We made it! UBIK Solutions is now part of the HighTechXL Accelerator
On March 12th, 18 startup teams gathered in the new atrium at ASML’s Eindhoven headquarters during HighTechXL’s Impact Finals. After a long day of asking and answering every possible detail about their proposals, just ten teams–one of them being UBIK Solutions–had the right answers and will enter the program starting April 9. This is the story of how we got there.
The candidate startups were gatered at the facilities of HighTechXL in the HighTech Campus of Eindhoven one day before, on March 11th.
There, Eric Broekhuizen, COO & program Director, gave an overview of what was waiting for us in the upcominf two days. A perfect mix of pitches, workshops and meetings was created in order to prepare us for the "D day" at ASML's headquarters.
Our CEO, Andre Lindvest, gives business cards to the Intellectual Property Experts of HighTechXL.
The insights were extremely valuable, getting a "demo" of what the full accelerator would be, getting us more prepared for the finals of next day but also more eager to be one of the 10 lucky start-ups being selected for the program. Without knowing it, we were already writing the first page of our upcoming participation in the HighTechXL Accelerator.
But that day was relaxed if we compared it with the Impact Finals: The intense 10-hour day started at 9:30, after the welcome words by HighTechXL CEO Anique Soetermeer-Gabriels. Rob van der Werf, Director of New Business Development of ASML, also welcomed the attendants. By this time, we had no idea how intensive this day was going to be, no matter of how many warnings about it we had the previous day.
The startups got into business pretty quick, since their first task for the day was to give a 1-minute pitch to the audience. Presenting UBIK's proposal, our New Product Implementation & BD Manager, Gerardo García Díaz, explained why the world needs to foster the usage of solar energy... and why our S350 OptiVerter® is the perfect device to achieve a sustainable energy economy.
The 18 teams were carefully observed by the HighTechXL staffers, mentors and industry experts that would afterwards lead eight rounds of probing interviews and feedback to the candidates.
At this point, is understandable that all startups were vying for the right to enter the seventh cohort of the five-year-old HighTechXL Accelerator, that in this time has shaped 56 teams–soon to be 66–and helped those companies raise about 41 million euros in early-stage funding.
The only brief break in this intensive schedule was lunch–made of sandwiches, as the Dutch tradition states–not being some of the start-ups being able to get a moment of relax even after the eight rounds came to an end.
UBIK Solutions was in that last group, since we were also selected as one of the four start-ups that made it into the pitch battle. In front of the attendants and a jury of four experts, Gerardo tried his best to answer the incisive questions made by Thibaut Decré, Speaker of the Pitch Battle and Program Lead & Tooling Manager of HighTechXL. In the other side of the ring was Adel Arigue, CEO of Airbliss+.
Even tough UBIK's answers got the favour of the crowd, Airbliss+'s proposal was more convincing for the jury, that granted him a ticket to the final round. Though he didn't make it to the first place in the end, the general feeling was "at least we don't need to answer questions anymore".
The selected teams to enter the Accelerator were revealed by Anique Soetermeer-Gabriels at 19h. She rated the new HighTechXL Class of 2018 “a very diverse batch, with some very early-stage startups, and some later-stage firms. And it’s a very international batch again.”
"When it comes to startups, the Eindhoven model is not so different from The Valley Model: Ultimately, it’s not so much about the tech as it is about the people", Soetermeer-Gabriels said.
The ten teams that made it to the HighTechXL Accelerator received an award and an invitation to come back on April 9th.
“It’s all about how enthusiastic these people are,” she said. “How well can we coach them? Can we coach them in areas where we’re most knowledgeable? Do they have the network to help them further in their journey of building a business?”
With this, UBIK Solution will benefit from all the advantages of the programme, some of them being:
A 3-month result-oriented program run by the experienced HighTechXL Team with focus on customer traction and funding.
Hundreds of hours of expert support from not only ASML, Philips and NTS-Group, but also specialists from EY, ABN AMRO Bank and other partners in sales, engineering, manufacturing, IP, supply chain, finance, legal, internationalization and investment.
Pilots with partnering companies.
Support from hundreds of mentors formally connected to HighTechXL.
Access to potential customers, partners and suppliers.
Professional workspace at the High Tech Campus Eindhoven, the prime tech campus in Europe, where 160 companies and institutes are based.
With us, other nine teams will be accelerated during the next three month (and will for sure become good friends of UBIK). They are:
AirBliss+: Based in the United Kingdom, AirBliss+ created a smart air pollution breathing mask. AirBliss+ emphasizes excellent user-experiences such as fit, ease of cleaning and ease in breathing, eliminating heat and humidity.
MiniFab3D: From Mexico, Mini Fab3D designs and manufactures high-end 3D printers, robotic arms, computer numerical control devices and laser cutters. Their goal is to develop new technology including bringing a high-resolution stereo lithography printer to market at an accessible price.
Applied BioTech: Their core technology is a sustainable enzymatic process for the production of capsaicinoids, the spicy molecules from chili peppers. That’s right, hot peppers. In turn, those capsaicinoids are used as organic pest repellants, coatings, in making pharmaceuticals and, of course, pepper sprays for self-defense. The team is from Mexico.
Tusti: Tusti is a high-tech recycling company, founded in 2015 by the cooperation of Technical University of Eindhoven, Holding and Stiphout (Stiphout Industries, Stip Recycling and Stiphout Plastics). Among other innovations, Tusti has developed a cleaning process to remove frying oil from high-density polyethylene, a polyethylene thermoplastic made from petroleum, making it easier to recycle.
Hipermotion: From Eindhoven, Hipermotion developed a new medical rehabilitation and training machine, the MaxDFM, using patented dynamic force modulation technology.
Recath: From Eindhoven Medical Robotics, Recath has developed a minimally invasive robotic catheterization technology. The steerable device utilizes Bluetooth.
Flow Matters: Flow Matters is from the Technical University of Eindhoven in the Netherlands. Flow Matters offers consultancy services and software for fluid dynamics simulations to help engineers at high-tech companies design products effectively with state-of- the-art numerical models translated from fundamental and applied research into the industrial practice.
StormRam 4: From the University of Twente in the Netherlands, StormRam 4 is the world’s smallest and most accurate 3D-printed biopsy robot. Driven by air pressure, the plastic 3D printed StormRam 4 can be used in MRI machines, which increases the accuracy of the procedures.
MindYour Pass: MindYour Pass from the Netherlands is a security startup that has developed a system allowing people to access all digital accounts with one password while still maintaining security. Their slogan is: “No more difficult passwords to remember, yet all your external accounts secured with a strong password.”
See you all in few weeks!