Sunday, March 2, 2014

UniCredit launches StartLab: EUR 250,000 for Innovative Startups

Milan, 26 February 2014 - UniCredit announced some day ago the launch of Unicredit StartLab its brand-new platform featuring training, coaching, incubation services, financial resources and physical spaces, developed to support startups, innovation and new technologies.

The platform will select the most innovative startups through a rigorous process of scouting and evaluation supported by committees made up of entrepreneurs, investors, professionals, managers and technicians. The selected startups will have access to training courses, business mentorship, incubation services and the possibility to arrange meetings with entrepreneurs and investors for commercial or investment purposes. Young Innovators and entrepreneurs (web-preneurs) can submit their applications through the portal

Unicredit StartLab also provides the possibility of co-investments by UniCredit of up to EUR 250,000 for startups, alongside some of the best Italian startups accelerator such as H-Farm, M31, LVenture Group, TTVenture, Digital Magics and Como Next
In the case of Digital Magics, it will submit UniCredit innovative startups that offer content and services with high-growth potential as well as high technology valueBest business ideas may be eligible to receive an investment up to EUR 250,000 by UniCredit together with Digital MagicsWith this agreement, UniCredit enters Digital Magics Angel Network: the network made up by over 100 private investors, institutional funds and industrial partners, that supports the incubator in selecting, mentoring and co-investing in the most interesting projects. UniCredit will then in turn submit new projects and digital initiatives to be incubated within Digital Magics and 56CUBE, the investment and incubator vehicle for Southern Italy.

UniCredit also makes available, to the best startups in the financial sector, the FinTech Accelerator, located in Corso Sempione 30 in Milan, where until a few months ago there was an UniCredit agency, in a few weeks will arise the FinTech accelerator space: instead of cash registers and safes, space will be made to startuppers and new technologies applied to finance. The FinTech accelerator is a business accelerator that will give selected startups the opportunity to benefit from a grant of EUR 10,000.

During the presentation of the incubator to the public, five startups have made ​​a presentation and were voted on by the audience. The winners got the entry into Unicredit StartLab

The startups incubated by Unicredit StartLab are the following:

Beast technologies (ICT - sensor based systems to improve training performance) brings the technological know-how of Aerospace Engineering into the fitness space, giving rise to an innovative wearable device for improving gym training. The prototype is called Beast, a wireless sensor able to measure and display in real time on smartphones the own performance of gym training based on parameters such as strength, power and speed. It magnetically connects the sensor to the body, the weight to be lifted or the machine to be used in the gym, then you start training and performance is displayed in real time on your smartphone. 
The target markets are athletes and high-level professionals (national or professional teams in the maximum categories). In April 2014 a first version of the product will be released to a first "important" Italian customer, namely FIGC the Italian Soccer Game Federation who will use it at the World Cup in Brazil.

GlassUp, the interactive glasses made ​​in Italy, have a shape more similar to traditional glasses but are mostly proposed as a second screen for your mobile device. Indeed, they are not designed for the production of information, to take pics or make videos, but only to receive the content already present on your mobile device. Just connecting them to a Bluetooth smartphone or iOS, Android and  - in the near future - also Windows Phone tablets you will be able to bring up a graphic of green color on the right lens that displays text and icons. To manage everything there is a processor that controls the eyewear's on-board electronics, while eyeglass temples offer a touch surface to interact with devices without extracting them from the pockets. Numerous sensors such as accelerometer, compass and ambient light sensor are present on GlassUp. The secret of GlassUp is the optical system positioned inside the earpiece of the glasses that with a game of filters and mirrors reflects images on the right lens of the eye that remains therefore transparent. So, while you are talking with someone, you can read a message without moving your eyes. Once worn you can see received emails, messages, Tweets, as well as latest current affairs or finance news. The use cases are endless thanks to the APPs which will gradually be realized. Sport use is also possible, with statistics projected during the workout and thanks to the GPS smartphone you can see the path directions without ever taking your eyes off the road. The GlassUp can also interface with the intranet of museums, cinemas or businesses. So, for example, just go to a show to see the captions on your lenses, read the subtitles while watching a movie or know information about the logistics in a warehouse.

Scontoflash (ICT) allows you to manage sales promotions directly from Facebook through flash sales. The seller registered to the platform, in three simple steps can create its own flash sales by connecting the app Scontoflash to the page that he wants to sell from, creating its own flash sales (description, photo, price, quantity and discount) and can then share it on the bulletin board. Once published, bids may be shared on the Facebook page of Zing and relaunched by the portal to get even more visibility. The tenders will be purchased from smartphones and tablets. Opening a store with Scontoflash the seller has a dedicated mobile application available: to purchase it will be sufficient for the buyers to have installed Facebook on their mobile devices. It also comes at seller an advanced system for analyzing sales statistics in real time thanks to an analytics system that tracks in detail the status of the offers and makes free use of aggregate information about customers and their buying habits.

Drexcode (whose website will be available by the end March 2014) will be launched in Italy, France and Belgium, offering an online service luxury fashion rental: female customers can rent the clothes from the latest collections of the most famous designers, to solve the eternal problem of female dress code in special occasions (gala ceremonies, cocktails etc.). Drexcode buy clothes from the latest collections, renting them "in season"; at the end of the season the clothes will be sold off to empty the warehouse in view of the arrivals of the new season. Drexcode will operate through its web portal, but not only. It will be offered as a service directly to those locations/occasions where the issue of the dress code is particularly felt (5 star hotels, luxury travels, gala events, elegant ceremonies). Drexcode will be promoted with techniques of SEM and social PR activities aimed at feeding the word of mouth.

Neuron Guard (Life Science). Neuron Guard is an integrated system for the protection of patients undergoing cerebral neuronal damages caused by cardiac arrest, severe head traumas and strokes, based on controlled therapeutic hypothermia and halogenated anesthetics. Hypothermia has shown a positive effect on the speed with which these lesions are established: temperatures between 32°C and 34°C allow to significantly reduce the extent of the area of neuronal death. The deep sedation is an additional therapeutic measure aimed at curbing the expansion of brain damages because it helps to restore metabolic balance subverted by the adversely affecting event. Neuron Guard has developed a suite of products to offer these therapies already on the site of the event: a cooling collar and an innovative administration system. The premature and combined application of these therapies allows you to maximize the clinical efficacy with positive effects both for the patient, in terms of survival and quality of life, both for service network, with significant reduction of the resources needed to care for people affected by acute cerebral damage

Other startups that presented their innovations are the following:

GPS Easyboat (Clean Tech), has developed a novel technique to assemble small boats declined in two categories: Folding and Modular. Easily removable by hand in few minutes with no tools and inflating, they are easy to be carried in your suitcase (flat pack) without the need for expensive trolleys or luggage racks. They are unsinkable and CE certified by the Italian Shipping Register (RINA). Dedicated to Fishing and Leisure (camper), they have numerous accessories specifically designed  for these sectors. They gather in a single product the qualities of the space of fixed and rigid boats for stability and strength of the "ribs", allowing all those who live far away from rivers, lakes and sea ​​to solve the problem of transport and winter storage. The used technology is that for ultra modern boats: technical, canvassed and coated 900gr/mq fabric, anti-UV and varnished, which fits on an anodized anticorodal aluminum frame and a sturdy floor in multilayered marine plywood okoumè; are boats also equipped with a "v" keel for water endurance, and can be equipped with electric motors or internal combustion engines.

Biotechware: the top product of the Turin-based life sience startups is called CardioPad PRO and is an electrocardiograph portable device designed for professional use with a fully touchscreen interface that guides you step by step and gives suggestions for the conduct of the examination, Bluetooth 4.0 and 3G/WIFI connectivity for the distance transmission. 
CardioPad PRO intelligently manages all the particular configurations for the connection with the Internet network and also with third party sensors, allowing the operator to focus on the execution of the examination. The device is integrated into the CLOUD platform of Biotechware, which allows secure access via a simple internet browser to the data recorded by the devices both to the doctor, to make its assessments, as well as to the patient in order to collect anamnestic information. With this platform, you can take the exam in full mobility and then view/report the different transmissions, through the use of a PC or a tablet. The platform integrates with existing medical systems through appropriate standard interfaces, allowing you to select the master data and easily integrate with existing systems already in use.

Adaptica (Life Science), is a specialized adaptive optics: it produces, designs and markets innovative optical tools, controlled by microcomputer, which treat and "fit" in different light beams. The developed technology consists of mirrors able to deform and move to improve/increase the performance. 
The first product is Adaptica 2WIN, a portable ophthalmic refractometer which apparently looks like a photo camera, it really allows you to measure with high precision the major visual defects (myopia, farsightedness, astigmatism, strabismus, and others) by simply framing for a few seconds away.

ZehusThe first product of the company to reach the market, Bike+ is a new concept of bike integrating a sophisticated technology that optimizes the energy of the rider. Through an advanced energy management system, Bike+ is able to automatically provide assistance and to recover energy, such in a way that will never be necessary to recharge it. Bike+ is the first bike that takes the maximum advantage from your body and makes it more efficient than ever.  It is an intelligent all-in-the-wheel system, completely stand-alone (that contains all the components of assisted ride in a case located in the back hub), and with minimal impact on the bike and its daily use, but easy to manage via Bluetooth with your smartphone. The hub of Bike+ contains the electric motor (brushless, 250W, rated voltage 24V), the battery (Li-ion, 8 cells in series, 160Wh), and the ECU (including two microcontrollers, a tri-axial accelerometer to estimate slope, a linear CAN-bus and a  Bluetooth module). 
The speed sensor is integrated in the pedaling freewheel mechanism. The visualization display and remote control (HMI) is made via a smartphone app, allowing the rider to easily monitor the energy flows, instantaneous power and assistance of the engine and set some basic parameters of the system.

iCub: the iCub is the humanoid robot developed at IIT - the talian Institute of Technology - as part of the EU project RobotCub and subsequently adopted by more than 20 laboratories worldwide. It is 104 cm tall and weighs 25 kg and has 53 motors that move the head, arms & hands, waist, and legs. It can see and hear, it has the sense of proprioception (body configuration) and movement (using accelerometers and gyroscopes). Engineers are working to improve on this in order to give the iCub the sense of touch and to grade how much force it exerts on the environment. iCub experiences the world around him and learns from mistakes, just like a human being. Unlike the old approach to artificial intelligence, which was kind of symbolic, with iCub is emphasized the importance of physicality: the fact that he has a hand allows him to act, must use the body and make mistakes as humans. iCub perceives contact with the human, because it has the skin of the fingertips covered with tactile sensors. The goal of researchers is to bring the iCub (company) in the house of the people. The robot will become a part of our daily habits: assist the elderly and will do the housework. To teach him to wipe you simply need to download a dedicated app. To teach him how to play the guitar simply download another app, and so on. Today, an iCub costs EUR 250,000. The idea is to get to produce household iCub in series, costing little more than a modern washing machine to buy in installments.