Regional winners of the 7th season of Central European Startup Awards (CESAwards), the CEE region of Global Startup Awards, the world’s largest independent startup ecosystem competition, have just been announced last night.
In pre-Covid times, the Regional Grand Finale Day had been organized in a different country of the region each year, but due to the pandemic, this year the show was broadcasted online and is available here.
Another novelty about CESAwards is the recent addition of the 3 Baltic countries: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, to the competition, which has been running in 13 countries this season and has been gathering some of the most important startup ecosystem players – investors, startups, corporates, and government representatives selected by the competition from all participating countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia. The announcement of the winners took place in the evening, while the invite-only Ecosystem Summit was organized throughout the day in the avatar based virtual world of VirBELA. The Finalists and different stakeholders also had the chance to book short 1:1 video meetings with each other on the ImpromtMe platform.
From 6807 nominations this year in the 13 participating countries, 1351 have accepted to be the part of the competition in 10 + 1 categories, the plus one being the highest public voted applicant called the “People’s Choice”.
The competition season has been running in a close partnership with SpaceNet and The Department of International Trade UK.
And finally, the winners are:
Best Accelerator/Incubator Program: Startup Wise Guys (Estonia)
Startup Wise Guys is probably Europe’s most international startup accelerator and top 3 in terms of portfolio size. Their unique approach to full time acceleration, 100+ active mentors per batch and a values driven management team has ensured a startup survival rate above 77% since 2012.
Investor of the Year: LAUNCHub Ventures (Bulgaria)
LAUNCHub Ventures is a leading early-stage venture capital fund, investing in technology startups in the Seed and Series A funding stages.
Best Coworking Space: Impact Hub Bucharest (Romania)
Impact Hub Bucharest is a dynamic space where professionals and entrepreneurs work in developing projects and business initiatives. Being the first coworking space in Romania, with a growing community of 2000 members, we are present in 3 central locations in Bucharest.
Ecosystem Hero of the Year: Patrik Juránek (Czechia)
Patrik is a Founder and CEO of Startup Disrupt. He is also a founding member of LXVI Business and Investment company for hyper-growth startups. Before that, Patrik had co-founded Startup Grind Prague, part of the largest community platform for entrepreneurs in the world and built a community of 3000+ members in Prague. In November 2018 he also contributed to the establishment of the Startup Grind chapter for Brno and the Moravian region.
Founder of the Year: Martin Behrens (Austria)
Originally drawn to acting, Martin came to the field of digital design and software engineering and related studies, where he felt comfortable as a digital native. Through relevant project management, he further developed his skills and became a co-founder and CEO of presono, which leads presentations into the 21st century and enables teams and companies to easily create professional presentations and analyse their usage with a total funding of €4.4M. He is also active as a podcaster of an entrepreneur and business show and as a moderator on stages. As a counter balance, he is a passionate triathlete on an ambitious level, up to the Ironman distance.
Best Social Impact Startup: CastPrint (Latvia)
CastPrint is a custom-made, 3D printed cast for various types of fracture injuries. Based on your doctor’s instructions, CastPrint is a lightweight, ventilated and waterproof solution that allows a person to have a comfortable recovery period. CastPrint is made from an environmentally friendly material — biodegradable plastic, which is anti-allergenic and safe for skin contact. CastPrint brings fracture treatment to the 21st century.
Best Fintech Startup: Crassula (Latvia)
Crassula provides a white label core banking platform that allows launching PSPs, NEObanks, Wallets, FX services and other FinTech products in a cloud in days, not months.
Best Virtual Team Word Solution: Bunnyshell (Romania)
Bunnyshell is a DevOps platform as a Service company, whose commercial grade solution enables developers to focus on creating great applications, instead of managing platform and infrastructure operations.
Best Newcomer: Pixofarm (Austria)
Pixofarm is a mobile application that helps apple producers optimize their harvest by measuring and forecasting fruit size and providing reliable data.
Startup of the Year: BOOKR Kids (Hungary)
BOOKR Kids is a unique reading-based edutainment tool, designed to engage and delight the youngest learners in reading. They have just raised €2 million in funding and another €2 million in convertible note to take their English-learning literacy programme BOOKR Class to the global education market, and boost further the company goal of mitigating COVID-19’s impact on education.
People’s Choice: ABC Hub (Slovenia)
Spread across more than 2.000 m² in Ljubljana, the ABC hub offers everything a young company needs for a successful start. They are building a community that, in combination with state-of-the-art infrastructure, offers everything that is needed for growth.
Congratuations to the winners who will be competing against the winners of the other regions of Global Startup Awards in the global level of the competition.