Top startups of 2021

We are almost at the end of 2021. Time to look back at a fruitful year and share successes. Mercator Launch’s success is all about its entrepreneurs and startups. Today we pay special attention to 11 of those startups, reliving the highlights of their year. That being said, this doesn’t mean other entrepreneurs wouldn’t have deserved a place in the spotlights. As all of the startups we have supported have made progress in their own various ways. Without further ado, join us on a journey through the year 2021 and learn how 11 startups prepared to impact the world.

Kicking off with startup Leornova, founders Lisette te Hennepe and Evelien Renders started 2021 in an entrepreneurial way by registering their company at the Chamber of Commerce. Their workshops for higher education institutions on digitalisation, internationalisation and sustainability have seen immediate success. Leornova has managed to find a market with untapped potential as their workshops are in high demand.

Talking about demand, startup Data Origins aimed to supply restaurants with accurate demand forecasts. Last February Data Origins was in the running for the Voice of the Future award and made it to the top 10. They grew very quickly and created a huge buzz amongst their target audience. Unfortunately, COVID-19 threw a spanner in the works and the entrepreneurs decided to discontinue the company. Nevertheless, we are very proud of the learning curve that they experienced.

Making a name for yourself is about hard work, something the founders of Monoceros Analytics didn’t shy away from. In the beginning of 2021 the science-based startup won the runner-up price of the Innovation Competition and even got selected for the reputable NWO Venture Challenge in September. The team is well on its way to impact the process of drug development.

Development is also key for startup Machine Precision, as founder Thomas Bronzwaer is working on a software service that allows engineers at system-integrator companies to work faster, while making fewer mistakes. Thomas Bronzwaer won the Innovation Competition by pitching his startup and convincing the jury that his idea has a bright future. Currently performing two pilot projects during the Venture track, he is proving the jury right.

Another company that took great steps this year is AeroCount, developer of a particle detector (in the picture below) that helps create a healthy living environment at home. In May this got some well-deserved media attention as founder Beate Stevens was interviewed in an article in the Financieel Dagblad. The sustainable startup kicked off their growth as they launched their particle detector this year and have already sold 50 products.

Popularity can be hard to gain, but Hermes Asset Management is definitely an exception to this rule. The startup provides algorithm-based predictions of the stock market to regular everyday-people. So we aren’t surprised that they managed to win the popular vote for most promising Student Company in June. After this, the Hermes Asset Management team is working to progress by certifying themselves and laying the necessary foundations to operate in the financial market.

Shifting our gears to September we arrive at startup Drive Maxy. The multi-sided platform for driving instructors and students took big steps developing its platform and business case this year. This all cumulated into Drive Maxy making it to the finals of the Most Innovative Student of the Netherlands Competition. Quite an achievement!

The team of former Student Company Delreco has proven to be great at pitching its idea. The startup started off the year by winning the Voice of the Future award and got nominated for the Most Innovative Student of the Netherlands. Recently the startup made it to the finals of the Rijk van Nijmegen Ondernemerspitch, getting exposure for their circular service to deliver, repair and pick up furniture for students.

Another startup that made it to the Rijk van Nijmegen Ondernemerspitch finals, Sofee is working hard to improve the order process in bars and clubs. The founders are currently busy validating their business model and intend to start a pilot at an event location soon. As seen below, Sofee makes sure to have all necessary knowledge at hand.

Startup Micro-Cosmos, has recently started two pilots to test their product. Having developed a dome for hospital beds that allows patients to control their own environment, Micro-Cosmos is currently working together with both the Radboud UMC and the Canisius Wilhelmina Ziekenhuis to get valuable feedback from both patients and nurses.

The last startup we focus on today is QR-FIT, winner of the recently awarded Stimuleringsprijs. Their goal is to stimulate activity by creating fitness tracks with scannable QR-codes. The startup is gaining lots of traction as it already offers 22 tracks and is slowly taking over the national market attracting more and more customers.

Looking back on 2021 we have to conclude that it has been a great year for our entrepreneurs. We are very proud of all entrepreneurs that have chosen to follow their passion and have put in blood, sweat and tears. 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 are sure they will inspire you. We have enjoyed this year tremendously and we aim to continue to work with many ambitious entrepreneurs in 2022.

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all of you,

The Mercator Launch team