ENRICH in the USA Announces Winners of SXSW Online 2021 Funding Summit
Highlights European Startups with Cutting-Edge Technology Across Three Categories
AUSTIN, TX, March 26, 2021 – ENRICH in the USA is pleased to announce the winners of the SXSW Online Funding Summit pitch competition.
A total of 24 global startups participated following a strict selection process.
The featured pitch categories included TechforEntertainment; TechforHealth/Tech for Good; and TechforCity/TechforBiz.
The winners (first places) in each category received US$500. The top three companies in each category also received access to transatlantic support and soft-landing services including direct applications to the ENRICH in the USA joint programs at leading universities. These universities include George Mason University (VA); Temple University (PA); Cal Poly University (CA); Purdue University (IN).
- (first place) Circulr - Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain | Consumer Product | www.neckphone.io | The reinvention of the headphones. Circulr is opening a new world of opportunities through sound tech hardware & software disruption with a patented open-ear sound technology especially designed for mobility. Absolute freedom with a seamless on and offline voice-controlled interface to stay always connected and safe, 100% handsfree.
- (second place) Melbot Studio - Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain | Entertainment | www.melbot.es | Video game studio with a knack for innovation. Their latest project released last year was a multi-platform video game, and an interactive toy, out of the box to say the least for an indie studio. Their next project is an online multiplayer “extravaganza” intended to change the way viewers and content creators (streamers) interact with each other, breaking the wall between audiences and creators, and encouraging players to become creators on the way.
- (third place) Acqustic - Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain | Entertainment | http://acqustic.com | Acqustic is a new platform that allows emerging musicians to grow from zero to hero. Bringing the record label concept to a mobile app for artists that includes: music career opportunities, digital distribution, playlisting, rights management and invoicing.
- (first place) MJN - Blanes, Catalonia, Spain | Medical Devices | https://mjn.cat | This company is dedicated to the design, manufacture and marketing of medical devices to improve the quality of life of people. The first device developed by MJN is a portable device in the form of an earpiece to measure the level of risk of epileptic seizures and record them continuously.
- (second place ex aequo) Advantis Medical Imaging - Eindhoven, Netherlands | Health | http://advantis.io | Advantis Medical Imaging develops advanced cloud-based software solutions which improve the detection efficiency of severe human pathologies.
- (second place ex aequo) Renoon - Amsterdam, Netherlands | E-commerce | https://renoon.com | Renoon is the smartest tool in finding sustainable options from multiple websites at once: its proprietary tech combines the offering of products and brands directly from their websites or other multi-brand destinations. The goal is to ensure consumers can find the largest availability of sustainable options than any other website worldwide and access fashion in new personalized ways.
- (third place) The Original NeoCarbons - Montreux, Switzerland | Clean Tech | www.neocarbons.com | The Original NeoCarbons develop and will sell/license the patented equipment that will revolutionize the manufacture of high value proteins by recycling CO2 emissions and/or excess atmospheric CO2 using photosynthesis and microalgae, real time, competitively, profitably and in full respect of SDG guidelines concerning land and water.
- (first place) HOP Ubiquitous (HOPU) - Murcia, Spain | IoT | www.hopu.eu | HOPU specializes in IoT market with a full solution called Smart Spot for creating smart and sustainable environments; environmental monitoring (air quality) and ambient monitoring (noise, temperature, humidity, light level, etc.) and also weather stations for accurate systems monitoring.
- (second place) Clobot - Monza, Italy | Robotic | http://clobot.uk | Autonomous apparel production robots to help the apparel production industry to reduce manufacturing cost by 40%. The T-Bot can produce 10.000 TShirts in one day without any support of humans.
- (third place ex aequo) Omniopti - Ljubljana, Slovenia | Logistics | https://omniopti.si | New algorithm for multi-objective optimization in networks, which provides several Pareto-optimal alternative routes. Currently Omniopti is focusing on road logistics, however they also want to expand it to marine and air navigation.
- (third place ex aequo) Typewise - Zurich, Switzerland | Software | https://typewise.app | Decoding human thoughts through privacy-friendly text prediction AI. Their keyboard app has been downloaded over 800,000 times.
“We are excited to recognize and celebrate again this unique online format; the selected high growth startups from Europe (and associated countries) evoke positive change through their technologies amid COVID-19; and they all want to be connected with the US tech ecosystems and investment communities,” said Sebastien Torre, Director of San Francisco-based ENRICH in the USA Center. “I also want to thank Invest EU, Enterprise Europe Network, ACCIO, Dutch Wave, Green & Spiegel and Angel Launch for their great support and partnership. See you at our next virtual ENRICH in the USA Funding Summit at BIO 2021!”
The speakers and judges (30) were well-known investors (from angel networks, early-stage venture capital firms, R1 university incubators and accelerators), as well as city, state and US/EU government representatives.
“It was a pleasure to hear from such a wide array of startups, each with promising businesses,” said Dr. Gregory Pogue, Executive Deputy Director IC2, University of Texas at Austin. “ENRICH provided an essential forum for startup founders to receive feedback on their fit and strategy as they consider internationalization. Markets, market practice and sales strategies differ based on national and local policy and practice. Giving startup leaders a free “taste” of the challenges as well as the opportunities allows them to make plans and take next steps with wisdom as well as enthusiasm.”
"Visibility into new innovations outside one's immediate neighborhood is key to making successful early-stage investments--and the opportunity to speak with leading startups from Europe about their potential in the US is something that we always look forward to at each SXSW,” said Elizabeth Jennings, Board of Directors, SWAN Impact Network and Principal, Venture Atlas Labs. “ENRICH adapted this year's programming to encompass multiple US ecosystems and sectors with virtual pitches in a way that didn't sacrifice meaningful connections. As a window into some of the most exciting technologies out of Europe, this sort of event is key for any active angel investor interested in furthering productive international bridges."
About ENRICH in the USA
Launched in April 2017, the mission of ENRICH (European Network of Research Innovation Centres and Hubs) in the USA (ENRICH in the USA) is to provide collaboration and commercialization support services to European researchers and innovators (from the EU and associated countries), and facilitate their access to university centric soft landing ecosystems, to maximize their chances of success in the United States.
Promoted by the European Commission through Horizon, the ENRICH network currently offers services to connect European research, technology, and business organizations with five global frontrunner markets for innovation & digital transformation: USA, China, Brazil, India, and Africa.
ENRICH in the USA is represented in the USA by Temple Small Business Development Center- Fox School of Business, based in Philadelphia, PA, and NCURA based in Washington, DC.
Maura Shenker, Director of the Temple University Small Business Development Center, said “Temple SBDC is proud to be supporting this incredible group of successful entrepreneurs from Europe participating at SXSW Online 2021, and we look forward to our strong collaboration with ENRICH in the USA to offer more transatlantic services and connections.”
About Temple University, SBDC
The Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) are the only statewide, nationally accredited program providing high quality, one-on-one consulting, training and information resources to empower new and existing businesses. The SBDC program is a public/private partnership with the US Small Business Administration, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and 16 universities and colleges across the Commonwealth. The Temple University SBDC is an outreach center of the Fox School of Business and Management at Temple University that has been serving Philadelphia and the surrounding communities since 1983. Our highly trained and experienced staff is here to provide startup and small businesses with professional knowledge and assistance. Our mission is to help small businesses grow and succeed.