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Marta Portales

Master Training Camp in Madrid: one week of high level training with top international experts for 10 RobotUnion startups

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January 27th – 31st, 2020, 10 robotics Scaleups who started their acceleration journey 3 months ago have gathered in Madrid to kick off the business mentoring part of the programme with a week of training included in the Master Training Camp. The event was hosted by ISDI, leader of the Business Acceleration part at their headquarters in Madrid.

Founders, CEOs and Scaleups members reunited in the Spanish capital to immerse themselves in a week of high-level tailored trainings which covered topics such as acceleration services, corporate partnerships, fundraising, B2B marketing, internationalisation, growth strategy, sales, VC funding and much more. On the first day, they also had the chance to meet their business mentors and receive the first one-on-one session with them, do a five-minute pitch in front of VC delegates with bespoke feed-back, share their challenges and doubts, and last but not least enjoy the amazing activities the city had to offer.

1st DAY - January 27th

The delegates from the 10 robotics scaleups were welcomed at the ISDI headquarters in Madrid by Paco Soler (Head of corporate partnerships at ISDI). After the opening Izabela Zrazinska, the RobotUnion Project Coordinator summarized the current actions, -next steps and programme milestones-. All companies who have achieved the Milestone 3 in January are entitled to use the External Suppliers support (Technical Vouchers) and that is why Maria Karpilowska explained the process and purpose of this RobotUnion service. At the end Xianshu Zeng introduced the business acceleration stage.

After this opening, representatives from our corporate partners FERROVIAL, FENIN and MADE explained their role in the programme and challenges which Scaleups could overcome in their sector. The end of the day was dedicated to Scaleup introductions and one to one first mentoring sessions witht heir Follow Up Mentors. The day ended with a networking dinner at a restaurant in Malasaña quarter, one of the most popular neighbourhoods in Madrid.

2nd DAY - January 28th

The second day was focused on strategy and product. It started in the morning with the class How to do Business with Big Corps by Ciro Acedo from Ferrovial, who shared his knowledge on strengthening, boosting and improving the innovation ecosystem and the advantages for start-ups when working with corporates. Afterwards, Toni Raurich from Booking.com talked about growth strategy, and his experience with customer service and the importance of comprehending your target. The end of the day was dedicted to B2B Marketing and Internationalisation strategy explained by Juliana Mendez from SaleSide, with insights about marketing challenges and strategies for robotics companies, account-based marketing and the process in order to improve companies’ revenues. And for internationalisation, the assessment of a readiness level, research and entry into new markets and challenges companies usually face when trying to go international.

3rd DAY - January 29th

On the third day Luis Gosalbez, an IPR and legal expert from Metricson, explained the most common challenges that companies face when developing disruptive and innovative technologies those were supported with examples on how to protect their solutions from a legal perspective. After the coffee break, Rodrigo Martinez, VC partner of Point Nine Capital, gave a session focused on effective strategies and processes applied to fundraising: from evaluating your product with investor’s eyes to pitching your product and talking into account the different expectations and contexts where you might find yourself into.

Next, Juan López Santamaría shared his experience and knowledge on how to impress tech VCs. This gave our attendees the opportunity to fine tune their pitches and prepare for the afternoon session with Lourdes Álvaro de Toledo from JME Venture Capital, Nico Goulet from Adara Venture Partners and Sonia Fernández from Kibo Ventures. The session started with a short panel on their investors point of views focused on the robotics market moderated by Miguel Ángel Díez Ferreira (ISDI Accelerator Director) after which, each scaleup had a 5 minutes pitch followed by feedback and advice from our guests.

4th DAY - January 30th

5th DAY - January 31st

The last day started with Alex Barrera co-founder and editor at TechEU, he spoke about the importance of a good pitch and shared some tips on how to create a compelling story that sells your idea to everyone who hears it. Following, Anton Astray from Google Campus explained according to his experience how to develop and scale products at a global level on his talk Scaling up through culture and OKR (Objectives and Key Results). To wrap up, Blanca Gómez González gave some tips on how to make the most on the talent and hiring process in order to find people that fit with the company values and help achieve the growth objectives.

If you want to know more about the seminars explore the official agenda.

Second Master Training Camp

Interview with Thomas Bach Nielsen

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For two years, Thomas Bach Nielsen has led the Novo Nordisk Robotics department to expand the use of robots in the pharmaceutical giant’s 13 factories worldwide. 

The Danish company has realized that the collaborative robots – cobots – save time, money and give employees a better working day.

 

Video by  MADE

RobotUnion is looking for mentors and facilities to join our pool of Acceleration services

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Would you like to become a part of Robotics revolution together with RobotUnion ScaleUps and Consortium? Join our pool of external services providers, experts and facilitites! What kind of services and support do RobotUnion companies need? All kind! From Assistance with modelling and implementation, Development and prototyping, software protection, licensing and more!

RobotUnion is constantly looking for:

  1. Technical Facilities for running the Proof of Concepts
  2. Technical Services and Experts
  3. Business and Funding Mentors

To be matched with one of our robotics champions! See the list of the companies selected in 2nd Open Call which RobotUnion can match you with.

Join the RobotUnion Marketplace which will gather state-of-the-art technical support services and mentors which will provide access to “premier-class” technology to our selected Scaleups.

How can you benefit?

  • You will become a part of the prestigious Robotics Marketplace created together with top Research and Technology Organizations like VTT, DTI, TU Delft, TECNALIA, and PIAP and top industry leaders such as MADE representing world Manufacturing leaders like Danfoss, Grundfos or Vestas among others. ARLA in Agri-Food; FENIN in Healthcare and FERROVIAL in Civil Infrastructure.
  • Be in touch with TOP European Robotics Startups selected in 2 Open Calls (see the winners list here)
  • You can be paid up to 60.000 EUR according to the services you provide to one or more startups. If you apply to be part of the marketplace you will be announced for all the startups of our programs and if any of them wants to collaborate with you we will contact you and set up an agreement with the conditions for the collaboration.

Join us now on https://spaces.fundingbox.com/c/robotunion/collections/training

Publish your profile in RobotUnion Marketplace to showcase you product/service to the RobotUnion Community and get the possibility to be matched with one of the scaleups from the 2nd Batch. Follow the instructions here.

Feel welcome to use our templates to position your services in our community the best way possible!

In case of more questions write us to: info@robotunion.eu or contact @izabela.fbx

#robotics

 

 

RobotUnion rocked 2019 and is going for more!

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RobotUnion closes this year with the big success of more than 400 applications submitted to our two Open Calls, 1st batch of companies acceleration almost finished and 2nd batch started!  

Our Robotics Heroes: accelerated companies 

It’s been a great year for our 1st batch robotics companies, whstarted their acceleration journey in February 2019. Back in September, we held the Master Training Camp in Madrid (Spain) where they received business training from top robotics experts. We also held our first Venture Jury Day in Paris at the beginning of December where all 1st batch companies pitched in front of investors and the 4 most promising RobotUnion superstars from the brave robotics team were selected to receive additional funding and fundraising mentoring. 

The second batch of startups has just started its acceleration journey. This year they were focused on the selection process which was finished in July with the Second Jury Day in Poland. Afterwards, 20 of them were working on their Feasibility Plans together with RobotUnion consortium. In October, we made a final cut of 10 best companies that have now entered the acceleration program which officially started with the Welcome Camp held in Odense (Denmark).  

Much good news kept coming this 2019, we’re very proud of the development of accelerated companies which achieved incredible milestones. Faromatics and their Chickenboy solution for animal welfare were granted with 1 million euros after a seed round back in May. The scaffolding assembly solution, Kewazo, also raised from the leading German VC over 2 million euros 

On the seaside, Nido robotics and their submarine drones swam across the ocean and opened a new office in ChileOn top of that Rebartek, the prefabricated reinforcement cages solution, and Kewazo were chosen as two of the TOP50 contech startups by Cemex Ventures. Congratulations on their achievements and we’re glad they’re part of the RobotUnion family! 

This year, RobotUnion started the Success Stories cycle where you can all to discover the amazing solutions from our first batch startups, learn about their acceleration journey in RobotUnion and how far they’ve come. Follow our website’s blog and YouTube channel for more! 

Join the robotic’s revolution community! 

Last but not least, we must highlight that this past year our team has attended more than 15 events in 11 different countries of the European Union. Panels and workshops have been organized to bring the world of robotics closer to society, by focusing on the promotion of robotics technology in new markets where robotics is underrepresented (Agrifood, Healthcare, Civil Engineering, Manufacturing).   

Currently, RobotUnion community has more than 1880 followers in our Social Media channels and has achieved 928,7K impressions through them, we definitely rock the robotics world! 

RobotUnion community reached more than 1000 members and is formed by institutions and organizations related to the world of robotics. This year we have opened our Marketplace to the public, where you can showcase your product, service or institution to our Robotics community.  

Explore the Marketplace 

But wait, there’s more! We are currently looking for Business Mentors with a Robotics background, so if you’re an expert in the field you can join our project. We’re also looking for Investors so if you’re interested in robotics solutions download our booklet to get to know our projects. In case you have any further questions regarding companies from our program don’t hesitate to contact us at info@robotunion.eu

We will keep rocking 2020 

Next year will belong to 1st batch companies that will enter with their product to the market, 2nd Batch companies to rock their acceleration program and for RobotUnion consortium to work on sustainable Robotics ecosystem that involves SMEs and startups together with corporates, researchers, acceleration programs, regional authorities, and investors. The aim is to create the best conditions for long-term business success for all involved. 

Have a great new year start and we’re looking forward to rock 2020 with you all! 

Venture Jury Day

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1st Batch RobotUnion Super Stars selected!

After 10 months of intensive acceleration program with Technical and Business mentors, it´s time to select 4 most promising and best-performing companies from the brave robotics team selected from the 1st Open Call.

The RobotUnion Venture Jury Day took place on the 5th of December 2019 in Paris and was organized by Blumorpho who will lead the support to selected companies in raising Private Funds in next few months.

The final selection was made by two main criteria: Technical, which was evaluated by internal RobotUnion experts and the Investors who came to Paris to see (and hear!) the pitch of all 10 companies and advise the RobotUnion consortium which one is the most promising.

 

The event gathered more than 15 investors interested in our 10 finalists (Klaus Kummermehr from Venture Capital – Go Beyond Investing, Daniele Molteni from Chrysalix Venture Capital, François Tison of  360 Capital, Julien Bourcerie Venture Capital at Bouygues Construction among others). All 10 companies had an opportunity to pitch (3 minutes) and answer a short round of questions to the public.

After that, we took the opportunity of this great ecosystem of experts gathered in one place in order to hold a discussion about the current situation of investment in robotics in Europe and the upcoming challenges.

We also had an opportunity to present the 2nd open call winners, who have just started their journey with RobotUnion in October this year. Rebartek and Aether were present at the event to present their companies as well. Well done!

In the meanwhile, in the separate room the RobotUnion partners and two external experts gathered to agree on the final ranking and to perform an additional round of questions with 10 companies.

The competition was tuff and the final results were announced at the end of the event.

We are proud of RobotUnion mission towards gender equality: two out of four selected startup´s CEOs are female! Congratulations Sofie Woge and Ekaterina Grib!

The winners will now enter to the last Stage 4 and receive an additional 100.000€ of equity-free funding.

On top of that, they will get additional mentoring:

  • Private investment opportunities with the support of Blumorpho the VC Chrysalix and Odense Seed & Ventures.
  • Participate in the RobotUnion Investors Day during the Automatica 2020 event.
  • Identify the public funding available.
  • Preparing a proof of concept in real market conditions.
  • Connect you to corporates and in arranging partnership agreements.

Congratulations to all RobotUnion companies involved and to 4 RobotUnion Super Stars!

Tendo: grasp life with Tendo – A robotic glove which increases the function of your grip – made for people, not symptoms (Sweden).

Kewazo: Kewazo offers a smart robotic system that performs flexible, cost-efficient and safe transportation of construction materials on-site (Germany).

Cliin: proactively keep vessel hulls clean from biofouling, saving the shipping industry billions in saved fuel consumption and hull maintenance (Denmark).

Nido Robotics: advanced underwater robots with an unparalleled price-performance ratio, oriented towards commercial applications in inshore waters (Spain).

Venture Jury Day - Paris 5/12/2019

Do robots dream of electric hot dogs? The future of Robotics in the agri-food industry

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Photo by Prateek Katyal on Unsplash

By 2050, humans will have to double the current food production in order to feed the growing world’s population and adapt to evolving consumption habits. However, considering how damaging and impactful the agro-industry has been in the past years with respect to climate change as well as soil and water quality, we will have no choice but to find much more efficient as well as sustainable agri-food production methods to feed the close to 10 billion people that will populate Earth in a few decades.

Agri-food is a term that combines the words agriculture and food to relate to all the food production activities. According to Esther Delignat-Lavaud Rodriguez, the term agri-food can be split into two parts: agritech referring to technologies that target farmers and foodtech, technologies targeting manufacturers, retailers, restaurants, and consumers.

According to the European Union (EU), agri-food industries and services provide over 44 million jobs within the EU territory, among which 20 million workers in the agricultural sector itself. As market trends move towards better products, sustainable production, diversification in the offer and new consumption habits, it is estimated that the global food and agriculture industry is worth at least $8 trillion.

With automation in every industry becoming a reality, the agri-food sector could definitely benefit from the current technology breakthroughs to improve its efficiency, especially through robotics.

Indeed, robots are becoming more and more part of every human-related activity including agriculture, livestock farming, and nature conservation industries. Their implementation seeks to improve working conditions, generate higher yields and increase overall product quality.

Here are for instance some farming tasks in which robots could help following a report from the Wageningen University:

  1. assessing the quality and sorting seeds,
  2. assessing the quality and sorting seedling,
  3. assessing quality in the greenhouse,
  4. assessing quality in the field,
  5. precision techniques in the field,
  6. autonomous navigation,
  7. harvesting,
  8. assessing quality and sorting products,
  9. processing products, packing products
  10. and more!

Keen on some concrete examples? Here we go:

  • Hello Chickenboy!

Faromatics is one of the startups accelerated by the RobotUnion programme in the agrifood sector. They focus on bringing high tech to livestock production. How?

By monitoring animals continuously, their aim is to detect needs quickly and reliably. Their technology helps farmers identify welfare issues, oncoming diseases, and equipment failures, as well as assess the living conditions of the animals remotely.

Their product Chickenboy is the world-wide first roof-suspended robot that observes chickens, litter and equipment autonomously 24/7.

The robot monitors air quality, health, and welfare through a multitude of sensors and cameras inspects equipment operation and informs farmers, stock persons or vets via mobile alarms.

  • For tomato go to Automato!

Automato is a company accelerated by the RobotUnion programme and developing a robot that works on greenhouses soils and in high tunnels to harvest tomatoes. Their aim is to get their solution to market and to demonstrate repeatable harvesting quality in order to create a groundbreaking experience for growers.

Fresh tomatoes are the most common vegetable that is grown in greenhouses and are generally manually harvested. Tomato growers have a hard time finding the labour to work in their greenhouses as the work is repetitive and performed in hot and humid conditions. As a consequence, their robot is a great solution for the vegetable harvesting sector.

  • No more back and forward casings!

Proxima Centauri is a company that aims at using its unique technology to reduce costs and improve the quality of the food in the sausage industry. They are also accelerated through the RobotUnion programme.

All sausage factories use intestines, known as natural casings. It’s important that casing diameter is correct  Today, casings from around 200 million pigs from Europe are cleaned, salted, packaged and sent to China to be sorted 100% manually. Around 7.000 people in China measure and sort casing from Europe. In addition, it is worth pointing out that the current process is very expensive.

Their solution SelectiCa3 is a robot designed to automatically pick up, measure and sort casings following the desired diameters. SelectiCa3 is a great way to reduce costs and the final product.

  • Starting the discussion now!

Among the leaders of the ongoing conversation is Jungle, an open-source platform for autonomous production. They coined the “robofacturing” concept, based on the idea of an improved production system in manufacturing. This could be achieved by implementing software-defined manufacturing in an affordable, flexible and quick way.

The past 24th October, Jungle organised in Barcelona  Robofacturing real food for everyone, an event supported by RobotUnion. The discussion revolved around the topic of automated production of food using robotics and software-defined manufacturing that will improve food production processes from farms to forks.


 

The sector needs to recognize that it should be taking new technological steps to increase productivity and meet the demand without damaging the environment. An approach proposed by agrifood experts Phil Webster, Frederik van Oene and Maki Kurosawa in their article The future of Agri-Food. Foresight in the challenges that need to be addressed in the future is essential.

Written by Natalia Cardona Mercado for RobotUnion

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