The Demo Day, the final of the ABB Industrial AI Accelerator, took place on May 16 in Berlin, the center of the German startup industry. Seven startups from Europe presented their solutions, which they had developed together with ABB business lines over the past four months, to around 100 guests in the audience.
The main focus of the demo day was the seven startups. They had been selected at the beginning of the year from well over 100 applications and nominations from all over Europe. The „glorious seven“ had the last opportunity to present their solutions in the field of artificial intelligence for industrial applications. Similar to the TV startup show „Shark Tank“, each startup had to face the critical questions of the jury after pitching its solution. The six-member jury consisted of business and technology experts as well as investors.
Hans-Georg Krabbe, Country Managing Director of ABB Germany, and Markus Ochsner, member of the board of ABB in Germany, emphasized the high quality of all presentations. The solutions had been developed by the startups in close cooperation with ABB’s business lines over the past four months. It was therefore decided to award two special prizes. As such, SynerLeap, ABB’s innovation hub in the Nordics, will support the startups Vathos and OneWatt for six months to ensure a continued collaboration with ABB.
„Working with ABB as one of the world’s leading robotics companies has helped us significantly to advance our product development roadmap and test our solution in a new application,“ comments Philipp Küpper, CEO of Vathos. The Düsseldorf, Germany-based startup develops computer vision and machine learning for applications in robotics and factory automation.
The ABB Industrial AI Accelerator provided a platform for developing advanced intelligent solutions for the digital industry and linking them to end customers. ABB experts and AtomLeap, a leading high-tech accelerator and business intelligence provider based in Berlin, supported the startups. „Our goal was to test and further develop the startups solutions together with ABB’s digital offering in industrial applications and to accelerate their development. Representatives from ABB’s business lines have beforehand defined business-relevant use cases which then have been worked on together with the startups during the four month program,“ says Philipp Vorst, project manager of the accelerator and Research Team Manager at ABB’s corporate research center in Germany, enthusiastically about the results.
The startups for the ABB Industrial AI Accelerator were selected at the beginning of the year on the basis of various criteria. These included growth potential, technological innovation power, novelty of the solution, team, innovation potential, go-to-market strategy and business model.
„Partnerships that foster innovation have long been an integral part of ABB’s approach to innovation. The ABB Industrial AI Accelerator continues this strategy by partnering with startups to drive technologies and solutions that help ABB stay competitive. The close link with the business lines, the R&D teams, and other start-up activities is central,“ says Jan-Henning Fabian, head of ABB’s research center in Ladenburg.
„Nowadays it is particularly important that companies work with startups in a way that supports the startups during their various development phases,“ says Victoria Lietha of ABB Technology Ventures, ABB’s strategic Venture Capital arm. „That is why it was very valuable to also have SynerLeap participating in the Demo Day. As ABB’s innovation hub in Sweden that helps startups grow and scale, they can support startups with continuing working with ABB. ABB Technology Ventures, can then finance selected startups with equity capital.“