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Marissa de Boer and SusPhos have won the 2023 MT/Sprout Challenger50 Award. The spin-off company from the Van ‘t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS) can now present itself as the biggest market challenger of 2023.
Marissa de Boer with the Challenger50 trophy. Photo by Tristan Fopma, MT/Sprout.

The company founded by Marissa de Boer, Chris Slootweg and Bas de Jong developed a technique based on research at HIMS to recover phosphate from various waste streams. The recycled phosphate can be used in products such as fertilisers and flame retardants. The jury called a circular solution like SusPhos' 'much needed' and was impressed by De Boer's entrepreneurship. 'She tackles the problem at different points in the chain,' according to jury chairman Philip Bueters. 'That is a big challenge, but at the same time the only way to get this problem solved.'

The Challenger50 is the annual list of the Netherlands' most challenging entrepreneurs as published by MT/Sprout. They challenge the established order by showing how things can be done differently, faster, better, cheaper or more sustainable. To qualify for the list, a company must have a track record of at least three full (book) years, book significant turnover and be well-funded.

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