We are proud to share the results on how the robotics start-ups that entered our acceleration programme a year ago have grown.
What it takes to accelerate 10 robotics companies
A lot of money…
Within the last 16 months (November 2018 – February 2020), more than €2 million equity-free were invested in direct funding paid to the 10 selected companies from the first batch. How was this money used? 10% of this amount was invested in technical vouchers. These vouchers allowed the start-ups to request additional capabilities or facilities that were not available within the consortium helping them access services fundamental for their specific development.
As a result of their new scaleup status, the supported companies raised more than 8M € in private funding and the overall companies’ valuation was multiplied by 2!
…And even more mentoring
40 researchers from 5 RTOs involved in the consortium were engaged in technical support. Each researcher was allocated to individual technical tasks according to individual mentoring plans and provided to the companies specialized support in order to boost their product acceleration.
While 26 business mentors participated in support for a total of 181 hours invested in mentoring, allowing the participants direct access to international top-notch mentors, trainers, investors and experts in different strategic fields, with exposure to a custom made ‘Funding Journey’ for each of the selected Scaleups that included up to €223K EU equity-free initial funding, with a customized support to fundraise up to €1M of private funding for the 4 Super Stars.
Some significant progress made on the tech side
The Technology Readiness Level (TRL, a standard scale to evaluate the maturity of a technology) was increased by 3 levels in average for all companies.
The most popular core technologies supported were:
- System development: process of defining, designing, testing and implementing a new software application or program for the automation of the robot.
- Human interaction: is the study of interactions between humans and robots. It is often referred as HRI by researchers.
- Mechatronics: is an interdisciplinary area of engineering that combines mechanical and electrical engineering and computer science.
In the case of system abilities, the more requested from the index of the Multi-Annual Roadmap’s (MAR for Robotics in Europe) were:
- Configurability: parameter that defines the ability of the system to be customized to different tasks
- Perception: monitoring and data acquisition through sensors of the environment where the robot is placed.
- Adaptability: capability of going beyond static automation due to the robot’s capacity to adapt to changing environmental conditions and material features while retaining a degree of predictability required for collaboration (e.g. human-robot collaboration).
Promising business perspectives
As a testimony of the development of their activity, the scaleups doubled their headcount during the last year. A recent survey we made even highlights the fact they are looking to hire more team members with 25 open positions currently open!
This encouraging business outlook was not only made possible thanks to the aforementioned mentoring sessions that helped the selected companies better find the coveted product/market fit but also through the sponsored attendance at 8 of the top worldwide technology events that allowed them to communicate on their solution to a relevant audience. Among the events: 4YFN, Global Robot Expo, DLD Tel Aviv, Viva Tech Paris, Automatica, Odense Investors Summit, Robotex and Slush.
But why not asking directly the scaleups that took part in RobotUnion’s acceleration programme how useful it was for them? The overall impression of our programme reached the excellent score of 8,75 out of 10!
Congratulations to all companies, partners and mentors who made this possible!
RobotUnion is future of Robotics
The RobotUnion project funded under Horizon 2020 has reached ambitious numbers and became a perfect example of the technical acceleration for robotics start-ups, and that is why the consortium has decided to continue supporting more European robotics SMEs and startups in next open calls in 2021 after the EU funding is finished.
Our future model is based on close collaboration with corporates and regional authorities, please contact us by [email protected] if your institution is interested in the future of robotics.