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The ACE-List: TiliT Solar

Get to know ACE startup founders & find out what drives them!

The ACE-List: We are proud and excited to introduce our awesome startup founders. The ACE-List is a regular installment where startup teams from the ACE Incubation Program introduce themselves and share a little insight into their startup journey!

Meet the founders!

Company: TiliT Solar
Industry: Greenhouse Agriculture & Solar Energy
Founded in: 2018

Founders:
Floris van der Staaij (MSc Student in Advanced Matter & Energy Physics)
Isabelle van Keulen  (MSc Student in Physics & Astronomy and Advanced Matter & Energy Physics – Joint Degree)

In short:

TiliT Solar is presenting an easy-to-install, semi-transparent solar module that can be used by agricultural farmers on the glass roof and walls of greenhouses.

How did you come up with your startup idea?

We are both MSc Physics students specializing in solar energy. By learning a lot about the state-of-the-art technologies and its future possibilities, we got excited to help push forward the green revolution. During one of our courses, we came up with the idea together with our professor. A lot has changed since we started, although the main concept has always stayed the same. The Netherlands is known for its innovative agricultural sector and we are here to keep it that way.

What is your company’s unique proposition?

Our product is easy-to-install, semi-transparent and has a relatively low payback time. It uses the suns emitted wavelengths, which are not used by the crop and converts them into electricity. Ultimately, this will help to reduce the farmer’s energy by a significant amount. Also, we have a young and driven team of MSc students working together with expert advisors.

What has been your ACE moment?

The pitching at the end of the full-time week was a memorable moment. In such a small timeframe, we learned so many new things that are important in starting a company. The steps we have made in that one week ensured a tremendous improvement in our idea, which was then visualized in our pitch.

What has the shift from academia to entrepreneurship been like for you

It’s been a total new view on working on ideas. A logical way of thinking is still needed, but the difference is that sometimes decisions have to be made in a lot less time. This demands a critical view on your own work to make sure you choose the right path, without knowing for sure.

What is the best advice you could give someone who wants to start their own business?

Envision your goals, identify both your strengths and weaknesses, search for the right people to match correctly with your skills and divide tasks to get started. Also, finding out that people you barely know are more than willing to help you out, that is if you ask them of course.

What are your next steps for the coming months/half year?

Currently we are still in the R&D phase; therefore, we need to work on our prototype and start our first pilot.

How can someone who is interested in you or your startup contact you?

You can send an email to: tilit.solar@gmail.com or,
connect with either of us on LinkedIn: Floris van der Staaij & Isabelle van Keulen and send us a message!

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