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The latest edition of the EIT Digital Challenge has set the stage for an exciting 2018 with five innovative scaleups winning the 2017 awards and setting up their path to internationalising.
Five scaleups in five different categories – Digital Industry, Digital Wellbeing, Digital Cities, Digital Finance, and Digital Infrastructure – won a package worth €100,000, including €50,000 in cash and €50,000 in support through the EIT Digital Accelerator programme for a year.
Here are the five winners of the EIT Digital Challenge that you need to keep an eye on in 2018:
Cleverciti (Digital Cities): The Munich-based startup is building a sensor-based service that directs drivers to vacant parking spaces. The sensors lined on streets scan for available parking space in real time and sends the data to an app for drivers. The startup says this will improve traffic flow in cities.
trinckle 3D (Digital Industry): This spinout from Free University of Berlin has built a cloud-based platform called Paramate for designing 3D printed products, ideal for businesses with limited expertise in 3D printing.
OptioPay (Digital Finance): This Berlin-based startup has created a payments platform for businesses to offer pay out options to users, like gift vouchers, which it says are more flexible. It’s targeting its platform at sectors and use cases like banking, ecommerce, and in HR departments.
Lexplore (Digital Wellbeing): Sweden’s Lexplore is an education technology startup that is developing software tools that uses AI and machine learning to identify dyslexia in young school children.
ApiOmat (Digital Infrastructure): ApiOmat has created a backend-as-a-service solution for companies to integrate their IT systems with mobile and wearable devices to build apps for their businesses. The platform makes prototyping quicker with a faster time to market for apps.
Across five events in five cities, the EIT Digital Challenge sought out scaleups from across Europe tackling deep tech, taking on heady challenges in business and everyday living. More than 136 companies applied to take part.
The criteria for companies in the contest was set very high, said Dominik Krabbe, lead of the EIT Digital Challenge.
“The quality of the finalists and their technology solutions were impressive. We have seen excellent companies with a great potential to scale up internationally,” he said. “We will be working closely together with them to accelerate their growth in 2018 and create the next European success stories.”
The five winners will now move onto the EIT Digital Accelerator to further build and develop their products for the European market and beyond. The accelerator programme provides support for all aspects of growing the startups’ business, from further product to business development, and accessing new markets.
“To acquire customers and operate businesses in different countries requires many resources,” said Maximilian Venhofen, director of business development at Cleverciti. “With the support of the EIT Digital Accelerator, we will have the chance to strengthen our international sales efforts and expand in more markets faster.”
More than 260 startups have gone through the EIT Digital Accelerator programme and have since raised over €300 million in funding, with €90 million being directly facilitated by the Accelerator.