Impact Innovators - EUTOP50 edition

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EU TOP 50 FOUNDERS + TECH FESTIVAL Young pioneers set an example Moonshots for Europe



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Editor’s word

IN THIS ISSUE 2 Welcome to Brussels


urope is on a mission to innovate with impact, across borders, sectors, and societies, to accelerate the journey towards a sustainable continent - and world - that leaves no one behind. Thankfully, there is an exciting conveyor belt of young Europeans who are wasting no time in applying their skills to kickstart businesses that are striving to contribute. This edition of Impact Innovators, produced in collaboration with Knowledge4Innovation, is all about the EUTOP50 Founders & Tech Festival. Launched in 2017, it has quickly established itself as an important platform dedicated to facilitating meaningful experiences that can support the ambitions of startups. Feedback from the first cohort was positive, with many citing the access it offered to policy makers - as well as to investors and corporates – as a major USP. Listening to what these early stage companies had to say informed decisions on how it should evolve this year. The result is that startups will now have the chance to secure mentorship from young innovation leaders already enjoying success; creating a network of generational peers all headed in the one direction.

It makes sense There is a tangible team spirit underpinning the most effective startup ecosystems today, characterised by a collective desire to overcome the biggest problems facing humanity. Europe epitomises this spirit; with the inspiring startups – and young innovation leaders ready to mentor them – taking part in the EUTOP50 this week, and featured inside this edition, exemplars of a new age of collaboration. Iain Connections made this week will take Europe Robertson a step closer to realising a truly sustainable Editor continent that offers equal opportunity to all.

4 Harald Neidhardt, CEO/Curator at futur/io, writes about Moonshots for Europe

7 EUTOP50 2018 Programme

11 Europe’s Young Innovation Leaders pass on insight

16 Participating startup profiles


Engagement | Editorial Carlotta De Toni Design | Creative Blair Carrick Partnerships | Publishing Susan Robertson Digital | Video Chris Moar Research | Editorial Ebba Engstrom Strategy | Editorial Iain Robertson Insight | Host Marc Buckley


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We accept no responsibility for any effects from errors or omissions. All material is copyright and reproduction is not permitted without express permission. All rights reserved.

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Dr Andreas Klossek Chief Operations Officer, Managing Director, EIT Raw Materials


dmund Phelps, the US Nobel prize winner from 2006, recently claimed that Europe has run out of ideas and suffers from joylessness in business. The EUTOP50 initiative and the entrepreneurs pitching their innovative ideas this week show that is clearly not the case.  So does the work of the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) and its Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs). KICs integrate education, research and business to drive innovation and entrepreneurship – until now more than 1,250 startups have been supported, contributing to more than 600 new products and services. In essence, KICs help to provide funding and support to commercialise the best ideas, promote people that are ready to innovate and become entrepreneurs and provide a breeding ground to realise Europe’s potential in sectors such as energy, raw materials, climate, health, ICT and food (advanced manufacturing and urban mobility upcoming). How is a KIC doing that? KICs have a holistic approach and bring together the right people, from industry to research to education. To integrate this socalled Knowledge Triangle is at the heart of a KIC. For a startup this can mean, for example, to find a first customer amongst the industrial partners of a KIC, or to gain access to investors through the KIC. At EIT RawMaterials, the KIC and the world’s largest network in the raw materials sector, startups play an important role when it comes to new ideas from adjacent industries or on challenges that have not been solved by established businesses.

Here are two examples: A start-up that has developed an entirely new algorithm that will allow 1

maintaining mining machines in a much more time and cost efficient manner than ever before. This new approach, which had not been applied in the mining sector yet, can have a strong impact on the competitiveness of European world-market leaders in the field – many of them being part of EIT RawMaterials today. A different innovative solution is offered by a startup in the 2 Circular Economy. Collection boxes in drugstore chains offer a voucher in exchange for e-waste that can be used either directly in the shop or later online. This decentralised solution is tackling the identification and collection parts of the value chain, which are much less developed and efficient than the steps related to the actual recycling of e-waste. By supporting the EUTOP50 initiative, EIT RawMaterials would like to make an important contribution to the innovativeness of Europe. Our focus is on the people, which is you, the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.



Dr Roland Strauss Managing Director, Knowledge 4 Innovation, Founder, EUTOP50


t is no secret that science, research and talented people are at the core of the solutions badly needed to solve major challenges. However, these drivers of innovation are far from being fully exploited in Europe. A joint Europe-wide effort from the leading innovation financing and support organisations, is key to turning our great knowledge base and substantial investment in science and research, into breakthrough technologies with a global reach. With new developments in blockchain, artificial intelligence, high performance computing, quantum technology, Big Data, IoT and 5/6 G, Europe has the opportunity to catch-up with the leading platforms in the US and China. But the time window is narrow, and action is urgently required. There are many examples of successfully operating innovation actors and eco-systems at the local and regional level. However, the potential gains from connecting innovation actors from across Europe are

not fully realised. A closer cooperation between the best would allow for better leverage in exploiting technology opportunities from science, research labs and universities, through creating an enhanced and more efficient EU-wide innovation system. As the leading innovation platform in the environment of the European institutions, Knowledge4Innovation is making an urgent call to establish a group of leading innovation actors – technical universities and research institutions, venture capital and private equity investors, angel and alternative investors, Corporate Venture organisations (CVC), Family offices and incubators/accelerators. In order to jointly advance the innovation agenda on a pan-European level we need to ensure that our excellent knowledge base is put to work and enable talented young innovators and entrepreneurs that can help Europe to stay globally competitive.

Karolina Stawinska Co-founder & head of talent, Glowfly


ow in its second year, the EUTOP50 Founders and Tech Festival invites not only startups and scale ups, but also R&D innovators from European (Horizon2020) and national research programmes, and university technology developers from across Europe to promote their innovations. As a particular highlight, we are launching a mentorship programme for the winners of the EUtop50 competition. This unique programme is run by carefully selected

Young Innovation Leaders who are award-winning entrepreneurs that have launched their startups at a young age, and now run successful companies having brought their disruptive innovation to international market. The winning startups get to benefit from the passion and wide experience of these Young Innovation Leaders in a six month personalised mentorship programme to help them overcome their current challenges and ensuring innovation across Europe.


Moonshots for Europe

For the past decades, Europe has been a leader in innovation, deep tech and many cross-border research projects, supported by centres of academic excellence and a vibrant start-up culture By Harald Neidhardt, CEO & Curator, Futur/io Institute


strongly believe that Europe is underselling its achievements, deserves more credit for ground-breaking research and must actively create a third way to be an active part of shaping our future society for the generations to come. Europe is home to inventions like the MP3 music format; the WWW, created at CERN; Graphene, the ground-breaking next material for faster chips and nanotech functionality unseen before; CRISPR/ Cas9, the gene editing tool with roots in Spain, The Netherlands and Austria; artificial intelligence breakthroughs including AlphaGo by the team at DeepMind, London – now owned by Google – that outsmarted the best Go player; Green-Tech and FinTech pioneers; Nobel laureates and ambitious young high potentials that start to clean the ocean before they turn 20. Yet, on a global scale, there is much room to grow in recognition of the pioneers. Through financing to scale, by educating a new leadership of generation Z, and by promoting visionary leaders shaping a

new narrative, to help us co-create a new Europe: a third way forward, in between ‘Make-America-great-again’ and a Chinese superpower with a 300-year plan: We need Moonshots for Europe. We all experience the urgency of challenges we are facing today – from climate change to politics, from exponential technologies to ethics in AI. The incoming Anthropocene is clawing into our daily lives and already overtaking our real-time newsfeeds. It seems hard to switch off the noise of man-made bad news to find the signals of hope and lights at the end of a tunnel of narrow-mindedness to the left and far–right. But look beyond the surface and you will find it: the good news, the progress and the opportunities that are left to bring actionable steps to create a better tomorrow. On a few golden October days – just a few weeks ago – about 100 leaders representing corporate innovation, academia, politics, culture, research and startups convened at H-Farm, the Medici House of the 21st century, just outside Venice, Italy. During the Futur/io CxO executive programme, a small spark

was created to cross-pollinate European ideals, to value our open society, co-create Moonshots for Europe and enjoy the hospitality of a place fit for digital pioneers, embedded in tradition and beautiful countryside. We learned, that we can think bigger, bolder and positively about the future. We learned how we can collaborate with diverse backgrounds, benefit from diversity, co-create a framework to apply moonshot thinking. We discovered a way to carry home a flame of appreciation and almost utopian excitement to our teams, cities, countries or better yet, our corner of an amazing European continent. We appreciated that a small group

Harald Neidhardt by Dan Taylor


can make a difference and light a spark. Kennedy declared a Moonshot by setting an unlikely, bold and audacious goal – “not because it is easy but because it is hard” – and a vision became a reality to unite powers and intellect for a giant step for mankind. In Barcelona, Telefónica Alpha opened the first European moonshot lab to tackle those big audacious goals. Moonshots for Europe demand a leadership suited to the transformations that will define the decades ahead; anticipation of breakthrough technologies; benefits that are designed for wider society, and for the environment; and a clear purpose for people – not a focus merely on consumers and

target groups, but in creating empowered citizens. We have a lot of the right people and ideas in Europe that we can connect and inspire, to build a common house that creates a bolder vision for a community of values and progress, characterised by a new definition of what a post-growth economy and open society looks like. Moonshots for Europe will not be easy. There is doubt, there is ambiguity, there is indifference and there are voices that steer towards the known, the past and the rejection of diversity. “Europe is a thought that needs to become a feeling,” declared Bono shortly before the opening of the recent concert by U2 in

Berlin. They waved a big European flag to be thought-provoking, edgy or as a symbol of hope. But waving a flag does not make Europe a love-brand … unfortunately, sometime mid-concert, Bono lost his voice. Any effort though, to help us support a cultural narrative, a feeling or a common narrative, can help make it easier for people to understand and value the benefits of Europe. Let us be a voice, take action, and generate hope, for a flourishing part of the planet that shares common values, remains passionately curious and strives to enjoy growth responsibly, while respecting our place on this blue marble.


Programme 2018

Programme 2018

EUTOP50 Founders and Tech Festival 26-27 November 2018, Brussels

Monday, 26 November 2018 Time 12:00 14:00

Venue OPENING AND NETWORKING LUNCH Welcome Ivana Maletic, MEP, Chair K4I Forum Introduction Roland Strauss, Co-founder and Managing Director K4I Karolina Stawinska, Co-founder & Head of Talent, Glowfly

European Parliament

Speakers Jean-David Malo, Director DG R&I, European Commission Dr Andreas Klossek, Chief Operations Officer, Managing Director, EIT Raw Materials Dr Clara Neppel, Senior Director, IEEE European Business Operations, Young Innovation Leaders

13:00 17:30


14:00 15:30


European Parliament

Moderator Monica Zochowska, CEO & Co-founder, Phenicoptere Sp. Z o.o. Keynote Dr Andreas Klossek, Chief Operations Officer, Managing Director, EIT Raw Materials Corporate View Thomas Goergen, Head of Alliance Management Covestro Startups pitches ALDStone - United Kingdom Laska Energy - Turkey Pharem – Sweden Vertoro - Netherlands Young Innovation Leaders Irene-Marie Seelig, Founder Amadou Leather Monika Zochowska, CEO Phenicoptere Q&A with Experts and Jury Members

European Parliament

Programme 2018


Monday, 26 November 2018 Time 16:00 17:30

Session Title


INVESTORS AND INNOVATION FINANCING FORUM Moderator Ronald Kleverlaan, Director European Centre for Alternative Finance at Utrecht University & Senior Partner CrowdfundingHub Speakers: Anna Thomlinson, Managing Director, Start it @KBC Marie-Elisabeth Rusling, CEO, Business Angels Europe (BAE) Agnieszka Stasiakowska (Innovation Financing for SMEs), Senior Project Adviser at EASME Nassima Ferahtia (EIC Accelerator and Blended finance), DG RTD Francisco Velazquez de Cuellar, President Axon Partners Group Young Innovation Leaders (tbc)

European Parliament

Tuesday, 27 November 2018 Time 08:00 09:00 08:00 17:30 09:00 10:30

Session Title



European Parliament


European Parliament

TECHTALKS WITH YOUNG INNOVATION LEADERS Pitch Session 2: Health Startups pitches Babyndex - Hungary Nuada - Portugal OneRNA - Denmark Sibreax - Switzerland VideoOculograph - Russia (will pitch virtually) Rx-Biologicals - Netherlands

European Parliament

Young Innovation Leaders Michal Prywata, Founder, Bionik Laboratories & Skypod Kamil Adamczyk, Founder, Cardio Technology Jakub Zielinski, Managing Partner, Nextweb Holdings Q&A with Experts and Jury Members

11:00 12:30

TECHTALKS WITH YOUNG INNOVATION LEADERS Pitch Session 3: Environmental Sustainability Startups pitching Dexter - The Netherlands Drone Hopper - Spain Bioseco - Poland Shayp - Belgium Ecomate - Italy Young Innovation Leaders Daniel Horak, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, CONDA AG Tom Charman, Co-founder & CEO, KOMPAS Q&A with Experts and Jury Members

European Parliament

Programme 2018


Tuesday, 27 November 2018 Session Title

Time 13:00 14:00 14:00 15:30

16:00 17:30



European Parliament

STARTUPS NEEDS’ FORUM Anna Thomlinson, Managing Director, Start it @KBC Isidro Laso, Head of Startup Europe, European Commission Frédérique Péron-Lührs (EIC Pathfinder, RTD), Project Manager, European commission DG RTD Manuel Mendigutía (Business Acceleration Services, EASME) Strategy Adviser & Programme Manager, EASME Bill Manos, Business Development Consultant; IT Graduate School Ken Stauffer, Chair, IEEE Entrepreneurship Andreas Neumeier, Employee Number One, Intrapreneur, Technologist, Strategist, Marketeer

European Parliament

TECHTALKS WITH YOUNG INNOVATION LEADERS Pitch Session 4: Disruptive Software, Deep Tech Startups pitches Epic Blue - Belgium Nect - Germany Smartex - Portugal Nodeweaver - Italy Loqr - Portugal KIT-AR - Spain

European Parliament

Young Innovation Leaders Carlos Lei Santos, Co-founder & CEO, HypeLabs Alina Gratschner, Co-founder, Accelerate Korea Q&A with Experts and Jury Members

18:00 20:00


European Parliament

Experts and Jury Members Dr Andreas Klossek Chief Operations Officer, Managing Director, EIT Raw Materials

Marios Antoniou IEEE Region & Action for Industry committee Chair

Bill Manos Business Development Consultant; IT Graduate School

Eunika Mercier-Laurent Global Innovation Strategies, Book Author

Ken Stauffer Chair, IEEE Entrepreneurship Andreas Neumeier Employee Number One, Intrapreneur, Technologist, Strategist, Marketeer

Dr. Taina Tukiainen Professor of Corporate Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Aalto University and Witten-Herdecke Anna Thomlinson Managing Director, Start it @KBC

Marie-Elisabeth Rusling CEO, Business Angels Europe (BAE) Jaime Cuykens Innovation Banker, ING Innovation Francisco Velazquez de Cuellar President Axon Partners Group (tbc) Nicolas Menou, Business Developer, EIT Raw Materials All Young Innovation Leaders


Europe’s Young Innovation Leaders Success breeds success, and these pioneers offering mentorship to EUTOP50 startups plan to prove that.


11 

Josipa Majic

Founder and CEO at ID Guardian


D Guardian, a London-based company with offices in Zagreb and Palo Alto that analyses biometric data and creates smart devices with biosensors. ID Guardian ultimately helps people and companies worldwide to take care of their overall health and wellness in a seamless and hassle-free way. Josipa is the main visionary behind ID Guardian’s

products and overall strategy, responsible for successful customer relationships with Fortune 100 clients globally. She was acknowledged by TIME Magazine as the inventor of top 10 most innovative products of the year. Josipa was a keynote speaker at a panel during the Global Entrepreneurship summit alongside President Barack Obama, appeared on the BBC, Fox News, WSJ, Forbes, CNN, and many others.

Cristian Tamas

Co-founder & CMO at TypingDNA


ypingDNA (Techstars NYC backed) aims to secure all online accounts based on the way people type on their keyboards. TypingDNA combines AI and behavioural biometrics as an identification verification tool with a 99% accuracy rating. With more than half of all data breaches being

a direct result of weak and stolen passwords, TypingDNA offers a disruptive solution for multiple user cases, such as in finance and healthcare, preventing identity thefts. TypingDNA won the product of the day on Product Hunt and was selected by Disrupt100 as a potential disruptor to influence, change or create new global markets.

Kamil Adamczyk

Medical Doctor and Founder of Cardio Technology


ardio Technology, a company working on an oncology project dedicated to helping patients suffering from malignant brain tumors. It has developed a brain implant that destroys cancer cells without harming the healthy brain. Previously Kamil was the CEO of

Inteliclinic, a company that won LeWeb Paris startup competition for the best startup, and has been chosen as the best sleep startup by HealthXL. Inteliclinic has received the first prize for Neuroon as the most innovative product at SXSW in Austin, Texas.

Irene-Marie Seelig

Pioneer in circular, sustainable and next-generation manufacturing innovation


n 2017, Irene was awarded Forbes 30 Under 30 for ‘creating the products of tomorrow’ through her startup which manufactures a vegan leather alternative made from mushrooms instead of animal skins. She has been a part of Plug and Play’s Fashion for Good accelerator along with winning the 2016 Kering Award for Sustainable Fashion Innovation for this development. In addition, Irene is the Innovation Development Manager at Swarovski, managing a 15M Euro product portfolio and leading a team of designers, material scientists, and engineers from ideation to launch to commercialise new, innovative products for their

B2B customers. Prior to her tenure at Swarovski, Irene worked across Global Marketing and Corporate Social Responsibility teams at Stella McCartney spearheading the development of product marketing strategies across all internal and external digital platforms. Irene has lived and worked across Europe, the UK and the U.S. to reimagine how we make, use and dispose of products. Being highly passionate about the circular economy and next-generation manufacturing to disrupt and reshape the consumer goods industry to drive clean growth, Irene contributes as an advisor, mentor and guest lecture to various organisations globally.

12 

Alina Gratschner

Managing Partner and Co-founder of Accelerate Korea


lina Gratschner has lived and worked all over Europe, the U.S., Africa, and across Asia, being actively engaged in connecting and developing innovative ecosystems across continents. Alina is the Managing Partner and Co-founder of Accelerate Korea, focusing on cross-border incubation

and acceleration programs in partnership with public and private sectors. Being passionate about exponential and disruptive technologies shaping our future and driving economic development she contributes as an advisor, guest lecturer and mentors to various organisations.

Caritta Seppa

COO and Co-founder of Tespack


aritta Seppa is the COO and Co-founder of Tespack, a company specialised in mobile energy and whose customers and partners include Vodafone, Plan International and Save the Children. Caritta has been shortlisted by Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe in 2018 as one of the young innovators reshaping the world and she was selected as one of the One Young World youth leaders and delegate speakers for the One Young World Summit 2018, the leading summit for future youth leaders that also gathers together head of

state from around the world. Caritta was selected as one of the top 100 Women in Wearables in 2018 and one of the Winning Women Entrepreneurs in 2017 by Ernst and Young. Caritta is passionate about technology and empowering others and is a mentor and advisor to aspiring young entrepreneurs and students. Caritta was one of the co-organisers for the first Women in Tech Forum in Lima in 2018 and Women in Tech Track Leader for the first Women in Tech Day event in Valencia she co-organised with Techstars.

Carlos Lee Santos

Co-founder & CEO at HypeLabs


arlos Lee Santos is Co-founder & CEO at HypeLabs, the company behind mesh networking software that allows any device — from mobile to desktop to IoT — to securely connect even when there is no internet connection. The company is AngelPad alumni and has partnered and is invested in by some of the largest players in the telco space, namely Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, NovaBase, and others.

Started work on IT at the age of 14, Carlos was an early age IT team manager, providing assistance and working for companies such as IBM, BPI Bank, Santander, Zon Telecommunications and Glintt in the following years. With a background in Computer Science, his entrepreneurial skills have been recognized by organisations such as the Thiel Fellowship Summit, Inc. magazine, Saint Gallen University and Kairos Society. Today he acts as CEO, and mentors a variety of startups enrolled in multiple acceleration programs around the globe.

13 

Daniel Horak

Co-founder of CONDA


aniel Horak is the co-founder of CONDA one of the largest crowd investing platforms for the CEE region which raised close to 30M EUR for over 110 projects. The community of CONDA consists of more than 30.000 investors. CONDA is currently building a global ecosystem (the CRWD-Network) for security and equity token offerings — building the

financial market of the future. As Co-Founder and managing partner of CONDA, Daniel Horak is the driving force in the area of marketing and sales. He is also Member of the Board at Austrian Startups and works as a Lecturer for business planning and early-stage financing. Daniel is a Forbes 30under30, experienced speaker and coauthor of several books in the field of alternative financing and crowdfunding.

Jakub Zielinski

Managing Partner at Nextweb Holdings.

J Photos by Kevin Oetiker/Andres Urena

akub Zielinski is a serial internet entrepreneur, investor and Managing Partner at Nextweb Holdings. He founded several successful startups in media, advertising, and digital health

reaching over 20 Million unique users. Previously Jakub served as Chief Digital Officer in large international media companies in charge of online operations in over 20 countries.

Marcin Pilarz

Co-founder of Talkin’ Things


alkin’ Things is the leader in delivering smart packaging solutions for IoT and has a long history of working with Fortune500 companies to deliver innovative solutions that define the trends in the Smart Packaging Market. Talkin’ Things is the only provider in the

world that offers a real end-2-end solution with customisable technology, software, hardware and marketing creation. Talkin’ Things has over 20 pending patents and is bringing 1.5 Billion tags on the market within a year, reimagining the customer experience.

14 

Monika Żochowska

Co-founder and CEO at Phenicoptere Sp. Z o.o


henicoptere Sp. Z o.o., a Warsaw-based company with sales in over 60 countries. Monika has created a disruptive product under the GLOV brand in the cosmetic industry that revolutionises the everyday routine of removing makeup. The idea is to remove makeup only with water, simplifying the traditional makeup removing process. Monika is the main visionary behind Phenicoptere’s products and overall strategy, and has received many awards, among others she was named as Entrepreneur of the Year by EY, the most creative entrepreneur

by BRIEF, and she was acknowledged by Sukces Pisany Szminką (in collaboration with Forbes) as Businesswoman of the Year in 2016. Aside from working at Phenicoptere, Monika runs a Diamond Advisory company as a Certified Diamond Grader by HRD. Prior to that, she worked for 2 years in Antwerp in the Diamond District for Boulle Rough Diamonds as a Marketing Manager developing ultra luxurious diamond jewelry brand. Monika has been living in Jacksonville FL, Valencia, Antwerp, Brussels, Paris, London, Dubai, Warsaw.

Noemi Malska

Investment manager


oemi Malska has gathered experience in international business while working in Israel at the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce. She joined a VC fund as an analyst, then she became a member of the management board, COO of one of the portfolio companies and currently, she is an investment

manager at another VC. She is also a Chairman of the Supervisory Board at a company related to cybersecurity sector. Therefore Noemi has a perspective of each stakeholder within the startup/investor loop. She has interests in business development within new technology sector e.g. cyber security, fintech, space.

Tom Charman

Co-founder and CEO of KOMPAS


OMPAS, a data science startup focusing on leveraging data to provide spatial and interest insights using machine learning. He is an experienced founder with a previous exit under his belt, which previously worked with technology companies focusing on understanding and analyzing their users. In 2016, Tom gave a TEDx talk on Artificial Intelligence and the ‘Future of Technology’

and has been recognised as a leader in the industry, having spoken at events including Mobile World Congress, and Visa Futures. Tom also advises governments and institutions on the impact that data has on wider society, and was named the Future Face of Innovation and Technology by the Chamber of Commerce. Most recently, he was listed in the 30 south of 30 power list.

Yori Kamphuis

Co-founder and CBDO of Storro


ori Kamphuis is passionate about providing a safer, more secure world. Storro is a peer-to-peer, blockchain application that allows you to easily create secure collaboration spaces. What’s unique is that your shared data is not stored in a cloud at some third party or with us, but is physically distributed over project members you designate.

StartupDelta placed Yori in its ‘Future maker 50’ (Toekomstmaker50) in 2018, he is one of the ‘101 most interesting technologists, inventors and tinkerers’ (aka Nerds) of The Netherlands according to Vrij Nederland, and was elected Futurist of the Year in 2013. Yori is a Global Shaper of the Amsterdam Hub, connected to the World Economic Forum.


Michal Prywata

Founder, Bionik Laboratories & Skypod


ichal is a pioneering inventor focused on creating technologies that have large-scale human impact, as well as drive long-term shareholder wealth. As an experienced business executive, he has raised in excess of $50M. A technology and business leader in robotics, aerospace, and AI. Michal is the founder of Bionik Laboratories, a highly innovative robotics company with products in more than 25 countries worldwide. He is also the founder of Skypod Aerospace, a company focused on innovative military and civilian-use VTOL aircraft.

Photos by Fabian Grohs

Perttu Ojansuu

Sarah Al-Hussaini

Yosef Harb

CEO & Co-founder of Happeo

COO of

Founder of Happitech




appeo, the leading Digital Workplace Platform for Enterprises with 220,000+ users and €8M in funding. Earlier Perttu founded Gapps Ltd, the largest Google Cloud reseller of Finland.

arah Al-Hussaini is the COO of Backed by Techstars and based across Helsinki and Berlin, helps European enterprises scale their customer service. They power some of the world’s largest contact centre providers including Salesforce, Microsoft, SAP, and Genesys.

appitech, a company that measures heart rhythm disorders using the smartphone camera with no additional hardware. Named most disruptive healthcare innovation by Deloitte and Singularity University NL and acknowledged by Tim Cook CEO of Apple during his keynote.




Pitching for mentorship from Europe’s Young Innovation Leaders, the competing EUTOP50 startups this year are pioneering game-changing solutions to global grand challenges.


 SIBREAX Switzerland


iBreaX develops innovative drugs based on a unique drug delivery system comprised of triggeredbreakable silicate nanoparticles. Its Nanoparticles encapsulate almost any drug type at a high load, deliver drugs to distinct tissue, and release the drug at the target site via a site-specific trigger. Fast degradation of the particles through the trigger ensures safe use. In contrast to existing technologies, SiBreaX nanoparticles are based on silicate (i.e. sand). Owing to their different chemical properties, silicate nanoparticles can carry different, untapped drug types and can target different tissues, thereby opening access to novel therapeutics. In particular, SiBreaX nanoparticles facilitate efficient delivery of proteins and peptides into target cells of the lungs, liver, or immune tissue – which currently cannot be efficiently addressed by competing technologies. Hence, leveraging its unique system, SiBreaX develops innovative drugs based on the intracellular delivery of peptides, proteins and RNA to lungs, liver, or immune cells to treat these diseases.



aska Energy is a cleantech company which can produce safe, clean and uninterrupted energy and get valuable raw material from waste car tyres. Each year there are 1.5 billion wasted car tyres, 400 million from Europe. The world is no longer able to sustain them and they contribute to natural disasters and harmful diseases. Laska Energy takes waste tyres and processes them to get biofuels; and through its innovation, it prevents environmentally harmful substances such as sulphur. Laska started to evaluate tyres in Turkey then realised that it is a larger problem. Laska Energy creates huge climate impact by saving more CO2 than one million trees consume – equivalent to 4000 hectares of forests, or 12 times the size of Central Park, 84 times the size of VondelPark, or 21 times the size of Hydepark.



The Netherlands


exter Energy Services was founded in 2016 with a mission to accelerate the energy transition, by building AI software for the electricity sector. This works as electricity demand and supply need to be equal at all times, therefore energy companies are obliged to forecast and schedule consumption and production. This used to be simple, as fossil-fired power stations followed the predictable consumption pattern of households, businesses and industrials, however with the energy transition, portfolios are shifting towards low-carbon-emitting energy sources. This brings two new challenges: renewable energy production follows weather instead of demand. And portfolios are getting more complex as a result of decentralisation of energy assets. Inaccurate forecasting then results in high imbalance costs for energy companies. Dexter solves this problem by offering AI-based forecasting-as-a-service to predict day-ahead, intraday and realtime power consumption and production at portfolio, cluster and connection levels. This enables energy companies to reduce imbalance costs by up to 35%. Additionally, it enables an acceleration in the adoption of renewable energy in portfolios. Dexter offers AI-based forecasting to top tier companies in the Netherlands such as Greenchoice (largest green energy supplier in the Netherlands), ENGIE and some fastgrowing energy retailers.

 LOQR Portugal


he LOQR Unified Identity Management Platform provides a single integrated and centralised solution to provide identity verification, identity engagement including riskbased strong adaptive authentication and identity provision, through a single trusted identity that can be used by a unique person on all entitled services within one organisation. Using this approach LOQR provides a

centralised customer-centric mobile first one-stop-shop to manage the complete lifecycle of a digital identity in accordance with the best privacy and security standards and compliance needs. Its solutions are adapted for each market and they are currently in operation in Europe and Asia.

 EPIC.BLUE Belgium


eamless and real-time access to indoor and outdoor positioning information is increasingly missioncritical. A better awareness of location has the potential to improve efficiency of operational management by up to 27%. But with 85% of time spent in GPS-denied environments, it is impossible to rely on satellite signals alone. To ensure continuity of business then, the Belgian software company has developed a nextgeneration positioning platform based on sensor fusion and machine learning technology. A robust wearable designed in partnership with Imec, the worldleading R&D and innovation hub for digital technologies, spearheaded and augmented the unique technology into any operational environment. This helps companies to master and connect their locations, so they can increase safety, unlock business insights, optimise effectiveness and augment staff engagement.



comate was founded with an ambition to make access to sustainability an undeniable right of every company, not just corporations. Ecomate is developing a sustainability algorithm that guides small and medium European companies towards financial growth, while generating a positive social and environmental impact. The world’s first sustainability rating for SMEs that, through artificial intelligence, provides competitive advantage by educating and suggesting tangible economical, social and environmental actions. Ecomate’s goal is to provide the power of 100+ consultants for the cost of one.


 PHAREM Sweden


rganic micro pollutants such as pharmaceuticals are an environmental problem recognised and addressed by bodies like the World Health Organization and the European Commission, and they pose real threats, such as antibiotic resistance and the diminishing of animal populations. The existing alternatives lead to either extreme changes to modern society, or very expensive and impractical solutions. Pharem has been recognised and awarded for its unique approach to introducing and implementing a new technology based on nature’s own degradation machines enzymes, and it offers small, simple and lowcost solutions to all segments of society. For example, a toilet application through the award-winning product pCure offers private consumers a simple solution for reducing pharmaceuticals in the environment at the most important source, the home. The Pharem Filtration System, funded through Horizon 2020, offers reductions in excess of 80% at the bottleneck in wastewater plants, as well as industrial process water and can also offer cost reductions of up to 50% compared to alternative solutions.

 ALDSTONE United Kingdom


he projected future impact of ALDStone is to transform the built environment sector from linear to circular, providing a more sustainable economic model and more regenerative environmental protection. This works through less waste of natural resources and doing more with what we already have. ALDStone is an innovative, visionary, circular solutions distributor, supplier and consultancy, specialising in implementing new circular business models, systems, products and services for the built environment. Currently, a low percentage of materials used for construction are recycled or reused, the rest are wasted and sent to landfill, which is economically and environmentally unsustainable. ALDStone integrated circular systems, allow tiles of almost any material including stone, ceramic and wood, to be removed and reused at other locations. This provides cost

savings through reuse and sharing models, plus long-term protection of economic and finite environmental resources, reducing the extraction of natural resources and ultimately closing the loop.

 SMARTEX Portugal


martex is an engineered solution to help textile manufacturers improve production yields, by reducing defective output to close to zero and providing faulty production monitoring software. Nowadays, product inspection mechanisms are mainly made by workers looking at textiles, all day long. The product consists of a fault detection system that can be easily plugged into circular knitting machines, collecting images from output fabric, which are then analysed by powerful computer vision and AI algorithms connected to the machine, which stop if a cyclic fault is detected. Smartex’s device stores data in the Cloud, providing an overview of the production plant through a web and mobile app, anytime, anywhere. Smartex wants to engage the textile industry with other revolutions: in IoT, through Industry 4.0, and in AI. Smartex believes in continuous efficiency improvements and provides a cutting-edge technology to an important industrial sector.

 VERTORO The Netherlands


here have been several major oil revolutions throughout history. From whale oil to US fossil oil in the 19th century; a pivot to the Arabian variety in the 20th, then back again to the US with shale oil in the 21st. While diverse in composition and origin, all share the common denominator of being unsustainable. At Vertoro, the mission is to change all of that with its crude lignin oil (CLO). Lignin, a major constituent of wood, is produced by photosynthesis at a scale of 20 billion tons per year. That’s four times more than the annual five billion tons of fossil oil consumed today. Developed by scientists at Royal DSM and Eindhoven University of Technology, and exclusively licensed to spin-off, Vertoro, it has a lignin to CLO recipe which is now being scaled up to a barrel-perday pilot plant. Like fossil oil, CLO can be used to produce fuels, chemicals, and materials.


 RX-BIOLOGICALS The Netherlands




ideoOculograph is a 1st intelligent portable device based on computer vision and machine learning for reliable health diagnostics. It works on eye movements and pupils’ reaction and can perform non-invasive treatment of eye pathologies simply by programmable light stimulation. No surgery risks or rehabilitation periods are required. The technology has been scientifically validated by leading clinics, including Fedorov network medical clinic ISTC (eye microsurgery) with more than 300 successfully treated patients with

nystagmus in the result. Additionally, it includes the functionality of a lie detector that tests involuntary eye moves, a parameter which can’t be controlled intentionally. This can replace the standard drug test as it could be used to reveal narcotic and alcoholic intoxication by pupils’ reaction. Thus, it’s revolutionary technology can forever change vision diagnostics and treatment and improve overall health.




n OECD countries, there are one million IVF treatment cycles every year. Nevertheless, most people use inaccurate, body-temperature ovulation

nabling small-scale production of biopharmaceuticals for truly personalised medicine.

tests because they are reusable. The FDA approved the saliva test and Sinfonic decided to complement it with computer vision and launched a PCT patent application in 2016. The interpretation of the saliva test is difficult. The prototype of Babyndex was launched in 2018 using computer vision to distinguish crystals from other artefacts in saliva tests and to make its interpretation easy. In addition, the accuracy can also be increased with the help of more sophisticated computer vision algorithms. Babyndex, offers a reusable saliva test, which is more accurate and monitors six-day fertility, not only the day of ovulation. The project received a Seal of Excellence and was selected for incubation by Innolabs in 2017. Babyndex was registered as a


 NECT Germany

 OneRNA Denmark

 SHAYP Belgium




ect delivers the self-service future of identity verification. It uses patent-pending self-developed deep technology to fulfil the market needs of regulated companies, serving the $20 billion ‘identity verification as a service’ market. Thanks to its innovations and strategic market penetration with large German insurers, the patent-pending technology gains momentum every day. Regulated companies are required by law to have high confidence in their customers’ identity. Current ID verification solutions have low conversion rates as low as 50% but Nect makes identity verification as easy as a selfie and more secure than a face-toface verification. Already in its first month in business, Nect has proven conversion rates of over 90% can be achieved - thus acting directly as an accelerator for the digitalisation of the old economy: insurance companies, banks and telecommunications providers, while still complying with the important and strict requirements of European laws like Anti Money Laundering (AML) and Data Privacy.

 NUADA Portugal


ood hand function is paramount to the performance of many tasks in daily life, such as personal care, leisure and occupational activities. As such, pain and lack of strength in the hand due to ageing, musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and other health problems are major concerns in today’s society. With this in mind, Nuada has created a hand function improvement system in the form of a soft and intelligent exoskeleton that is safe, light and small. It was designed to be affordable and non-intrusive. It allows users to hold up to 40 kilograms with their hands relaxed. This solution uses thin, breathable, flexible and smart textiles that people can customise. It is a unique enhancement technology that aims to be an everyday essential wearable that people forget they are wearing.

neRNA™ saves lives and makes healthcare delivery more effective by sequencing RNA and linking actionable over or under-expressed RNAs to therapies and clinical trials. Today’s standard of care regime only prolongs life for one out of four cancer patients, wasting €75 billion and eight million lives per year, because there is a failure to provide the right drugs to the right patients. Genomic Expression raised €8 million (€6.5 million in grants) to clinically validate OneRNA™ in four types of cancer, focusing on women’s cancer first. It is raising a series A for regulatory approvals. That brings the OneRNA™ platform from a €1 billion tool market into the €20 billion diagnostic market, providing benefits for the patients and offering huge healthcare savings in less than 12 months, not after years, which is the typical development timeline for drugs. Its bladder cancer study is supported by a €3.7M Horizon 2020 grant.



rone Hopper designs and manufactures heavy-duty drones for professional use. Its vision started with wildfires firefighting, which is a huge issue in Southern European countries. The use of smart drones with up to 600 litres of water will provide a very powerful tool to tackle wildfires, offering unique features, like night operation capability, risk to pilots deletion, enhanced precision and efficiency, automated operation, and possibility to work with several units on a coordinated mode (swarm). During the life of the project, Drone Hopper has evolved this initial idea into a flexible family of heavy-lifter drones capable of overcoming the limitations of electrical powered drones in a variety of different sizes for different purposes, like agriculture, urban fires, search and rescue and first response on natural disasters. It has developed proprietary technology in key aspects, including two patents (water mist creation and altitude stability system).

hayp has the ambition to save 100 billion litres of water every year by eradicating water loss in cities. In the EU, over 35% of distributed water is wasted everyday due to leaks in homes, buildings & infrastructures. Citizens and companies are starting to feel the consequences since the costs of water have nearly tripled in the past decade in some regions of Europe. From one single measuring point, installed in under five minutes, Shayp can instantly assess the total cost of water leaks in homes and buildings. Shayp prioritises and dispatches maintenance while keeping track of the savings generated, guaranteeing an ROI less than a year for municipalities. Furthermore, citizens can gain access to Shayp’s services and technology through their insurance, which helps mitigate the costs of water damage, representing a third of home insurance costs.

 BIOSECO Poland


ioseco develops the Multirejestrator – a highly innovative system that monitors and protects birds from colliding with wind farms and prevents bird strikes at the airports and wind farms. Bioseco is a team of IT engineers, optical, radar and computer specialists who work closely with ornithologists, chiropterologists, aviation experts and high security installation specialists to develop, refine and optimise an innovative and cost-effective system that protects birds and reduces costs at the airports (during takeoff and landing, thereby increasing air passenger safety and reducing aircraft repair costs and bird mortality) and wind farms. Bioseco co-operates with institutions like the Maritime Institute in Gdansk, Pomeranian Science and Technology Park in Gdynia, Technopark Gliwice, Krakow Technology Park and ornithological organisations. The company goal is to create devices and tools for authoritative research of environments, with wide practical applications.

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