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Get to know one of the 10 Academic Startup Competition winners 2020! 
VanBoven: a short introduction

The Association of Universities in the Netherlands, the Netherlands Academy of Technology and Innovation, and have nominated 20 academic startups from 57 contenders to compete in the finals of the second edition of the Academic Startup Competition. The jury has now selected the best 10 startups: the winners of the ASC 2020! Among the winners is VanBoven, a company that uses smart algorithms to monitor each individual plant and vegetable so that they can predict fresh vegetable harvests.

The level of the competitors was very high this year, and the most ground-breaking and innovative academic startups were selected to be the ‘Best academic startup in the Netherlands’. These startups are responsible for state-of-the-art and ground-breaking innovations in various fields, including Life Sciences, Health, High Tech, Energy, Logistics and Agri-Food. VanBoven is one of the winners in the Agri-Food field.

Growing fresh vegetables is a real art. It’s a complex process in which growers dance with nature. The optimal time to harvest and resulting yield has always been difficult to predict. VanBoven radically changes this. Small field samples and gut feeling that are used today have shown to be bad harvest predictors. This drives costs for all partners in the value chain. In worst cases, perfect vegetables remain unharvested – leading to food waste and missed revenue. Such waste can be prevented using VanBoven’s technology.

Predict the optimal moment to harvest through technology
Van Boven’s custom algorithms identify every individual plant within a field. They do this through a smart drone system. Dimensions of both the plant and the crown or crop are accurately determined. The result: accurate insight in the whereabouts of harvestable crops. They compare sequential measurements to track the growth of every plant, head or crop over time. Next to that, (hyper)local weather data is added to the dataset. With all this in place the startup can predict the optimal moment to harvest and expected weight of each individual plant, head or crop. The resulting harvest forecasts can be aggregated to batch, field or farm level, giving the insights you need.

VanBoven was founded late 2018 by three entrepreneurial friends: Eric, Kaz and Bas and the startup is part of the Wageningen University. Together they set out to unleash the power of data in the value chain of fresh vegetables. Together with a growing team of young and ambitious engineers they’re working hard towards a more sustainable and smarter future. VanBoven operates closely with leaders in the value chain of fresh vegetables: renowned research institutes, large growers and retailers.

Welcome to the winners of ASC 2020 VanBoven!