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Intel, Cisco and Deutsche Telekom pick 12 start-ups for IoT challenge

Steve Rogerson
July 21, 2015
Intel, Cisco and Deutsche Telekom have announced the 12 European start-ups selected to join the next phase of the Challenge Up! programme, a joint start-up initiative organised by the three companies. The 12 teams will participate in a four-month incubation programme designed for young innovative companies building IoT products and services.
“We are impressed by the high quality of teams and ideas of the start-ups and we are looking forward to work with them intensely and welcome them in September in Berlin, when the teams will come together next time,” says Elias Drakopoulos, senior vice president at Deutsche Telekom.
The winning teams were selected after five days of intensive mentoring sessions, workshops and pitching during the Challenge Up! acceleration week in Krakow, Poland, this month. Out of more than 300 applicants, 20 start-ups from 13 countries were invited to meet more than 100 international mentors, experts and entrepreneurs. The sessions were designed to help early-stage companies scale their business ideas for faster market entry.
Participants spent close to 40 hours in workshops refining their pitching skills, product development, business modelling, user experience, and design and sales strategy. The start-ups invited to join the Challenge Up! incubation programme are:

  • Admetsys (Denmark):Admetsys developed Smart Pancreas, a product that measures and helps maintain blood sugar levels of diabetic patients. Attached to a patient’s intravenous line, it automatically measures blood glucose concentration in real time with no blood loss.
  • ComfyLight (Switzerland):A smart LED light bulb, enhanced with a presence sensor and connectivity, helps protect homes. The device learns movement schemes and switches the light on and off in a natural rhythm.
  • Devicehub (Romania):Devicehub offers a platform as a service (PaaS) through which users can connect easily and remotely manage multiple devices and create services on top of them. The platform is said to decrease effort and time to enter the market for IoT services.
  • Hi-Park (Israel):Hi-Park’s technology uses crowd-sourced data and images to provide information on parking vacancies. As a result, it reduces the time spent searching for a parking spot.
  • Ifinity (Poland):Ifinity provides beacons based tailor-made technology to cities, public spaces and commercial clients around the world. It lets people digitally interact with reality through their mobiles.
  • N-Join (Israel):N-Join leverages advancements in the IoT to make production facilities more flexible, increase their output and reduce their environmental signature.
  • Oort (Poland):Oort is a patent-pending technology that allowes the building of an open ecosystem consisting of smart devices, sensors, mobile software and cloud platform. It lets the whole living environment be connected with a single app. The technology is based on Bluetooth Smart, which allows control via any device with an internet access regardless of its producer or operating system.
  • ProGlove (Germany):ProGlove is a smart glove that enables its users to scan hands free and provides them with an instant feedback. The device enables its wearer to work faster and therefore more efficient, is easy to use and unlocks a new level of information and business intelligence for production management.
  • Senic (Germany):A universal dial for the IoT, able to control smart lights, locks, thermostats or speakers with simple gestures rather than browsing through apps on a smartphone.
  • Semseye (Lithuania):For monitoring people flows, it is built on algorithms for intelligent video processing, and can be used among others in retail areas.
  • Taggalo (Italy):ITunes for real world analytics, this open platform integrates video analytics, Wifi tracking and Beacon, all in a single, plug-and-play sensor. It allows the collection of contextual data (examples: footfall, viewers, dwell time, length of stay, frequency of returns, demographics) accessible directly via custom dashboards or APIs in real time.
  • Waylay (Belgium):Waylay is a real-time automation platform that integrates the IoT with enterprise IT systems and online services.
The incubation programme will take place in Krakow, Berlin and London from July to November 2015. Start-ups that successfully complete the programme will be eligible for potential co-investment from Intel, Cisco and Deutsche Telekom, as well as other leading corporate venture funds. More details will be announced in December during the Challenge Up! summit, part of the UnBoundDigital tech conference to be held in London, between November 30 and December 1 2015.
“Combining the industry expertise and network of Intel, Cisco and Deutsche Telekom provides European IoT start-ups with unique opportunities to test and verify their ideas,” said Marcin Hejka, vice president of Intel. “The Challenge Up! competition has attracted some highly interesting innovations, addressing real market needs, with some of them already getting business traction. The programme proves that the European start-up ecosystem is a source of pioneering developments in the IoT segment.”
Challenge Up! is designed to help IoT start-ups enter the market faster by combining access to corporate resources and joint projects with mentoring and high-value networking. The programme unites resources and experience from the start-up initiatives of the individual companies, including Cisco, Intel Business Challenge Europe and Deutsche Telekom.
“This programme provides Cisco the chance to support early-stage start-ups and work with energetic entrepreneurs,” said Mike Flannagan, vice president at Cisco.” We are excited to be part of this community and to support entrepreneurs in open innovation.”
• Intel’s IoT group was one of the company’s best performing growth sectors in Q2 this year, with revenue of $559m, up five per cent sequentially and four per cent year on year.
“Second-quarter results demonstrate the transformation of our business as growth in data center, memory and IoT accounted for more than 70 per cent of our operating profit and helped offset a challenging PC market," said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich. “We continue to be confident in our growth strategy and are focused on innovation and execution. We expect the launches of Skylake, Microsoft's Windows 10 and new OEM systems will bring excitement to client computing in the second half of 2015.”