Craft Bicycle start-up, which reinvents the biking industry by building bamboo bikes, was selected as the Country Finalist of the PowerUp! by EIT InnoEnergy competition which took place in Bucharest, on May 22. To the final pitching session participated the best 11 start-ups working on energy and cleantech solutions.
Second place was awarded to Ride Safe, a mobility related start-up, which showcased a product and software that builds a solution for motorcycle industry to connect automatically to an ambulance in case of a crash. Air Solaris, developing a cooling system through solar energy, took third place, representing Republic of Moldavia.
- It is the second year when I am involved in the assessment of the solutions submitted in the competition and I must say that their potential is impressive. This year we had more than 25 start-ups. Some of the pitched solutions provide pragmatic solutions to the eco challenges Romania is facing. This is why it is important to give the deserved credit to these start-ups, as they can consistently contribute to innovation in energy and improve the air quality in European cities and increase the cleanliness of the environment. Global applicability was one of the most important criteria taken into account by the jury, says Vlad Suteu, Hub Manager for Romania.
Over 25 Romanian start-ups from Romania and Moldavia submitted applications for the competition, out of which the best 11 were selected to pitch their solutions. Overall, 299 start-ups from 24 countries in Central and Eastern Europe participated in the fourth edition of the biggest competition for cleantech start-ups, which is organised by EIT InnoEnergy. The Country Final was held in Bucharest and was preceded by intensive Bootcamps. The participants had the opportunity to confirm their business models and improve their presentation skills.
During the Country Final, the top 11 start-ups from Romania presented their innovative solutions to the jury, investors and media representatives. 5 of them pitched cleantech solutions, 3 – smart city solutions, 2 – energy solutions and one of them – a mobility related solution.
- It is a great honor for us to win first place from the most brilliant startups we have encountered so far and we are very excited to represent Romania in the international final, says Sabin Dimian, co-founder Craft Bycicle.
The participants were assessed not only in terms of the professional content of their project, but also in the context of business awareness and the potential of the team and product. The jury was composed of Michal Bias (InnoEnergy), Cristina Toncu (Techcelerator), Paul Zoicas (Digital Transformers), Alex Burciu (Investor), Cristian Orasanu (Serial Entrepreneur) and Cristian Dascalu (GapMinder Venture Capital Fund).
Agnieszka Wasilewska-Semail (CEO, RAFAKO – the PowerGold Partner of the Competition) sees the importance of the Competition in the following way:
– We are backing the mission of InnoEnergy to create an impact in terms of innovation in sustainable energy, which is very much aligned with the business motivation of RAFAKO, since our work is not only limited to the design and manufacture of equipment. Our ambitious goal is to make power generation as environmentally friendly as possible. The PowerUp! Competition fits into the goals of RAFAKO perfectly and we hope that the discovered start-ups will contribute to a cleaner environment.
On 19th of June winning team will face the winners of the other country editions of the Competition at the Žofín Palace in Prague, where they will compete for financial prizes (€30,000 EUR for first place) as well as participation in the prestigious Highway® accelerator, which helps transform start-ups at an early development stage into successful businesses.