On the 9th of December of 2020, the Odense Investor Summit took place both online and in-person. Our nine RobotUnion Superstar Scale-ups that finished the Stage 4 of the program pitched their groundbreaking robotic solutions to investors, key stakeholders, and other companies. Additionally, a set of Keynote Speakers also shared valuable knowledge and their experience in the industry.
The event was led by two co-hosts, Martyna Waliszewska from Odense Invest and Johnny Killerup CEO and Co-Founder Converzion. They introduced the start-up representatives and the keynote speakers throughout the summit. The attendees were greeted by the Mayor of the City of Odense, Peter Rahbæk Juel, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Jeppe Kofod, who remarked that 800 million euros have taken place in Acquisitions since 2015 thanks to the Odense Investor Summit.
The RobotUnion project started three years ago with the Kick Off meeting where all partners gathered in Odense. The project will end in the same place at the Odense Investor’s Summit. The project results and main mission were presented by Izabela Zrazinska from FundingBox, a project coordinator. RobotUnion was created to “stimulate startups and SMEs in the robotics sector to develop novel and challenging technology and systems applicable to new markets”. Afterwards, she remarked that the program has attracted a lot of interest since its start in 2018 because it has received “over 400 applications”. Out of these applicants 20 companies have been accelerated thanks to the collaboration of 40 researchers engaged from 5 Research Centers that participated in the project and 26 business mentors engaged by ISDI.
After the introductory speakers, the representatives of each the Superstars pitched their projects. The companies pitched in the following order:
- Kewazo, “the world’s first scaffolding system that enables companies to save up to 44% of labour costs in construction”.
- Tendo AB pitched their minimalistic exoskeleton that allows paralyzed users to grip and release objects.
- AetherBiomed explained that their product ‘Zeus’ can be used for knee, shoulder, or industrial applications and it “allows amputees to use 14 different grip modes”.
- CLIIN Robotics explained their automated hault cleaning robot. The speaker, Thomas Jørgensen, mentioned that most of the toxic paint from ships is released into the world’s oceans once the vessel is in service and explained how their Cargo Hold Cleaning Robot can clean almost all surfaces of the hault thanks to its powerful magnets and the high-pressured water.
- Rebartek is a robotic construction startup in Norway. They explained that their solution “has two parts. The first, is prefabricating the cage to save money and time for our customers – a factory. The second, a plugin for structural design software to help with their projects.” The software is smart enough to save 20% of the material and 30% of time of the construction site!
- Nido Robotics said: “our product is an end-to-end solution that allows the asset manager to carry out the inspection and reporting of the data that has been gathered”.
- Automato explained how they are creating the workforce of the future with robots that avoid food waste and detect infections on plants.
- Proxima Centauri talked about their machine that efficiently sorts animal products into the package containers, “with their products, customers can save up to 50% of costs”.
- Rigitech is a company that is developing network drone logistics in healthcare. “In Europe 1.2 billion euros are spent every year transporting samples to laboratories. Rigi is developing a network of delivery drones which are fully automated and transport the packages between laboratories”.
In between the pitches of the 9 superstars, a few keynote speakers who are professionals in the industry shared relevant information that is worth sharing. The following were the speakers and key information points that they shared:
- Dieter Kraft pointed out that Global VC investment remains strong, there are fewer larger-size deals, and that strategic innovation is not working anymore without open innovation. Dieter Kraft works at TRUMPF and he is a strategic investor that provides value add for start-ups and “expects creative provocation for R&D”. The main investment areas are photonics and laser manufacturing and smart manufacturing. He mentioned that “if the approach and the idea is good, cash is not an issue” and also said a very important point: “the innovation should be breakthrough in technology or business”.
- Cuong Nguyen said that “Most investors do not have the knowledge over technology”. He works at NTPC, and they are in charge of translating more technical language so the investors can understand. He also said: “Market scan, due diligence, ownership, and exit. This is the process that investors undergo. The due diligence is a very important part. Companies should address key questions related to business and technology to satisfy the investors due diligence process!”
- Jürgen Von Hollen, from Universal Robot, explained that nowadays “there are many opportunities thanks to this phase of change. Big corporations really struggle to adapt to these new opportunities; thus it is time for startups to find and exploit them”.
Overall, the Odense Investor Summit was very well organized and presented. It was structured in a way that would keep the audience engaged all-throughout and there were barely any technical errors! The knowledge and experience from the Start-up presenters gave very good insight about their projects and the trends in the robotics industry in Europe. Additionally, the Keynote Speakers gave insightful knowledge from their professional experience that will serve well for Start-ups and other stakeholders in the Robotics sector. Congratulations to the 9 Superstars for presenting bravely their groundbreaking solutions and hope that they made good business contacts for the future!