SingularityU Stories:
Danny Wagemans – GIC 2016 winner

Since 2012 the SingularityU community in The Netherlands has hosted numerous Global Impact Challenges in which the winner receives a scholarship for the Global Solutions Program in Silicon Valley. This summer we will connect with some of these alumni so they can share their life changing experiences. In this post Danny Wagemans will share his #SingularityUStories

Danny joined the Global Impact Challenge in 2016 – the first time that SingularityU Benelux sponsored the scholarship. Being just 20 years old during the final, he became our youngest GIC winner. It was also a special occasion, as the final was being held during the official launch of our Hub in Eindhoven. This meant that Danny was able to meet Queen Máxima and share his solution with her. 

Why did you compete during the Global Impact Challenge? 

I was living in Munich in 2015 and I witnessed the influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees looking to secure basic human rights (shelter, food, water etc.). I wanted to help them, so I came up with the design for The Ultimate Bottle (TUB) – a bottle to filter clean drinking water from urine. The Global Impact Challenge was the perfect way to showcase and accelerate my efforts.

What was your reaction after winning the GIC? 

I was amazed and stunned that I had won the competition. The idea and concept for the TUB were very new; we had only developed them in the months leading up to the GIC. I was very excited that it had received such a positive reception.

What is your fondest memory or biggest highlight at the Global Solutions Program in the US? 

When I reflect on my time at the Global Solution Program, I mainly think about my fellow GSP classmates, and what I learned from them. I still to this day, more than 6 years later, regularly meet people from GSP, and they remain a source of inspiration.

Danny Wagemans GIC Winner 2016

(Danny at the GSP graduation ceremony, with SU co-founders Ray Kurzweil, Peter Diamandis and CEO Rob Nail)

Looking back, how did the GSP affect you personally? And what did it do for your career? 

GSP is an amazing program that brings people together from all over the world and infuses them with information about global grand challenges and exponential technologies that can help address those challenges. GSP impacted my belief that I can achieve 10x impact (instead of 10%) and gave me the tools and network to do so.

What’s next for you? What are you focusing on in the coming years?

After GSP, I have been more focused on helping organizations move to a more sustainable and circular strategy. I am currently pursuing my MBA at Columbia University in New York, and slowly plotting my next entrepreneurial adventure in the climate tech space.

Danny has shared his story about The Ultimate Bottle during numerous events, including TEDxVeghel and our very own SingularityU The Netherlands Summit. Danny holds multiple Master of Science degrees in Physics and Nanotechnology and is now working on his MBA at Columbia University. We’re very much looking forward to Danny’s next initiative in the climate tech industry!