During the Digital Freedom Festival Pitch Competitions Latvian startups DigiPulse and CENOS triumphed in the contest organised by leading global accelerator 500 Startups - powered by Microsoft Latvia, while Estonian startup Let's Enhance was victorious in the competition organised by Dutch accelerator Rockstart.
The 500 Startups competition winners won a fast track to the final selection round for the next 500 Startups batch in Silicon Valley and the chance to acquire knowledge, funding and support tools for worth over $100,000. Both companies also received a special award from Microsoft Latvia - access to the Microsoft Azur Cloud Computing Service for testing purposes.
Marvin Liao, partner at 500 Startups: "We are really satisfied to see the growth in competition since we were here last year. It's great to see startups trying to solve real-world problems that we face every day. We are very interested in the Baltic region and that is why we're here, and hope to be here again next year.”
DigiPulse offers a service to owners of cryptocurrencies or any other digital assets (online file storages, cloud drives, e-mail accounts, social profiles), which allows owners to encrypt and automatically allow others to inherit sensitive information and data by utilising blockchain technology.
CENOS is a B2B startup that connects open source tools for engineering simulation (CAD/CAE) to a single user-friendly platform and automates data transfer and control between them, which leads to boosting the speed of R&D and reducing the cost of licensing.
In turn, Let’s Enhance was the winner of the Pitch Competition in cooperation with Rockstart - an international union of founders, entrepreneurs, investors and mentors. Let’s Enhance is a technological solution that allows you to upscale and boost the resolution of .jpeg images. It detects and automatically removes pixel noise, while keeping edges and features sharp and crisp. Let’s Enhance will have an opportunity to take part in the final selection round for the first European artificial intelligence accelerator programme hosted by Rockstart in the Netherlands during autumn in 2018. During the competition startups had the opportunity to win 20,000 EUR prize, receive additional financing for office rental and the support from mentors valued at 80,000 EUR, and more than 50 various support tools valued at approximately 600,000 EUR.
Andrii Degeler, Head of Brand and Community at Rockstart: "We're looking for technology that can be used to solve real business challenges, and the Let's Enhancetechnology, which allows us to improve image resolution, can be used for so many different purposes. We are interested in seeing what will happen with them in the future.”
During the Digital Freedom Festival additional Pitch Competitions were held by the Latvian Business Angel Network (LatBAN), the European Innovation Initiative Climate-Kic and the EstLat Accelerate Project.
During the LatBAN competition startups were invited to apply with an almost developed produced prototype. The winner of this competition was Zeew (Latvia), an on-demand shipping app, which uses taxis for delivery.
The European innovation initiative Climate- Kic Pitch Competition was won by Earth Pumps - an early-stage startup that has developed incredible, new, and unprecedented heat pump technology with up to 8 times higher efficiency than existing systems.
In EstLat Accelerate pitch competition two startups succeeded in winning the competition. The first one - UpMatched, is an innovative recruitment company offering information about job seekers, their education, experience, knowledge of languages, skills and personality traits. The second winner is Foody, an app-based solution that helps people choose healthy food and find out product ingredients before buying it simply by scanning the product barcode.