News crowned most promising scaleup of the Rotterdam metropolitan region

5 June 2024 | Accelerator and Buccaneers

Buccaneer, one of our community members developing hydrogen fuel cell systems, has been awarded the prestigious “Nieuwe Heldenprijs” (New Heroes Award) for the most promising scaleup of the Rotterdam metropolitan region. The award was presented during a ceremony celebrating outstanding entrepreneurial achievements in the region.

The “Nieuwe Heldenprijs” jury, composed of esteemed entrepreneurs, nominated three scaleups: QLayers, Battolyser, and Following a final pitch session, the public had the decisive vote, and emerged as the clear winner.

During the pitch, co-founder Jan Bot of shared with the audience not just the technology behind their hydrogen fuel cell systems but also the inspiring story of zepp’s founding. was established in 2017 as a spin-off from TU Delft’s hydrogen racing team, Forze Hydrogen Racing. The founders brought their unique skill set and pioneering spirit from the racetrack to the commercial sector, aiming to supply the heavy-duty industry with the technology they need for electrification.

When receiving the award from Mayor Marja van Bijsterveldt of Delft, Jan Bot remarked, “This award belongs to the entire team. Everyone has worked incredibly hard to get here, and it’s amazing to see our efforts recognized.”

An example for innovation in the sector

The Buccaneer couldn’t be more proud of the journey and progress that has made over the past couple of years. Kirsten Ruiter, managing director of Buccaneer Delft, said the following, “ and its team of founders are a perfect example of strong entrepreneurship and dedication. It is only for a few to successfully develop both a technical innovation and successfully scale a company. Day in and day out, we see them and their passionate team working very hard, and this prize is a crown on their remarkable progress so far. We couldn’t be happier with as one of Buccaneer Delft’s community members. With their knowledge and experience, they also play a prominent role for new innovators in this sector.”

A sustainable alternative to diesel engines specializes in developing highly integrated hydrogen fuel cell systems designed for medium and heavy-duty applications like ships, trucks and building equipment. Their technology converts hydrogen into electrical power, offering a sustainable alternative to traditional diesel engines. Recent milestones include securing a €3 million investment from the Rotterdam Energy Transition Fund and a €2 million grant from the European Just Transition Fund to build a state-of-the-art production facility in Rotterdam metropolitan region.

As an accelerator, Buccaneer Delft proudly supports innovative companies in the ever-evolving energy & maritime sector. We accelerate growth, connect, inspire & help realize potential. Our community impacts the energy transition with technological innovations transforming the industry, will you be part of it as well?