November 2016
09:30 am

Startupathon 2016 Safe Walking win €30,000 to build a startup with us!

IXDS, Paul-Lincke-Ufer 39/40, 10999, Berlin
Last November, we hosted an epic Startup Hackathon weekend at IXDS, giving budding entrepreneurs the chance to become our co-founders in a brand new digital health IoT startup.
The Big Winners

Over one hectic, fantastic weekend on the topic 'IoT for Independent Living', we invited designers, engineers, business and marketing entrepreneurs to join us for an intense startup hackathon. The energy throughout both days was incredible; a total of 14 teams (49 people) took part, in addition to the amazing line up of judges and mentors on hand to support them. 

The winning team was 'Safe Walking', lead by Leonardo Opitz. They conceptualized a smart device for blind and visually impaired people, which can be attached to a white cane or clothing to sense the surrounding environment and plan safe routes for walking. The team was awarded €30,000 to work in an intensive 3 month company builder program at IXDS labs, in our beautiful Berlin co-working space.

This unique opportunity enables everyone involved to collaborate with inspirational people, creating something meaningful. The new founders are eligible for majority shares in the new company, with IXDS labs on board as a co-founder and investor. Find out why we're a great co-founder!

Together, our goal is to build a successful user-facing startup that solves a real problem, to grow and scale on a global level.  Last year we created HINT, the smart reminder system for those with age-related memory loss. Check out our story.

The Topic: IoT for Independent Living

The objective of this Startupathon was to create a solution for people who live with a disability or impairment, which supports them in keeping up their daily routines. We call this 'IoT for Independent Living'.

Criteria included:

  • Use of an ambient notification system
  • Input/output: how can you measure/track behaviours
  • Interface: visualization of data collected

We hosted various speakers and explore different technologies for inspiration, developing ideas over the course of the weekend. Matthias Biniok from IBM Watson walked us through the platform's capabilities, and we heard some real user insights from Dario Sorgato (visually impaired and partially deaf), and Timothy Fürstenberg (a wheelchair user).

On Saturday, the team's concepts were presented to a panel of judges to decide the big winner. The judges included big names in the world of healthcare and startups, such as Christoph Raethke from Berlin Startup Academy and Roland Hueppmeier from BOSCH Healthcare Solutions. To find the strongest contenders, we considered technical feasibility, business viability and desirability of the product, as well as assessing how well the product addressed user needs.