Have you heard about the EIT Digital Challenge, the European competition organised by the leading accelerator in Europe — EIT Digital — to promote European deep tech scaleups? Silicon Canals attended the fifth edition of the event held in Belgium recently, and without a second thought, we would say, it was a great event and a day full of networking and learning.
Dolf Wittkamper, the Head of EIT Digital Accelerator, says that during the competition to find the best deep tech scaleups in Europe that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a significant trend he sees. “The use of algorithms is the most of common trend everywhere. Other trends that are popping up are automation, augment reality (AR), digital finance and blockchain.
When asked, how a scaleup stands out from the crowd, Wittkamper says, “That is when everything comes together. When the team members know what they’re doing when the scaleup found a really interesting niche, solution, or good technology. At the same time, the scaleup should have a go-to-the-market plan and know how to adopt a good business model. Further, they should have ambition. A scaleup becomes exceptional when it combines these factors.”
The 25 scaleups that already stood out in the pre-selection were given five minutes to pitch and three minutes to answer jury questions. The jury then selected the 10 best scaleups in five deep technology areas: Digital Industry, Digital Wellbeing, Digital Cities, Digital Finance and Digital Infrastructure. Each winner received a full year of dedicated growth support from the EIT Digital Accelerator, worth €50,000. Additionally, the first place of each category won a cash prize of €50,000.
Silicon Canals presents to you the 5 main winners of the EIT Digital Challenge.
Baffin Bay Networks, Sweden
Based out of Stockholm, the scaleup Baffin Bay Networks is on a mission to build and deliver a world-beating ‘Threat Protection Platform’ that helps customers to mitigate all cyber threats.
On the win, Stefan Lindberg, CCO & Chairman says, “Just one year ago we got our first customers, and now we have already won the first prize in our first pitch in the EIT Digital Challenge! It feels excellent, and it is a recognition of the hard work we do every day at Baffin Bay Networks.”
Baffin Bay Networks has a threat protection platform that uses advanced AI tech to pre-empt cyber threats (DDoS, malware or more). Recently, the scaleup also landed a Series A investment from EQT Ventures.
In Digital Industry category, Turin-based EnerBrain, took the first prize for turning wasteful buildings into smarter, healthier and more sustainable ones with an IoT energy solution.
Giuseppe Giordano, CEO & Co-founder says, “Being awarded the first prize gives a great sense of accomplishment. The EIT Digital Accelerator is a perfect match for us. We are planning to open offices in Paris, Barcelona and London, therefore, having access to EIT Digital is exactly what we need.”
Founded in 2015, the Italian scaleup has come up with innovative IoT hardware and powerful algorithms in the cloud to fine-tune energy usage in real time, which in turn allows operational savings. The main focus of the company is to provide a better indoor air quality and educating occupants in order to create a wider social impact.
Established in 2014, Leveris is a fintech scaleup that offers modular, non-legacy banking-as-a-platform (BaaP) solution architected to lending, deposit-taking, card issuance and digital channel design.
Link Asset Services, part of the Link Group, has also recently invested in the Dublin-based banking company and it also won the first prize at the EIT Digital Challenge 2018 in the category of ‘Digital Finance.’
Leveris claims to have developed a “next-generation, modular, end-to-end banking platform” that facilitates lending, deposit-taking, card issuance and digital channel design.
Active Cues, The Netherlands
This Dutch medtech scaleup won hearts of everyone at the event, and the top prize at the EIT Digital Challenge awards 2018 under the category Digital Wellbeing.
Sjoerd Wennekes, International Business Developer & Co-founder, Active Cues says, “The financial prize will entirely be spent on investments in creating even more happy moments per day. We expect EIT Digital Accelerator to support us in establishing our position in Europe. At the moment, we already operate in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Sweden and the UK, but we are aiming to become a market leader in other European countries, and also have plans to expand in the US.”
Active Cues has developed Tovertafel, a little box that offers games specially designed for people with dementia and adults with a learning disability.
While claims to be one of the first companies in the world to develop 3D sensor technology without the use of lenses, Toposens won the top prize in the Digital Cities category for its 3D sensor systems based on ultrasound and radar technology.
Here’s what Tobias Bahnnemmern, Co-founder and MD of the Munich-based startup had to say on getting the first prize, “Within the Digital Cities category, there were so many strong companies and the competition was intense, hence, I am delighted to have won and achieved the support of EIT Digital Accelerator.”
The German company has developed the world’s first 3D Ultrasound Sensor Vision that uses sound to support robust, low-cost and precise 3D vision for emerging technologies.
All these 5 scaleups stood out with their approach to the real-world problems, and they have been recognised as one of the best deep tech scaleups in the European ecosystem by EIT Digital in 2018.
While the Swedish scaleup Baffin Bay Networks is poised to disrupt the cloud-based cyber security market, Active Cues wants to create moments of happiness among people with dementia. At the same time, Leveris intends to build the most technologically advanced core banking platform and EnerBrain is working each day towards a sustainable future. Lastly, Toposens has a distinct vision to create a cutting-edge 3D ultrasound sensor technology.
For more information on the other winners in all the five categories, take a look at the EIT Digital Challenge 2018 winners list over here.