Central European Startup Awards – the official CEE circuit for Global Startup Awards, the world’s biggest independent startup ecosystem competition – has just announced its annual winners in 16 + 1 categories, from the 10 participating countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Czechia, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia), from amongst the formerly announced national winners.
The competition does not only have categories for startups on different verticals and maturity levels, but also for outstanding individuals like Female Role Model of the Year and Founder of the Year and for ecosystem supporters like Investor of the Year, Best Acceleration/Incubation Program and Best Coworking Space.
This year 2 new categories were added to the competition: Digital Nomad / Freedompreneur of the Year, described as an individual, company or organization who deserves recognition for enabling people to create more flexible work and lifestyle choices, fostering economy and technology from different locations and creating a culture-of-giving through social impact, leading the location independent movement by example and the Best Software Development Partner, which is about finding the best software development agency or software house that provides remote software development services for its Clients.
Also, some of the categories from the previous season were slightly restructured, instead of the Best PropTech Startup, this year the category’s scope was broadened and it has been renamed to Best Smart City Solution Startup, aiming to find the startup that has shown the greatest development over the last year based on growth, innovation and impact by developing solutions or products that target better connectivity, digitalization and managing the city infrastructure in urban development, and the category from last year called Best Biotech Startup has been slightly modified to and renamed to Best Health Tech Startup, which has been looking for the startup that has shown the greatest development over the last year based on growth, innovation and impact by developing solutions, methods and / or products that target life sciences and agricultural development.
The number of nominations has also grown quite a lot, almost doubled since last year, reaching over 5.500, and during the selection process more than 80.000 individual public voters supported the finalists, which is also a double figure compared to the previous season.
The Regional Grand Finale event took place this year on 21st November 2019 in Bucharest, Romania, organized by the amazing team of Impact Hub Bucharest. During the day, an invite-only conference called Ecosystem Summit gathered the national winners, ambassadors, partners and other stakeholders to be introduced to each other and to discuss the topic of validation and financing when expending, successful scaling stories and exit events.
Some of these winners will have the chance to compete globally with the winners of some of the categories from other regions of Global Startup Awards in 2020.
And finally, the winners are:
Liebestipps has the vision to become the biggest coaching network in the German speaking countries and create work spaces as well as easy accessible high quality coaching for their customers.
Female Role Model of the Year: Tanja Sternbauer (Austria)
Connecting movers & shakers and empowering others to see and unlock their true potential is Tanja’s true calling. Before starting the female factor she has been Managing Partner of Startup Live, the leading European Acceleration Program and one of the largest startup communities worldwide. She was responsible for helping founders implement their business ideas and connect them internationally with relevant players. Startups like Runtastic, Shpock, Codeship and mySugr are among the successful alumni of the program.
Best Social Impact Startup: I Rise Mechanics 357 (Bulgaria)
I Rise Mechanics 357 is a high-tech company engineering and manufacturing OMNIBOT – robotic verticalization mobility device for people with motor disabilities to improve their health, independence and social inclusion.
Best IoT Startup: Neuron Soundware (Czechia)
Neuron Soundware uses AI methods to understand audio signals and early detect broken machines with the diagnostic technology they developed.
Founder of the Year: Ivan Jelusic (Croatia)
Ivan is technical manager and expert business developer in consumer electronics, medical devices, engineering and manufacturing industry. Serial entrepreneur and co-founder of startups. Interested in investments, venture capital and venture building.
Best Coworking Space: Impact Hub Czech Republic (Czechia)
Impact Hub Czech Republic is an inspiring space with community, coworking, fully equipped offices and endless opportunities. They also support business innovation through 8 acceleration programs targeting startups and social businesses.
Best Fintech Startup: Spendee (Czechia)
Spendee is a mobile financial application which enables people to manage and understand their personal finances in ONE place: bank accounts, e-wallets, crypto wallets, manually added cash spending. Spendee makes managing personal finances easy and effortless.
Best Health Tech Startup: SignAll (Hungary)
SignAll is a unique technology leveraging Natural Language Processing and Computer Vision to translate sign language into text automatically. The product enables spontaneous communication between the Deaf\Hard of Hearing and Hearing.
Best Newcomer: TrustChain (Hungary)
TrustChain builds trust between companies with legally binding digital contracts, right to sign verification, settlement automation.
Best Smart City Solution: Parkl (Hungary)
Parkl modernizes parking with the most advanced smart parking system and digitalizes existing analog parking systems. Parkl makes the process of electric charging easy to use and also allows e-charger owners to conveniently manage their devices on a transparent interface.
Best AI/ Machine Learning Startup: Emplocity (Poland)
Emplocity has created Emplobot, first (and only) AI-powered career assistant designed to search and apply for jobs on behalf of candidates. It is a 24/7, fully integrated recruitment platform that automates sourcing process and uses Chatbot with an advanced NLP engine to gather candidates data.
Best Software Development Partner: Geckodynamics (Poland)
Geckodynamics is a software development company providing a full-service development of SaaS products, web & mobile apps, custom systems and IT solutions. Their mission is not just to deliver what is ordered, but also to advise and search for more optimal solutions for clients.
Investor of the Year: LAUNCHhub (Bulgaria)
LAUNCHub Ventures is an early stage VC fund, investing in the seed space. Their criteria for investing in a company, including initial traction and founding team composition. As a fund, they have a tendency to invest in digital businesses, but prefer to remain sector agnostic.
Best Accelerator or Incubator Program: Techcelerator (Romania)
Techcelerator is a place filled with energy where startups can achieve a rocket speed development by getting knowledge and financial support.
Best Blockchain Startup: Bethereum (Slovakia)
Bethereum is a leading social betting platform supporting Sports, eSports, and skill-based games. It combines Blockchain and gamification to deliver the most intuitive and engaging experience in the market.
Startup of the Year: Druid (Romania)
Druid SA is an artificial intelligence company that develops a “no-code” Chatbot design platform to help any organization plan, develop, and deploy Chatbots.
People’s Choice: Develiot (Bulgaria)
Develiot has a focus on the development of the most practical and optimal industrial-grade devices to gather data, while developing the complete customer journey and the business case for the end-customers.
Congratulations to the winners!