193 startups have applied for the Kapsch corporate accelerator Factory1. Five of them finally made it and are now going to enter the four-month program of „Factory1 2K19“ and receive equity free financial resources and expert mentoring. It was a difficult decision for the jury of experts to select five winners from the top 15, all of whom developed and presented tailor-made concepts for Kapsch. The potential participants of Factory1 came from ten different countries, from Switzerland to Israel and Canada.
„Innovation happens when you start thinking out of the box“, said Marcus Handl, Head of Corporate Development & Innovation and Factory1 Program Owner, at the opening of the Winner’s Ceremony at Reaktor Vienna. „Startups can simply be faster in certain areas because they do not have to pay attention to certain things and they do not have to pay any attention to processes,“ adds CEO Georg Kapsch in an interview with Trending Topics.
Cooperation more important than takeover
The focus this year is on startups that want to shape the future of mobility. „We are very much involved in data analysis, we are very much involved in monitoring critical situations in traffic and especially on the infrastructure side,“ says Kapsch, explaining the program’s focus. In the foreground is the cooperation with the agile startup companies and not so much a possible participation or takeover. Kapsch does not want to exclude the latter, but: „We need precisely these entrepreneurs, who founded these companies, who are enthusiastic about them. What’s in it for us when we buy them? „
53 mentors for proof of concept
53 mentors from 14 countries and various companies of the Kapsch Group will accompany the program. In four months, the startups will lead concepts and prototypes to a proof of concept. The solutions developed jointly with the young entrepreneurs are intended to be the basis for longer-term collaborations.
How startups can benefit from working with large industrial companies? „The moment it comes to the real innovation, ie the implementation of the idea, it needs a certain professionalization and customer service,“ says Georg Kapsch, who is also president of the Federation of Austrian Industries.
The 5 participants of Factory1 2K19 are:
Aerostate provides cities and businesses with air quality analysis and 4-day weather forecasts by city district. The analytics tools convert the raw forecast data into realizable findings for apps or IoT applications. The platform is designed to help cities make decisions that impact the city ecology. The startup has its origins in Moscow, Russia and was founded in 2015 by Dmitry Solomentsev.
The Swiss startup Bestmile is working on the optimization of public and private fleets consisting of autonomous and vehicles with human drivers. Their platform helps to deploy, manage, and optimize fleets with any type of vehicle for any type of service. Customers include PostBus, Switzerland’s largest bus transit company.
Objectbox has developed a database that is especially optimized for small IoT and mobile devices. The database needs less than 1 MB storage space and, according to Objectbox, is many times faster than competing products.
Exeon Analytics, Switzerland
Exeon Analytics uses machine learning to analyze activities in a corporate network and to identify and investigate malware infections and data breaches hiding in regular network traffic. According to the Startup this allows the customers to find the so-called needle in the haystack and transform collected log data into actionable security insights.
Derq, United Arab Emirates
Through the use of Artificial Intelligence and connected vehicle technology, Derq can anticipate and prevent car crashes. The startup is based in Dubai based and originally a spin-off from MIT. In 2017 Derq went through the renowned Techstars accelerator.