EU initiative highlights European startups


Ideas From Europe

At the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Assembly in Tallinn, Estonia, one startup from each of the 28 EU member states pitched their idea. The 11 ventures deemed to have the biggest societal impact advanced to the finals in the Netherlands, set for April 2018. 'Ideas from Europe' is an independent foundation whose goal is to "facilitate the joint development of solutions to global challenges."


Smart pregnancy tracker

Prenatal checkups can be inconvenient, rushed and often use out-of-date technology. What’s more, one million babies die from the consequences of premature birth each year. The wearable product developed by Belgian startup Bloomlife, which recently secured $2.3 million (€1.9 million) in grant funding, lets mothers-to-be monitor the frequency, duration and intensity of contractions via an app.


Coding for refugees

Austrian non-profit Refugees Code teaches refugees programming skills to help them integrate into the labor market more easily. At the end of the free, nine-month online course in Vienna, participants earn a certificate from the Vienna University of Technology and Harvard University. In the picture, founder Stefan Steinberger is pitching on the 'Ideas from Europe' stage.


Digital healthcare against dementia

Every three seconds, a human develops dementia. Enter Icho, a customizable ball that reacts to pressure, stroking and throwing with music, lights and vibrations. The app-powered ball helps enhance motor skills and cognitive function. In the future, the two-year-old German startup wants to develop Icho apps for all cognitive diseases, including speech impediments and communication problems.


Fighting global bee mortality

One third of the food we eat every day relies on healthy honey bees. But over the past three decades, diseases, pests and hive problems have decimated hives around the world. Irish startup ApisProtect’s in-hive sensors allow beekeepers to unobtrusively monitor their honey bee colonies throughout the year. In the picture, founder Fiona Edwards is pitching on the 'Ideas from Europe' stage in Tallinn


Fighting autism with AI

Luxembourg-based LuxAI has developed a toddler-like humanoid robot called QTrobot, which interacts with children affected by autism, helping them to be more socially active. Autism affects one in every 68 children, and millions of families have to deal with the significant social and economic burdens. By 2025, it is estimated that the costs of working with autism will be $461 billion.


Too good to go

Each year, 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted — that’s one third of global production. Denmark-based Too Good to Go offers a practical solution to the second-hand market of food by helping shops and restaurants sell their unsold food. With the help of an app, users can see which stores have surplus food available for collection before they close their breakfast, lunch or dinner service.

The 'Ideas from Europe' startup competition, a platform to increase visibility for European founders, is the EU’s latest effort to promote entrepreneurship on the continent, which still lags behind the US.

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