The 2015 edition of the pan-European startup contest Idea Challenge sees an increase in variety and internationality. The series of events re…
Photo credit: CubeSensors
CubeSensors’ recent success is the proof that despite Celine Dion concerts, Elvis look-alike contests and drunken marriages, good things do happen in Las Vegas every once in a while. Last week, the Ljubljana-based startup won the first prize at TechCrunch’s Hardware Battlefield and went home with a refill of pride, a robot-topped trophy and a 50.000-dollar check. inventures.eu jumped on the happy event to catch up with the team and see what’s been up since the last time we talked.
Launched by Ales Spetic and Marko Mrdjenovic last spring, CubeSensors makes smart devices that help people to understand and monitor their indoor environment. Packed with sensors, the Cube measures, well, pretty much everything that is measurable in a room: temperature, humidity, air quality, light, noise and barometric pressure. Data are gathered and analysed by an app, telling users how to optimise their living or working setting for a better, healthier lifestyle.
What happened in Vegas…
Among hundreds of applicants, CubeSensors made the cut for the inaugural edition of the competition organised by tech news website TechCrunch during the Consumer Electronics Show 2014 (CES) – a.k.a the world’s biggest consumer electronics event, which took place in Las Vegas last week. After four finalists were whittled down from a list of 14 contenders representing 11 countries, the Slovenian cubic invention was eventually declared winner by TC’s staff.
Alja Isakovic, CubeSensors Outreach, told us the team is grateful to the judges and the event’s team for giving them the chance to be part of this year’s CES, as well as for their valuable feedback during the whole process.
“The Hardware Battlefield brought together really exciting startups, so it was a great honour to be selected as the winner,” she said. “It's also a good confirmation that we're on the right track, although we are all very aware that there's still a lot of hard work ahead of us.”
Isakovic added that the team would certainly recommend other startups, which are getting ready to launch, to sign up for upcoming Battlefields and similar competitions. “It's a great way to gain some visibility, great feedback and new connections,” she said.
Since our interview last August, a lot of water has flowed under the bridge. Indeed, the team grabbed the opportunity to be under Vegas’ spotlight last week to announce that their first batch of CubeSensors had just been shipped to customers, who pre-ordered them last year. The team is currently getting ready to launch the API and is working on improving the Cubes based on customer feedback.
Regarding the 50.000-dollar freshly won prize, Isakovic said that the money will mostly be used as working capital to speed up their production, as shipping the Cubes and improving the user experience for their customers is their immediate priority.
“We, of course, also have a lot of big ideas for future development that we'll be working on,” she concluded.
Estonian cloud integration startup Cloutex has recently announced securing an angel investment from Tiit Paananen, Riivo Anton and Gerry Kodres. The amount of funding is 450.000 euros, yet the information about the shares given in exchange has not been disclosed according to the terms of the deal. This is Cloutex’s second investment, the first one taking place last year when they raised 40.000 euros.
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