HomeFundingIntroducing Zario: The winner of the EU-Startups Summit 2023 Pitch Competition!

Introducing Zario: The winner of the EU-Startups Summit 2023 Pitch Competition!

And just like that, the EU-Startups Summit has wrapped up for another year! We really enjoyed sharing two days of networking, inspiration and learning with all of you and can’t wait to do it all again next year!

Over 2,000 attendees came together to connect in Barcelona and we had some incredibly insightful talks on our workshop stage, inspiring keynotes on the main stage, and of course – our electrifying Pitch Competition! Thank you so much to everyone who joined us in sunny Barcelona!

At this year’s Pitch Competition we welcomed 14 of Europe’s most exciting early-stage startups on to the main stage to battle it out for a prize package worth €160k. Prior to the event we had narrowed down the 14 finalists from a monumental 1,300 applications.

The Prize Package

This year’s prize package was incredible! With a total value of over €160k, it included everything on a startup’s wishlist to kickstart a skyrocketing future:

  • €50k investment proposal by APX (after a quick due diligence process). APX is Europe’s leading earliest-stage VC, backed by Axel Springer and Porsche, and supports and partners with the most ambitious pre-seed startups from Europe and beyond – often as their first investor.
  • €50k funding opportunity with Look AI Ventures: The finalist gets fast-tracked and invited to pitch directly in front of Look AI Ventures‘ investment committee. After standard due diligence and the green light from the committee, there will be a funding opportunity of €50k (potentially up to €250k).
  • €36k of Scaleway cloud credits as part of their Growth Stage Startup Program. The Scaleway cloud credits will be given in 12 x €3k monthly instalments.
  • €9.9k in credits for an explainer video maker account of simpleshow. This enterprise license corresponds to 1 year and includes up to 5 users, and it contains all customization features and access to all the assets on the platform.
  • 1 year of Pipedrive (Sales CRM) – professional package of Pipedrive for 10 team members (value: ~€6k).
  • €3k in credits for the cloud communications platform Vonage, which allows startups to integrate voice, video and messaging into their applications.
  • 3 year CLUB membership and an exhibition table at the EU-Startups Summit 2023, including 3 event tickets (total package value: ~€5k)
  • 1 year Guru Plan for SEMrush worth €2.2k, which gives you access to their SEO and online visibility management SaaS platform.

Pitching on the main stage

The 14 finalists represented different verticals from across Europe’s startup ecosystem – from foodtech to healthtech to greentech and everything in between. We also had representation from across the continent. The finalists who joined us on the main stage were: Bumpy, Deep Talk, Carbon Glance, Fingreen AI, ADix, InsightHack, Legit.Health, Ochy, Zario, Bayfikr, Recloud, Spatialise, Twinical and Machineric.

During the pitches, it’s fair to say we were all on the edge of our seats and with such hot competition our expert jury had a hard time choosing the winning startup – it wasn’t just the Barcelona sun heating things up at this year’s Summit! Our investor panel consisted of Henric Hungerhoff (APX), Borja Breña (Nauta Capital), and Veronika Argust (Look AI Ventures).

And the winner is..!

Taking the prestigious title of Pitch Competition Champion, this year’s winner is Zario!

Founded in 2021, the Swiss startup Zario is a digital wellbeing app that helps people develop a healthier relationship with their phone. It gamifies screen time reduction and uses innovative features grounded in psychology research, designed to gradually reduce screen time and promote digital wellbeing. Zario provides the tools, and healthy habitual alternatives to “mindless scrolling” and gives us control on how much time we want to spend on any given platform. Zario is the first global app to help people live more digitally balanced lives. They use the latest psychology research to create engaging challenges in the real world to help reduce and replace unhealthy screen time consumption. Although the smartphone is one of the best tools of human creation and interaction, the way and purpose of using it needs to be refocused.

Zario helps you improve your habits by at least 1% each day, which means a 100% change in 70 days. At Zario they always prioritize your privacy and your data remains yours. According to the founding team, all challenges are completed offline and Zario will never sell your data.

Zario founder Killian Fjellbakk Chiao made an incredibly compelling pitch on the day, and given the win-win-win dynamic to their offering, they made for worthy winners of this year’s contest, and we are very excited to see how they will grow and scale over the next year. The Zario team will now be able to use their generous prize package to scale their vision of helping to reduce and replace unhealthy screen time consumption.

We want to send a huge “well done” to all the participants of this year’s Pitch Competition – it really was a nail-biting affair. To make it to the final 14 out of so many applications is itself an incredible achievement. 

You think your startup has what it takes? Keep an eye out for our 2024 edition on May 9-10 in Malta!

Our Event Sponsors

Silicon Castles is a Tech Company Builder and Strategic Business Accelerator for technology, intellectual property and licensing businesses, located in Salzburg, Austria. The focus is on European Diamonds: technology startups with a unique business idea, scalable technology and outstanding intellectual property. Silicon Castles also organizes the Startup Executive Academy (SEA), an international Go-to-Market program for founders and executives of early-stage startups, taking place annually since 2017.

Vanta is the easy way to achieve compliance certifications such as SOC 2, ISO 27001, and more. Over 4000 fast-growing companies trust Vanta to automate their security monitoring and get ready for compliance audits in weeks instead of months. Simply connect your tools to Vanta, fix the gaps on your customised dashboard, and then work with a Vanta-trained auditor to complete your certification. And for a limited time, EU-Startups readers and attendees of the EU-Startups Summit will get $1,000 off Vanta. Just go to vanta.com/eustartups to get started.

EPAM is the foremost global digital transformation services provider – leading the industry in digital and physical product development and digital platform engineering services. Through its innovative strategy; integrated advisory, consulting, and design capabilities; and unique ‘Engineering DNA,’ EPAM’s globally deployed hybrid teams help make the future real for clients and communities around the world by powering better enterprise, education and health platforms that connect people, optimize experiences, and improve people’s lives.

Airwallex is a global payments and financial platform for modern businesses. It removes the unnecessary friction and cost inherent in the traditional financial system to help entrepreneurs achieve their global ambitions. Leading companies around the world trust Airwallex to manage everything from payments, treasury, and spend to embedded finance — all in one single platform. With an international footprint across the Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America, Airwallex connects entrepreneurs, business builders and creators with opportunities in every corner of the world, and empowers them to grow without borders.

Italdesign is a state-of-the-art customer-centric, method-based company serving both traditional OEMs and newcomers in mobility, product and transportation design worldwide. It’s capable of influencing market changes with innovative designs and technologies and serves as a hub able to interconnect different sectors and expertise and integrate advanced technologies and services thanks to its technical and strategic partnerships. The 1000+ Italdesign professionals are providing an integrated set of methods, techniques and tooling aiming to the industrialization of new products, while providing services for every phase, from the initial idea to series production, including the turnkey process.

ACCIÓ – Catalonia Trade & Investment is the Catalan Government’s agency that works to attract foreign investment to Catalonia, promoting the region as attractive, innovative and competitive business location for startups. Check out their offerings and the Catalonia Startup Directory.

Thomas Ohr
Thomas Ohr
Thomas Ohr is the "Editor in Chief" of EU-Startups.com and started the blog in October 2010. He is excited about Europe's future, passionate about new business ideas and lives in Barcelona (Spain).

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