Autvinder Competition

Autvinder is a competition in the Netherlands for autistic individuals who come up with innovative solutions, for big and small things. One of them will be crowned and celebrated as ‘The Autvinder’ on Autism Week & Neurodiversity Pride Day, and will win great prizes as ‘the best autistic inventor of the Netherlands’.

Quest for the best autistic innovators & inventors

Autvinder Competition

Autistics are exceptionally suited as inventors. Not only in technical fields, but also in societal innovation. Many significant innovations have emerged in the past because of how we, as autistics, perceive the world. And that continues to happen today, aided by our perseverance. Our capacity to continue pondering ideas. Our aversion to allowing injustice, illogic, and inefficiency to persist. Our ability to see the world radically differently from everyone else. To not always heed what others say, but to do our own thing and hold our own opinions. And that is valuable. That is powerful. It makes the world, filled with non-autistics, better for everyone. And sometimes, for ourselves, or for other autistics.

But… What is your innovation idea? Who among us is the best? Every autistic is different, each has unique ideas, or little ideas, and which of these will be seen by a jury as the best idea.

The neurodivergents of the Neurodiversity Foundation have joined forces with the Design Your Life project and the NVA to organize this competition, a quest for the best autistic inventor in the Netherlands.

Participation is only for Autistics (with or without formal diagnosis)
The winner wins a price, and the name of the winner is released on April 4th by the Autvinder judges
Submissions are judged for prizes in 4 categories
All inventions & intellectual property remains owned by the autistic inventor

Category: Innovation for the Autistic Life

Category: Innovation to make the world a better place

Category: Innovations for in the Home

Category: Technical innovation

Finalists of Autvinder Competition 2024

Autvinder Competition

Autvinder Finalists

Finalists of the Autvinder Competition 2024: From the many submissions, the 20 best autvinders are selected as finalists.   

The Coffeeboy by Bastiaan Jong & Ruben Plooster

The Coffeeboy by Bastiaan Jong and Ruben Plooster, working at 3D-Ambacht, is an innovation enabling visually impaired individuals to independently access coffee from office coffee machines. By placing a tactile mold over the touchscreen, blind and visually impaired individuals can select their drink, promoting autonomy and inclusivity in the workplace. Inspired by a request from the Province of Gelderland, the Coffeeboy is self-produced.

BoardingPass by Romano Sandee

Boarding Pass by Romano Sandee, also known for the ‘out with autism ( ‘ invention, aims to create a low-stimulus check-in experience at hotels or vacation accommodations, improving comfort for individuals with autism. The pass includes all necessary check-in information and can be personalized with a photo and personal characteristics, minimizing verbal communication. After tests in various hotels, further development aims to enhance user-friendliness, possibly through a web form for last-minute adjustments.

The light Alarm Clock by Lucas Volwater

The Light Alarm Clock, a project by Lucas Volwater, wakes you gently with a simulated sunrise and is easily readable without glasses. Displaying time uniquely with a linear 24-hour representation, it offers additional features like light effects and the game Pong. Designed to make life more comfortable for people with autism through softer awakenings and an experimental approach to time display.

The TWINTOWER by Danique Happel

Danique Happel has designed The Twintower, a tower representing various themes requiring significant energy in her life. With accompanying rotating discs indicating stress levels, the system provides her and her environment with a clear overview and tool to intervene or offer support in time. This project offers a personal solution, providing structure and enabling her environment to monitor her well-being and offer assistance when needed.

The Inclusive Journey APP by Daniel Ruiter

The Inclusive Journey app by Daniel Ruiter allows users to scan their surroundings for accessibility feedback, providing educational information and facilitating mutual learning. Its aim is to create visibility and offer a friendly way to understand the challenges faced by people with disabilities, while also providing a platform for like-minded individuals to meet and learn from each other.

Mindful Waters by Maarten 'Anton' Hundscheid

Mindful Waters by Maarten “Anton” Hundscheid is a digital interactive aquarium simulation designed to enhance the lives of people with dementia by providing positive interaction and distraction. Offering a cost-effective and user-friendly alternative to traditional aquariums, it focuses on self-directed play to enable both physical and digital interaction without additional equipment. All components are developed entirely by the inventor.

The Smart Toilet Seat pedal by Daniel Ruiter

Daniel Ruiter’s Smart Toilet Seat Pedal invention combines a pedal bin with a toilet seat, creating a toilet with a built-in pedal. Stepping on the pedal raises the seat, while stepping off lowers it. This concept can range from simple to high-tech, with features like smartwatch support for personalized functions such as music, lighting, and even toilet paper ordering. Additionally, it’s suggested that toilet roll holders could notify when they’re running low and even automatically place orders, further enhancing convenience.

Driver Coach by Tauvic Ritter

Tauvic Ritter‘s Driver Coach project aims to improve road safety through personal coaching and a support ecosystem. It focuses on identifying causes of traffic accidents, implementing vehicle safety monitoring systems, and emphasizing the importance of a traffic safety ecosystem for sharing information among multiple parties. It promotes both preventive measures, such as driver awareness training, and reactive solutions, such as driver monitoring systems, to reduce risky behavior and prevent near-accidents.

The Relapse Prevention PLANNER by Rineke Duijster

Rineke Duijster has developed The Relapse Prevention Planner, a modular planning system to manage time and energy, designed to accommodate the demands of different activities. Originally born out of her own needs during an autistic burnout, the system uses laminated magnetic cards in different colors, flexibly adaptable for both weekly and six-week plans. This approach has given Rineke more insight into her time and activities, and she hopes to help others with this system.

social Skills Training by MIRJAM BRASSER

An innovative approach by Mirjam Brasser to social skills training for autistic individuals and their environment, focusing on environmental adjustments and supportive understanding. Through individual communication profiles and practical tips, parents and caregivers are empowered to create a supportive environment, leading to improvements in confidence and social skills. This initiative promotes a positive approach to autism and offers practical tools for growth and development.

Aulisme by Annet Both

Aulism is a philosophical approach to understanding autism as a blend of autism and idealism, aiming to eliminate biases and assumptions. The autvinder, Annet Both, sees strong idealists in autists and believes people can learn from the pushback of ‘aulists’ against prevailing views.

Out with Autism by Romano Sandee

“Uit met Autisme”, translated as “Out with Autism“, provides a website platform where people with autism can prepare for outings and determine if they fit within their weekly schedule using a color-coded system for sensory sensitivity. Romano Sandee developed this initiative to make relaxation more accessible for people with autism and help them avoid overstimulation. With a growing database of low-stimulus locations and a test panel for organizations, Out with Autism aims for a more autism-friendly leisure time for everyone.

SW-APP by William van Kaathoven

The SW-APP, conceived by William van Kaathoven, offers an innovative solution for overconsumption through barter trade. Users can offer products via an app and match them with items from others in the same price category, supported by a point system for physical exchange. Local businesses can participate, advertise, and make offers, making the app a sustainable and social platform for communities.

Creative toolbelt "De Potloodjesriem" by Eva rood

Eva Rood has devised a handy solution for her challenges: a creative toolbelt, or pencil belt. This belt keeps all her pencils at hand while drawing outdoors, giving her more confidence and making it easier to pursue her hobby. It also sends a social signal to people in her environment and can lead to new hobby contacts.


Roland Angenent has developed the “Plug & Play construction technique“, enabling buildings to be quickly and cost-effectively adapted or moved, for example, due to climate change. This technology focuses on simple assembly systems and standardization of building elements, with potentially significant economic, social, and ecological benefits for the construction sector. The hot-swap & tool-free approach requires minimal technical knowledge and can transform traditional construction professions, making technical jobs possible without the barrier of lengthy training.

The Childwish Workbook by Mandy Verleijsdonk

The Child Wish Workbook, developed by Mandy Verleijsdonk, provides women with a child wish, including autistic women, with a tool for self-expression and guidance during life changes. It is valuable for both parents. With Mandy’s expertise and user feedback, the workbook is evolving into a physical and digital support resource, with possibilities for further development into an app.

Escape Room “Experience autism” by MAARTJE DE VRIES

Maartje de Vries has developed an “Experience Autism” escape room, using the escape room formula to promote awareness and stimulate discussions about autism. With concrete examples and experiences, she offers participants the opportunity to experience autism and gain insight into stress and sensory overload, with the goal of fostering understanding and mutual learning. The workshop includes an introduction to autism, the escape room game where participants experience different perspectives, and a conclusion discussing learning moments and linking them to daily life.

The Aut-In-One app by DORIEN HEIN

Dorien Hein has developed the vision for the Aut-In-One app to support people with autism in everyday activities, from daily planning to medication management, aiming to make life less stressful and improve quality of life. The ambitious app offers a versatile approach, incorporating many useful functions in one app, including information provision, monitoring energy levels and stress, meal planning, and preventing sensory overload. The autvinder has also devised innovative features that are excellent additions, such as the “positive diary.”

Ecommune by Caspar Abelmann

Caspar Abelmann’s Ecommune is a system where 100-150 people receive free housing and services in exchange for collective maintenance, with a focus on environmental sustainability and connection to capitalist society. Eliminating the need for money promotes mental well-being, job security, and inclusivity, while encouraging stress-free living through coaching and technology. This initiative addresses modern challenges such as homelessness and offers a solution to societal problems, with collective action and understanding as key to realization.

Mold Preventer by Klaus SChiffner

Klaus Schiffner’s Mold Preventer is a device that detects mold formation behind large furniture. It visually alerts the resident to unfavorable conditions, such as high humidity, and advises actions such as opening windows or turning on the heating. With low energy consumption and the ability to monitor via an app, it provides an effective solution for preventing mold in poorly ventilated spaces.

Mental Aid by Twan Wildeboer

According to mental health care (GGZ) data, more than 11,000 patients wait for mental assistance for over 4 months – a situation that calls for change. MentalAId offers on-demand mental support tailored to individual needs, combining a personal coach with AI. Developed by Twan Wildeboer, it provides rapid, personalized aid for those in need. The MentalAId prototype builds on his other ideas, with the vision of supporting everyone’s mental well-being with interactive technology.

De NAAN. methodiek by Anjana Gort

The NAAN. methodology (2009-2024), derived from New Approach Anorexia Nonspecified, offers an innovative approach for young people with severe anorexia, PTSD, and underlying autism who struggle in regular care. Developed by Anjana Gort, who has experienced these challenges herself, this methodology provides a proven effective treatment and guidance, incorporating the use of assistance dogs. Successfully applied to hundreds of young people both domestically and internationally, the NAAN. methodology offers hope and perspective to those previously considered untreatable.

NEuronav AI by Twan Wildeboer

NeuroNav AI, created by Twan Wildeboer, is a tailor-made interactive toolset for autistic/neurodivergent individuals, designed to assist with life navigation strategies. The toolset combines Human-Centred Design with technology. After a successful pilot, NeuroNav is ready for the next user phase. By focusing on individual needs, NeuroNav AI improves daily activities and facilitates the learning of new skills, such as time management and priorities, resulting in practical solutions for an organized and enriching life.

Who are the judges of the competition?


There is a jury that expertly evaluates all small and large innovations. All jury members are themselves neurodivergent or knowledgeable about autism.

The Autvinder jury consists of:

Alderick van Klaveren is a software engineer, entrepreneur, and creator of the Rit.Me app. 

Jos Schenkeveld is studentcounselor, 3d- and fabrication specialist at Ixperium.

Jos Schenkeveld is studentcounselor, studentenbegeleider, 3d- and fabrication specialist at Ixperium.

Tjerk Feitsma is director of the Neurodiversity Foundation and a champion in the neurodiversity movement in the  Netherlands.

Prof. dr. Wouter Staal is a professor of clinical child and adolescent psychiatry, endowed professor in the field of autism, and researcher.

Explanation procedure

How it works

For participants, this is the procedure:

Submit your idea
Your submission will be judged
You will get a response from the judges
All finalists will be invited for the award ceremony
On the 4th of April, the winners of the Autvinder competition is anounced.
On 16 June 2024, Neurodiversity Pride Day, the winner will receive the prices

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions and Answers

What are the prices

We have a cash prize, a photoshoot and physical award statues

Who can submit?

All autistics from 10-99 years old. Multiply neurodivergents are also welcom, as long as autism is one of the co-occuring conditons.

Until when can I submit?

Until Brain Awareness Week, specifically: 19 Maart 2024.

How can I submit?

By using a submission form before March 19 2024: click here

What happens with my idea?

Every submission remains 100% owned by the autvinder who submitted the idea. 

I have another question: now what?

Email the coordinating team of Autvinder at:

What we want

More Autistics in innovative jobs

It’s very unfortunate that autistic talent is underutilized in the job market and beyond, especially in areas where we, often, excel compared to most others, because our brains are inherently better suited for these tasks. Talents such as noticing details better, recognizing patterns, persevering, honesty, loyalty, and much more. It doesn’t help that there are many negative stereotypes about autistics, while each of them is actually different, each with talents, and many deserving a fair chance to demonstrate their value.

Yet there are thousands of autistics without jobs, who eagerly want to work in a neuroinclusive workplace that embraces our neurodivergence rather than punishing or sidelining it.

Our call to organizations is therefore to take steps to become more neuroinclusive, for example by:

Change your recruting policy, train your recruiters fon neurodiversity, and adress their hidden biases.
Allow for accomodations to enable the ability to work effectively. Don't make this difficult.
Retain your autistic talent, and never ask them to 'behave normal'.


Send a message to team Autvinder.

Sponsorship or collab?

We welcome the opportunity for organizations to contribute money, services, or materials to the prize for the winners. Please contact the project team.

Autvinder.NL POSTERS

We are grateful for every supporter and participant of the Autvinder competition.

DYL has provided a cash prize of 1000 euros, and the Autism Fund has provided 250 euros.

Award Ceremony

The award ceremony will take place on April 4th at the Design Your Life symposium at the HAN Campus Nijmegen, Kapittelweg 33, Nijmegen.