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Climate-KIC proud supporter of top talent

Click here for the Dutch version of this article

For the fifth year in a row, Climate-KIC supports innovative cleantech entrepreneurs to become successful businesses. In the past years Climate-KIC coached 114 start-ups, created 451 jobs, granted €3.6 in grants and has supported the clearance of €35m in external funding. Numbers to be proud of! The next round of the Climate-KIC Accelerator starts this spring. Applications can be submitted before 13 March 2017 at 13.00 hours (CET).

We are proud to see the Climate-KIC talents feature on the annual 30 Under 30 Europe list of American business magazine Forbes that revealed Europe’s boldest young entrepreneurs under the age of 30, and on the Dutch financial newspaper FD who released its top 50 most talented young entrepreneurs of 2017. Six talents of Climate-KIC Benelux can be found in these rankings for their entrepreneurial achievements in the Netherlands and beyond.

Talent development

The Climate-KIC Accelerator is entirely focused on developing entrepreneurship skills and talent. The highly experienced coaches bring out the best in the cleantech start-ups and ensure they can scale up to the European market. The international network of Climate-KIC also contributes to this talent development.

“We are very selective in choosing our startups. Having an innovative business idea is just the first step. As we know, a business idea is where it starts, but rarely everything moves along according to plan. Teams have to adjust, based on insights they gain when they develop their business. They have to be flexible but focused, persistent but not stubborn, complementary but also collaborative, etc. Does the team have the staying power to find a way forward? Do they have the requisite technological and commercial skills? Team is a critical success factor for us. That’s why we are so proud of their recognition and nominations.”

Hans Westerhof, Entrepreneurship Coach en Program Manager Climate-KIC Benelux:

Our talents of the Forbes 30Under30

Start-up aQysta, founded by two students from Delft, developed a hydro-powered irrigation system. This ‘Barsha Pump’ – Nepalese for ‘Rain Pump’- is a stand-alone product, which requires no external source of energy but a flowing stream of water. The patented modular structure allows water to be scooped up and pumped towards a location up to 3 km inland. The company was previously named the most innovative cleantech startup in Europe. “The Climate-KIC Accelerator inspired us to think on a larger scale and to approach a global market” says CFO Pratap Thapa.

PHYSEE developed the PowerWindow. A patented and transparent double-paned window, that converts light into electricity. PowerWindows can save up to 50% of the total energy demand (electricity and heating) when renovating conventional commercial buildings, and up to 100% of new constructed commercial buildings. PHYSEE was voted last year to the winner of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge and won € 500,000. Currently PHYSEE participates in the 2nd stage of the Climate-KIC Accelerator.

Our talents of the FD Top 50 Talent Special

Anouk Visser (
Anouk Visser is with her knowledge about Artificial Intelligence one of the few female experts in this field. She is one of the founders of Climate-KIC start-up Birds-ai. This drone technology start-up developed a cloud-based service that turns aerial imagery into actionable information. gathers, analyses and visualises data. Recently, the app went live to make this application available to everyone. Start-up was recently admitted to Stage 2 of the cleantech Accelerator.

Jan Portheine (KarTent)
Jan Portheine and Wout Kommer are the founders of KarTent. Each year many tents are left behind after visiting a multi-day festival. To reduce the amount of waste, start-up KarTent developed a temporary festival tent, made entirely out of cardboard. The cardboard allows easy recycling of the tent; after the festival the tent can go directly to the paper recycling industry. Meanwhile, they also provide cardboard tables and chairs. After completing stage 1 KarTent is now working on the validation of (international) market assumptions. Meanwhile steering the operations is a big effort.

Tom van Soest (StoneCycling)
Together with Ward Massa and Jasper Brommet, designer Tom van Soest founded start-up StoneCycling, unique bricks made from waste. StoneCycling found a way to use industrial and demolition waste as raw materials to create new unique building materials with higher value. While validating their business assumptions, they produce next to bricks, also lamps, tables and chairs, all made of recycled material.

Yvette Koppert (Gerrard Street)
Yvette Koppert is co-founder and CFO of start-up Gerrard Street. They aim to develop circular consumer electronics by offering high-end modular headphones via a subscription including regular updates. The modules are made of recyclable material, when a module is replaced it will be re-used to make new ones. Gerrard Street is currently participating in the 3rd and final stage of the Accelerator, ready for investors.

Develop your entrepreneurial skills and talent!

Do these entrepreneurs inspire you? You can be next! Climate-KIC is looking for the best cleantech entrepreneurs of the Netherlands.

This spring a new round of the Climate-KIC Accelerator kicks off:

  • Do you have a breakthrough idea related to new technology with substantial climate impact?
  • Is your motivation to achieve global success?
  • Do you have a co-founder in your team?
  • Are you available for all training session of the Accelerator Programme?

Book your intake now at Climate-KIC to discuss how your business (idea) fits into our programme.

Registration for the Climate-KIC Accelerator is open until March 13, 2017 13:00 pm CET. The kick-off of Stage 1 is in April 2017. For more information, visit:

Contact Information:

Marjan Heijkamp
T: + 31 6 284 813 06

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