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Crowdsourcing for good:Meet Hans from platform developer BlackShore

Collaboration Crowdsourcing Food Global challenges Technology

In this series we interview impact startups that will pitch their story on the pitch stage at Impact Startup Fest on May 26. Want to hear their story live? Register now!

Startup name: Blackshore
Develops: Crowdsouring platform Cerberus
Founder and director: Hans van ‘t Woud

Hans studied Human Centered Multimedia at the University of Amsterdam and is now the director of BlackShore. BlackShore develops the Cerberus platform with which the general public, the crowd, is asked to help solving global challenges.

Crowdsourcing is no rocket science

“We do this by asking the crowd to look at satellite imagery in a serious computer game. It’s no rocket science; we simply ask what they see. These can for example be obstructed roads by a disaster, refugees waiting for help or we can even help farmers in developing countries to increase their yield. The latest is very important, by doing this we can actually save rainforests! As we enable farmers to use their existing land efficiently, taking away the need to start farming where rainforests are supposed to be.

Mapping Mars

Hans started with BlackShore in 2011 and actually developed Cerberus to help mapping the surface of…planet Mars! “A Nasa Satellite is sending back tons of costly images from Mars to earth, worthless images if not analysed. However, to do this task there aren’t enough researchers, so he asked the general public -the crowd- to do this job. While learning and enjoying the beauty of this planet in a game, the crowd is reinforcing scientific research. This is called crowdsourcing, which I am using today to help solving global challenges! Do you know, that satellites enable us to see objects of 30 centimeters?”

Early growth

Hans tells us he is proud, having survived the “valley of death” and now being able to start working on the early growth phase of the business. “Besides of course the invention of my technology itself, I am very proud of our crowd’s achievements in tracking dispersed refugees waiting for help in Iraq within 12 hours.”

Grow developing economies

At this moment Blackshore is primarily focusing on a project to save rainforests, whilst enhancing growth in developing economies: by increasing food production utilizing state of the art satellites, the social gaming market and the power of the crowd. This all leads to restoring rainforests too.

Mission and vision

“Our mission: Bending revenues and brainpower abundant in the gaming market to good causes.”

A world where nature is sustained and carbon stocks are guarded while food production is ample, even with a growing world population.

“I want to achieve this all with a crowd of at least 200 000 people!”

Challenging the status quo

Hans: “With Cerberus we have built a disruptive technology, but we sense in the world that many organizations fail to recognize new technologies such as the capabilities of satellites and crowdsourcing or simply are too slow in changing their way of working. Fighting this status quo is taking way more time and energy than I ever could have imagined.”

Be fast

A recommendation to other startups: “Though your product might not be perfect yet, be as fast as you can going out into the world and ignore the resistance!”

Like the story? Become a member!

Like and follow Cerberus to become a member of the Ceberus’ crowd army in Facebook because this is the place where all future crowdsourcing projects will be published.

Contact Blackshore to work together or for a good converation

Address European Space Innovation Centre – Kapteynstraat 1 – 2201 BB Noordwijk ZH – The Netherlands
T Hans van ‘t Woud: +31 (0) 614 104 204 –