• Each of the selected startups, selected among 204 applications from 32 countries, will receive up to €223,000 in equity-free funding, alongside acceleration and mentoring services. • RobotUnion is offering a total of 8M€ in equity-free funding in two open calls for startups and SMEs within the framework of the Horizon 2020 programme by the European Commission. • These startups are changing the digitalisation of the European Industry in the areas of health, manufacturing, agriculture, civil engineering and open disruptive innovation verticals.
RobotUnion, the first pan-European acceleration programme fully focused on robotics, has announced the names of the 20 startups entering the first acceleration services. The project led by FundingBox and backed by leading accelerators, venture capital entities and RTOs selected the winners within a Jury Day where 44 startups and SMEs pitched in front of a panel of experts during September 13-14th at Tecnalia's headquarters in San Sebastian (Spain).
Ultimately, 20 startups and SMEs were selected to enter the acceleration programme of RobotUnion's first call:
• BotsAndUs Ltd: Customer service and operations robotics and AI (UK)
• Smooth Robotics ApS: SmoothTool helps to avoid any kind of complicated programming of the welding robot - only intuitive learning (Denmark)
• Springa: Goliath CNC is the first portable and autonomous robotic tool that disrupts the way of makers, artisans and professionals work flat surfaces (Italy)
• InteSpring: The smallest and most lightweight industrial Leg Exoskeleton in the world that can support high loads. (Netherlands)
• Neurodigital Technologies SL: Touch & Feel VR (Spain)
• Alias Robotics S.L.: A bio-inspired cybersecurity solution for robots (Spain)
• Aivero AS: Empowering industrial robots with cloud computing of 3d video (Norway)
• Fizyr B.V.: Deep learning for vision-guided robotics (Netherlands)
• Tendo: Grasp life with Tendo - A robotic glove which increases the function of your grip - made for people, not symptoms. (Denmark)
• Cyber Surgery: Robotic Assistant for Spine Surgery (Spain)
• QuizIT sp.z.o.o: Robotic hospital pharmacy which reduces medication error by 99% and eliminates medication theft. (Poland)
• ACCREA Bartlomiej Stanczyk: Remote Medical Diagnostician - a remotely controlled robot performing real-time medical ultrasonographic examinations (Poland)
• I-Gripper: a smart gripper for automated sample handling in the laboratory (Germany)
• Future Sense S.L.: Robotic solution for autonomous treatment of musculoskeletal pathologies. (Spain)
• LuxAI S.A.: QTrobot is a scientifically validated and globally scalable solution for hugeeconomical and societal challenges of autism. (Luxembourg)
• Eliport Robotics S.L.: Autonomous ground-based delivery robots (Spain)
• Cliin ApS: Proactively keep vessel hulls clean from biofouling, saving the shipping industry billions in saved fuel consumption and hull maintenance (Denmark)
• KEWAZO GmbH: KEWAZO offers a smart robotic system that performs flexible, cost-efficient and safe transportation of construction materials on-site. (Germany)
• Farm Robotics and Automation SL: Robot that balances animal welfare with farm productivity by monitoring chickens using sensors and AI. (Spain)
• IVSProxima Centauri: Sustainable sausages from automated natural casings Selection and Calibration processing. (Denmark)
Each selected company will receive up to €223,000 equity-free for its initial funding stage as well as access to technological support from European robotics experts and business acceleration services. The best-performing companies participating in the programme may obtain an additional €1 million of private investment in funding rounds lead by the VCs Chrysalix Venture Capital and Odense Seed and Venture, with the support of Blumorpho.
The programme: from research to setting up
The 20 startups and SMEs selected in the first open call launched by RobotUnion will initiate an acceleration process of 2 to 14 months. For the first time, the participants will be accompanied from their research phase all the way through setting up the business.
After the Jury Day, the acceleration process will begin with the feasibility study and the 20 participants will enter different research and product development stages, where in addition to equity-free funding, the companies will receive extensive technical and technological support provided by the leading institutes in robotics R&D in Europe: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Danish Technological Institute, TU Delft, Tecnalia and PIAP. The participants will also receive business acceleration, led by digital business school ISDI.
The startups selected will take part in a rigorous and personalised training programme. A special voucher scheme will be initiated by project coordinator FundingBox, giving accelerated companies access to a range of service providers via a one-of-a-kind marketplace fully dedicated to supporting robotics companies. They also will have access to ISDI's international network of recognised mentors from Google, Airbnb, Ikea, Yahoo, Prisa and Microsoft, among others. It builds on the legacy and expertise of the IMPACT Accelerator, which invested over €20 million equity-free funding between 2014 to 2018. IMPACT has been named among the top ten seed accelerators in the world and the number two in Europe by Gust's Global Accelerator Report.
The entrepreneurs will also have direct contact with leaders of agri-food, healthcare, civil engineering and manufacturing sector through the participation of organisations including MADE, Ferrovial Servicios, ARLA Foods and FENIN.
RobotUnion will further boost the visibility of startups and SMEs in the robotics sector taking part in top international events such as 4YFN at MWC Barcelona, Automatica Munich, Slush and Web Summit.
RobotUnion will open the second call of the acceleration programme at the beginning of 2019. The project will select again 20 startups that will be financed with up to €223,000 equity free in cash plus acceleration services. The 20 startups selected will receive €3,800 each in cash equity free and services in the first phase. The 10 best of these startups will enter in the product acceleration program and will receive up to €120,000 in cash equity free. Finally, the 4 best startups will receive up to €100,000, so in total they can receive up to €223,000 equity free in cash plus services.
The four best startups will also have the possibility to be privately funded with around €1M with the help of Blumorpho, Odense Seed and Venture and Chrysalix that are part of RobotUnion consortium.
Selected companies would be able to participate in a14 months online Premium Acceleration Service, led by top Research and Technology Organizations from all over Europe, key world-class digital ecosystem professionals and entrepreneurs