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”Your sneak preview of the future” is the slogan of Innovation Origins, and that’s just what we will highlight with our Start-up of the Week column. Over the past few days, five start-ups of the day have been featured and on Saturday we choose the week’s winner.

Innovation Origins presents a Start-up of the Day each weekday

We shall consider various issues such as sustainability, developmental phase, practical application, simplicity, originality, and to what extent they are in line with the Sustainable Development Goals of UNESCO. They will all pass by here and at the end of the week, the Start-Up of the Week will be announced.

Share Council – Everyone gets a fair share

That the distribution of capital is completely skewed is a well-known fact. But how do you actually build up capital? Shares play an important role in this. But the regular stock market is heavily geared towards large companies which small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) tend to have little to do with. Nowadays, start-ups are like fully-fledged companies, some of which are keen to pay their employees in shares. This is quite common in Asia and the United States, but it rarely happens in Europe. It entails a lot of paperwork in The Netherlands.

Share Council was set up especially for these entrepreneurs. A platform that should help SME owners on their way through the jungle of co-ownership certificates for their staff. Why? So that they can grow along with their employer and founders. And this might just provide them with a tad more motivation.

Hedia – Digital diabetes doctor

Diabetes can seriously affect a patient’s day-to-day life. As a rule, diabetics only see a doctor once every few months, while the disease often creates uncertainties – as well as stuff that has to be sorted out. They have to do that all by themselves for the most part as well. Things such as paying close attention to their calorie intake and scheduling their insulin injections at set times.

The Danish start-up Hedia came up with a digital assistant that is tasked with keeping an eye on everything so that the user always knows how they’re doing. A reminder for an injection? Check. Are you watching your carbohydrates? Done. But what makes this app really different from the rest is that it is equipped with a certified insulin calculator. This helps keep diabetes under control so that diabetics can feel freer despite their chronic illness.

Solatom – Sustainable small-scale Spanish CSPs ideal for SMEs

The invention of the steam engine ushered in the industrial revolution in the 19th century. But in the second half of this era, it gradually disappeared into the background when the combustion engine was introduced. Solar power plants still use steam to generate electricity. This has several advantages. For example, no fossil fuels are required, sunlight is widely available and no dirty emissions are discharged into the atmosphere.

Up until now, this form of energy generation was often only really viable on a huge scale for major companies. A conventional CSP (Concentrated Solar Power) installation – with on average a surface area of 2/3 of a square kilometer – needs to have enough space in order to be operable. But the modular system from the Spanish Solatom fits into a shipping container. This ultra-sustainable method of generating electricity is therefore also both viable and affordable for smaller-sized companies.

Food Notify – Get your kitchen in order

Restaurant kitchens usually work like well-oiled machines where a huge amount of food goes in and out every day. Keeping an overview of everything is like top-class sport. What is in the cooler precisely? Which products need to be ordered? Exactly what was used up on Tuesday evening? Do we know exactly which allergens are actually in a meatball? Which invoices are still outstanding? There are software applications for all of this, but these programs are usually designed for a single element.

Except that when you, as a hospitality entrepreneur, use 16 different apps alongside each other, you actually end up jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Yet one piece of smart software can now take away a lot of those hassles, This is why FoodNotify was invented. A comprehensive inventory and management system specifically designed for the hospitality industry. By accommodating everything in a digital environment where all kinds of administrative tasks have been automated.

Somnox – The robotic Sandman lulls you into slumberland

One of the most underestimated chronic health problems in our hectic Western society is sleep deprivation. More than one-fifth of all Dutch people regularly have difficulty falling asleep. Moreover, only a minority manages to get the recommended eight hours of sleep each night. A chronic lack of sleep is disastrous for your immune system, productivity, and mood. What’s more, if you start fretting about this before going to sleep, it tends to be counter-productive.

Scientists at the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) came up with a hi-tech solution for this: a robotic sleep aid! Sleeping with a robot? I hear you ask. That doesn’t sound particularly comfortable. The scientists have taken that into account. The Somnox looks like a comfortable pillow and is now equipped with innovative Sandman features. E.g., calm breathing is indispensable for falling asleep. The Somnox adapts itself to the sleeper’s breathing rhythm and then gradually slows the rate down. Unconsciously the user also starts to breathe slower and more regularly. Their heart rate drops, the brain is less prone to worrying and the body slips into sleep mode more easily.

While scientists still don’t fully understand what precisely happens in our brains during sleep, they do agree that sleep may be just as important for the body as eating and drinking. Being properly rested helps prevent mental disorders and keeps your immune system in peak condition. Prevention is better than cure, especially in these unnerving times of corona. Also when it comes to social distancing, it’s nice to be able to lie close to something without having to instantly turn into a hypochondriac. In any case, our editors are convinced! Somnox may call itself Start-up of the Week!