The Gerard & Anton Awards is the annual election of the 10 most promising start-ups in the Brainport Eindhoven region. During the sold-out event at the High Tech Campus, winners 81 through 90 received awards. In the coming days, we will publish extensive interviews with each of them on Innovation Origins, but here are the reasons why the jury chose these start-ups:
VivArt-X develops synthetic support material for specific cellular therapies. The company aims to revolutionize reconstructive breast surgery for women with breast tissue removed after being diagnosed with breast cancer. This is a great need, as about 50% of the 2.3 million breast cancer patients worldwide need cancer tissue removal and reconstructive breast surgery. Dan Jing Wu is the CEO and co-founder of VivArt-X. Her big goal: Regenerative material solutions for women’s health, with an initial focus on breast tissue regeneration, but eventually many other applications.
Microelectronic parts are getting smaller and smaller and are being placed closer together, often in complex, layered structures. Connecting these parts electronically is becoming increasingly challenging, and increasing miniaturization and integrated electronics demand improved performance and functionality. Traditional manufacturing techniques bump up against their limits, but with its Impulse Printing Technology solution (an additive process), Fonontech aims to break through this barrier. FononTech says the ecological impact of microelectronics manufacturing can be reduced by 1,000 with its new technology. Fonontech recently raised 2.3 million.
With their knowledge of the technical aspects of energy infrastructure, they realized at Tibo Energy that addressing grid congestion was crucial not only for a successful transition to renewable energy but also for stimulating growth and innovation. By addressing grid bottlenecks, Tibo aims to not only contribute to the environment but also create favorable conditions in which energy-intensive businesses can thrive and expand without the constraints of congestion. Specifically, Tibo not only works to combat grid congestion but also to control contract limits, reduce carbon emissions, and lower energy costs. Who wouldn’t want that?
Although the list of clients is already impressive and the number of employees exceeds two dozen, Neople is still in its first year. Founded in 2023! Starting with providing advice on how to use AI for businesses, the concept quickly evolved into providing the AI itself. Co-founder Hans de Penning commented, “At that point, we realized: practice what you preach!” Since then, Neople no longer explains how artificial intelligence can benefit a company but implements the system itself. Thus, Neople was born, the virtual colleague who can help staff with any question. Neople (yes, this is plural of neople) are designed to work harmoniously with your team, as any good colleague would. We’re all full of AI these days, but Hans and his co-founders are also showing that it works.
GrAI Matter Labs
GrAI Matter Labs is at the heart of where it’s all happening now. Artificial intelligence, but with its own specific edge. “Life-Ready AI,” the company calls it. What that is? Brain-inspired chips that behave exactly as humans do themselves. An AI that lets devices help people act and react in real-time. An AI that enhances the human experience while maximizing efficiency, saving time, money, and vital natural resources. This Eindhoven, Silicon Valley, and Paris-based company wants to build a world where AI supports consumer electronics, robots, drones, autonomous vehicles, augmented reality glasses, surveillance cameras “and more” to make us more productive. Their first product? Karaoke from your own Spotify list.
ANTENNEX, a spin-off of TU Eindhoven’s antenna measurement group, measures antennas that previously could never be measured. And that was much needed because it sounds very paradoxical, but antenna companies are generally very good at making antennas but not good at measuring them. In recent years, the group received more and more requests from large companies to measure their antenna systems, and so it made sense to create a real company. That happened in May 2021. Virtually no one in the world can properly measure the latest 5G and 6G systems. ANTENNEX can – thanks to the unique measurement systems coming from TU Eindhoven.
Gilbert Technologies also has TU technology but from Delft. Gilbert was founded to optimize electrospray technology into a smart precision inhaler. The ultimate goal is to use such an easily applicable inhaler to create a groundbreaking solution for lung patients: precision delivery of advanced drugs to the lungs. In this way, large-scale replacement of costly treatment of lung patients with local administration via inhalation could improve outcomes for patients with difficult-to-treat lung diseases and other conditions. An important additional benefit is that it will reduce healthcare costs and reduce pressure on the healthcare system.
We can all imagine how complicated it is to measure exactly how ripe a tomato is, whether the contents of a carton of milk are still good, and whether the contents of a medication are exactly right. This and much more is possible with Mantispectra‘s sensor chip. The result is a measuring device for all these purposes, simply in your smartphone. And therefore always in your pocket. MantiSpectra was founded in late 2020 and is a spin-off of Eindhoven University of Technology. Its primary goal was commercializing a spectral sensor chip for measuring material properties. The technology had already been patented by then. Mantispectra built on it and will make it available to all of us.
What about your alpha waves? You may not think about it every moment, but the better those alpha waves, the better we can perform. Alphabeats, based on a Philips patent, has built an app for that. How it works? It is very simple: As a user, you need a smartphone, a headset, an Internet connection, and a relaxing place to sit. By listening to your favorite music, you get real-time feedback on your alpha brain activity. You hear changes in your personal soundtrack corresponding to changes in your alpha activity. The goal of this process is to teach you how to increase your alpha brain activity yourself consciously. Over time, with repeated training, you’ll learn to get into this relaxed, creative state more easily. And that’s cool because it not only helps reduce stress but also improves your motor coordination and decision-making.
Student team CASA was already very successful in designing and building a zero-energy house. But heat pumps, solar panels and energy storage are unfortunately not available to everyone, if only because of the cost. At the same time, we know that maintaining the status quo will only become more expensive in the long run. And that was the eureka moment for CASA’s successor Integer Technologies. The young company now focuses on the energy system of buildings. By focusing on installations, the complexity challenge of the CASA project could be solved. Thanks to Integer, installations are easier to build, commission and maintain, while providing occupants with lower energy bills and CO2 emissions.
PAKT: Golden bulb
Winner PAKT is creating a circular return system for glass packaging. This may seem obvious, but we need new technologies to make glass packaging reusable. That will require collaboration across the chain, and PAKT is organizing that. Yes, people will have to take steps, they will have to get out of their comfort zone. But as the founders themselves confidently say, “People are naturally good and quite open to change.” What’s extra nice about this winner is that the founders are from TU Delft and TU Eindhoven.