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Posted by on in Startup Corner

In the past hardware startups have struggled when compared to app-based startups, however, the tide is turning as tech portals such as C-Net are pointing out. Venture capital investment in internet-connected hardware devices rising to $1.48 billion last year, a 76 percent increase from 2013.

Austria is no stranger to these developments as the local Austrian tech portal der Brutkasten has showcased. Discover below some of the Austrian hardware startups that left their mark in 2015!

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Posted by on in Noteworthy Information

When was the last time you ate millet?

If you answered never, Austrian scientist Dr. Patricia Bubner wants to change that. Her bold goal looks to "diversify agriculture and our diet by the cultivation and consumption of lesser-known grains such as millets."

The reasoning behind Bubner's activities is a compelling one, as she notes in the "The Millet Project", which is supported by the University of California at Berkeley:

 

Cereal grains go back a long way in human civilization. And what a variety we cultivated! Yet today, corn, wheat and rice comprise at least 89% of worldwide cereal production, in spite of the large variety of cereals traditionally available in different parts of the world. This, in turn, has caused losses in the variety of food and consequently nutrients in our diet, which together have adverse environmental and nutritional impacts.

 

Read more about Patricia's efforts in Salzburger Nachrichten , Kleine Zeitung, Tiroler Tageszeitung, as well as local US press

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Source: harvard.edu

Most cancers in humans are large, complex composition of billion of cells measuring centimeters in diameter. This has left scientists with a dilemma. One the one hand, some models today allow capturing of the spatial aspects of tumors, however they do not capture their genetic changes. Non-spatial models on the other hand, are able to portray a tumors' evolution, but not its three-dimensional structure, and characteristics.

Martin Nowak, Austrian scientist, and Director of the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics and Professor of Mathematics and of Biology at Harvard University, has together with scientists from the University of Edinburgh, and Johns Hopkins University now succeeded in developing the first 3-D model of solid tumors.

This new model reflects both, the three-dimensional shape, and the genetic evolution of cancer tumors. Moreover, the new model explains, why cancer cells have a surprising number of genetic mutations in common, how driver mutations spread through the whole tumor, and how drug resistance evolves. Nowak's model currently only suggests, however, it might soon be able to show how targeting short-range cellular migratory activity could have marked effects on tumor growth rates.

Nowak notes to the Medical Press that "Previously, we and others have mostly used non-spatial models to study cancer evolution. But those models do not describe the spatial characteristics of solid tumors. Now, for the first time, we have a computational model that can do that."

The research findings of Nowak and his colleagues from the University of Edinburgh and Johns Hopkins University have been published in the renowned Nature magazine.

 

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There has been a shift in the fundamentals of how light waves interact. Scientists at the Technical University of Vienna have succeeded in manipulating the scattering of light waves, and have created a new novel design for undistorted light waves.

Until recently, the paradigm within science has been that when a light wave penetrates a material that it is usually changed drastically. In effect, as soon as a light wave hits an obstacle, its constant intensity is immediately destroyed due to scattering.

This fundamental restriction has now been lifted with the most recent research developments from Vienna. Konstantinos Makris and Stefan Rotter from the Technical University of Vienna working together with Ziad Musslimani from Florida State University, as well Demetrios Christodoulides from the University of Central Florida, have been able to calculate and show materials which allow new kind of light waves to not scatter on its surface. Essentially, these specially designed non-hermitian materials remain completely unperturbed (see Fig. 2).

                      

Fig. 1 - A wave penetrates a material: usually this leads to wave interference, to darker and brighter areas. Source: TU Wien

Fig. 2 - Specially designed non-hermitian materials remain completely unperturbed. Source: TU Wien

 

Makris and Rotters research developments are reminiscent of so-called ‘meta materials’, which have a special structure that allows them to diffract light in unusual ways. In effect, these meta materials allow for the light to bend around the object, so that the object becomes invisible.

Makris notes that the “…the material is completely invisible to the wave, even though the light passes through the material and interacts with it.”

Routine fabrication of meta materials is still not in sight, however, the research conducted at TU Vienna, has enabled the advance of invisible meta materials, which will certainly find applications in many industry fields.

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Posted by on in Moves & Milestones

Cruising along America’s shores, and lakes in a boat might be the quintessential American summer experience, however, 17 million recreational boats have taken their ecological toll on the US in the past decades.

In order to counteract these negative externalities, the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory has teamed with marine industry partners such as Bombardier Recreational Products to investigate alternative fuels for recreational marine applications.

Past recommendations would have been to increase ethanol levels in fuel mixes. This advise, however, is ill suited for the recreational marine industry, due to the nature of motor boats, ethanol attracting water, potentially allow surrounding water to enter fuel tanks and affect the engines performance.

Thomas Wallner, Austrian scientist, research engineer, and Principal Investigator at Argonne’s Center for Transportation Research has therefore researched, identified, and advocated for the use of butanol, which unlike ethanol does not attract water, and does not harm the engine.

Wallner stresses that “Butanol at 16 percent blend level works as well as ethanol at 10 percent under tested conditions.” In effect, after years of testing the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) has approved this new butanol fuel, which seeks to substitute the ecologically more harmful 10-15% ethanol fuel blends.

Your guilt free boat cruise can start now!

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Our brain is a high-speed myriad of synapsis, which requires constant stimulated communication in order to overcome obstacles, and challenges.

Austrian scientists alongside their American counterparts have recently highlighted how communications between the control, and fear centers of our brain can help us overcome fear.

Dr. Nicolas Singewald, Head of Neuropharmacology at the University of Innsbruck, and his research highlight how fear can be mitigated, and even extinct. Singewald’s research builds on the notions of Ivan Pavlov, the renowned Russian physiologist who coined the term ‘extinction’, which describes gradual weakening of a conditioned response that results in the behavior decreasing or disappearing.

The research team including University of Innsbruck scientists Christina Brehm, Nicolas Singewald, and Nigel Whittle looked at the communication between the prefrontal cortex (controls the fear in our brains) and amygdala (generates fear in our brain). The activity, and intensity between these two parts determines the rate of fear extinction in them.

With this in mind, the researchers conducted manipulation experiments on mice that measured the extinction rate while the prefrontal cortex-amygdala neural circuit was stimulated. Singewald et al. noticed that a targeted “…stimulation of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC)–amygdala pathway facilitated extinction memory formation” as their findings notes.

This stimulation is done via optogenics i.e. a laser that is able to surgically target the exact prefrontal cortex-amygdala neural circuit. The University of Innsbruck scientists hope that with these new findings they will be able to research which neuro receptors along the prefrontal cortex-amygdala neural circuit would be susceptive to pharmological influence.

In effect, it is not utopian to suggest that fear might be treatable in the near future with targeted medication or therapy, thanks to the research findings of the University of Innsbruck scientists, and their partners.

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Chlamydia is the pathogen that causes one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. Annually, over 100 million people contract the bacterial infection, which in severe cases can lead to blindness and infertility.

 

Human Pap smear showing chlamydial infection. Source: Harvard

 

These symptoms, however, could now become a thing of the past. An international research team led by Dr. Georg Stary from the University Clinic of Dermatology at the Medical University of Vienna have discovered how to stimulate the immune response to Chlamydiae, both efficiently and preventively. In effect, providing a pathway for chlamydia vaccinations.

 

 

The research findings of the team were recently published in Science magazine, the world's leading journal of original scientific research, global news, and commentary. In their research study, Dr. Stary and his team were able to mimic a Chlamydia infection in a mouse, using nanotechnology. They then developed a protective vaccine, which activates two waves of immune cells. Stary points out the importance of their discovery, stating if “the infection is not picked up in the early stages, it can progress into a chronic form and then antibiotics are mostly ineffective."

Vaccinations against chlamydia have been direly requested by the medical world, especially, as “…previous attempts to immunize humans against Chlamydia infections not only failed but, in some cases, even made them more susceptible to infection with Chlamydiae,” Stary notes.

According to MedUni Vienna-Dermatology, the new findings could also lead to the successful development of an effective strategy for vaccinating against other types of mucosal infection.

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Crowdfunding can take ridiculous measures as Kickstarter’s 2014 potato salad campaign demonstrated. However, the necessity, and economic impact of crowdfunding remains undisputed.

The World Bank in its 2013 report highlights the rapid 524% compound annual growth rate for rewards-based crowdfunding between 2009 and 2012. This is due to the fact that crowdfunding remains one of the cheapest and easiest forms of capital formation till date.

Despite the tremendous market and potential of crowdfunding, its success has largely been reserved and focused within North America, the region raising 59% of worldwide capital in 2012.

To foster entrepreneurial growth in Austria, the Austrian Council of Ministers recently approved a new crowdfunding bill, considered to be at the legislative forefront of crowdfunding legislation in Europe. In recent years Austrians have warmed up to the idea of crowdfunding. A 2013 survey show 56% of Austrians surveyed as being positive about crowdfunding and the idea investing small amounts of money into concrete projects in return for interest or revenue shares. 

Reinhold Mitterlehner, Austria’s Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister of Science, Research and Economy, underlined that crowdfunding is considered to be a “meaningful complement to traditional credit financing” and aims to strengthen the entrepreneurial spirit in Austria. Vice Chancellor Mitterlehner believes that crowdfunding platforms provide startups with immediate, “…feedback on their product ideas directly from the market, and that at a very early phase”.

 

 

Austria is ready to embrace this new legislation change with local platforms such as conda.at, 1000x1000.at wemakeit.com and greenrocket.com complementing the international platform leaders; Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

 

 

The following changes have been reflected in the new Austrian crowdfunding law:

 

  • In the future, the obligation to publish a complete capital market prospectus will first apply starting with an issue volume of EUR 5 million. At present this limit is EUR 250,000.
  • The requirement to put together a prospectus for issue volumes between EUR 250,000 and EUR 5 million has also been changed. In the future, only a simplified prospectus (prospectus requirement light) is required for an issue volume of between EUR 1.5 million and EUR 5 million.
  • One investor can invest up to EUR 5,000 per project.
  • This EUR 5,000 limit can be surpassed if the investor earns a net salary of more than EURE 2,500 per month. In this case, the investor is allowed to invest double his net monthly earnings.
  • One option is for investors to invest ten percent of his or her financial assets if this amount exceeds EUR 5,000 
  • Similar to the Consumer Protection Law, investors have the right to withdraw within two weeks.
  • Issuers may not raise more than EUR 5 million in capital over a seven year period, less the amounts already paid back to investors. If this threshold is exceeded, the company is required to issue a capital market prospectus.
  • The investment is made with the issuing SME or via crowdfunding platforms. 

 

Similar legislative initiatives have been conducted on a local level in the US. The District of Columbia amongst others passing a novel legislation change in October 2014. The Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking approving crowdfunding rules that allow entrepreneurs to raise as much as $2 million from city residents and businesses. The maximum amount a funder can invest varies

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Posted by on in Moves & Milestones

 

BRIDGES presents career steps and other outstanding events in the professional lives of Austrian researchers and innovators in the US and Canada.

 

 

Harald C. Ott, M.D. an Austrian researcher and thoracic surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital. Winner of the ASCINA award 2013, he recently became the first scientist to grow the world’s first lab-grown biolimb; a living, functioning, artificial leg that responds to stimuli and even circulates blood.  Regeneration experts say that the tiny pink rat leg is a step toward the future of artificial limbs. Ott is also an assistant professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. 

 



Dr. Alexander Rauscher has been awarded with the highly coveted Canada Research Chair (CRC) Tier II in Developmental Neuroimaging. The CRC award is $500,000 for five years, and can be extended for another five years. With this award comes a faculty position at the Department of Pediatrics and the Child and Family Research Institute at the University of British Columbia, where he is going to continue his research on quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of brain tissue damage due to injury and disease and on methods that are able to measure tissue repair due to treatment. In babies, for instance, such brain mapping techniques will be able to show whether a new treatment is effective, years before a clinical manifestation of treatment success can be detected.

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eGlasses Application - Source: eGlasses

 

A team of the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria was able to secure one of the Google Research Awards 2015, funding their cutting-edge research on smart clothing, and its interoperability with augmented devices.

One of Googles numerous academic outreach programs. Source: Google

 

Google Research Award are granted to top universities around the world in order to support the work of world-class full-time faculty members, and to advance Google’s products and services. In 2015, 808 applications from over 55 countries, and six continents were submitted, but only 112 projects were awarded a one-year Google grant.

 

 

David Lindlbauer and his team in Hagenberg’s Media Interaction Lab have been working on the eGlasses Project which is focused on the development of an open platform of multisensory electronic glasses.

 

eGlasses Logo - Source: eGlasses

 

The project appears to be Austria’s answer to Google Glass, and has raised Google’s interest in the group’s approach to perceptual media. With the 2014 acquisition of Nest, Google is positioned to apply projects such as eGlasses to advance its smart home strategy.

It won’t be long until perceptual media devices will allow us to control smart phones, Google Glass devices, or any other Wi-Fi equipped hardware through smart clothing that has been equipped with conductive fibers. So don’t be surprised if in the future Austrian tech will enable you to control your air conditioning unit via your sweater.

 

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The New York Times has mirrored Forbes, who have called the Pioneers Festival a "smarter SXSW."

 

See the impressions captured by Reuters, and why Austria is on its way to accrue its status as the number one startup destination in Europe! 

 

 

 

NYT Source: http://www.nytimes.com/video/multimedia/100000003708547/startups-look-to-vienna-as-next-big-thing.html

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Austria is ready for change, and ready to embark on its journey to become Europe’s startup nation by 2020, as the Austrian State Secretary Harald Mahrer recently noted in an interview.

To enable favorable conditions for the future entrepreneurs of tomorrow, new talent pipelines need to be set in place, which provide Austria with viable talent. The ECN Network, and its Director Rudolf Dömötör have been on the forefront of these efforts, establishing the Entrepreneurship Avenue amongst others. 

As Austria's largest startup event series for students, it seeks to captivate students for the entrepreneurial lifestyle via four lab sessions and a one-day conference, which tackles basic yet essential questions on how to finance ones startup, up to how to penetrate and disrupt highly regulated industries.

 

 

Georg Fuerlinger, researcher at the Austrian Institute of Technology, and regular speaker at the OSTA/ABA Austrian Startup and Innovation Scene events in the USA, participated in this years Entrepreneurship Avenue, which he sees essential to Austria, "...unlocking its potential for innovation."

As a featured mentor he was able to pass on his advice to the eclectic startups, and students that participated. The labs and the conference, which drew over 750 students were hosted on the new futuristic campus of the Vienna Business University.

 

Fuerlinger applauded the interdisciplinary approach of the Entrepreneurship Avenue, which underlined that the startup arena is not only reserved to business or management students. Instead the translation of research to the market place is an essential one, which can be facilitated thanks to 3D-printing for example, a realm that was highlighted in one of the numerous Entrepreneurship Avenue conference workshops. 

To keep with the career focused outlook of the conference, JobSwipr, a joint Technical University Vienna-Vienna Business University team went on to win the pitch award with their mobile job search application/platform. The viability of product was recently underlined again when the team won the Future Founder Challenge commissioned by the Austrian Rudolf Sallinger Foundation

 

 

Austria's entrepreneurial effort shave not gone unrecognized, as the US Ambassador joined the Austrian State Secretary Harald Mahrer in greeting the young innovation students of tomorrow.

 

The ongoing international Pioneers Festival will set the stage for market ready startups, and could very well be the center stage for many of the young students that will decide to travel down the their very own 'Entrepreneurship Avenue' in the future. 

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Posted by on in Moves & Milestones

 

Snapchat, the video messaging app of millennials? Think again!

Doctors today use WhatsApp, and Snapchat to share pictures, and medical information with each other in hospitals. This fun Challenge Festival trivia told by the the Irish startup Medxnote might have caused chuckles yesterday, however, underlines the larger dichotomy between digitalization, and healthcare, that was stressed throughout day three of the 1776 Challenge Festival, which highlighted the health sector its national, as well global challenges.

 

Medxnote looks to create a safe, secure app that will allow doctors to exchange information in a much more simple, yet effective manner. Source: Medxnote

Digital solutions such as provided by Medxnote highlight the larger trends in healthcare, which are looking to marry data and devices. Successful cross-pollination even has the capacity to increase revenue, and decrease work for doctors. A good example being the DC-based startup Babyscripts, a prenatal focused startup, which via wireless hardware captures weight, blood pressure, and app data, which is communicated to doctors, and consequently allows providers to appropriately tailor the way they deliver care to each of their patients’ specific needs. 

 

Babyscripts wireless hardware, which is sent to expecting mothers. Source: Babyscripts 

The take-away of the day were bold, candid, and straight-forward: healthcare will become personalized, it will become digitalized, however, we need to make sure that this added value is shared with all patients alike. With this in mind 1776 choose two healthcare finalists, which both equally showed a strong social impact, paired with a scalable, and sustainable revenue model. 

 

 

 

The winners...via 1776

 

Unima — Unima is a biotechnology startup that developed a fast and low cost diagnostics technology that allows health data collection globally and analytics in real time. Mexico City, Mexico

 

ReliefWatch — ReliefWatch is an inventory management platform targeted at multinational non-governmental organizations operating health clinics in developing countries. Chicago, Illinois

 

 

 

Quote of the Day

 

"The killer app in fighting Ebola was human beings." Ronald Klain, Ebola Response Coordinator for the Executive Office of the President.

 

Tweet of the Day

 

The Ambassador of Australia to the U.S. personally welcomed the two Australian entrepreneurs competing at the Challenge Festival.

 

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Posted by on in Startup Corner

Chances are, you are throwing money out of the window, no really you are! 

The second day of the 1776 Challenge Festival devoted itself to energy, and the deficiencies that persist, and the solutions we need to "power" the future with. Within these discussions the flawed domestic household played a central role. From the cracks in our windows to the rigid heaters in our buildings, despite our testimony to being sustainable, our households are far from being so, building and apartments still being unable to adapt and learn our energy needs and behaviors. 

In effect, it does not come as a surprise that one of the two winners of the Energy semi-finals, Radiator Labs tackles old, wasteful buildings and, via a unique patent-pending product offering, improves their heating efficiencies up to LEED standard levels. 

 

The Cozy shell that promises to end inefficient radiators. Source: Cozy

 

Startups like these are part of a larger process in which entrepreneurs are looking to shift consume behavior, as Philips, one of the main sponsors of the Challenge Festival has noted.

 

 

This shift will come in gradual increments as more household products move towards becoming sustainable, and versatile agents. One of these items is MIITO, a sustainable alternative to the electric kettle. The demand for these energy efficient items is underlined by the $100,000+ funding MIITO was able to generate within the first twelve hours on Kickstarter.

This demand is in part fueled by the fact that, "....smart meters and smart rates [are] being deployed nationwide [which] give[s] customers more options" as Brian Wolff, Vice President of Public Policy and External Affairs, at Edison Electric Institute notes. With more dashboards at out disposals users are realizing the sheer energy wasted on households items such as electric kettles. Nils Chudy, co-founder of MIITO notes that, "...the amount of energy wasted on electrical kettles in the UK on a daily basis, is enough to power all of its street lights!"

 

MIITO, innovative induction plate "kettle." Source: Kickstarter

 

Unlike MIITO or Radiant Labs, Base Trace is looking to the source of energy to revolutionize the way energy is generated, and monitored. Ever since Fukushima, the nuclear industry has lost a key resource, namely trust. Base Trace is rebuilding this trust, by providing "tools for trust", which trace industrial fluids, how they move, where they come from, and where they are going. "Tracing these fluids is a key element for everything from environmental monitoring to optimizing existing processes" as Base Trace notes. In essence, nuclear and energy companies will be able to detect, and monitor leaks, earlier, better, and in a digital manner, which will bolster transparency for companies, and the civil sector alike. 

  

 

Base Trace as a result joined Radiation Labs as the second winner of the Energy semi-finals at the 1776 Challenge Festival. Both will compete along side the education, healthcare, and smart city finalists on Saturday for a share of the $650,000 Challenge Festival pot, which will be distributed as funding to the startups. 

Be sure to check back for more Challenge Festival news, as well as post-coverage of the Challenge Festival, which will look at the bigger picture when it comes to transatlantic entrepreneurial cooperation, and the innovation being born out of Austria.

 

Quote of the Day

 

"Running your properties smartly is now the rule" Patrick J. Tyrrell, CEO of Vornado

 

Tweet of the Day

 

The 1776 Challenge Festival is creating national ripple effects, however, is DC the 'East Coast Silicon Valley'? Donna Harris, co-founder of 1776 answers on the Kojo Ndami Show.

 

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Posted by on in Startup Corner

Its not everyday, and anywhere that you are promised to “...watch an awesome cartoon then when you're done you have a superfast brain."

The annual 1776 Challenge Festival, however, is one of those places.

Drawing in startups from all around the world, the Challenge Festival is the final culmination of the Challenge Cup, a 16-city, 11-country international pitch competition, which identifies the most promising, and stellar startups in education, energy & sustainability, health and transportation & cities.

Having traveled the world, 1776 has assembled some of the best, and young entrepreneurs, who promise nothing less than for example to hack your brain, and revolutionize, and gamify the way your brain learns. Meet B-Genius from Bangalore, India, which wants to use cartoons amongst others, to give you a superfast brain!

Trina Das, CEO of B-Genius. Source: 1776

The topic of education launched the first day of the Challenge Festival, and saw amongst others the recurring topic of exorbitant tuition fees being emphasized. Hours of policy wonk exchange revealed that while higher education might not yet be predestined for the dustbins of history, it must undergo serious scrutiny and review, in order to compete with, and address the real educational demands of the 21st Century. As a result modern proprietary school such as General Assembly will continue to serve as an alternative to young educated millenials.

To address these, and other educational demands twenty international startups got their minute of fame, as they delivered their elevator pitches in front of a packed crowd, and esteemed jury.

In true startup fashion, the jury decided to deviate from the classic setup, which sees each day of the Challenge Festival feature an industry-specifc semifinal that identifies two startups per industry to advance to Saturday’s Global Finals. Instead three startups got to advance to the finals, which is a testimony to the “really strong educational field of this year” as Evan Burfield, co-founder of 1776 underlined.

Read Morgan Gress, Editor at 1776 announce the three Eduction winners of Mondays Challenge Festival Education Semifinal:

Congratulations to today’s THREE education winners! It was such a tough decision the judges couldn’t just choose just two. Meet the three headed to Saturday’s Global Finals below.

 

LearnLux — LearnLux creates online learning tools to teach people personal finance when they need it most. The company allows companies to empower their employees to become financially autonomous by giving them the skills and knowledge they need to make the best financial decisions. Boston, Massachusetts

 

Cognotion — Cognotion identifies talent, delivers functional utilization of knowledge, and decreases employee churn rate using gaming and video tools designed for entry-level millennials. They use emotion and context to teach hard and soft skills to entry level employees. New York, New York

 

Handsfree Learning — Handsfree helps students, teachers & institutions in learn-by-doing disciplines by supporting instruction, practice, assessment & feedback. By applying a range of hardware and software solutions to the process of technical skills acquisition, the Handsfree platform expands possibilities in subjects like dentistry, medicine, culinary arts, fine arts, cosmetology, and lab sciences. San Francisco, California

 

Check back for more Challenge Festival news, as well as post-coverage of the Challenge Festival, which will look at the bigger picture when it comes to transatlantic entrepreneurial cooperation, and the innovation being born out of Austria.

 

Quote of the Day

 

"You watch an awesome cartoon then when you're done you have a superfast brain."

Trina Das, CEO of B-Genius outlining her use case scenario.

 

Tweet of the Day

 

@angiejusino captured the great pitch humor of @PermissionClick, which generated the loudest laughs of the night.

 

1776 Takeaway of the Day

 

Whether at the Challenge Festival or not, keep in mind these seven factors that define the success or failure of your potential six-figure pitch! Donna Harris & Evan Burfield, co-founders of 1776 outline the magic that needs to happen for startups to walk away with the bulk share of an $650,000 investment pot for example, which will be distributed at this years Challenge Festival.

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indoo.rs  Logo. Source: indoo.rs

Maps have been at the focal point of history since mankind acquired motoric skills. Visionaries like Vasco De Gama travelled the world seas with them, and the travellers of the 21st century equally rely on them. The nature and platform of maps have changed as smartphones today have become ubiquitous. In effect, we fret when we are not able to go online, and navigate our surroundings. 

Indoo.rs, an Austrian startup founded back in 2010 decided to account for these nuisances by striving to become nothing less than the indoor positioning and navigation technology leader in the US!

indoo.rs technology in action. Source: TNW

The startup which moved to the Bay Area in April 2014 strongly believes localization inside buildings (In-Location) to be the, “…next evolutionary milestone for the positioning and navigation industry.” As a result indoo.rs is working hard to get indoor location-based services available on every device.

Its innovative software is currently tested at San Francisco Airport (SFO), aiming to make life easier for the millions of passengers who pass through San Francisco International Airport (SFO) every year! The prototype smartphone application it revealed at SFO helps visually impaired passengers navigate Terminal 2.

indoo.rs SFO Project. Source: indoo.rs 

This is made possible due to indoo.rs innovative positioning algorithms, Bluetooth low-energy beacons, Wi-Fi access points and a mobile app, which helps guide passengers. In addition, routing-by-voice is available through the use of the smart phone’s accessibility feature. Watch the SFO app for visually impaired in action to find out more.

The press has deemed indoo.rs a pioneer in the indoor mapping field, since it has added, “…a level of fidelity to navigation that a blind passenger might never have had otherwise.”

The contemporary element of indoor maps was recently underscored when Apple introduced its new indoor positioning functionality. Businesses who wish to use the new feature, however, need to be accessible to the general public, and have annual visitors in excess of 1 million. Additional corporations such as Google and Nokia have also released similar indoors-positioning tools.

indoo.rs supports Apple's new development platform for indoor maps: iBeacon. Source: indoor.rs

Indoo.rs has embraced the ascent of these new players in the indoor mapping arena, as it recently announced its support for Apple’s iBeacon platform, which gives, “iOS apps the ability to determine its proximity to iBeacon-enabled hardware with Core Location APIs.”

The ascent of indoo.rs has just begun. After its initial pilot project success in California, the Austrian startup has now also equipped the international Amsterdam Airport Schipol with its technology. The exclusive cooperation with KLM can be viewed here.

Be sure to keep an eye on indoo.rs, the Austrian startup might soon be guiding you to your next gate, restaurant, or restroom.

 

 

 

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People in the Spotlight: Austrian Scientist of the Year 2014, Space Scientist Wolfgang Baumjohann

Space: the final frontier!

In science fiction mankind has been travelling and exploring the stars for decades. Something that has yet to be achieved in real life. Nevertheless scientists keep on reaching for this goal, pushing the boundaries of exploration. They are driven by the wish to find out how the universe works and intend to increase our understanding of the great unknown. One of these scientists is Wolfgang Baumjohann, director and professor at the Space Research Institute of the Austrian Academy of Science, who has been named Austrian Scientist of the Year 2014 this January.

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Apply for this year’s ASciNA Awards by May 15, 2015. The awards are granted each year by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy to young aspiring Austrian scientists, who have excelled in their field of interest over the past year in North America.

Three prizes will be awarded by ASciNA: The ‘Junior Pl Award’ for junior faculty without tenure (€ 10,000.--) and two “Young Scientists Awards” for postdocs (€ 7,500.—respectively).

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Train Your Pitch Days NYC - OSTA Breakfast Session

From March 11-13, seven Austrian startups descended upon New York City to take on the bustling hub of Sillicon Alley, to explore the tech community that has raked in over $4.12bn in 2014, according to the National Venture Capitals Association.

The startups visited under the auspice of the 'Train Your Pitch' days program, an initiative launched by the Austrian Chamber of Commerce, and supported by the Office of Science & Technology Austria, Washington DC.

Upon arrival, the startups were immediately given the full Techstars treatment, the mentorship-driven startup accelerator dissecting the individual startup decks, and advising the founders on how to best portray, outline, and advance their business in the US. Since a good product never sells itself, the startups were later briefed by David Simpson, partner of KitchenNY, and serial entrepreneur Borahm Cho, founder of Kitchen Surfing on how to compile a narrative, and brand that will resonate with Americans. Both speakers outlined their experience in launching and often re-launching startups.

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