”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 will choose the week’s winner.
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.
Up Stream Surfing – Surfing fun in every river
The coasts of the Bay of Biscay, Hawaii and Jeffersons Bay in South Africa are visited by people from all over the world so they can indulge in their favorite sport – surfing. Why do people from all parts of the world go there? Because that’s where the waves are the best! Although the team behind Up Stream Surfing Hawaii can’t really bring Hawaii to the big city, they have developed a technology that recreates those waves.
This means that every river can be turned into a surfing zone. Which is a great solution, especially in big cities with large rivers. Residents no longer have to travel far for their surfing experience and can just paddle in the local waters. For really high waves you will still have to go to the hot spots of course. However, the mobile system consisting of a pulley block and an underwater sail connected to a bridge pulls the surfer forward and allows them to practice their sport wherever they want to.
Sewts – Manufacturing clothing without any manual misery
Most garments travel around the world before they end up on your body. From cotton plantations in the United States to weaving mills in India. Subsequently, children’s hands are often used to make the final products under appalling conditions in Bangladesh. After that, the clothing items go on another long journey before ending up on shop shelves in Western countries.
This could all be done with a lot less airmails and by using less child labor far less; that’s what they thought at the German start-up Sewts. What they want to do is to bring textile manufacturing back to Western countries so that machines can take over the work currently being outsourced to low-wage countries. This is a lot more sustainable and also ensures that the children in Bangladesh no longer have to work in sweatshops. They might simply finish their school and may order a piece of clothing later on from Europe, which they can pay for because they are not part of the manufacturing process.
Ruvu – automation is something you can learn
Perhaps Sewts and Ruvu could could work together because they have something in common. So, what does this Eindhoven team actually do? Builds robots! Well, there are many more robot builders around, but what the Brabanders behind Ruvu do differently than these others, is that they provide custom-made solutions for the logistics sector. Because every logistics process is different – there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution for all of the companies that make things or process orders.
Their ultimate goal? Fully automated factories and distribution centers that ensure that the entire production chain will soon be made up of very tough high-tech workers who never get tired and who don’t need a collective labor agreement, vacation days or a salary. If this were to happen on a larger scale, manufacturing processes would become more efficient and economical. Plus supporters of a Universal Basic Income would have an additional argument that would strengthen their vision of the future.
Tripstix GmbH – Inflatable paddleboards
It seems as if this week is all about automation and surfing, because the Tripstix GmbH plan also fits perfectly into this theme. Although surfing is, of course, a popular form of pastime for many people, transporting surfboards from A to B is definitely not. The paddleboards are not exactly compact or handy in size and therefore are not easily carried around in a car.
However, a board is indispensable if you want to catch a few waves on the Hawaiian coast – or on a river in Zurich with Up Stream Surfing’s technology. Tripstix GmbH has developed an inflatable version for this reason, the technology of which resembles that used in vacuum packages which are sometimes found in coffee machines. Do you remember Tellsell’s Aerobed? Something like that. And not entirely insignificant either; according to the German makers, this inflatable feature is not at all at the expense of quality.
Tripstix and Upstream Surfing should probably get together for a cup of coffee, because together, they could create the ultimate pop-up surf experience without the need to endlessly lug around surfboards – and even without the sea.
The Sáncal Method – musical medics
It is still a bizarre trivial fact that people know more about the universe and galaxies that are millions of lightyears away from us than about what exactly takes place in our own upstairs department. It is known that people and music are like cookies and cream and that there is virtually no-one who does not care about music. Yet there is more; the Spanish start-up Método Sáncal developed a method for tackling neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease with music. Yes, you heard it right!
How does the method work exactly? Playing a musical instrument stimulates certain parts of the brain which are susceptible to neurodegenerative diseases. It is actually a kind of brain gymnastics that can be used by the young and old in order to prevent problems. This treatment is not only meant for elderly people who are able to play the piano. Everyone can benefit from the healing tones of this Spanish method. The introductory level is low and everyone can participate for just a few bucks.
This start-up proves that you are never too old to learn and that there are alternatives to pills. It also shows that self-expression, neurology and technology form a very amazing bond. Although auditory medicine is still in its infancy, it would of course sound like music to your ears if a few clever piano lessons were able to make sure that no one would suffer from dementia anymore. This creative combination and its concrete application options mean that this week Método Sáncal may call itself *drum roll!!* Start-up of the Week according to Innovation Origins.