20 exciting Uprise start-ups to watch out for

15 Apr 2016

An audience at Uprise 2015 shows their appreciation

Uprise’s third start-up festival returns to Amsterdam from 20 April, gathering European founders, entrepreneurs, academics, businesspeople and the general public for a two-day event.

When Uprise comes to town, it promises workshops, DJs, games, job opportunities and “public interaction mayhem” alongside its showcase of European tech start-ups and other exhibitors.

For those of you attending (alongside our editor, John Kennedy), we’ve browsed the list of exhibiting young companies and selected some we think would be worth checking out.

3D Hubs

In 2013, 3D Hubs was founded by a duo of Dutch designers (Bram and Brian) with the aim of connecting designers with the 3D printers than can bring their designs to life.

Effectively, the company’s website is a directory for 3D printers across the globe, allowing users to upload files, find the nearest 3D printer or one that suits their needs, and then order it like any other online product.

Ireland’s highest-rated printer is Jamie Tully, who spoke to Siliconrepublic.com in January about his work and the collaborative creative industry.

Asphalt Lab (Haïku)

Haïku, a bike-mounted digital assistant for smart urban cyclists, is one of the first products to be spun out of Asphalt Lab in Paris. Headed by Grégoire Lanuad, the start-up has generated €71,000 worth of support for its Kickstarter campaign.

Haïku is targeting urban cyclists who have an active and nomadic lifestyle. Launaud said that, until now, providing cyclists with the data they need has been inconvenient and dangerous. “Haïku solves this problem as it is the missing link between the world of atoms we love, our bike, and the world of bytes we need, our smartphone.”


Coachademy is a Dutch start-up led by Michelle Franke, and Mauro and Laura Fontanari. The eponymous app of the former Start-up of the Week is designed to create meaningful connections between users and professional, licensed coaches so they can get advice and improve wellness at work. The three founders started developing the app in 2015 as a distributed team in Amsterdam and Trento, Italy. Currently, Coachademy is in beta as an iOS and web app.


Coachademy’s founding team: Mauro Fontanari, Michelle Franke and Laura Fontanari

The start-up is currently based at H-FARM Ventures, a major Italian incubator in Venice, and accelerated by Technogym, a lead player in the wellness industry.


Founded in the Netherlands in 2013, Collaborne is a SaaS start-up that has developed a platform to generate personalised work streams for companies from their enterprise data, with an emphasis on design thinking.

Headquartered in Amsterdam, the company includes Vodafone, the World Economic Forum and Port Authority of Rotterdam among its clients, and was named in the Deloitte Technology Fast50 Rising Star list in 2014.


An edtech start-up led by ex-students and founded in 2013, FeedbackFruits has developed a platform to support blended learning for modern educators. It starts with finding enthusiastic teachers and campus ambassadors who can train and assist them in setting up the course.

Flipping the classroom and creating engaging lectures is a challenge for educators, and the goal of this service is to help make the process that little bit easier. Currently, the FeedbackFruits platform is used by over 18,000 students in 11 universities.

House of Einstein

House of Einstein is an online shopping service for men. Customers chat to a personal shopper via Skype or FaceTime and are then sent a box of clothes. They choose what they want, send back the rest, and only pay for what they keep.

Ook aan het klokkenspel wordt gedacht bij onze outfits! ⏰

A photo posted by House of Einstein (@houseofeinstein) on

Based in Amsterdam, House of Einstein currently serves the Netherlands and Belgium but aspires to spread throughout Europe. It was founded in 2012 by Jantien Autumn and Mei Ling Tan.

Johan Sports

Noordwijk-based Johan Sports has developed a wearable device for sports teams that tracks movement. CEOs Jelle Reichert and Robin van Kappel have worked with the European Space Agency to develop the sensors, raising over €150,000 in crowdfunding earlier this month.

Johan Sports

Johan Sports co-founders Jelle Reichert and Robin van Kappel. Image via YouTube

SBIC Participations, a spin-off of Space Business Innovation Centre Noordwijk, is one of the company’s angel investors.


Jungo is a fintech start-up targeting one of banking’s more locked-down services: mortgages. It’s doing this by hooking crowdfunders up with mortgage-seekers. The theory is that the bigger the crowd, the lower the risk and, therefore, the lower the interest rate for mortgage hunters.


Photo via Jungo/Facebook

Jungo was founded by Vincent van den Noort and Jasper Laagland.


Founded in 2014 by Cralan Deutsch, Eddie Moojen and Wart Fransen, LeadBoxer provides online lead generation, effectively in real-time.

The LeadBoxer app utilises web and data analytics (driven by Opentracker, also co-founded by Fransen) to help customers discover what companies are looking at their site and what products they’re interested in, and to identify top prospects.

Headquartered in Amsterdam, the start-up recently announced a €500,000 seed funding round from entrepreneurial investment company The Hatch Firm.


One recognisable shift in consumer trends recently has been the rapid adoption of microbreweries by pubs and bars, with people fed up of drinking the same six or seven beers owned by major corporations. To that end, a Utrecht-based start-up called MiniBrew has developed an internet of things (IoT) home brewery kit that fits on a kitchen countertop.

For those interested in brewing their own, MiniBrew attempts to halve the brewing time for beer from eight hours to just over three hours.


Founded by Ronald Brus in Amsterdam in 2013, MyTomorrows negotiates with drug manufacturers, assembles risk and success data, and provides information and orders of unknown drugs to the public.

MyTomorrows app screens

Image via MyTomorrows.com

Balderton Capital and Sofinnova Partners are two of its backers, with a total of $11.6m raised so far. Its database currently includes information about 78,030 ongoing and planned clinical trials, as well as 172 early-access programs.

Poopy Cat

Creators of biodegradable litter boxes and cardboard climbing structures for cats, Poopy Cat was founded by Thomas Vles and Rick Passenier in Amsterdam.

Operating on a subscription basis, the start-up is well-positioned when you consider there are an awful lot of cat owners in the world – and there’s always a market for recyclables.

Roger Bacon

Roger Bacon is an eyewear company that uses 3D-scanning technologies to make sure customers’ glasses fit perfectly. Select opticians (all based in the Netherlands at the moment) will take a 3D scan of the customer’s head and then Roger Bacon produces glasses to fit exactly.

Roger Bacon uses holographic technology to allow customers to virtually try on its glasses before they buy. The company was founded by CEO Pieter Jonckheer and COO Jan-Berend Zweerts in 2014.

Shopper Concepts BV (Countr HQ)

Shopper Concepts, headed by Irishman John Staunton, is a start-up that employs analytics and loyalty programmes to help retailers grow their businesses. At Uprise, they will be exhibiting their latest brand, Countr HQ.

To date, Shopper Concepts has created two main products – Buzzoek loyalty and CashOrCard POS – which give merchants the tools they need to run their business day-to-day. The company’s technologies range from everyday transaction processing to advanced analytics and business intelligence.

Sparq Tech Labs

Sparq Tech Labs produces nootropic capsules that it says can give you an extra brain boost when you need it – in work, when studying or when playing sports. Nootropics are defined as sustances that can improve cognitive function, and among the ingredients in Sparq’s product are caffeine and L-theanine (which is found in tea).

Co-founded by Omer Uyar and Errol Byron, the Amsterdam-based biotech company only launched its product in March, so it is very early-stage, but nootropics have already been pegged by Forbes as a big business opportunity for 2016.


One of the older entries on this list, Testbirds was founded in Munich back in 2011 by Philipp Benkler, Georg Hansbauer and Markus Steinhauser.

Testbirds applies principles of crowdsourcing to test digital products and technologies in the real world, with real users. This enables clients to carry out deep testing on products without the risk of bias.

Testbirds has enjoyed great success, having closed out a Series A funding round in 2014 with €2.1m, and it now operates offices in Amsterdam, London and Stockholm, has franchises in Hungary and Slovakia, and has clients and testers scattered around the globe.

VR Peekaboo

VR Peekaboo has quite the tagline: “an immersive experience that lets you visit your baby in the womb”. The company’s software converts ultrasound scans into a format that is viewable through virtual reality (VR) headsets, allowing parents to ‘see’ and even ‘hold’ their baby in a special VR experience.


Screenshot from VRPeekaboo.com

VR Peekaboo sees its offering becoming available in pre-natal care clinics with the possibility to relive the experience through mobile VR. Still in its very early stages, the start-up was founded by Nitzan Merguei (business driver) and Piotr Podziemski (tech driver).


VRmaster is, as you may guess from the name, another VR-related start-up. The web-based platform converts 360-degree content into a virtual-reality format, rendering it publishable on multiple platforms.

Founded by Detlef La Grand in August of last year, the Netherlands-based company has diversified beyond just content, and also produces Google Cardboard-like VR viewing devices. As of last summer, VRmaster had sold some 15,000 units.


Currently active only in the Netherlands, Yippie is the very definition of a start-up to watch – it could be huge.

Founded in 2013 by Maurice Kroon and launched in February 2015, Yippie offers a web browser plug-in that automatically compares the price of an item across multiple shops in real time, meaning users will always be able to find the best deal on whatever they’re buying. It also provides retailers with the opportunity to offer consumers a once-off, personalised deal for that item.

The start-up recently released an app on Android and iOS, developed following a €600,000 investment round.


Zitecraft is an Amsterdam-based start-up led by Barend Jungerius that enables local business-owners to transform their Facebook business pages into fully responsive websites.

Zitecraft’s technology enables business owners to create a website that updates itself with social media content, and the company claims each website is fully responsive and optimised for search right out of the box. Using Zitecraft’s content management system, businesses can change their homepage and add custom pages as needed.

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