Home/Jan-Willem van Zwieten

About Jan-Willem van Zwieten

I am a focused student eager to learn more about the world around us and to apply this knowledge in ways which better it. I like to set goals for myself and to work towards them in a determined and efficient way. To reach these goals, I give them my best and rarely give up. I believe in streamlined decision making and love to work in a creative environment with a motivated team. I intend to learn more about the process of creating new and innovative products.

OneSpaceHub to strengthen the entrepreneurial journey in the Dutch space ecosystem

2023-02-07T21:33:48+01:00February 8th, 2023|Uncategorized|

OneSpaceHub to strengthen the entrepreneurial journey in the Dutch space ecosystem

A new consortium of stakeholders within the Dutch space ecosystem is working together with the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland, RVO) to further exploit the potential of the space sector. With its winning proposal, the consortium has been awarded a two-year subsidy to roll out a campaign optimising the early stages of the entrepreneurial journey in the Dutch space sector, from idea to start-up and scale-up. Starting in 2023, the OneSpaceHub programme will expand and strengthen the network in the Netherlands to set out a trajectory geared towards excelling space related talent and entrepreneurship.

A national partnership

RVO’s One Single Hub programme focuses on partnerships of organisations such as incubators and accelerators as well as universities in the Netherlands that aim to improve facilities for innovative entrepreneurship. OneSpaceHub is a joint effort that was awarded a grant under this initiative. The project team led by NL Space Campus consists of Space Business Innovation Centre Noordwijk, University of Twente, PLNT Leiden Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Aerospace Innovation Hub @TU Delft, Hogeschool Inholland, Radboud University, and Leidse instrumentmakers School. The consortium will lay the foundation for a permanent national partnership where talents from provincial programmes and different educational levels flow towards a strong space-tech and data-driven ecosystem.

Boosting entrepreneurship

The space sector is growing rapidly on a global scale. With an increasing amount of technology transfers, commercialisation, and data driven solutions flowing to other industries, the space sector has gained importance for the wider economy.

Across the Netherlands there are various programmes in the field supporting entrepreneurship covering different aspects such as financing, valorisation, talent, and marketing. OneSpaceHub aims to make “a selection of excellent programmes” better aligned, more visible, and in particular broadly accessible. This will be achieved by bringing together the expertise coming from some of the best performing programmes in the most important early phases of entrepreneurship: education, activation, pre-incubation and incubation. To this end it will link, reinforce, and extend initiatives already in place to make this support accessible in the whole country. A uniform, efficient and accessible OneSpaceHub trajectory will be offered locally, hybrid (online and in-person), and eventually from every province to better facilitate and stimulate entrepreneurs along their growth path. The selection of complementary programmes will increase the chances of success for space related start-ups and scale-ups, and create an even bigger pull to attract new talent, ideas, business and knowhow. By connecting several local hotspots, entrepreneurs will have access to new collaborations and will be in a better position to grow, diversify, and reach new markets on a national and international scale.

The mission of OneSpaceHub is to better facilitate and stimulate the entrepreneurial journey from education and pre-incubation to start-up and scale-up and to generate more space related start-ups and scale-ups in the Netherlands.
Contact: Femke Verdegaal (ae-innovationhub@tudelft.nl)

EmbraerX opens office at the Aerospace Innovation Hub @TU Delft

2022-07-15T14:17:27+02:00July 15th, 2022|Uncategorized|

EmbraerX opens office at the Aerospace Innovation Hub @TU Delft

The Netherlands has been a core partner for Embraer’s efforts in the development of innovative and sustainable aviation technology. And now, EmbraerX, a disruptive innovation subsidiary of the Embraer Group, will also strengthen this collaborative journey by opening an office at the Aerospace Innovation Hub @TU Delft.

Embraer has identified the TU Delft Campus as a high potential ecosystem where innovation is accelerated and thrives. Specifically, the faculty of Aerospace Engineering and the Aerospace Innovation Hub are relevant for the Brazilian aviation giant. Opening an office for its disruptive innovation subsidiary EmbraerX is a logical step in the close collaboration that is needed to realise the innovation ambitions of the aviation industry.
“EmbraerX’s physical presence at the Aerospace Innovation Hub enables, amongst other possibilities, a way to accelerate new partnerships to co-explore the application of disruptive technologies for new businesses. Being here, we will be able to develop joint educational, research, and innovation projects that will create a vision for a greener future when it comes to mobility,” said Daniel Moczydlower, CEO of EmbraerX.

About EmbraerX

EmbraerX is a market accelerator committed to developing solutions that transform life’s experiences. This Embraer S.A. disruptive innovation subsidiary is based on Florida’s Space Coast in Melbourne, integrated with the Company’s engineering team in Brazil, and dedicated to collaborating with global innovation communities. The EmbraerX team of innovators, creators, thought-leaders, and designers combines human-centered design thinking with business-building and engineering expertise to tackle some of the biggest mobility problems facing humanity today. For more information, visit EmbraerX.com


At the Aerospace Innovation Hub, we believe collaboration on all levels is integral in creating innovation with impact in the aerospace industry. Our community members consist of startups, student teams, mature companies, and corporates. We are proud to be adding EmbraerX’ name to our list of corporate community members. By connecting industry experts with our young entrepreneurs, our research and student communities at the university, we hope to accelerate innovation to bring sustainable aviation closer to reality.

Learning to lead as a young woman in aviation

2022-06-28T15:18:10+02:00June 28th, 2022|Uncategorized|

Learning to lead as a young woman in aviation

It takes guts to pursue your dreams, but having good role models and mentors can make a difference. These are things that have helped Leanne van Dam, a master’s student at TU Delft’s Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, on her journey to becoming a leader. As a recipient of the 2021 International Aviation Women’s Association (IAWA) scholarship, she hopes her example will inspire others to follow their dreams.

Foundation and inspiration

Growing up, Van Dam always enjoyed subjects like mathematics and physics, knowing that there is a finite answer to something. Her high school dream of becoming either a commercial airline pilot or flying for the Royal Dutch Air Force evolved after visiting TU Delft’s Faculty of Aerospace Engineering open day. She realised that building airplanes rather than flying them was a better fit for her.

As a bachelor’s student, Van Dam was inspired by two women she encountered at the Aerospace Women’s Day. One from the Royal Dutch Air Force and one from industry, she saw them as powerful examples of what she wanted to be in the future. One of them, she recalls, was a very reserved person. “I was that way as well, I wasn’t the one speaking up all the time,” said Van Dam. “I realised you can be like that and stand with power when you’re more on the introvert side. I hadn’t seen that and it inspired me.”

Being the first

Those examples influenced Van Dam to take on new challenges. After two years of committee work with the VSV ‘Leonardo da Vinci’, the study association at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, she was asked to be the president of the board for 2019-2020. “I thought it was a big challenge at first, but then I saw it more as an opportunity,” she said. As the first female president of the VSV, Van Dam was certainly in the spotlight. “I learned throughout that year that in a field like aerospace as a female you’re going to be in the spotlight anyway,” she said. “You should probably just take advantage of that and show your best capabilities so that’s what I tried to do.”

Promoting female leadership

Van Dam drew on those leadership lessons when she applied for the IAWA scholarship, which is awarded each year to a female student at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering. In an essay about her personal experiences she described her vision about female leaders. On her role as VSV president, she wrote: “For the first time, I felt like I could have the opportunity to stand in the shoes of my role models. I could be the one to inspire others.”

The IAWA scholarship gave Van Dam the opportunity to connect with people from around the world, including the eleven other scholarship recipients. These interactions brought something to light for Van Dam. In the United States, she said, there is much more talk about empowering females, but you don’t hear those voices in the Netherlands as much. “I think we can help each other out more as women, even between students at the aerospace faculty,” said Van Dam. “Maybe something like a buddy system would help.”

“I have learned about my strengths and abilities and gained confidence in myself.”

Mentors matter

As part of the scholarship experience, Van Dam was also assigned a mentor, a former president of IAWA. “I think that it’s so immensely helpful to have a mentor, especially someone who is a bit older and already in their career,” she said. “It’s also good for making connections and networking.” For Van Dam that means participating on IAWA’s finance committee this year, where she will connect with and learn from experienced professionals like CFOs.

Prior to this, Van Dam already knew the value of having mentors. Through her board year at the VSV, she connected with a woman that advises the board who has since become a professional mentor. During a more difficult time in her life, Van Dam also reached out for a personal mentor. “I think it’s hard to ask for help. I saw it as a weakness, but I have learned in the past few years that it makes it a lot easier if you can, and maybe you can even be an example to others by doing so.”

Van Dam says both of these mentors helped her to grow tremendously. “I have learned about my strengths and abilities and gained confidence in myself,” she said. “I have come to realise that there were some things that I did because I subconsciously wanted to please others instead of myself. I have become more aware of that over the past year. And I have learned to choose to do things that I want to do instead of the things I think I am supposed to do, and to say no more often to things that I do not feel like doing; I choose for myself.”

Studying and other things

Now in the second year of a master’s in Control & Simulation, Van Dam is working on her thesis about sustainable aircraft trajectory optimisation. She’s investigating the possibilities of sending aircraft on a different flight path in order to minimise the environmental impact. For example, if the flight path goes into the wind, sometimes it’s smarter in terms of environmental impact to go around and fly a longer distance, but then have a lesser headwind.

In addition to her studies, Van Dam completed an internship with the Air Force where she designed the tactical control centre for a simulation involving six helicopters, each in different simulators. She also works as coordinator of the start-up voucher programme for the Aerospace Innovation Hub, which helps aerospace students launch their ideas through start-up funding and coaching.

As for advice for other students, she said it’s important not to forget things outside of academic life. “My time in Delft has been defined by everything I did besides my studies, like doing committees and being involved in associations,” said Van Dam. “Of course, I have learned a lot from my bachelor’s and master’s work, but from a personal side I have learned so much from working with people in other environments. I would encourage others to look beyond their studies and take part in extracurricular activities.”

This article was written by and for TU Delft Stories.

Making environmental observations accessible: Obscape’s story

2022-06-28T13:40:26+02:00June 27th, 2022|Uncategorized|

Making environmental observations accessible: Obscape’s story

Obscape is a company that develops, produces, and sells environmental observation equipment, that can measure waves at sea, wind, and other weather-related parameters. All the equipment the company develops is real time equipment, so it sends the data in real time to the data portal where customers can access it.

To get more insight into what Obscape is all about, we interviewed one of the co-founders, Max Radermacher.

Where did the idea to start Obscape come from?

Obscape started when I met my business partner, Zane Thackeray. When we met, he started chatting about all kinds of equipment that he thought he could develop at a lower cost than what was already available, and he was looking for someone with software skills to complement his own hardware and electronics skills and have expertise on hydrodynamic processes. The bonus was that I already had access to the Dutch market.

The first thing we started developing was our wave measurement buoy. That was essentially our first product. We started developing in 2015 and already within one year we had a commercial product that we saw worked well on the market, so quite quickly we had the first clients. At the same time, because we went to the market so quickly, the product still needed to be improved. While our launching customers understood that our product only just came out of the prototype-stage, they were happy to use it already.

So Max, what discerns you from other parties in the market today?

What discerns us from other parties in our market currently is that we make our equipment compatible with each other creating an ecosystem of products. We have a very strong background in the water markets, so that’s what we are mainly focusing on. Among our target groups are offshore construction and dredging companies needing to monitor waves around their project sites. We also do work for governmental bodies such as Rijkswaterstaat in the Netherlands who monitor their surface waters. We make our equipment incredibly easy to install and to control so that it’s easy to use. We enable users to start collecting real time environmental observations without the need for highly specialized personnel to operate the equipment and without the need to hire a third-party survey service to install and operate the equipment. With that combination, these views and affordability, we try to make environmental observations more accessible to anyone who needs them. Because we do notice that the rather high purchasing price of existing equipment and the complexity of that equipment limits many parties who would want to collect environmental observations from doing that.

How do your products relate to aerospace?

I knew about the Aerospace Innovation Hub because of another company that used to be here. This was Bonanza.aero who were recently acquired. I told Dennis, one of Bonanza’s founders that we were looking for office space and he said that there was office space left in the Hub for relevant new community members and that it would be nice to become neighbors. And then I realized that there are lots of cross links between Obscape and all the aerospace related companies that are here at the Hub. Just thinking about software development, electronics development, and the fact that we use satellite communication on quite a few of our products, etc.

Do you feel like you’re benefiting from the AIH community?

Absolutely yes. We’re on the same floor here as Pats drones. They develop electronics themselves and also have a software platform that their data are being sent to. You know, there are so many crosslinks there which is great!
We are on the same floor as Dimple as well and they do a lot of wind tunnel testing of airplane hulls. We are currently developing a wind measuring sensor which we could test in in a TU Delft wind tunnel with their help. They basically granted us some wind tunnel testing time during their own experiments, so those kinds of combinations are very useful.

Where do you think Obscape will be in 20 years’ time?

In 20 years we aim to be a mature equipment manufacturing company that keeps pushing the limits of product pricing and user experience. Hopefully this will allow all data-deprived areas of the world to finally start collecting environmental data and improve their climate resilience. Growing our team in the Netherlands is also part of our ambition for the coming years.

Closing words from the team at the Aerospace Innovation Hub

One of the AIH’s focus areas is finding crosslinks between technology that originates in the aerospace industry but finds applications in other industries or vice versa. Obscape is the perfect example of this. As Max states, there are many overlaps with their technology in the aerospace industry. They use the network of startups and companies we have to their advantage to push their business to the next level. We encourage this and hope to see them grow in the future!
If you are interested to learn more about what Obscape does, check out their website: Obscape.com

Going to Mars with Team Tumbleweed!

2022-05-23T12:44:33+02:00May 23rd, 2022|Uncategorized|

Going to Mars with Team Tumbleweed!

Team Tumbleweed is a volunteer-based research organisation led by TU Delft students with the mission to make deep space accessible for everyone. For this blog, we interviewed Julian, co-founder and technical lead of the team. What makes the team special is that they are developing an ultralight and more efficient way of exploring Mars. Thanks to the fact that the Mars rover is wind-driven, the rover will need no stored energy (in the form of fuel or electricity) to get around. The team’s ambition is to reach Mars before 2030 and launch their rovers on the planet’s surface.

What is Team Tumbleweed’s big goal?

Our big goal is to reach Mars before 2030. It is ambitious but I do think it’s important to keep in mind one has to think big in order to achieve big things. We believe we have the capabilities to achieve this.

What is your relation to aerospace?

It’s what we do, we’re going to Mars. We’re a space organization. In our area of operation, we’re slap bang in the middle of aerospace as a discipline. We have very tight relations with the researchers at TU Delft, especially in the mission and planetary science departments. We have overlap with pretty much all space related research groups here, so everything from materials to space systems, missions, planetary science.

Could you tell us a bit more about your backstory?

We started back in 2017 when I was in high school, with two other students in a garage. We were bored and we came up with the concept and realized that it existed already. We realized that the last time this was researched (25 years ago) it was technically infeasible. Now it is feasible and fits well with a lot of other developments that are happening. And we built the first little Tumbleweed prototype.
In the beginning, we had no idea what we were doing. I used to build small aircraft and drones and someone else on the team knew a bit of coding. We made it work and we had to teach ourselves a lot of methods. We submitted our idea to one of the biggest international space contests (Odysseus Contest II) for people between 12 and 24. And we won that year. After that we were motivated to continue working on it as it seemed to really have some promise. After that we built a very ambitious second prototype, still with only three high school students in a garage. This was a huge challenge, but we learned so much from it, which is the point of a prototype, right?
After our high school graduation, we started thinking about where do we take this now? This was almost four years ago, and more and more people joined. By then, I came here to study Aerospace Engineering at TU Delft and another member went to the US and then a third member joined in Vienna and that quickly became the team.

How does your student team operate currently?

What makes us different from most student teams is that we have people who contribute 10 to 15 hours a week opposed to student teams with a yearly rotation of full-time students. Our team has members who have been here from the very beginning. The big advantage of this is that little to no information gets lost through yearly transfers.

So, we started from the ground up as a remote team, which meant that our recruits could be situated anywhere. We have team members all over Europe, we have people from India, from Malaysia, from Zimbabwe, from South Africa, from South America. This is perfect for the start of our team as in the past years we have mostly been doing research. Thanks to this large network of students in different countries, we have many connections with different universities giving us access to a large and varied pool of knowledge. As we mature and are building more prototypes which require physical work, we are transitioning to a much more centralised on-site team with more full-time members.

You mentioned that you didn’t have an office up until September. Why did you choose to be in the Aerospace Innovation Hub?

It was a good option for us because the professors we work with at the TU Delft are three floors down. It’s a cool community as well. We haven’t been around here for that long yet. And coming from a fully remote team working during COVID-19 times, it’s difficult for people to change their mind because they are so used to remote work. But we’re hoping to become a more active member of the community as we professionalise.

Where do you think your team will be in 20 years?

The ultimate goal for us is to make deep space accessible for everyone. What we want to be facilitating is deep space missions, small and low-cost deep space missions that are on the cutting edge, not in terms of super high-tech and expensive technology, but taking principles of simplicity and making space more accessible that way. The path we are currently on is designing missions for customers and creating a tokenized way to market those missions where for example a scientist can buy a data token on the mission. That’s what we want to be doing. We want to build missions to gather deep space data and make that accessible for everyone.

Closing words from the team at the Aerospace Innovation Hub

We currently have three student teams within our community: Team Tumbleweed, Lunar Zebro and AeroDelft. Student teams are a vital part of our community. These teams bridge the gaps between students, research, and entrepreneurship. This bridging is exactly in line with what we want to achieve at the Aerospace Innovation Hub in facilitating and connecting aerospace innovators. We are happy to see how far Team Tumbleweed has come and we are excited to see what is next in store for the ambitious team. On to Mars!

Drone flight control startup Fusion Engineering raises €700k

2022-05-23T12:34:38+02:00April 13th, 2022|Uncategorized|

Drone flight control startup Fusion Engineering raises €700k to create the future of drones today

Fusion Engineering, community member of the Aerospace Innovation Hub @TU Delft, announced that it has raised €700k in its first investment round. Investors include the Dutch Graduate Entrepreneur Fund and a consortium of experienced angel investors. The investment will allow Fusion Engineering to bring their flight controller, the ‘brain’ inside every drone, to the commercial drone market.

Fusion’s flight controller improves the stability and reliability of drone flights. This is a key step towards the success of many promising commercial drone applications. For example, last-mile delivery, drone shows over urban areas, and maintenance at difficult to reach locations.

CEO Robert Crone: “Thanks to our unique algorithms, drones can respond much quicker to disturbances, such as gusts of wind. In a wind tunnel tests we have demonstrated a 7x smaller deflection compared to the current technology. Now that we have taken the technology from an academic promise to being commercially viable, it is time to enter the market and start scaling.”

Fusion Engineering is currently collaborating with the Royal Netherlands Aerospace Centre in developing a drone to perform maintenance work on offshore wind turbines. Allowing regular autonomous maintenance will improve energy production, whilst lowering maintenance costs. This way Fusion’s flight controller contributes to a sustainable future.

Furthermore, Fusion has partnered with three commercial drone manufacturers for international projects that create proof of concept for their control technology. Robert Crone: “For drones to be more widely used in commercial applications they need to become safer. Reducing crashes is not only important for cost-benefit ratios, but also for public acceptance. With our drone flight controller, we are providing the safety and reliability that the commercial drone industry needs to truly get off the ground.”

Fusion Engineering was founded in 2017 by TU Delft alumni Robert Crone (Aerospace Engineering) and Mara Bos (Computer Science). The Dutch startup is on a mission to create the most reliable, flexible, and easy-to-use flight controller for any type of multirotor drone. The startup won the Galileo Masters Award for their control technology and is a part of the well-known business accelerators YES!Delft, ESA-BIC, and Sustainable Aero Lab. They are situated in the Aerospace Innovation Hub @TU Delft and do flight tests at Unmanned Valley. We are proud to have them in our community! Check out Fusion Engineering’s amazing journey at: Fusion.Engineering.

An insight into last year’s startup voucher winner: Laminance

2022-03-19T10:49:19+01:00March 19th, 2022|Uncategorized|

­­An insight into last year’s startup voucher winner: Laminance

In this blogpost, we will let you in on the story about last year’s winner of the Start-up Voucher and how they see their future now that the coaching coming from the voucher has come to a close. We interviewed Thore Roepman, the Chief Technology Officer of Laminance, and asked him what they do and what their plans are for the coming years. Thore studied Aerospace Engineering at the TU Delft and graduated on the optimization of blended laminates to significantly improve the structural performance of unstable structures.

How did you come up with the idea for Laminance and what is it that you do?

When I did my thesis on this topic last year, I met a fellow student who did his thesis on the same topic as me and when we talked it over, we were convinced that what we were studying would be able to really change the aviation industry and have a huge impact. We wanted to try and push it beyond academic research to truly start making a change. This is where our startup idea was born.
Our technology is based on redesigning the way carbon fiber is used within a laminate. Currently, a lot of laminates use conventional stacking techniques where you stick layers together. We want to change that by putting the fibers in specific locations in different directions. This way, we can redistribute the loads around areas that are more prone to failure meaning we can increase the strength of the entire laminate. With this technique, we expect to increase buckling stiffness by at least 80%, which is significant for all the different kinds of structures within aerospace that are prone to buckling. We can also distribute loads around cutouts or do multi patch designs to enhance stiffness or strength.
We are looking at a different way to design these structures, which makes us ambitious and renewing.

Do you imagine it will improve the sustainability of the aerospace industry?

Redesigning the use of carbon fiber in laminates will have a sustainable impact in the industry. If a part becomes stronger, it also needs less material to reach required strengths. This has to do with the fact that you can do more with the same amount of material, so one can use less to achieve the same load.
Because of the exchange between load and weight, the weight of the aircraft can be decreased, which will snowball into needing less fuel for the same distance.

What made you start Laminance rather than continuing your academic research or work at an established firm in the industry?

What is happening currently with this technology is that there are a lot of companies more into the research part of other stiffness techniques. This has to do with the fact that there are still a lot of problems around the technology that don’t allow the technique to be used within the coming five years, making it less interesting for companies to implement it.
We do believe that our technology should be adopted by the industry, as there is a gap that needs and can be filled with it.

After winning the startup voucher, you were offered a membership to the Aerospace Innovation Hub. Why did you decide to join and also move your office to our facilities?

We decided to join the Aerospace Innovation Hub because there are a lot of other high tech and deep tech innovators working here. It is interesting to be able to discuss with other entrepreneurs what they have done and how they have done it. That is really one of the most valuable things the Aerospace Innovation Hub has to offer. The community is always there to help you out and it is quite easy to get in touch with each other, as at some point everyone has to get a cup of coffee.

Where do you think Laminance will be in 20 years?

Hopefully our technology will have matured enough that we have established ourselves in the aviation industry. Our aim is to go broader and get into other industries as well: all industries where carbon fiber is being used. In 20 years from now, we want our technology to have reached more sustainable use of composite laminates across multiple industries.

Closing – From the AIH Team

At the Aerospace Innovation Hub, we are proud to be supporting young aerospace entrepreneurs such as Thore and his team at Laminance. We strongly believe that innovation is nurtured and accelerated in an environment in which entrepreneurship is properly coached and guided. The Start-up Voucher program at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at TU Delft offers the springboard to kick entrepreneurial journeys in aerospace. If you are interested in reading more about the program, visit TU Delft’s website: link.

If this article has sparked your interest in Laminance’s pursuit of ever lighter, stiffer and stronger composites, check out their website and get in touch with Thore and his team! Laminance.com

Bonanza.aero acquired by FLYR Labs

2021-12-22T14:52:01+01:00December 22nd, 2021|Uncategorized|

­­From idea, to start-up to being acquired…, all within 1,5 years. The story of Bonanza.aero

In this blogpost, we discover Dennis Michon’s story on how ticket pricing started in him an entrepreneurial fire that would lead him to start his own company and eventually sell it to FLYR Labs, an industry leader and pioneer of The Revenue Operating System™. Dennis is Bonanza.aero’s co-founder and former director. The company used to be one of the Aerospace Innovation Hub’s community members and Start-up Voucher winners. Bonanza offers solutions to airlines assisting on their Revenue Management (RM) practices. In laymen terms, RM is the practice of predicting airplane ticket prices and integrating these algorithms in Revenue Management systems of the clients.

How did you come up with the idea to predict airline ticket prices?

Dennis studied aerospace engineering at the Delft University of Technology. During his studies, he was always fascinated by the way ticket pricing worked. He was always trying to get the cheapest possible tickets to whichever destination he wanted to go. Using the analytical and programming skills he learnt during his studies, Dennis went on to pursue a career in Revenue Management and was employed by Qantas, Australia’s largest airline. After working in Sydney for three years, he got the opportunity to set up and run a local development office for Qantas in Amsterdam. After this period, he was eager to do more beyond Revenue Management; Dennis joined Skyteam where he met Charles Ruesch while working on a project of cross-selling ancillary products of all members of the airline alliance. This is where the idea of starting their own company really took off. The last push in the back was given by the COVID-19 pandemic when the project Dennis was working in at Skyteam was stopped. In July 2020, Dennis co-founded Bonanza.aero together with Charles and two fellow Aerospace Engineering alumni – Bram Strack van Schijndel and Bob Vlamings – working on ad hoc RM and Distribution projects for different clients within the airline industry.

Why did you choose the Aerospace Innovation Hub @ TU Delft?

Since three out of the four founders of Bonanza are alumni of the Faculty of Aerospace engineering at the Delft University of Technology, they were all familiar with the outstanding reputation of the institution, especially in the aerospace sector. They applied for the Start-up Voucher program hosted by the faculty and the Aerospace Innovation Hub and won it in the winter of 2020. It was not necessarily the prize money that attracted them to apply but rather the connection with the university. In March of 2021, the young start-up wanted to integrate more in the Aerospace Innovation Hub’s community and decided to move their office from Haarlem to Delft. The network of industry professionals combined with the strong connection to the academia made the Aerospace Innovation Hub a very attractive place to settle for Bonanza.

Being coached by an aerospace industry professional, Victor Rijkaart, proved to be very fruitful for the young start-up. Leveraging the network that was given to them and structuring the organization in such a way that it was most productive were all important lessons that were guided by the coach.

Who acquired Bonanza and what does the future hold?

In August 2021, Dennis was contacted by Alex Mans, the founder of FLYR Labs. FLYR, a Revenue Management software provider for the airline industry, was founded in 2013. The company had recently secured a Series C funding round of $150 million and was expanding its team and suite of services. With their newly opened office in Amsterdam, the acquisition of Bonanza.aero was a logical step to strengthen their European base.

Dennis described how during his studies he read an article in a Dutch newspaper about an entrepreneur working on a successful business in predicting airline ticket prices. The article stuck to him and inspired him to pursue his interests and a career in Revenue Management. The entrepreneur mentioned in the article turned out to be Alex Mans. Having been Dennis’ inspiration, it was clear that the next chapter for Bonanza was to join forces with FLYR.

Dennis found the word “acquihire” a better term to describe FLYR’s embrace of Bonanza. In Silicon Valley jargon this means acquiring a company not with the goal of gaining ownership over its products but by bringing on its talented employees to continue the journey together. Dennis and his fellow experts will continue to complete the Bonanza products under FLYR wings.


At the Aerospace Innovation Hub@TUDelft, we were filled with joy when we heard about the acquisition of Bonanza.aero by FLYR Labs. What started as an idea from one of the faculty’s students, turned into a very successful business venture. It is a great example of the entrepreneurial journey we want to facilitate within our community of aerospace innovators. We are thrilled to have contributed to this success story and to have accelerated the growth of Bonanza.

We are sad to see the team leave their office in Delft. However, this presents opportunity for new ideas to be born and to be supported by our ever-growing network. We cannot wait to see what new ideas will fill the offices!

We wish FLYR Labs the best of luck with their future endeavours, now strengthened by the bright minds of Bonanza.aero!