Thomas Plantenga from Vinted wins the LOEY Award 2021; Amsterdam-based Jeroen van Duffelen d’Aidence receives the Talent Award
Earlier this month, the Leading Online Entrepreneur of the Year (LOEY), an initiative by Endeit Capital and Peak Capital to celebrate online entrepreneurs, announced the nominations for the Talent Award. On Tuesday, the LOEY Awards & Foundation announced the winners of the 2021 LOEY Award.
The initiative was created in 2010 to boost online entrepreneurship in the Netherlands. The awards were presented for the 11th time this year and the ceremony took place during a dinner show at the Harbor Club in Amsterdam.
Get to know the incredible finalists here
In 2019, Joris Beckers, co-founder of Picnic, was named the winner of the LOEY Award. However, due to corona restrictions, the LOEY Awards could not be presented in 2020.
LOEY Prize 2021
This year Thomas Plantenga, Dutch CEO of Lithuania-based second-hand clothing platform ‘Vinted’, was named the 2021 LOEY Award winner on Tuesday evening.
“Thomas is an exceptional entrepreneur who has succeeded in making Vinted the European market leader in second-hand clothing. The fact that he runs a company that recently reached a valuation of 3.5 billion euros is incredible. A very worthy successor! says jury president Joris Beckers (PicNic), who won the LOEY prize in 2019.
Plantenga, who left the Netherlands in 2010 for overseas business ventures in New York, Buenos Aires and elsewhere, has been actively involved with Vinted since 2016, where he was appointed CEO in 2017.
“I am extremely proud and honored to be named the recipient of this annual award. The LOEY Award is the ultimate online entrepreneurship award, considering the impressive group of alumni like Pieter Zwart, Steven Schuurman and Joris Beckers. It’s fantastic to be part of this fantastic network of extremely talented entrepreneurs now. Says Plantenga.
Currently, he is working on the global rollout of Vinted, which acquired Dutch market leader United Wardrobe in 2020.
Jeroen van Duffelen won the LOEY Talent Award
In addition, Jeroen van Duffelen, co-founder of the Dutch scaleup Aidence, won the LOEY Talent Award.
“We are now in the most difficult phase. The business is growing rapidly and we are seeing interest from all over the world. We are currently working on AI-based technology for different stages of the oncology pathway, ”explains van Duffelen.
Based in Amsterdam, Aidence is a medical imaging startup, which uses artificial intelligence to help healthcare professionals detect diseases such as lung cancer.
The company developed Veye Lung Nodules, which the company says helps radiologists detect, classify, quantify and track the growth of lung nodules to support their lung cancer care decisions.
Jeroen’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to train in software engineering and start his own business by marketing an online education platform. He then tried his hand in the American startup ecosystem where he joined a growing cloud company. Jeroen returned to Amsterdam where he ran a high-tech incubator for university research institutes. It was here that Jeroen first developed a taste for applying AI to healthcare. In 2015, he founded Aidence with Mark-Jan Harte.
In an exclusive conversation with Silicon Canals, van Duffelen talks about the challenges he faced in transforming Aidence into an expansion, expansion plans and more.
Speaking of the challenges, Jeroen van Duffelen shares: “Healthcare is a slow market, so it requires a lot of upfront capital. At the same time, European investors are reluctant to place their funds in the healthcare sector, especially when it comes to emerging technologies like AI. “
He continues: “Another challenge is that the conversation around AI often centers around the algorithm. There is much more to effective deployment than that: workflow integration, cybersecurity, post-market surveillance. “
How Amsterdam helped Aidence go from a startup to a scale-up
Amsterdam is indeed a bustling place for entrepreneurs who want to test their innovative ideas. The capital of the Netherlands is one of the fastest growing European cities in the global tech ecosystem.
“Amsterdam is a hub for talent. It is possible to find or attract people with rare or advanced skills who can, in our example, build advanced technology. In addition, the Netherlands is an open society; we were able to hire talent from over 15 nationalities, ”says Duffelen.
So far, Aidence has raised € 12.5 million to date from various investors including INKEF Capital, Rabo Ventures, henQ and SBRI Healthcare. The company plans to close the Series B financing in the first half of 2022.
“We are currently preparing to raise a Tower B investment. The milestones we aim to achieve to secure this funding are obtaining FDA approval to market our software in the United States and launching our first customers. in this market, ”says Duffelen.
Currently, the company employs around 60 people in various positions such as data scientists, software engineers, etc.
Duffelen notes: “We have grown tremendously over the past year. We plan to double our team size within 18 months of increasing our B round. We plan to expand our product portfolio and enter the US market.
How his partnership with Salesforce helped him succeed!