Founders’ Friday: Celebrating Marta Imeneo and PLAYFOOL

Because we want to celebrate innovation and brilliant startups within our ecosystem, today, on the Founders’ Friday edition, Erasmus Enterprise proudly presents Marta Imeneo, a visionary entrepreneur behind the innovative PLAYFOOL application. Selected as a recipient of the Startup Voucher, Marta exemplifies the spirit of innovation and determination driving the entrepreneurial landscape. She was also one of the winners of last year’s Erasmus University Challenge. Join us as we interview Marta and learn more about her entrepreneurial journey.


PLAYFOOL is an app designed to distract you from unhealthy cravings, helping to reduce consumption and encourage mindfulness. Our goal is to raise awareness about alcohol and cigarette use and combat the peer pressure often associated with these habits

Marta's Journey with the Startup Voucher

Having previously worked as an ambassador and promoter, Marta was well-acquainted with the competition and its benefits. When the opportunity for the startup voucher arose, she seized it immediately.

“The startup voucher was an unexpected bonus,” Marta shares. “It allowed me to shift my focus to developing our predictive algorithm right away. This new version of PLAYFOOL can now predict the times of day and week when users are most likely to crave alcohol or cigarettes and send notifications to help them stay mindful. This development came much sooner thanks to the voucher. It arrived at the perfect time, and I was able to complete the application quickly, knowing exactly how it would benefit our startup.”

Insights for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Investment StrategyMarta observes that many entrepreneurs gauge their success based on investment funds. “While securing investments is crucial for growth, it’s equally important to be strategic about it. Sometimes, bootstrapping is the best approach if you have the necessary resources at the moment.”

Business Model Considerations: Reflecting on her journey, Marta emphasizes the importance of thoroughly considering the business model. “Early on, we quickly decided whether PLAYFOOL would be B2B or B2C without exploring all our options. This led us to miss some great market-fit opportunities. I advise spending ample time discussing every aspect of your business model with your team and keeping an open mind even after settling on a strategy. Remember, pivoting is always an option.”

Overcoming Adversity: Marta highlights product validation as a significant challenge. “Entrepreneurs must be prepared to set aside their egos and listen to their audience and market feedback. You might believe in your product, but your target group needs to believe in it too.”

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Unlock your entrepreneurial potential with the Startup Voucher—an exclusive opportunity open to all ambitious young minds ready to ignite their business dreams. Don’t miss your chance to seize this invaluable resource and embark on your journey towards success!

Want to be the next one featured?

Unlock your entrepreneurial potential with the Startup Voucher – an exclusive opportunity open to all ambitious young minds ready to ignite their business dreams. Don’t miss your chance to seize this invaluable resource and embark on your journey towards success!

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Startup Voucher: AIR Robotica Journey

Erasmus Enterprise proudly presents David Bos, the creative student entrepreneur mind behind AIR Robotica. With excitement we’re following David’s journey which started over a year ago at the Erasmus University Challenge. Recently, he received the Startup Voucher to take the next step in his entrepreneurial journey and finally working with his first client to bring what started with an idea to life! We spoke to David Bos about his experience, and he offered us a brief testimonial about the Startup Voucher and AIR Robotica:

Vision and Overview

At AIR Robotica, we specialize in developing innovative products to enhance human experiences, with a particular focus on the entertainment sector. By leveraging cutting-edge technology, our goal is to revolutionize how organizers deliver entertainment and how visitors experience it. Our smart camera system provides a comprehensive overview of events or parks, optimizing both visitor experiences and profits.

Our mission at AIR Robotica is clear: we aim to empower entertainers with state-of-the-art systems and hardware, taking their offerings to new heights. This commitment goes beyond just entertainment; it’s about creating products that captivate stakeholders while helping businesses improve operations, enhance safety measures, and maximize value.

At AIR Robotica, innovation drives us. We constantly explore new ideas and technologies to enhance human experiences. Quality is our standard; we exceed expectations and set industry benchmarks. We collaborate closely with partners who share our vision, building strong relationships. Ethical leadership guides us; we operate with integrity and transparency, making a positive impact and leaving a lasting legacy.

In the journey of our startup, conversations with Bas have been invaluable. His guidance has been instrumental, especially when I’ve bombarded him with countless questions. Our first encounter with the startup voucher came after our participation in the University Challenge, an event we’re excited to be part of again this year.

Being awarded the Startup Voucher provided us with the valuable support of Erasmus Enterprise. This partnership added credibility to our project and expanded our network of resources and expertise. The collaboration with Erasmus Enterprise enabled us to access additional mentorship, guidance, and opportunities for growth, enhancing our overall trajectory as a startup. 

The process of applying for and receiving the Startup Voucher encouraged us to refine and solidify our business idea. Through the application process, we were prompted to articulate our value proposition, define our target market, and outline our strategic objectives more clearly. This exercise helped us to better understand our business model and identify areas for improvement and optimization.

Journey and Tips

Two years into my academic journey, I embarked on my entrepreneurial path through a university challenge aimed at launching startups. Given my interests, I eagerly signed up.

As I reconsidered my goals, inspiration struck: What if there was a drone capturing thrilling action shots and videos? Thus began a journey marked by refining the concept amidst technical challenges and specifications. This venture entailed team building, technical adjustments, client acquisition, and market research. Proudly alongside my business partner Niels van Nieuwland, we founded AIR Robotics, revolutionizing robotics with drones for comprehensive work area overviews. Engaging potential clients like the police and entertainment sectors, our aim is to launch our first project this spring.

Looking Back

Looking back, I realize that building a company is about aligning with your core values and aspirations. It’s not just about finding a job, but creating something that truly reflects who you are. If I were to start over, this insight would be my first step. Understanding this guided my search for the right co-founder and shaped our operational strategies.

Then, it’s crucial to assess the market and identify where the value and opportunities lie. Rather than chasing money, focus on validating your idea by securing commitments from potential clients. Conducting interviews with them is essential; their feedback is invaluable. Only once you’ve gathered this foundation should you proceed to launch your business.

Want to be the next featured entrepreneur?

Tap into your entrepreneurial capabilities with the Startup Voucher – a unique opportunity available to all driven young individuals prepared to ignite their business aspirations. Don’t miss your chance to seize this invaluable resource and embark on your journey towards success!

Startup Voucher

Kickstart your startup with the Startup Voucher!

Startup Voucher: BIKEBAZE Testimonial

Erasmus Enterprise proudly presents Dries Dederen, a visionary entrepreneur behind the innovative BIKEBAZE venture. Selected as a bright recipient of the Startup Voucher, Dederen exemplifies the spirit of innovation and determination driving the entrepreneurial landscape.

Vision and Overview

BIKEBAZE is dedicated to combating bike theft in the Netherlands with innovative, community-driven solutions. Our platform, launching soon in Rotterdam, allows bike owners to register their bikes in a central database, linking each bike (using the unique frame number) to its owner. Combined with our unique, tamper resistant SafeTags, we provide a comprehensive system for bike security. Our aim is twofold: to prevent bike theft by making theft less attractive due to the SafeTags, and to facilitate the recovery of bikes. For instance, if authorities find a container in the port full of stolen bikes, our system makes it easy to trace back the owners. This dual approach – increasing prevention and improving recovery – taps into the rich biking culture of the Netherlands and addresses the critical issue of bike theft, which impacts tens of thousands of Rotterdam’s bike owners annually.

I learned about the Startup Voucher through my interaction with Bas. The application process was straightforward, involving detailed planning from the idea stage to financials. I’m looking forward to using the voucher for testing various offline marketing strategies and for the initial production (and further R&D) of our SafeTags.

Journey and Tips

My journey has taught me the value of self-reliance in developing our MVP. Initially, I sought co-founders and investors, which, while important, can be time-consuming without a tangible product. My advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is this: if you believe you can develop your product yourself, do it. Build that MVP, even if it’s not perfect. It’s more effective to approach potential partners or investors with something concrete. Of course, if you find someone suited to join, that’s great – collaboration can be invaluable. But don’t spend all your time at networking events seeking co-founders or investors with just an idea. Building a functional MVP first can be a game-changer.

Looking Back

Reflecting on my early steps, I’ve learned the importance of diving deep into your product and exploring if you can develop it independently. If you find that you can, take that route first. While networking to find co-founders or investors is crucial, focusing first on developing a tangible product – even a simple MVP – can make a significant difference. It’s often more compelling to engage others with a working model than just an idea. The entrepreneurial path is as much about building and learning as it is about finding the right people to join your journey. So, what I would do different is start developing the MVP myself even if it is technically a bit challenging, but hey, there is YouTube!

One aspect I would approach the same way is engaging in conversations with a wide range of people, especially finding mentors. The guidance, feedback, and motivation provided by mentors have been invaluable. Entrepreneurship can sometimes be a lonely journey, filled with moments of frustration. Having mentors who understand these challenges and can offer motivation and support is crucial. They provide not just practical advice, but also the emotional boost needed to navigate the ups and downs of building a startup. This network of support is something I would recommend every entrepreneur to cultivate actively.

Want to be the next featured entrepreneur?

Unlock your entrepreneurial potential with the Startup Voucher – an exclusive opportunity open to all ambitious young minds ready to ignite their business dreams. Don’t miss your chance to seize this invaluable resource and embark on your journey towards success!

Startup Voucher

Kickstart your startup with the Startup Voucher!