One of our first two hires was an expat – co-founder revolutionises water management with AI-powered leak detection software. Based in Leeuwarden, the water technology capital of the Netherlands, this innovative startup offers real-time solutions for water utilities worldwide.


Make it in the North had a chat with Robbert Lodewijks, the CEO and Co-Founder of Based in Leeuwarden, in the province of Friesland, the company develops algorithms to optimise sensor positioning and to detect, classify, size and localise anomalies in water utilities like leakages.

What can you tell us about your company? is a dynamic company specialising in real-time leak localisation software for drinking water utilities. Our journey began as a culmination of extensive research conducted at Wetsus, where we collaborated closely with Dutch drinking water utilities to address a critical issue.

What kind of services and products do you offer?

Our primary offering is a sophisticated software tool tailored for water utilities. It excels in real-time leak detection and localisation, harnessing real-time data from pressure and flow sensors. Additionally, it provides recommendations for optimal sensor placement, enhancing network efficiency.

Our reach extends across various channels. We actively engage with our target audience on LinkedIn, fostering connections and sharing industry insights. We also participate in water technology events to showcase our innovative solutions and connect with potential partners.

Why did the company choose to start in the Northern Netherlands? What is unique about the business ecosystem in the North that has helped the company to thrive?

The Northern Netherlands, particularly Leeuwarden, serves as our home base for several compelling reasons. This region is renowned as the epicentre of water technology innovation, aligning perfectly with our mission.

The local business ecosystem offers tremendous support, access to a wealth of talent, and a deep-rooted focus on water technology.

Moreover, the people in the North are known for their down-to-earth nature and genuine hospitality, making it an ideal place for us to thrive.

Has the company always been open to hiring internationals? 

From the outset, we have embraced diversity and inclusivity as core principles. While we are just beginning, one of our first two hires was an international team member.

We firmly believe that building a diverse team enriches our work environment and fosters innovation. Diversity goes beyond nationality; it encompasses a broad spectrum of backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences, which we actively seek and welcome.

Do you help with the integration of international employees in any way?

Currently, we do not have a formal program in place for international employees, but we prioritise creating a welcoming and inclusive work environment.

Our onboarding process is designed to ensure that new team members feel valued and part of the HULO family from day one.

Do you sponsor work permits?

While we are not acting as sponsors for permits at the moment, we remain open to exploring this option in the future to facilitate the integration of international talent into our team.

What you would like to highlight about in order to entice expats to come work for you?

At, our primary focus is on making a significant impact on water management worldwide. Our vision is to challenge the status quo and revolutionise the way water utilities detect and address leaks, ultimately contributing to water conservation and combating water scarcity on a global scale.

Our company exudes a vibrant startup culture characterized by innovation, collaboration, and agility. We prioritise creating a work environment where every team member feels empowered to explore new ideas and solutions.

Central to our values are honesty, adventure, achievement, and respect. We maintain a flexible work environment, offering hybrid work options and embracing the absence of rigid schedules, all of which promote a healthy work-life balance for our team.

What do you look for when you're hiring someone? And do you accept open applications?

When considering potential team members, we value qualities such as personality, hard work ethic, enthusiasm, honesty, and conscientiousness.

We also look for specific skills related to the open position, but the right attitude and cultural fit are equally important to us.

We enthusiastically accept open applications from individuals who share our values and want to contribute to our mission-driven organisation.