Recently, Berlin hosted nine promising startups from eight countries at the EIT ICT Labs Startup Activation contest and two of them have reason to celebrate! Austrian startup LineMetrics and Bulgarian Transmetrics both won the competition along with 30.000 euros each, to be used for further development.
The EIT ICT Labs is an initiative of the European Union to foster leadership and economic growth by supporting a knowledge and innovation community. Udo Bub, Managing Director of EIT ICT Labs Germany and chair of the jury, was eager to welcome the nine finalists into the community’s network of partners and sees this competition as the starting point of a fruitful cooperation. Over 50 applications from 17 European countries were submitted for the idea contest, with the nine finalist projects being a seemingly good business fit.
Linemetrics thinks big
“We are really proud to have been awarded this prize,” said Wolfgang Hafenscher, CMO and co-founder of LineMetrics. The young Austrian venture was founded in June 2012 with the goal of designing a hardware system for data acquisition and communications in the manufacturing industry.
Hafenscher told inventures.eu that the 30.000-euro award will be put to good use. “The money will help us to grow our team ahead of plan,” which currently consists of a core team of eleven. Also, “it enables us to increase our efforts in executing our content marketing strategy,” he added.
So far, the startup has focused on product development. “The first year of LineMetrics basically consisted in developing our first generation of hardware and software, which naturally consumes many resources (especially if you are a hardware startup),” said Hafenscher. “Market entry was in summer 2013 and we already have revenues. So far, we have worked with approximatelyten customers, which was a limited number in order to enable us to improve our system within tightly controlled conditions.”
However, LineMetrics is already focusing on the future. Their third co-founder, Alex Dopler, joined the startup this October, bringing with him a successful track record in the industry. Also, the team is currently finalising a round of angel investment, the details of which will be announced in the coming weeks. “What currently drives us is the launch of our second generation data-logger box and analytics platform with many major improvements,” said Hafenscher. The first installations will be delivered right before Christmas and a new wireless sensor platform will be launched in late spring.
Transmetrics shifts into gear
Bulgarian Transmetrics is also proud to receive this recognition. “We are thrilled to win the Startup Activation contest by EIT ICT Labs,” said Marketing Manager Tim Koroteev. The early-stage startup brings Big Data and predictive analytics to cargo shipping companies. Their software forecasts shipping volumes for six weeks in advance, thus enabling transportation companies to properly plan capacity and minimise the risk of having either too little or too much cargo.
Transmetrics was founded in March 2013 and for this short amount of time has already collected quite a few distinctions. The Bulgarian team was among the finalists at Pioneers Festival, the Global Webit Congress Startup Challenge, the European Venture Summit, the TechAllStars, the IDCEE Conference and a few other pitching competitions.
Winning the EIT ICT Labs prize of 30.000 euros will give the startup an additional three months of funding. “We will be able to extend our pilot project with some three months now, resulting in an even better product development,” said Asparuh Koev, Transmetrics’ CEO. “Moreover, this additional money will give us more flexibility for a seed round, as now we can raise it a few months later, when we have even more traction with our pilot project,” added Koroteev. The Transmetrics team, made up of seven full-time employees and four part-time workers, is currently focusing its energy on a closed pilot project with three customers, who are said to be all big players in the transportation industry.
In early 2014, after having demonstrated proof of concept, the company will work on creating the product itself. “We will be able to offer our product as an SaaS based on a subscription model, and start generating first revenues,” said Koroteev. “Meanwhile, we have talked to more than 20 large transport companies, which are now interested in buying our solution when it is ready.” declared Koroteev.
Previously, Transmetrics has received pre-seed financing from the LAUNCHub accelerator fund.
Stay tuned to find out what the next year has in store for these two startups.