Master students develop sustainable business ideas in Cleantech Challenge

Around 60 students from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) and Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) worked together to compete in the final of the Dutch CleanTech Challenge on 3 April 2017. The student teams worked on sustainable business ideas and analysed their feasibility in this business competition.

The business competition Dutch CleanTech Challenge was linked to a course given by Delft Centre for Entrepreneurship. Almost half of the group of nearly 60 participants were RSM students, and some of the lectures were led by RSM lecturers.

In the course, teams combined students from both universities, and executed feasibility studies for their sustainable business ideas. In the third quarter of this academic year, the teams worked on the validation of their ideas guided by the lectures given and coaching. The final took place at tech incubator Yes!Delft at TU Delft.

Bioplastics for the packaging industry

During the finals, six selected teams presented their business ideas in front of a jury consisting of Daan Domhof, managing director at YES!Delft; Thibaut Decré from HighTechXL; and Leon Pulles, business development manager at StartGreen Capital.

The winning team was PHB-D, which thought of an innovative way of producing bioplastics for the packaging industry. The jury was impressed with the idea’s sustainability impact, feasibility, scalability and the team’s pitch during the presentation. The team members Felix Koenigs, Vidhvath Viswanathan, and Jelmer Smits won €1,500 to further develop their idea, coaching from Leon Pulles from StartGreen Capital, and tickets to the international CleanTech Challenge competition in London sponsored by the LDE Centre for Sustainability. Koenings and Smits are both in RSM’s MSc Global Business & Sustainability programme. The audience prize of €500 was also given to the PHB-D team.The audience prize of €500 was also given to the PHB-D team.

Recycling 3D printing waste

The second prize went to two teams. Team 3Cycle worked on recycling 3D printing waste into new filaments to be used for 3D printing. This team consisted of RSM master students Felix Johne, Sjors Brandsma, Steven Polak, and Sven van der Knaap. The second team ROTEC, a team working on combining ocean thermal energy conversion and reverse osmosis into an affordable solution to turn sea water into drinking water. Each team won coaching sessions by Leon Pulles from StartGreen Capital. The ROTEC team, which consisted of TU Delft-only students Kizjee Marif, Timo Veldt, Machiel van der Veer, Roy Smits and Fabian Koppes, also received a one-year membership to the CleanTech Delta.

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top 10 research-based business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who carry their innovative mindset into a sustainable future thanks to a first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes. Study information and activities for future students, executives and alumni are also organised from the RSM office in Chengdu, China.

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Marianne Schouten, Media & Public Relations Manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at

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