Meet the 11 social innovators pitching at DNNL X Social Enterprise NL Launchpad Demo Day 2024

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Are you interested in knowing more about these social enterprises? Click here to know more about them and their DNNL x Social Enterprise NL Launchpad Track 2024 journey.

Can social enterprises impact our lives the same way that tech startups do? The Dutch New Narrative Lab (DNNL) is on a mission to help social enterprises become economically sustainable with its launchpad mission.

While tech startups hog all the limelight in the Dutch startup ecosystem, there is now renewed focus on innovative impact startups and social enterprises who are pushing to make the world more equitable and sustainable on their way to solving 21st-century challenges.

To help social enterprises and social entrepreneurs, DNNL joined hands with Social Enterprise NL and to announce DNNL x Social Enterprise NL Launchpad Track 2024 in March 2024.

The programme aims to nurture social innovation and turn the Dutch tech ecosystem into a hub for socially scalable enterprises as well as support innovative and ambitious organisations that back entrepreneurs with a migrant background.

Ruben Brave DNNL Social Enterprise Launchpad 2024 Demo Day
Ruben Brave @Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship Rotterdam | Image Credit: DNNL

The application for the programme opened between March 20 and April 20, 2024 and a panel of independent judges selected the eleven startups a few days later. The kickoff for the programme began on April 26 and included expert days, hybrid masterclasses, and founder & funders dinner.

With the social enterprises selected for the programme set for their demo day being held at the Amazon office on July 5, where the social entrepreneurs will showcase their product and pitch their businesses to investors.

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The demo day will be opened by Mpanzu Bamenga, Member of the Dutch Parliament for D66 and Human Rights Man of the Year 2021 and moderated by Arosha Brouwer, co-Founder & CEO of Quan and lead mentor of DNNL x Social Enterprise Launchpad NL.

They will be joined by a distinguished panel of experts including Carol Tarr, Sustainable Finance and Impact Investment Expert at Phenix Capital Group, Farshida Zafar, Director of the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship, Davide Iannuzzi, Chief Impact Officer at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU Amsterdam), Jeffrey Williams, Senior Investment Manager at ROM Utrecht Region, and Kayode Alao, Supply Chain and Procurement Lead at Amazon.

DNNL Launchpad 2024 Demo Day
Workshop/training at Zandkasteel by Jaïr Halevi June 2024 | Image Credit: DNNL

Let’s take a look at the eleven social enterprises selected for DNNL x Social Enterprise NL Track 2024 Launchpad and their critical ask at Demo Day 2024 made possible by Amazon Netherlands.

BlockVerse Institute

Founder(s): Gaurav Gupta

Founded in: 2022

Hiring: Yes, check job opportunities here

Critical Ask: BlockVerse Institute is seeking €1.25M in funding which the social startup will use to create a scalable Select – Skill – Match platform over the next 18 months. It is also looking for companies interested in participating in its NL pilot and recruiting from its diverse skilled cohort by the end of Q4 2024.

BlockVerse Institute is a Dutch startup that aims to formalise digital technology skill development. The company collaborates with governments to enhance existing workforce skills and assist new talents in satisfying digital talent demand.

The BlockVerse platform offers various courses, including machine learning operations, cybersecurity, coding, and more. Users are also provided career counselling sessions and a hub to connect with hiring teams for job opportunities. The Dutch startup works with world-class clients. It has initiated digital skills training projects in Africa and India to empower women and underprivileged people.


Founder(s): Chong Hu

Founded in: 2023

Hiring: No

Critical Ask: CupXchange is looking to connect with organisations willing to switch to its social and sustainable subscription and also connect with social impact investors willing to support its mission.

CupXchange is a complete “cups-as-a-service” solution that collects, delivers, and washes coffee cups. The startup picks up coffee cups, cleans them at local cleaning facilities, and delivers them with zero-emission transport, minimising the impact on the environment. The solution from CupXchange makes enjoying coffee possible in a sustainable and reusable manner. The Dutch startup also hires underrepresented people and those with a distance from the labour market, especially neurodiverse and autistic talent.

Insight – People & Culture

Founder(s): Farzan Najmeddin and Kasper Bouwens

Founded in: 2022

Hiring: No

Critical Ask: Insight is looking for design partners or organisations that recognise the urgency of the problem the Dutch startup is solving. It is specifically looking for 5 organisations with over 200 employees who can help Insight further develop its product in collaboration with its users.

Insight – People & Culture is a platform dedicated to help every organisation become a human-first organisation, where millennials and Gen-Z employees can develop together. It deploys AI to create “human-first organisations visions of a future where the functions of HR and L&D in a company are not isolated from each other but integrated seamlessly into employees’ daily workflow. The platform provides real-time insights based on a team’s culture and engagement to help the clients grow.”

Are you interested in knowing more about these social enterprises? Click here to know more about them and their DNNL x Social Enterprise NL Launchpad Track 2024 journey.

Life of Gini & TravelBuddies

Founder(s): Virginia Scheele

Founded in: 2023

Hiring: No

Critical Ask: Life of Gini & TravelBuddies is seeking at least 5 corporates that want to sponsor €10k each so they get to send 5 queer employees on an inclusive social impact trip.

Life of Gini & TravelBuddies is a Utrecht-based startup that assists solo travellers with unique one-stop-shop inclusive and sustainable travelling experiences aimed at hi-tier solo travellers, couples, and employee teams.

Solo travellers can join the carefully curated tour and inclusive community. It will provide safety, entertainment, and travellers with knowledge of respecting local cultures. The trips will be off-season with diverse destinations and activities to support local communities, aligning with the sustainability and authenticity values of the startup.


Founder(s): Kasia Pokrop

Founded in: 2023

Hiring: No

Critical Ask: Mamamoon is looking for companies that care about the well-being of their employees and would be willing to join their pilot of the complete Mamamoon program (including webinars & events for all 3Ms: menstruation, motherhood, menopause).

Mamamoon created the Mamamoon app to provide interactive pregnancy and postpartum coaching. With tailored tips and guides on exercise, nutrition, mental health, etc., mothers can overcome the challenges of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum recovery.

In addition, the online classes and guidance are reserved for the mothers and their partners. Partners’ roles are often overlooked, but Mamamoon offers assistance to maximise support for mothers’ and babies’ care.

Arosha Brouwer
Arosha Brouwer is lead mentor of DNNL x Social Enterprise NL Launchpad 2024


Founder(s): Sobhan Mahmoudi

Founded in: 2023

Hiring: No

Critical Ask: MeetMeals is looking for €150k in investment and five partners to whom it can deliver homemade food for their staff’s lunchtime.

MeetMeals is on a mission to bring homemade dishes and meals from different cultures to your table. The Airbnb for homemade meals is building a platform for people who love discovering new tastes from other cultures to come together and enjoy healthier homemade dishes.


Founder(s): Ming-Faraz Khan

Founded in: 2020

Hiring: Yes, check job opportunities here

Critical Ask: To secure a robust network and funding to scale its tech education programmes. The startup is seeking strategic educational partnerships and access to subsidies, grants or other types of funding that will enable it to make tech education fun and accessible for more children.

NxtGen+ is a digital education platform focusing on primary and secondary school students. It supports schools in implementing digital literacy and computer science education by facilitating policy changes, comprehensive modular learning, and digital upskilling programs for teachers.

The company aims to improve digital literacy with culturally diverse role models and interactive teaching materials. Young students can have more fun with the modules offered, mainly in the form of games.


Founder(s): Navid Mohamamadi

Founded in: 2024

Hiring: No

Critical Ask: SHEXON is looking to initiate its pilot program after the summer break with the plan to organise events where international employees can share their experiences with students from the same discipline and cultural background. It is also seeking strategic collaboration with companies interested in hiring international talent and willing to encourage their international employees to participate in SHEXON’s events. Its goal is to foster collaboration with companies and their international employees without charging any fees.

SHEXON is an innovative platform that connects prospective students with current students and alumni. Through the SHEXON community, prospective students can gain insights about choosing that will help them make an educated decision concerning their next university investments in time, money, and energy.

It also helps international and local students in the Netherlands overcome university challenges. Current students and alumni will be paid as Insighters to give unbiased opinions and share personal experiences.

Society College

Founder(s): Hugo Goedhart and Alfred van der Klis

Founded in: 2022

Hiring: Yes, check job opportunities here

Critical Ask: Society College is looking for funding for growing its sales capacity and improving its cash flow to boost growth.

Society College is a training institute where students are prepared for their next step into the labour market through various programs. The programs are conducted hybrid using online platforms and classic teamwork/leadership activities.

It emphasises that the labour market should align with contemporary society’s and younger generations’ values. Moreover, it views Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as more than just branding, promoting hands-on involvement of companies within its community for timely assistance when required.

Subul Impact Outsourcing

Founder(s): Khaled Shaaban

Founded in: 2019

Hiring: Yes, check job opportunities here

Critical Ask: Subul is looking to establish a board of wise individuals who can guide the startup to the next level, bringing invaluable insight and strategic direction.

Subul Impact Outsourcing is a tech company that hires impact workers. Impact hiring involves recruiting refugees and disadvantaged communities, which can increase a company’s talent pool and positively impact inclusion and community growth.

Founded in The Hague, Subul aims to bridge the gap between the unique talents of refugees and marginalised ties with the tech industry’s needs. Until now, over 800 people in the talent pool and over 50 satisfied clients trusted Subul for the impact hiring process.


Founder(s): Nienke Hoogvliet and Anne Boermans

Founded in: 2020

Hiring: No

Critical Ask: Zeefier is looking to connect with a foundation, family fund, or angel investor interested in sustainability and delivering the European Green Deal.

Zeefier is a company producing natural dyes from local Dutch seaweed. The company envisions replacing harmful synthetic dyes used in the textile industry with sustainable dyes.

Its production includes bio-based and environmentally friendly pigment extraction from seaweed waste streams. The dyes can be applied to natural textiles with a wide range of colours.

Are you interested in knowing more about these social enterprises? Click here to know more about them and their DNNL x Social Enterprise NL Launchpad Track 2024 journey.


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The editorial team of Silicon Canals brings you technology news from the European startup ecosystem. 

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