The second edition of Startup in Residence Groningen will officially start this January. To kick things off, the 5 selected startups presented themselves in the Remonstrant Church last Friday.
In the coming 6 months, the startups will work on solutions for challenges provided by the City of Groningen, the Province and Groningen Seaports, like sustainable weed control, a flex bikeshare system for Municipality employees, creating circular city waste streams and reducing costs for offshore wind farms. So without further ado, let’s meet this year’s selection:
Biketogo was developed by Kevin Qualm and Erwin Kenter and solves incidental problems of sharing concepts, like inefficiency, safety and littering. The platform will allow the City’s employees to grab and return bikes at any of the office locations, using an app and QR code. “The logistics and getting the right data and input from users will probably be one of our main challenges, but our aim is to use a unique solution to contribute to making the city more sustainable and liveable in a CO2 neutral future”, Kevin Qualm says.
Urban Mining want to turn the city’s waste into resources and create a circular stream that also helps the unemployed and schools. “We want to provide collection points for old computers, washing machines and printers, which will then be disassembled and turned into 3D printer DIY kits for school children”, founder Marco Kortland explains. “We’ll also be turning other waste into filament for those printers.”
SecGroep is a technical and legal consultancy, with a focus on public space and urban development. The startup also participated last year, developing ground sensors to help maintain and prevent damage to city parks. This year, they’re going to sustainably tackle weeds growing near or on public roads, which are notoriously hard to get rid of. “We’re going to form a specialized team of experts”, Ruben Deddens says. “And we’re going to map out the problem step by step, use a combination of technology and biology and hopefully test a prototype within the next six months.”
To keep up with the increasing demand for green energy, Ocean Grazer develops systems to improve the efficiency of offshore wind farms, as well as increasing the energy yield per square meter. “Green energy depends on weather conditions, so it’s very important to temporarily store the generated energy”, founder Frits Bliek says. “Our solution, Ocean Battery, makes large scale storage of offshore wind energy possible, allowing a reduction in production costs and also reduce the peak load on the energy grid. This will make green energy cheaper, without compromising the reliability of the network.”
And last, but not least, VLNTR signed up for the wildcard challenge and will help kill two birds with one stone: reduce the shortage of volunteers and help long term unemployed people develop the right job and social skills to make the transition back into the labor force easier. “There is an ever increasing shortage of people doing volunteer work. VLNTR is a platform that connects supply and demand and gives organizations software tools to efficiently recruit and manage volunteers”, says founder Mark Goos. “We’re going to help long term unemployed people, by matching their skills, interests or skills they want to learn with a specific volunteer job. The platform will also automatically let them build up a resume. The first step we’ll need to take, is finding the right network and also finetune our revenue model.”