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The ACE-List: X+Y

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 will introduce themselves and share a little insight into their startup journey!

Meet the founders

Company: X+Y
Industry: Services
Founded: 2018

Milan Jelisavcic (MSc Computer Engineering / PhD in Evolutionary Robotics)
Jacqueline Heinerman (MSc Econometrics / PhD in Evolutionary Robotics)

In short

The mission of X+Y is to empower data scientists to contribute to industry and society while keeping their knowledge up to date with developments at the university.

Tell us more!

How did you come up with your startup idea?

It started from our own needs. We are soon finishing our PhDs and we don’t desire a full-time career in academia, but we do want to continue to be intellectually challenged on socially-relevant topics and make an impact with our skills. We believe that this is possible if we manage to change the way companies and organisations are collaborating. So this is what we are going to do!

What is your company’s unique proposition?

Unique about X+Y is that we are not driven by profit. We are a social enterprise that is driven by creating impact for industry and society with our data science expertise.

What has been your ACE moment?

It has been an ACE roller-coaster since the start of the Bootcamp! We learned so many new terms and can now say that we created a landing page to test the most critical assumptions of our MVP :).

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

At the moment, we are still combining our PhD with developing our company X+Y. Our academic background trained us to think and work in a structured manner, which we believe is beneficial for starting a business.

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

Just do it and sign up for ACE!

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

We are investigating the best collaboration possibilities for all parties involved. These parties include companies, universities and non-profit organisations. Collaboration possibilities are endless but we need to find the right fit, creating value for all in order to be able to build a proper business case.

Are you an ambitious data scientist or do you need smart and enthusiastic data scientists!? Join our community on and help us to make this collaboration a success by answering a few questions.

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