StartupFest Europe presents 5 innovations that will change the world

The world is facing a number of major challenges, such as energy, climate, health and digital security. From 25-28 September the Netherlands is attracting international startups, scale-ups, investors, scientists and governors. Participants will meet at different locations all over the Netherlands. With access to funding, startups can solve many of these challenges. Therefore, StartupFest Europe brings together hundreds of European startups with more than 100 billion private investment capital. These events present startup innovations that will change the world.

Startups are good for the economy. They stimulate innovation and employment. In order to grow, startups require capital, knowledge and customers. This forms the basis for both Brightlands Innovation Factory and StartupFest Europe. It is hence no coincidence that the official opening of Brightlands Innovation Factory was part of the first edition of StartupFest Europe last year. StartupFest is a European festival, founded by StartupDelta, where startups and scale-ups find funding to grow their business, meet launching customers and find inspiration from international top-notch speakers.


The main event of StartupFest Europe is CapitalFest on September 27th, which is organised by the Amsterdam Capital Week and StartupDelta. During that week a number of thematic events spread around the Netherlands will take place under the theme 'Global Challenges, Startup Solutions'. Key note speakers and challenges will be focussing on these global challenges.

Edible drones

During CapitalFest on September 27th in the Beurs of Berlage in Amsterdam, there will a large series of international top speakers on stage, including a special video message from Jack Ma, CEO of Alibaba. Part of the speakers line-up are startups and scale-ups with a strong focus on one of the world's challenges, such as Boyan Slat. He is the founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup, the company that develops technological solutions for floating plastic in the oceans. Slat started his business in 2013 when he was 18 years old. The Ocean Cleanup has collected $ 31.5 million in funding. With its company Windhorse Aerospace, Nigel Gifford develops edible drones that can be deployed in disaster areas. The drones can transport a few tens of kilos of aid goods in the future.

Innovative translator

Tim Houter and his colleagues develop the solution for fast and safe transportation. Houters team recently became second in the SpaceX Hyperloop competition of Elon Musk. The first tests of the Delft Hyperloop are promising. Vasco Pedro is the founder and CEO of Unbabel, a Portuguese startup that develops the best translator using both artificial intelligence and "real" people. The goal of Unbabel is to make people worldwide work together better and easier. Eyewire is the company of Amy Robinson Sterling. Eyewire portrays the human brain through the use of an online game. By solving 3D puzzles, everyone can collaborate on visualizing the human neural network.

100 billion dollars

In addition to these five innovative startups, CapitalFest's stage includes Deep Nishar, the world's largest investor. Nishar (former vice president at LinkedIn) is managing director of The Softbank's Vision Fund; The Vision Fund has invested $ 100 billion. CapitalFest gives two startups the opportunity to pitch their company at Nishar. Besides, all startups visiting CapitalFest get the opportunity to present their business to hundreds of other investors.


StartupFest Europe is powered by a number of partners, such as StartupDelta, Startup Amsterdam, Deloitte, Amazon Webservices, AkzoNobel, ING, Rabobank, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. Brightlands is one of the founding partners of StartupDelta.

About Brightlands Innovation Factory

Brightlands Innovation Factory guides startups from pioneering ideas to successful companies. The unique premise of Brightlands Innovation Factory is that it helps startups throughout the whole life cycle: from the very first idea to a succesful scaleup (Incubation, Acceleration, Validation, Scaleup). These are startups that are active in the four focus man focus areas of the Brightlands campuses: Smart IT Services and Big Data (Heerlen), Chemicals and Materials (Sittard-Geleen), Health (Maastricht)  and Nutrition (Venlo). In addition, Brightlands Innovation Factory works with other partners like Topsport Limburg and Research and Business cluster Paris-Saclay in France.  

About Brightlands  

Brightlands is a collaboration for open innovation in health, sustainability and smart services in the Province of Limburg, The Netherlands. Researches, entrepreneurs, investors and students develop new solutions in the fields of materials, health, nutrition and smart services. Here at Brightlands, they find exactly what they need for personal and professional growth: knowledge, unique R&D-technology, state of the art facilities and a global atmosphere. Brightlands hosts more than 200 companies and organizations with a total amount of 12.000 knowledge workers and over 8000 students of different nationalities.  

It is the place where bold ideas turn address the world's toughest challenges with the brightest minds. 

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About Brightlands Innovation Factory

Brightlands Innovation Factory is the entrepreneurial backbone of the Brightlands ecosystems. We get inspired by daring ideas for a better and more sustainable world. We empower today’s pioneers in advanced materials, health, nutrition, and smart services on their journey from a bold idea to a legendary company.

At Brightlands Innovation Factory, all the bases are covered. World-class industry knowledge and expertise are coupled with expert-supported programs, value-added services and facilities, and access to funding.

Incubate. Accelerate. Validate. Scale. That’s what we do.