeting new people.
To say that neuroscientist Martijn Agterberg is trying new things, is an understatement. He was inspired by bees to create better hearing implants. The idea behind his startup Beephonix is to use a directivity sensor in the microphone of implants, to be able to better determine where sound is coming from. Martijn built a prototype with an NWO Take-off grant and it turned out to be a success. Then he joined the Venture Challenge, which got him a solid business case and a patent. The next step? Making the prototype smaller and doing more research to improve hearing aids and implants even further.
Last but not least, there’s QurieGen – founded by dr. eng. Kinga Matula and prof. dr. Wilhelm Huck, this Radboud University spin-off supports pharmaceutical companies in the early identification of successful drug modules. This enables rapid decision-making during drug design cycle, which means that QurieGen will have a major impact on the drug development process. In May of last year, QurieGen won the NOW Venture Challenge. Besides, they recently won the 3rd award in the ZELSIF Award Finals.
Needless to say, we have supported many more entrepreneurs who haven’t been mentioned in this article. However this doesn’t mean that they haven’t advanced significantly or that their ideas aren’t worth a place in this article. As a matter of fact, we urge you to check them out to via our entrepreneur page on the Mercator Launch website, we’re sure they’ll inspire you. We look forward to continue working with many ambitious entrepreneurs in 2023.
Keep up the good work!
The Mercator Launch team