I wrote about a similar event about a year – read High Tech XL Demo Day in Evoluon. Time flies, and we gathered for the next, 2015 edition again. I was a bit less involved in mentoring the teams this round, but I was aware of many of them before the demo day. And yet, as always the case, it was a wrought-up day, full of jitter and nerves.
I actually liked the design of the space better this time, it Matrixy-greenish and futuristic, compared to the red carpet atmosphere this time. Although the ‘cage’ in the very middle of Evoluon business center did remind gladiator fights.
But the day wasn’t about the fights, at least on a surface. Guus Frericks from the HighTechXL promised it will be the day of exciting presentations and amazing projects shared by the eleven teams.
He also told how different is the HighTechXL now, compared to the last year: one of the most striking achievement is the accord signed in Beijing last year, about cooperation with the Association of Science Parks in China. When the picture was shown, no one apparently knew about the role the gentleman in a circle will play that day.
The opening presentation was by Jost Faganel, from Slovenian startup Ulu that developed new #IoT solution for smart mobility:
An impressive presentation, and almost instantaneous gratification: at the end of the talk Jost has announced about the investment support provided to Ulu by the BOM, Brabant Development Agency. The agreement was signed right on stage:
I won’t be telling the stories about all start-ups, just those I was somewhat involved, or that caught my attention during the day.
Selene Biffi from Bibak (Italy) holds a land-mine her her hand. The team has a novel solution to de-mine and up-cycle lands previously contaminated by these deadly weapons.
Sheldon Xie from Chinese start-up HierStart promised that we will all be using his smart cards by 2019.
His company is young itself, although it does not exactly fall into a category of ‘start-up’, since in reality it is a spin-off of a large smart-card manufacturer in China. Perhaps to further strengthen the aura of novelty, it was also decided to rebrand the European branch, which will be called ID’NXT from now on.
We then had a seriously techy stuff. Eric Carrier from Spincontrol told that his company has reinvented the most basic worm gear, the technology more or less intact from the da Vinci times:
His solution does look like a wrap-drive – and it apparently works tremendously well, too.
Alexandra Ioannidou from Amen Tech (Greece) believes that every nanotech practitioner will soon be using her desk-top Compact Sintering System:
I would expect that Avular, Dutch start-up that has developed an industrial drone, would show it flying over Evoluon, but alas, no, we only saw the pictures. Still cool
At the end of the talk the real thingy was shown too – but only in the hands of the constructor, not in the air. Never mind, it was enough to make a blast few minutes later.
The last presentation was from Manus Machina that presented their vision of the future interfaces, the smart glove they have developed for games and virtual reality applications.
But the glove is also capable to navigate drones – which I guess helped them to contribute to the blast ending of the Demo Day, too.
Under the ‘blasts’ I mean the announcement made at the last minutes of the day, when one gentleman from China (the I showed above, in the circle) decided to fully fund Avular team.
The agreement was signed right on the stage, too.
Moreover, soon after this the second announcement followed – he decided to fully fund the Manus Machina team too!
They couldn’t apparently believe it!
The last drop was more of an emotional token for this team, but very valuable too – they got an award for being ‘the most inspiring team’ of the round. Kudos!
The last picture is of the whole High Tech XL team celebrating the day!