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How it all started..

Using cloud servers to heat houses? Who comes up with something like that? Boaz Leupe reveals the legendary story to you of the foundation of Nerdalize.

The legendary story

‘It was a cold winter morning, as Mathijs and I were renovating the apartment where we lived as students. While we were painting the walls, the thermostat formed an obstacle for the painting. I pulled the thermostat of the wall not thinking about the effect. All the wires retracted into the wall cavity and the entire heating system stopped working. It was the middle of the winter and it was a freezing -8 °C. As you can imagine, the apartment turned very cold, very fast. We were already picturing a very cold winter and thinking of ways to stay warm. Then Mathijs, studying computer science at the time, walked into the room while hugging his laptop. Jokingly he said: “Let’s just order a hundred extra laptops, so we can heat the room with nerd heat!”.

At first we made fun of the idea and laughed, but suddenly we realized that the idea could actually work! The idea kept coming up and we started doing some simple calculations on the energy efficiency and business model. We found that this idea is not only very sustainable, but makes economic sense as well. Spreading servers over households would save us the costs of building a datacenter.

Nerdalize founders

During my second study, Entrepreneurship at Maastricht University, I met Florian. Back then, we were roommates in Maastricht and we got along very well. Mathijs and I still met up regularly and would bring up nerd heat every single time. Hearing more about it, Florian also became very enthusiastic about our idea: a distributed datacenter, providing free residual heat from servers and thereby lowering CO2 emissions and saving us the cost of building a datacenter. We decided to send in our idea for the Local Hero Award which guided us in the right direction. Winning the 10.000 euro price helped us to decide: We are going to pursue this! Let’s finish our master’s degree and start focusing on building our company, Nerdalize.

Finally, we all had graduated and we got together. The Nerd pack was complete and Nerdalize was officially founded.’

What started as a crazy plan

Now, almost four years later, the idea has developed into an ambitious company with a patented heating system based on computer servers and a team of more than 20 nerds working on the technical and business development of Nerdalize. The first homeowners are now making use of the residual heat produced by the servers we placed in their home. We pay for the energy consumption of the CloudBox, so the homeowners get the heat for free, saving them up to 300 euro per year on their gas bill. Companies and researchers make use of our servers for their computations by purchasing our affordable and sustainable compute power.

But how will the Nerdalize adventure continue?

Who knows? Our goal is to install 50 CloudBoxes in households by the end of the year. After that, we’ll be scaling up to the rest of the Netherlands. Then Europe and the rest of the world will follow, enabling us to become the largest and most sustainable distributed datacenter around the world!


CloudBox

About our company
Liesanne Wieleman
posted this August 2

Thanks to all

This. Was. Epic. Thank you so much for your support! We started this campaign in the hope we could raise enough funds to start at 20 locations, but the enthusiasm was much higher than we could have hoped for! We raised our target, twice, and still managed to reach our 2nd stretch target before the campaign was planned to end. Amazing! This means we now have €750.000 to equip 50 locations, save a sweet 150 tons of CO2 and hire two extra software engineers so we can grow faster! We’ll have a little celebration tomorrow and then it’s back to, you know, changing the world. 😃

We are super proud that so many decided to support us and we hope that in a few years people will be able to say on birthdays that they were an early part of a successful adventure. We are going to do our very best to make that happen and you’ll hear about our next steps soon!

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About our company
Posted June 29

Winning four out of seven prizes at The Next Web hack battle

The Nerdalize Hack Warriors

Two weeks ago, our “Nerdalize Hack Warriors” rocked at The Next Web hack battle. The theme of this hackathon was IoT - the battle of the sensors, where our Nerds have won four out of the seven prizes! Ad van der Veer, software engineer at Nerdalize, tells a bit more about their idea and their secret of winning this hack battle.

The Nerdalize Hack Warriors

Every team member had a unique expertise and knew its role in the team, which made us the fierce Nerdalize Hack Warriors. Our team was ambitious and had all the expertise which was needed to develop an idea around the theme IoT. Some could write a program in low-level language, others could develop the front-end or had experience with the installation of the sensors. We had a full stack team, which made it possible to create a fully functional product in a short period of time.

Rock-on.space - measuring the mood in bars

Our idea is an app that lists nearby bars and venues on a map and show real time information on what music is playing and gives you an indication of the mood. In one hour, we got in one interested cafe owner for our product. During the final presentation, we even had a working version live at the venue!

We would like to thank the following sponsors for the prizes:

IBM - Using their Bluemix cloud platform effectively

Radix - For our creative domain name: “rock-on.space”

The Things Network - For our brilliant use of the sensors

Toon - For our application for measuring the average mood in bars

Additionally, we got a honourable mention for the grand prize, effectively a second place. Altogether a great event to develop our skills and work with our Nerd team in an inspirational and fun setting. Up to the next Hackathon!

About our teamcompany
Ad van der Veer
posted this June 8

#MakeOurPlanetGreatAgain

Of course it is all over the news today, Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Climate Accord signed in December 2015 by almost 200 nations.

The agreement is the cornerstone for global cooperation to tackle one of humanity’s greatest challenges, climate change. It was a breakthrough in the joint cooperation of governments that don’t often agree on a specific issue, giving us all the idea that maybe, just maybe we can really fight climate change together.

And even with all the drama around Trump deciding to pull out (while 70% of US citizens actually agree with the Paris Accord) there is good news too.

Many (world) leaders such as Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel, Paolo Gentiloni, former President Barack Obama and former Governor turned Youtube star Arnold Schwarzenegger have made it clear that they stand behind the agreement and are going to do their part to fight climate change. (Wow, Macron showed how to make that message heard!)

And luckily we, in the Netherlands, Europe but also in the US, don’t have to only rely on politicians to do the right thing. In many ways we as citizens and by now SMEs and even corporates are ahead of policy when it comes to taken measures to reduce our (carbon) footprint. If it means placing solar panels on your roof, looking into electric transportation, or just reducing household waste and energy usage, many of us are looking for ways to contribute.

Nerdalize CloudBox Providing Hot Water
The CloudBox saves CO2 by providing households with server-heat

At Nerdalize the commitment to make heating your home but also cloud computing sustainable is built into our DNA and we work hard on our mission. Importantly we are also not alone in this.

Our energy partner Eneco supplies us with 100% green electricity to run our servers, making us the first climate neutral cloud provider while more than 300 people joined our crowdfunding campaign to roll out our system in the Netherlands. Which meant within 25 hours we decided to up our target to € 500.000 and give a chance to those of you that want to take part in making heating and cloud computing sustainable.

So if you want to give us a hand, you can invest (from 20€!) in our campaign to reach the target of heating 42 homes and invite your friends to take part via our super simple sharing page. (A small tip: By investing you start earning 7% per year on the money you invest & get shares in Nerdalize!)

Let’s show Trump and others how it is done!

#MakeOurPlanetGreatAgain

About our CO2 savingscompany
Florian Schneider
posted this June 2

How winning sustainable & innovation awards helped us

Accenture Innovation Award

Over the last years, we have won several great competitions on sustainability and innovation, such as the Accenture Innovation Award and the EIT Innovation Award. We have worked very hard and are happy to call ourselves winners of these competitions.

In 2015 we won the Accenture Innovation Award. According to the jury, Nerdalize was the most promising innovation on the theme of Clean & Affordable Energy. Central to this topic was the conversion of CO2 into valuable products, changing the energy supply and other energy saving measures.

We have faith in the concept of Nerdalize.

The Jury (Accenture Innovation Award 2015)

Doen Energie (S)Topper competition

In 2016, we have won the Doen Energie (S)Topper competition. We are proud that we have won the title ‘Zero Hero’. According to the jury, we think big and our sustainable solution will tackle two problems at the same time: heating homes with sustainable energy and reducing the energy demand of the datacenters, one of the largest consumers of fossil fuels.

EIT Innovation Award

Winning the EIT Innovation Award in 2016, made us ready to scale-up production. During the accelerator programme, we have built a network, gained access to several customers and potential partners, and seen our system piloted in five homes.

EIT Awards winners are Europe’s top change makers. We are proud to empower these talents to turn their amazing ideas into products and services that create new companies and jobs for Europe.

Martin Kern (EIT Interim Director)

By winning these awards we have met some awesome people, who gave us advice, connected us with the right people or supported us financially. Additionally, these awards have motivated us to continue our business and make it successful. We are very grateful for this experience. Because of these events, we are now growing into a successful company and close to providing CO2 neutral cloud services. Thank you!

About our company
Liesanne Wieleman
posted this March 16

Mark Rutte raises a glass to the renewed collaboration between Nerdalize and Eneco

Speech by CEO Boaz Leupe

Following a successful pilot, Nerdalize and sustainable energy company Eneco are expanding their collaboration to build a cloud that provides sustainable residual heat to Dutch homes. This was announced by Boaz Leupe, CEO of Nerdalize, and Elmer de Boer, Manager Ideation at Eneco, in the presence of prime minister Mark Rutte during his visit to start-up incubator and home of Nerdalize YES!Delft.

The cloud exists in expensive datacenters that hog energy. Nerdalize has developed a product that allows the residual heat of a cloud server to directly contribute to the heating system of a home at no cost, allowing both homeowners and professional cloud users to save money and energy. Nerdalize cloud users may easily save 50% on their cloud costs as they no longer pay for a cooled and expensive datacenter.

Raising a glass Speech by prime minister Mark Rutte

Through the collaboration between Eneco and Nerdalize, we can together offer companies a sustainable and affordable alternative to traditional cloud providers and simultaneously provide residual heat to homes. At Nerdalize we are therefore very excited about expanding the collaboration. Eneco, as a large and sustainable energy company, has a shared vision, large customer base and the efficiencies of scale to make our dream reality; making Nerdalize the greenest and one of the biggest cloud providers by providing hundreds of thousands of homes with sustainable server-heat. Nerdalize and Eneco will soon announce more information about this fantastic, next step.

About our company
Posted December 7, 2016

Geological computations, easily deployed in the cloud!

Devices and organisations gather more and more data. When applied right, this data can be very useful in industries like science and engineering. Large amounts of data are used for quantitative analyses, real-time monitoring and simulations. Geology is a good example of an industry where large amounts of data are processed. For example, GPS coordinates, LiDAR data and satellite images. Engineers keep their computers running overnight and during the weekends hoping that their computation will be done when they return to their desk the next morning.

The cloud is a great solution for these engineers and researchers, giving them access to scale up their processes to unlimited amounts of computing power. But how do these engineers and researchers, that are not trained in IT, get access to cloud resources? The Nerdalize cloud platform makes this easy for them!

Yesterday, I presented the Nerdalize Cloud Platform to a group of geologists at GeoBuzz. Engineers and researchers can use our platform to deploy large computations to cloud resources, without needing the help of their IT department!

The presentation was received with a lot of enthusiasm. The nice reactions afterwards ensured me that what we learned from user tests during the development of the platform really appeals to a large target group. Motivating us to keep developing a platform that can easily be used by everybody with a need for processing large amounts of data!

Maaike pitching Nerdalize at GeoBuzz

About our customerscompany
Maaike Stoops
posted this November 24, 2016

On the move

What started with three people pursuing a (rather ambitious) plan, already developed into a team of 16 working on hardware development, software development, business development, operations, sales, marketing, finance and HR. A bigger team requires a bigger office. So after extending our current office a number of times it is now officially time to take a bigger step. Last Friday we moved into our new office!

No worries, we are still based at YES!Delft, we just moved into their new building where we have more space, a better view and a bigger workshop. So everything we need to work even harder on building our sustainable cloud!

Curious? Feel free to come by and check out our new spot!

About our teamcompany
Maaike Stoops
posted this November 14, 2016