Winners of the Central European Startup Awards 2017 have been announced in Sofia

CESAwards-2018

Last night, the Central European Startup Awards took place for the fourth year in a row, with the mission to find, highlight, showcase and connect the #futureshapers of Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria. CESAwards helps with the integration of the still very much fragmented startup ecosystems of the CEE region by bringing together some of its brightest innovators and entrepreneurs.

From thousands of nominations, narrowed down to 1.400 individual applications, winners have been first selected and introduced on national levels, then out of the 100+ national winners, the 12 + 1 regional winners have been just announced. Apart from the voting of the international juries, more than 15.000 individual public voters also helped making the decision on the winners.

After Budapest (2014), Vienna (2015) and Ljubljana (2016), this year the Regional Grand Finale took place in Sofia, Bulgaria on 23rd November.

The Awards Ceremony introduced the regional winners in 12 categories + one category dedicated to the startup with the highest amount of public voting, called the “People’s Choice”, who were granted not only with beautiful trophies, but also an amazing package of various services and tickets to amazing conferences all across Europe (EU-Startups Summit, etc.), fame and shine, and for some of them the chance to compete with the other region’s selected winners at the Global Grand Finale in Tianjin, China in 2018.

And here is the list of the regional winners:

Best Acceleration / Incubation Programme: ABC Accelerator (Slovenia)

Introduction: At ABC Accelerator, startups get lectures on various topics from pitching to business development and sales four days per week. ABC is strategically connected to large, multinational enterprises like IBM, Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle and BMW and supported by Harvard and Berkeley Universities.

Investor of the Year: LAUNCHub Ventures (Bulgaria)

Introduction: Founded in 2012, the first LAUNCHub fund of €9M, was actively investing until the end of 2015 and has been deployed in pre-seed tickets up to €200K. The former fund backed 62 startups which have attracted more than €20M in follow-up funding. They are currently investing with a ticket that normally ranges between €300K and €700K but they are ready to invest up to €1.5 million in the right startup.

Best Coworking Space: Puzl CowOrKing (Bulgaria)

Introduction: Puzl CowOrKing areas are designed around the IT community needs – a hybrid between coworking, event and chill spaces. Topped with the social buzz of a neighborhood and designed with the digital folk in mind. They opened their doors in 2015. Since then 400+ people joined to their community. They have been expanding since and have plans to open several new offices across the CEE region.

Best AI Startup: Turbine.AI (Hungary)

Introduction: Turbine takes trial and error experiment out of the laboratories, and moves it onto their servers that can run millions of experiments in a matter of minutes. Their services help deliver effective treatments to cancer patients faster by combining the most accurate model of human cells with tumor-specific data.

Best Social Impact Startup: SoWat (Romania)

Introduction: SoWat is a portable water purification system that turns any source of fresh water into clean drinking water, using a mechanical process with no chemicals. One SoWat system can produce enough daily water for 5,000 people, at a monthly cost of just €0.05 per person.

Best Biotech Startup: Turbine.AI (Hungary)

Introduction: Turbine takes trial and error experiment out of the laboratories, and moves it onto their servers that can run millions of experiments in a matter of minutes. Their services help deliver effective treatments to cancer patients faster by combining the most accurate model of human cells with tumor-specific data.

Best FinTech Startup: Bitpanda (Austria)

Introduction: They make it easy for everyone to instantly access the world of digital currencies and assets with the highest security standards in the industry by connecting the new digital financial world with the old economy.

Best IoT Startup: Bee Smart Technologies (Bulgaria)

Introduction: Bee Smart is a remote diagnostic and monitoring station for any bee hive. The software is based on proprietary bio-based AI algorithms that translates the collected data into actionable statistics and notifications on an intuitive dashboard.

Best Smart City Solution: Symvaro (Austria)

Introduction: Symvaro’s flagship project WATERLOO is a powerful tool which assists and helps water providers to organize water meter exchanges and meter readings in several paperless ways, that way mater management cost could be reduced up to 80%.

Founder of the Year: Sara Koslinska (Poland)

Introduction: Sara Koslinska is a CEO of Limitless, a FinTech startup providing a micro investment app to financial institutions willing to engage Millennials. Previously she gained international experience, worked for startups and running her own B2B ventures.

Best Newcomer Startup: EVA Vision (Hungary)

Introduction: Eva Vision provides self-navigation for blind and visually impaired people. EVA is a voice controlled eyewear for the visually impaired. EVA’s Artificial Intelligence recognises objects, texts, signs and verbally describes what it sees.

People’s Choice: Billon (Poland)

Introduction: Billon can securely convert traditional cash into digital money. Digitized funds can be transferred P2P or B2B without any third parties charging fees. Transferred money can be kept as digital money or converted back to paper cash.

Startup of the Year: Turbine.AI (Hungary)

Introduction: Turbine takes trial and error experiment out of the laboratories, and moves it onto their servers that can run millions of experiments in a matter of minutes. Their services help deliver effective treatments to cancer patients faster by combining the most accurate model of human cells with tumor-specific data.