The third batch of hightech startups from the Startupbootcamp HighTechXL programme pitched their startup ideas this Thursday in Eindhoven.
During the previous event, earlier this year, a Chinese investor funded two startups on stage. Unfortunately, this was not the case today.
However, the programme seemed a bit different, and I mean that in a positive way. The pitches were more fast-paced, the audience could vote and virtually invest in the companies, and, most important: there where bean bags, benches and even swings to sit on. Change is good.
Guus Frericks, co-founder and managing director from Startupbootcamp HighTech XL, kicked off with a plea for hardware startups. “There’s a hardware revolution going on, it’s becoming the new software. Hardware startup exits are exploding and their valuation is increasing.” Also, a note on the startup hype these days: “Being a CEO isn’t fun, it’s hard work. It’s like eating glass and to succeed, you need a lot of support.” We definitely support that notion.
So, with no further ado: here are the nine startups. Bonus: Lorenz’ comments about the pitches.
Ram Dusic Hren (technical manager) started kinda cool: he rapped his elevator pitch. His product, the Lov3D printer, was also cool. With automatic calibration, smooth printing and low sound, the startup wants to distinguish themselves from ordinary 3D printers. It already is partnering with L’Oreal. Pel3o expects a 35K euro revenue by the end of the year, a 620K revenue by 2016, and a 18M revenue in 2020. The startup is looking for a 300K investment to scale.
StartupJuncture comments: There are a lot of 3D printers out there. While Lov3D may be the one beating the rest right now, I was hoping to hear how Pel3o will continue to beat the rest in the future. There’s so much going on the 3D printing world, there’s no guarantee someday another player won’t come up with the new best 3D printer.
Accerion wants to bring the functionality of the Google car to robotics indoors, told co-founder and CTO Willem-Jan Lamers. That means no infrastructure at all to navigate. “You can apply our technology to any autonomous vehicle, just click and go.” It seems that the possibilities are endless, but Accerion is now focussing on the sector agriculture, where there are a lot of robotics. The team expects to go to market by the end of 2016 with a 200K revenue. In 2020: 32M. Lamers is looking for 400K to scale.
StartupJuncture comments: It’s good to see agriculture being the sector Accerion’s focussing on. Great for the much needed efficiency. A wise decision, if you ask me.
On stage was Dimitris Xevgenos (CEO). Sealeau wants to reuse waste water (brine) in desalination processes happening everywhere (mainly in factories). The startup wants to make fresh water out of the brine again, and extract minerals from it for the chemical industry. “This way, we really want to close the circle – zero waste” The startup is looking for a 2M investment.
StartupJuncture comments: You had me at “zero waste”. Also, Sealeau seems quite scalable.
The smartbike from Cookee (“cool is the key”) has three advantages, told Huang Donglin, general manager. Security (trace your bike), safety (automatic led lights) and simplicity (slick design). The startup already sold 2000 bikes in China and is looking for 500K to expand in Europe. Cookee expects 1M in sales by the end of 2016, and 12M in 2018.
StartupJuncture comments: I personally want one. The startup tries to match the price of a new ‘normal’ bike in Europe, “1000 euro”. That price seems a bit high though.
Epco Berger (CEO) entered the stage in a Dutch football jersey. DashTag is aiming to “gamify sports” with a sports meter, collecting data like acceleration, speed etc. Right now DashTag is focussing on football, but “our company is very scalable by going for other sports.” The startup is developing a revenue share model for amateur clubs as well. Dashtag is looking for a 700K investment for team expansion, finalizing the product and industrialization. In June 2016, the team expects 2,5M in a next round. The company works with football club PSV and has the interest of the UEFA.
StartupJuncture comments: The idea is nothing new. Although scalable, it’s hard to be thé sports meter worldwide. The marketing of “gamifying sport” is clever, letting sporters get the best out of themselves. But the real star here is the revenue share model. When you want to get traction at the roots (amateur clubs), this can be a nifty trick to get more customers.
Brite Solar (Greece)
Another startup focussing on agriculture, CEO Nick Kanopoulos states that the future of growing crops is in controlled environments like greenhouses. But greenhouses tend to spend a lot of energy. With Brite Solar‘s transparant solar glass, sun still comes in and at the same times generates energy to neutralize the energy bill. The startup is looking for 1,5M to scale.
StartupJuncture comments: Kanopoulos told that Brite Solar is looking for an exit in 2019, IPO or acquisition. Although I personally don’t like this strategy from the start (what’s your real incentive to start this business?), an acquisition is not unlikely because of the enormous amount of big company competitors.
The Focus 3D printer from byFlow promises to print with nearly every material. Flexible, foldable and portable, COO Nina Hoff wants the startup to become the “Nespresso of chocolate printing” via a cartridge business model. The startup’s expecting 7,5M in revenue through sales of the printer by 2017, and 375K in revenue with cartridge sales. That amount is expected to double each year. byFlow wants 770K in funding to scale.
StartupJuncture notes: Printing with chocolate is… well… cute. Pitch-wise I understand the focus on chocolate because you have a large customer/partner to announce. But the real potential is in the flexibility of printing with a large amount of materials. It’s a shame printing with old water bottles was just a shadow in the pitch. Think of the impact you could make when you focus on that. If that was the case, I personally would’ve jumped on stage like a Chinese investor and bought one printer immediately.
Evanthia Valera (CEO) calls Sensoraide the IoT for agriculture. With a possible global food crisis in mind, “farming has to become more efficient”. Using Sensoraide’s crop sensors, farmers can make big data decisions. Farmers pay 250 euro per node and pay a subscription fee for the software. The startup expects 4M in revenue by 2018, and 15M by 2020.
StartupJuncture comments: Just one question: how many sensors do you need per acre?
CMO Katja Lipicnik targets active outdoor people with the Gotoky, a device for offgrid communications. No mobile network is needed, but instead comms are done over radio frequencies. The team is expecting 11M in revenue by 2016, 94M by 2020, and is looking for 600K in funding for the production, expanding the team and to create an enterprise version.
StartupJuncture comments: Saying that you can target 2.1B in revenue just because there are 200M active outdoor people worldwide is kind of ambitious. The best part of this pitch is that Gotoky is working on personal networks as well. Think about it, no mobile network needed. Also great for businesses that rely heavy on outdoor communications, hence the enterprise version.
Photo: From startup team (fair use)