These are the 12 participants of the AFAS Young Business Award 2023; 4 are from Amsterdam



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Young Business Award (YBA), the largest scale-up competition in the Netherlands and a Dutch television programme on RTL-Z and Videoland, announced on Thursday the twelve participants of the AFAS Young Business Award 2023.

The announcement took place at the AFAS headquarters in Leusden hosted by Lusanne Tehupuring, founder and CEO of Enatom, and Prince Constantijn Van Oranje-Nassau of the Netherlands, who is also the Special Envoy to Dutch tech accelerator and co-founder of StartupFestEurope.

Prince Constantijn emphasised that while the YBA is indeed a competition, its primary focus is on networking and the exchange of knowledge. 

“What seems so difficult to me about serving on such a jury is: how do you understand such an entrepreneur in such a short time? How do you determine who the winner is? I think the importance of this event is that people meet and learn from each other. It’s about the contacts,” adds Prince Constantijn. 

The twelve selected participants span various industries – from sustainable furniture marketplaces to cutting-edge payment systems and emission-free drone builders. 

However, social responsibility and climate consciousness are prevalent themes among the participants, reflecting a growing commitment to sustainability in the business world.

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Marco Aarnink, the founder of and, and a member of the YBA jury, says,”That’s what it’s all about now. I am happy that we see that reflected in the participants. We have such great companies in the Netherlands, and you see that again here.” 

“That is one of the reasons why I enjoy being a jury member at the AFAS Young Business Award, that you can become so inspired. Some entrepreneurs think very differently and come up with things that make me look more closely at my own business. That’s what you’re looking for,” adds Aarnink. 

Here are the twelve startups that have been selected for the Young Business Award (YBA) 2023:


Founder: Kim Hiemstra 

This Rotterdam-based startup is on a mission to make recyclable electric toothbrushes made out of recycled plastic with a focus on service and convenience.


Founder/s: Jeroen Huis in ‘t Veld

Jeroen built a platform for trading tickets for major sporting events from Groningen

XS2Event has quickly become the largest B2B platform in this space, and boasts a remarkable turnover.


Founder/s: Patrique Pi Zaman 

Based out of Amsterdam, Avy is building emission-free, self-flying aircraft designed for humanitarian purposes. 

Tex Tracer  

Founder/s: Jolanda Kooi 

Based in Amsterdam, Tex Tracer offers insights into the fashion supply chain to streamline supply and demand, all while championing sustainability.


Founder/s: Michael Boot and Panos Kouris 

Based out of Geleen, Vertoro offers an alternative to fossil sources. 

The startup converts agricultural waste flows into essential building blocks for the chemical industry and clean fuels. The company’s vision has attracted tens of millions in funding.


Founder/s: Ananda van Doorn and Jody Klaassen 

Based out of Amsterdam, Reliving is a marketplace for second-hand furniture and vintage. 

Over 30,000 people already offer furniture items on their platform, an answer to the frenzy of consumption and the throwing away of usable items.


Founder/s: Patrick van de Graaf 

With In3, shoppers can split their purchases into three interest-free instalments, reducing stress for buyers and boosting turnover for sellers. 


Founder/s: Itai Gross

Naduvi is changing the furniture game by offering products directly from renowned brands to customers, saving money and reducing emissions. 


Founder/s: Marieke Jongsma and Stefan Vogelzang 

In Groningen, the founding duo has created Vrelax to combat stress through VR glasses and software. 

Currently, over 230 hospitals, companies, and mental health institutions are using it. 


Founder/s: Ferhat Topuz 

This platform makes buying, selling, and donating discarded electronics effortless. 


Founder/s: Jan Wijn 

Amsterdam-based Trunkrs is a delivery service for same or next-day delivery in the Netherlands and Belgium. 

With 98 employees, they’re committed to delivering sustainably and achieving complete emission-free delivery by 2025. 

The Green Soap Company 

Founder/s: Marcel Belt 

The Green Soap Company makes sustainable soap for a clean house and body and a healthy planet. 

Marcel Belt markets two brands with the Green Soap Company: Marcel’s Green Soap and Driehoek. 


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Vigneshwar Ravichandran

Vigneshwar has been a News Reporter at Silicon Canals since 2018. A seasoned technology journalist with almost a decade of experience, he covers the European startup ecosystem, from AI and Web3 to clean energy and health tech. Previously, he was a content producer and consumer product reviewer for leading Indian digital media, including NDTV, GizBot, and FoneArena. He graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Electronics and Instrumentation in Chennai and a Diploma in Broadcasting Journalism in New Delhi.

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