UT Challenge

Winners Entrepreneurial Day UT Challenge


During the 'Entrepreneurial Day' on 21 June, the final of the 2nd edition of the UT Challenge took place. The winner in the category Ideation is 'An Alarming Problem'. In the category Prototyping, 'App een Oma' (Message a Granny) won, and in StartUp, 'Carbon Core' was the winner.


The number of false alarms in Accident and Emergency departments is a major problem. Alarms are essential in a life-threatening situation, but research shows that up to 90% of the alarms are false or clinically irrelevant. As a solution to this problem, an algorithm was developed. Master students technical medicine Renée Hovenier and Silvana Riphagen won the Ideation category of the UT Challenge with a cheque of 3 thousand euros.


People in our modern society are very quickly distracted, and the technology around us is changing faster than ever. Many seniors struggle to keep up, resulting in isolation and loneliness. PenPal is an at-home device for the elderly which receives text messages in real-time and sends messages to loved ones. Joran van der Sluis (Industrial Design Engineering) and his three co-students won the UT Challenge Prototyping category with a cheque of 4 thousand euros.


With a patented 3D printing technique, Carbon Core produces a strong, sustainable, and cheap prosthesis in shorter lead time. The company makes a model of the limbs by using a 3D scanner. The model is sent directly to the printer together with all of the customer's preferences. The tailor-made prosthesis is ready for use in a few days for only half of the costs of current prostheses. Carbon Core reduces the waiting time, reduces the costs, and eliminates the need for extra socks. Master student Mechanical Engineering Jeljer de Boer won the UT Challenge StartUp category with a cheque of 5 thousand euros.


CarbonCode is a simple app for people who want to influence the environment.

The UT Challenge is an entrepreneurial competition for UT students. It is a cooperation between the UT and more than 25 leading companies and organisations from the region and beyond. This year, the UT Challenge was organised for the second time. From January 2018 onward, different online chat sessions took place in cooperation with the partner companies and the coaches. Team members participated in workshops and speed dates. The teams received not only optimal support for the final on 21 June but also for future entrepreneurship.

During the Entrepreneurial Day, the audience had plenty to take in. Besides the UT Challenge final, there was the annual Innovation talk with keynote speaker Peter Wennink (CEO ASML) as part of a crammed programme with innovations, pitches, entrepreneurial students, prizes, and cheques.


Peter Wennink (CEO ASML) spoke during his presentation about the foundation of ASML and the expansion that his company is going through. "We need more partners and should invest in open innovation. To do this, trust is needed. Trust is a combination of capability, reliability, and transparency, without losing sight of your self-interest. Safety in the workplace supports this and ensures that workers can express and develop themselves. I have regular lunch meetings with Peter planned. Everyone can join us, which means I stay in close contact with all the ins and outs at ASML."


The UT Challenge started eighteen months ago. The mission is to offer entrepreneurial students a platform where they can pitch their projects in three categories (Ideation, Prototyping, and StartUp). In the category Ideation, it is all about working out an idea into a First Proof of Concept. In Prototyping, it is about the Proof of Concept and Market Research. In StartUp, we see Minimal Viable Products which are ready for serial production or to enter the market. The students are given tools to write a business plan about their projects in collaboration with the business partners.


On the morning of 21 June, the best 22 projects of all categories had the opportunity to pitch their business plan in the UT DesignLab. Among those present in the room were relatives, friends, students, business partners, and others who also voted for the Public Award via ballot papers. The specialist jury stood under the direction of Joost Brinkman (UT research group NIKOS) and selected the best two projects from each category, which were allowed to return during the afternoon event with a longer pitch including questions from the specialist jury. The jury in the afternoon was under the direction of Victor van der Chijs (UT President) and consisted of delegates of ASML, Thales, VolkerWessels Telecom, Koopmans TBI, Speakup, Novel-T, NIKOS, and the Student Union.


ASML presented the 'ASML Makers Award'. This prize was won by the project that had thought hardest about the makeability of a product. The cheque of €2,500 and three months of technical support by ASML went to the FeathIR project. FeathIR is working on an advanced spectrometer (an optical instrument used for measuring light characteristics).