The Hello Tomorrow Global Summit has recently passed, so we figured it'd be a great time to give you a brief rundown of the winners of their startup challenge which culminated in a final last week! The prize purse for the winner was €100,000 with the runners up bringing home €15,000 each. With such large stakes, incentives were high to perform in front of the investor panels.
The competition was incredibly fierce, with the startups attempting to solve a diverse array of problems, often with real environmental and social impact. Which is to say that the startup competitors at Hello Tomorrow didn't seem interested in building the next dating app, or food delivery service. This wasn't the place for low hanging fruit; only the most innovative, ambitious and imaginative groups would make it to the final.
"When can I have one?"
The overall winner was the German startup Lilium Aviation, from the Aerospace Track. These guys are developing the world's first electric, personal aircraft with an estimated maximum velocity of 250mph (...with vertical landing and take off). The aircraft is expected to come onto the market early 2018, which may not be soon enough for the audience who attended Lilium's summit pitch - when the investor panel are all asking the same question "when can I have one?", you know you're onto a winner. Supported already by the EU and ESA-BIC, winning this competition, this is a serious attempt at making that most futuristic of transportation modes (personal flying cars), a reality. We're looking forward to seeing Lilium progress as their rollout date approaches (..if only so that we can come along for a ride).
We've included a brief rundown on all the excellent finalists at the Hello Tomorrow Summit below. Be sure to check them out as all showed serious promise on delivering technical and scientific solutions to some of the world's biggest problems.
- White Lab (Air Quality Track): who are developing Sensio Air, a smart allergen tracker for your home (...and office), that not only quantifies but identifies airborne particles.
Blitab (Beauty & Wellbeing Track): Marketed as the iPad for the blind, this micro-fluidic (non-mechanical) tablet was an audience favourite.
- Koniku (Data & AI Track): Hammering home the message that "biology is technology", Koniku touts itself as the first and only company building chips with biological neurons! Impressive pitch by founder Oshiorenoya Agabi.
H2GO Power (Energy Track): These guys have created a smart material, that combines the production, storage and controlled release of Hydrogen; bringing affordable and reliable energy to all.
- SafetyNet Technologies (Food & Agriculture Track): They're building bespoke light emitting devices that fisherman can attach to their nets (which exploit a natural quirk in fish behaviour), allowing fisherman to be more selective in the fish they catch. Over fishing is a hugely important issue, so it's great it's being tackled with some seriously innovative tech.
NovaGray (Healthcare Track): They identify the potential risk of side effects of cancer radiotherapy with an efficient blood testing kit.
- Re:3D (Industry 4.0 Track): Cracking pitch. Launched on KickStarter, Re:3D are behind the Gigabot a industrial size 3D printer without the industrial price tag. Bringing personal factories closer to reality. We loved their vision of creating sustainable manufacturing by transforming rubbish into printable material.
Canard Drones (Transportation & Mobility Track): Those lights you see in airports, that stops the pilot from crashing; these need to be maintained. Maintenance, causes runway closures, and so Canard Drones have stepped in with a simple, and as you might guess from the name, drone based solution.
- CocoPallet (Water & Waster Track): Many goods in the world are transported using pallets. CocoPallet have come up with an ingenious and more importantly sustainable method of production, for this massive market. By using coconut husks, they aim to stem deforestation that is claiming upwards of 500 million trees per year.