Every working day we select a European start-up of the day and every week we choose a weekly winner. At the start of each new month, readers can decide who will be awarded the Start-up of the Month award. And next year (drum roll) …. but that will take a while.
The nominees for September come from Austria, Poland, Lithuania and Germany. The choice is yours. We will once again reacquaint you with the companies below the poll.
1. Herbi Clean: Clean your house with acorns
Cleaning products typically contain a lot of harmful chemicals. It is not without reason that those orange warning labels appear on the packaging. Yet Mother Nature also has a cleaning lady hiding in her, as the Polish company Herbi Clean has proven. They came up with cleaning agents made of acorns which do not need any ominous orange warning labels.
It is actually quite odd that not more research is being done into cleaning products made from plant-based material. Why should we spray our homes with dangerous substances or artificial chemicals if there is a substance in nature that does exactly the same without the disadvantages? As there seems to be a lot more to be gained from this, Innovation Origins Herbi Clean was awarded the title of Start-up of the Week.
2. Parkbob digitizes mobility processes
Parkbob was launched four years ago with an app for motorists looking for parking space in Vienna. Within a short period of time, the start-up company expanded its services even further. Today, it is an expert in digital transport services and cooperates with Shared Mobility providers worldwide.
Four years after its establishment, a parking assistant service has already been integrated into Amazon’s voice control system. Now it is Alexa who is providing drivers with information about available parking spaces and parking fees. Soon Parkbob will also be available for other navigational devices and in-car systems. This service is always free of charge for customers. The real profit area is in the B2B sector, specifically in the mobility and automotive sectors.
Several factors led to the rapid growth of Parkbob: the decisive factors, however, were venture capital finance, expansion into the USA and diversification. Today, Parkbob covers a total of sixty cities all over the world. The collaborative partner is Reach Now at BMW/Daimler.
3. Sketch AR: Transforming the world into your blank canvas
Drawing is a skill that usually requires a lot of practice. Tracing something over another piece of paper or physically covering an image with translucent tracing paper are both possible. Yet now this can all be done in a more modern and practical way. Meet SketchAR, the first app that combines augmented reality with actual drawing.
The Lithuanian initiators combine creativity and technology in a whole new way and make drawing, a skill that you either have or don’t have, more accessible to everyone. It is a great example of how the real world and augmented reality can enhance each other. Its simplicity and combination of something analog with something digital convinced IO to reward SketchAR with the title Start-up of the Week!
4. E-Bot7 Automated customer service
The team behind E-Bot7 wants to help telephone customer services enter into the future by using artificial intelligence to ensure that customers are served faster and more effectively. As a result, queues of up to 45 minutes and frustrating repeated calls (due to unsolved problems) may be a thing of the past.
The need for customer service is greater than ever, yet this technology makes it cheaper and more efficient than ever before. And that’s how you save on both personnel and office costs. It’s a pity though that this technology means that thousands of call center employees will have to look for new employment in the coming decade. Nevertheless, the innovative start-up from Munich was selected as Start-up of the Week.