Imagine making an object ‘smart’ just by putting a sticker on it. Anything Connected, founded by TU Delft graduate Frederik Westerouen van Meeteren (29), has done just that.
Frederik Westerouen van Meeteren: “Know that your initial idea most likely won’t be your final business model.” (Foto: Anything Connected)

Imagine making an object ‘smart’ just by putting a sticker on it. Anything Connected, founded by TU Delft graduate Frederik Westerouen van Meeteren (29), has done just that.

A bridge, a box of bananas, machinery in a production line, the sensor sticker that Westerouen van Meeteren’s start-up launched last year can be stuck on almost anything to make it ‘smart’. “By measuring electricity, movement, temperature, vibration and orientation we can get important data about the performance of an object. This is especially useful for machines, because the information gathered shows businesses when their equipment is starting to break down and needs maintenance. Knowing this up front can save a lot of money. Another cost benefit is that companies do not have to stop their production for us to install our sensor. You simply stick it onto the side of whatever you want measured. Within minutes, clients can have data delivered to their own data analysis systems.”

‘Entrepreneurship is like driving a car past a cliff’

Hearing Westerouen van Meeteren tell his story, it sounds like Anything Connected has a lot going for it. However, the road to success was not without difficulty. “After joining YES!Delft in 2016, we had to change our business model twice. Originally, we wanted to use the technology in home care for the elderly. Put a sticker on an oven and we could see if they needed a nurse to help them with cooking. However, you have to be a thousand percent accurate in this market. One error can put a life at risk. We knew we would be able to achieve this level of accuracy eventually, but the road there proved too long. Then we looked into other markets, such as app developers, but our fast implementation time didn’t fit well with them. Eventually we found that maintenance is the area in which our sensor can add the most value and provide a sustainable business model.”

Running a start-up for almost three years, Westerouen van Meeteren has plenty of advice for any student looking to start a business. “Appreciate the learning process. Know that your initial idea most likely won’t be your final business model. Accept all the help you can get. Entrepreneurship is like driving a car past a cliff. The trick is to get as many people into your car as possible. They will help you steer and stop you from crashing.”

Start-up Anything Connected
(Foto: Anything Connected)

  • Study: Industrial Design
  • Number of employees: Four (including founder and commercial director)
  • Turn-over: EUR 100,000 this year
  • Target consumers: Production companies
  • In five years: Data Node includes machine learning and is known as the best solution for gathering data for maintenance.