The founders of Akyla, Martin Schievink and Bart van Borssum Waalkes, are awarded the van den Kroonenberg prize this year. The prize for entrepreneurship is awarded every year by the Twente University Fund during the Entrepreneurial Day at the University of Twente (UT). The prize is awarded to the most notable entrepreneurs with a shared UT history. Both gentlemen have indicated that the UT has played an important role in their development. They are now running a successful business, partly thanks to their Technical Computer Science studies, an entrepreneurial course at the start, the stimulating environment at the entrepreneurial university and the campus facilities.
In 1999 - during their Technical Computer Science studies at the UT - Martin and Bart founded a student company with four students. After the foundation year they took the practical entrepreneurship course. They were looking to broaden their activities alongside their studies and were inspired and facilitated by the entrepreneurial university. Their environment, the campus with fast Internet, also facilitated their ambitions. The student company has now grown into a business that employs 25 people and is known in the temporary employment sector as Akyla.
Hirer’s remuneration is a term that applies in the temporary employment sector. It means that the employee who is placed in a position by his/her employer, is liable to be paid in accordance with the collective labour agreement of the hirer. This means employment agencies have to deal with dozens of these agreements and as such, with the correct processing of timesheets, paid leave and overtime, to name but a few. Akyla comprehensively supports these activities for agencies.
The main products are e-UUR (a portal and app) for time registration and all related processing matters, and Xplican, a mechanism that translates collective labour agreement requirements into the structure of systems. This is multiplatform software with a monthly fee based on volume. It represents a generic solution that requires little customisation. Akyla’s unique selling point is maximum digitisation of the processing structure. This is where the company stands out from the competitors. Akyla has a number of large clients: Adecco (in several countries), Payroll Select, Consolid and Timing.
“We are delighted that we won the Van den Kroonenberg prize in the year of Akyla’s 20th anniversary. It is a wonderful confirmation that hard work and personal development has put the team on the right path. Without our great team we wouldn’t be good entrepreneurs."
Akyla won the FD Gazellen Award in 2017 and 2018. The FD Gazellen Awards are awarded to the most fast-growing companies in the Netherlands. Businesses in the running must have achieved a minimum 20% revenue growth over the previous three years and must have made a profit over the previous year. In the years ahead, Akyla is forecasting further growth of e-UUR and an acceleration of Xplican’s growth. There is a lot of market interest for the latter.
Van den Kroonenberg prize
The Van den Kroonenberg prize for young entrepreneurship is intended to recognise an entrepreneur with a clear link to the University of Twente, who has a proven track record of good entrepreneurship. The prize pays homage to the former vice-chancellor Harry van den Kroonenberg, who laid the foundation for the entrepreneurial character of the University of Twente. The prize, in its 36th year and awarded on behalf of the Twente University Fund, comes with a cash prize of € 4.500, a certificate and an award, created by Mohana van den Kroonenberg.