• 2rd place ClimateLaunchpad 2015 Delft IMP. Highly efficient catalysts. Competing helped us define what to focus on to make the big hit.

Delft IMP.
Highly efficient catalysts.

Our challenge now is to show how we are growing.

Delft IMP came in second during the 2015 Dutch National Final and finished in the Top-10 at the Grand Final. What they do? They figured out how to produce highly efficient catalysts, a technology that enables the transition from an oil­based economy to a bio­based economy.

Over 90% of all chemical processes use catalysts, for example to transform oil into usable products such as petrol and Lego. Delft IMP’s patented technology gets up to 60% more usable product out of the same amount of oil. When implemented for all catalysts worldwide this technology can result in 2.5 to 5 billion Euros in energy savings.

We didn’t have a real focus
about our business

“ClimateLaunchpad helped us define what we should focus on as a company to make the big hit.”

Delft IMP is a Delft University spinout. Before joining ClimateLaunchpad they were using university equipment to make samples for clients as a way to evaluate the technology. “We were already in the stage of setting up a business”, says Bart van Limpt, CEO of the company. “But we didn’t have a clear proposition nor had we figured out the true value of our business. That’s a continuous question as you go through setting up your company. Basically, we didn’t have a focus or a clear vision on how to make it a success.”

“We learned to answer questions like ‘what do you do
as a business, what’s your product, what’s your deal and
how do you explain that to the public?’

ClimateLaunchpad makes you ask the right questions about key issues

The ClimateLaunchpad Boot Camp helped Delft IMP define that focus: “We learned to answer questions like ‘what do you do as a business, what’s your product, what’s your deal and how do you explain that to the public?’

They put you on the spot and make you perform and pitch in front of your peers right away. That is very useful. It makes you ask the right questions. Makes you think quick about key issues. In short, ClimateLaunchpad helped us define what we should focus on as a company to make the big hit.”

Delft IMP’s climate impact

Delft IMP’s founder Bart van Limpt started out as an environmental engineer. His ambition was – and is - to make climate impact. This is how they’re doing on that scale:

  • If implemented for all catalysts worldwide, technology could result in 2.5 to 5 billion Euros in energy savings.
  • Highly efficient catalysts enable the transition from an oil­based economy to a bio­based economy.
  • Technology reduces amount of material needed up to 60% to reach a certain effect.
  • Technology and equipment help create new technologies that positively impact the climate greatly.

Delft IMP initially thought their biggest value was the ability to produce a certain powder. They found out that clients are looking for specific types of products and are looking for partners with a scalable approach to make these products. The two most valuable lessons Delft IMP learned during ClimateLaunchpad were to concentrate on product and to think and act from a strategic point of view. It made them deviate from their original idea and turn the focus to what they are actually good at.

“We develop the technology, the coating equipment and make it available for large scale industries. Our expertise is in the equipment. We deliver a true product to our clients and put the advantages of particle coating in their own hands.”

Bart continues: “What I loved about ClimateLaunchpad is that so many people were involved. People with strong personalities and each with their own take on things. Everyone happily shares their views, which gave us new insights on how to build your company.”

“We identified three markets where we believe
we can make a viable business.”

A €250k take off grant

Finishing in the Top-10 of ClimateLaunchpad’s Grand Final 2015 landed Delft IMP a spot in the Climate-KIC Accelerator programme, focused on cleantech commercialization. “That’s where we got into detailing our proposition even further and the real work started on how we wanted to go to market. We had to identify the assumptions we had in starting our business and tackle those. An approach that fast tracks your thinking.”

One of the things they accomplished since finishing up the Accelerator in 2016, is landing a €250k ‘Take off grant’ from NWO (formerly called STW), a funding organisation by Dutch universities.

“This grant allows us to develop from lab scale to pilot scale. We identified three markets where we believe we can make a viable business. For these markets we are now developing proof of concept and producing materials that bring benefits into our client’s products.”

Bart van Limpt - Delft IMP

Delft IMP is well on its
way to global impact

“Our challenge now is to show how we are growing. We have projects going on with major industry players, in the Netherlands and abroad.”

At the moment Delft IMP has clients testing their products. At the same time they are working with partners to commercialise the technology. By the end of this year they’ll have the equipment to scale up production.

“Our challenge now is to show how we are growing. We have projects going on with major industry players, in the Netherlands and abroad. But as everything is done under NDA we cannot disclose names at this point. In the past two years we had a €300k turnover in commercial products and secured €750k of investment in public funding. We’re partnering with major industry.” Delft IMP is well on its way to global impact.

Best advice: engage with industry

Bart recommends anyone with a business or business idea to “engage with industry as soon as possible as it really shows you the strength of your company.”

– Delft IMP

Subscribe to newsletter