Startups Neura, 6 degrees and Aerial Technologies have been chosen from more than 500 projects from 59 countries as the winners of the global challenge ‘Restarting Together’.
The winners were chosen after presenting their solutions to a jury of innovation experts from 14 corporations, business schools and different players in the entrepreneurship sector during a digital pitch day: Boston Consulting Group, CEMEX, Telefónica, Airbus BizLab, BASF, BID Lab, Citi, Endeavor, IE, IESE Business School, MAPFRE, Microsoft for Startups, Navantia and South Summit.
The objective of the first iteration of this challenge focused on innovative solutions that contribute to accelerating economic recovery and creating a more resilient society in the face of the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The event, which was held virtually, was attended by Eduardo Navarro, Director of Strategy and Corporate Affairs of Telefónica; Isidro Laso, Cabinet Expert for Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth.; and Jeffrey Ma, Global Head of Microsoft for Startups.
“Restarting Together is a great initiative that brings together public and private organisations to support innovative solutions and ideas that facilitate the recovery of the European economy and society through innovation and its various networks,” highlighted Isidro Laso, Cabinet Expert for Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth.
“Fourteen multinational companies have worked hard to identify those solutions that help us not only drive recovery, but to deal effectively and sustainably with similar crises in the future.”, explained Eduardo Navarro, Director of Strategy and Corporate Affairs of Telefónica.
More than 500 participants, 9 finalists and 3 winners.
The global challenge focused on the following three categories. For the first category, ‘Revamping the economy through sustainable growth’, the winning startup was Neura (USA), a platform for population participation to help solve the new challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The other finalists in this category were Colu (Israel), a platform that helps cities interact with residents by rewarding them for taking actions that promote their strategic goals; and PointGrab (Israel), a solution that allows people to analyse the workplace thanks to intelligent building sensors.
For the second category, ‘Enhancing cities and infrastructure adaptiveness and resilience’, the chosen team was 6 degrees (Israel), a platform that allows people with hand-related disabilities to regain control of their devices by accessing through smart devices. The other finalists were RightHear (Israel), a spatial orientation solution for the blind or visually impaired; and Inuma, (Rwanda), a startup committed to eradicating water scarcity and capable of giving access to clean water to more than 132,000 people, schools, businesses and farms in Rwanda.
Finally, for the category ‘Ensuring Life Continuity & Boosting Social Inclusion & Community’, the winning startup was Aerial Technologies (Canada), which solves the problems of Wifi networks thanks to Artificial Intelligence. The other finalists were Homedoctor (Spain), an application that allows to be attended by emergency doctors from smartphones anytime and from anywhere; and Smile and Learn (Spain), an educational platform where children between the age of 3 and 12 have access to more than 5,000 activities, games, videos and interactive stories to have fun while learning.
All three winners will have access to benefits such as mentoring, commercial acceleration services, technology tools or access to events, valued at approximately 1.3 million euros. In addition, they have the potential to obtain corporate resources from the organizing companies to accelerate their project or even receive investment. The organizing companies that supported the challenge can also explore the potential to develop, promote or implement any of the winning solutions in partnership with the start-ups, since the global and multidisciplinary approach all of the solutions presented enable them to have the potential to achieve greater impact.