J58 best startup at the UT Challenge

Wednesday 05 June 2024
J58 best startup at the UT Challenge

On Friday May 31st, it was time for the Grande Finale of the UT Entrepreneurial Challenge. This year, the finale was part of the Dutch Innovation Days and was hosted in the Kleine Willem. After months of preparations, J58 took home the win for best startup. Palmos, SimplyPill, and Zyclus were the winners of the other categories.

The UT Challenge is a yearly challenge in which entrepreneurial-minded people from the University of Twente take on the challenge to work on their innovative idea, prototype or startup. During the Grande Finale, 20 finalists get the opportunity to pitch. A lucky few continue to the showdown, after which three winners are picked from each category, as well as the audience award, the ASML makers award, the V.O. idea activation award, and the DSIF award.


Words of encouragement

The show kicked off with some encouraging words from Novel-T CEO Bas Kerkwijk: “What is key about innovation is that it somehow finds its way to society and makes an impact. Startup founders are the ones doing that. So be nervous, fail, be successful, and do everything you have to do.” With those words, the afternoon continued with the first 6 pitches in the ideation category, closely followed by 7 pitches in the prototyping category, as well as 7 in the startup category. Each pitch was followed by a loud applause from the audience, which consisted of enthusiastic supporters and visitors from the Dutch Innovation Days.



After a quick break, it was time for the showdown in which selected startups from each category had 5 minutes to answer questions from the judges. Pavlina Nanou, jury member in the prototyping category, had a message before she announced the two selected startups for the showdown: “If you’re not selected, know that it doesn’t stop here. I encourage you to keep improving and to keep going, because it’s worth it.” In true startup style, the judges from the startup category broke the rules and picked three startups instead of two for the showdown: J58, Inclusys, and Tomorrow Energies.


Of those three, J58 took home the win, after the other winners (below) were announced. We look back on a successful afternoon filled with ideas, innovation, and entrepreneurship.



Ideation: Palmos

Prototyping: SimplyPill

Startup: J58

Audience award: SimplyPill

ASML makers award: J58

VO idea activation award: Zyclus

DSIF award: Palmos




Miriam Ilohan, Designlab

Ernst Galutschek, ASML

Rolf Vermeij, Nobian



Pavlina Nanou, Torwash

Florian Overkamp, Speakup

Jasper Groot Koerkamp, V.O. patents and trademarks



Cindy Marsman, Novel-T

Job van Harmelen, Thales


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