Flame Away’s Journey

Flame Away started in 2019 during the minor Entrepreneurship at the UvA. During this minor four students, Thymen van Meenen, Tommaso Alboni, Samanta Vaivade and Max Nijman conceptualised the idea of Flame Away. The team worked tirelessly on Flame Away with the UvA and several fire departments. As a result, Flame Away got admitted to the Demonstrator Lab in November 2019.

The Demonstrator Lab is an incubator centre where promising startups can develop their idea and most importantly their product, whilst learning from other like-minded individuals. The Demonstrator Lab, located at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, offered us their facilities for office and lab space, which we utilise to perfect the product of Flame Away. Using the extensive knowledge of the people at the Demonstrator Lab, we have learned a lot about the subjects related to entrepreneurship, from being the most effective supply chain to producing a reliable product in the most effective way. Furthermore, the facilities at the VU allow us to test our product in a safe situation of fires under different conditions, allowing us to ensure the effectiveness of our product. After all, Flame Away stands for a reliable product, which people can trust with their lives.

We also worked closely together with certain firedepartments to ensure the Flame Away is safe to use and effective. They have guide, assisted and advised us through all the years in the lab, all so we can save lives with our product.

Flame Away at the D’lab

On the 30th of January 2020, Flame Away was selected as a finalist from a selection of over 25 startups of the minor Entrepreneurship. There we pitched Flame Away to a group of investors and other interested people.

Furthermore, Flame Away participated in the Fire Safety challenge and got awarded the innovation price and an additional 2500 euros to help us develop and perfect our product. This award set the collaboration of Flame Away with Woonzorg, Habion and Wooncompagnie in stone. Flame Away uses its extensive network to ensure that our product is easily usable by people of all ranges of vitality.  

In the summer of 2020 Tommaso, Samanta and Thymen decided to focus on their studies and leave Flame Away. Of course, Max Nijman continued with an unbreakable spirit to prevent lives from being lost due to fires by perfecting the throwable fire-extinguishing tool of Flame Away.

In March of 2021 Flame Away joined the We make change community, which strives to connect high-value volunteers to social enterprises. Since Flame Away strives to improve the world by giving people a fighting chance against fires, this was only a natural collaboration. Together with the great volunteers of Wemakechange Flame Away shall continue to make the world a safer place!

To make sure the Flame Away can be used by people from all ranges of vitality, Flame Away hosted a testing day at SWZ Wassenaar. Here we had an amazing afternoon hearing the stories of residents, testing their intuition for the best colours and shapes and testing their throwing capabilities.

Flame Away was incubated as a scientific project by the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam at the Demonstrator Lab and in collaboration with the Universiteit van Amsterdam. Since we were working with two universities, we were surrounded by an academic environment full of innovation and expertise. For this reason, we have had access to scientific lab spaces and a great number of testing facilities. We used the expertise of various professors, which have backed up our project continuously. We were settled in the Demonstrator Lab by the Vrije Universiteit and they provide us with financial resources for the possible manufacturing of our product.

In Juli of 2022 we left this amazing academic environment after being incorporated at the Chamber of Commerce on the 6th of July. We started production the same day to make sure we could launch before the holiday season later that year. Our launch date is set for the 21st of October 2022 and we are working hard to ensure that you can get a Flame Away as soon as possible.

Our team

Max Nijman


I’m Max and I’m working full time on Flame Away and doing a masters degree on Life Science and Technology in Delft on the side. I work on Flame Away because every year too many people die of fires. Flame Away hopes to increase people’s fire awareness and give them a quick tool. Together we can save lives and this is what drives me to get up in the morning and work to bring Flame Away to people.


Maria Inês Rodrigues de Sousa Varajão

Legal advisor

My name is Maria de Sousa Varajão. I am from Portugal and had the opportunity to live and study in the United Kingdom for three years. I am currently finishing my master’s in international law and international relations while working at the Embassy in Namibia. I am very passionate about international law and humanitarian causes and hope to find more projects like Flame Away to contribute to.

Srishti Katyayan

Legal advisor

A Qualified Indian lawyer with an Advanced Master’s in Intellectual Property and Knowledge Management from Maastricht University. She is passionate about IP, fond of trying new cuisines and believes in helping to foster a better and safer environment.

Andreea-Nicoleta Alistar (Floroiu)

Social media responsible

With the experience of over 10 years in sales and retail and a degree in marketing, I am in the process of changing careers to become a digital marketer. I am excited to work with Flame Away to raise awareness online on the importance of domestic fire prevention. A unique, innovative, and easy-to-use product like Flame Away can assist us and give us the confidence to handle fire incidents at the right time and place.

Dayana da Barca

Legal advisor

I am a Commercial Law graduate currently living in Lisbon, Portugal. I am most passionate about exploring topics related to contracts, labour law and dispute resolution.
It thrills me to look for creative and strategic solutions for clients whilst challenging my critical thinking skills. I strive to find endeavours rooted in values that I live by and that create a positive impact in communities.
 When I am not busy with work, you can find me reading about politics, fashion or presenting a cooking show in my kitchen.

Ali Zaib

Senior Software Engineer

I am a software engineer backend specialized in Python Databases and Data ware housing. I always keen to learn new things. I am excited to work with Flame Away on their fire fighting and easy to use product.

Uzochukwu Okafor

Frontend Developer

My name is Uzochukwu. I’m a freelance Frontend Developer based in Nigeria. I’m big on volunteerism.
I see tech as an opportunity for me to create a better future by working with designers to create accessible, performant and beautiful web experiences.