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ACE Demo Day 2019

We celebrated eight of our most promising startups at ACE Demo Day!

On Thursday Sept 26, we celebrated our 2nd Annual Demo Day! For a couple of hours, the Venture Studio at Startup Village was filled with ACE’s network – investors, entrepreneurs, students and prominent business leaders.

Fireside Chat

We kicked off the event with a Fireside Chat with three of ACE’s Alumni. It was very insightful to hear each alumni revealing the various stages of their startup journey. Dr. Marissa de Boer (CEO, SusPhos) discussed SusPhos’ recent collaboration with AquaMinerals, Joran Iedema (CEO, Dyme) talked about their latest seed funding round, raising 600,000 euros and Tijmen Blankenvoort (Co-Founder, Scyfer) spoke about his current role at Qualcomm after his company Scyfer was acquired by Qualcomm in 2017.

Founders’ pitches

Our founders are involved in various industries in science and technology such as medical/healthcare, sustainability, artificial Intelligence and influencer marketing. During the pitching round each founder had 3 minutes to deliver their pitch. Claudia Persoon (Neurospector) opened the first round, followed by Lars van der Wal (Gymstory), Ben Palmer (Viewpoint Medical) and Jan Hudecek (SlideScore). After each pitch, we held a lively Q&A with the audience asking intriguing questions to the founders.

The Story of ACE

The Story of ACE

After a short break we continued with a panel discussion revolving around the ‘Story of ACE’ with ACE’s founders Mirjam van Praag and Erik Boer. Mirjam founded ACE in 2006 whilst Erik joined ACE in 2007, and founded ACE Incubator with Peter Krijnsen in 2013. Erik is the current Director of ACE Incubator and Startup Village and at present, Mirjam is the President of the Executive Board of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and holds an ancillary position as a Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Copenhagen Business School in Denmark.

The founders spoke of the beginnings of ACE which naturally came with its own set of challenges. They discussed what ACE stands for and they talked about what’s in store for ACE in the future. With regards to ACE’s early days, Mirjam spoke about one particular challenge whereby she had to obtain a signature and had difficulties in securing a meeting with the respective signee. She was recommended by one of her Professors to “get your chair and sit in front of their office until you get your meeting and signature”. She took the Professor’s advice and was finally able to secure the aforementioned signature. Erik spoke about ACE Incubator’s tremendous track record in churning out successful companies. Erik’s hope for ACE’s future is that within the next five years ACE Incubator will become the best incubator in the Netherlands.

More pitches!

Eight of our founders pitched on stage!

There were more founders eager to pitch their companies in our second pitching round. We heard from Evangelos Kanoulas (Ellogon AI), Erdni Batyrev (Breeze), Kishan Parshotan (Just AI) and Mick Vermeulen (What’s Hot). Similar to the first round, the audience were incredibly engaging during the Q&A sessions. We closed the afternoon with drinks and everyone mingled and had the chance to personally connect with one another.

Get in touch

Let us know if you are interested to connect with our founders, feel free to get in touch with our Program Manager, Elizaveta Kolesnichenko at

Watch the aftermovie:

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