Amsterdam’s winning startups

Three Amsterdam startups have been selected as winners of the first-ever Academic Startup Competition. The competition aims to find the best spin-off startups from Dutch universities and scientific institutions which can help use innovations in science to create major societal impact. And after pitching at an event at Amsterdam’s Epicentre on 14 May, 10 firms have now been chosen as winners of the inaugural competition.

The winners include two spin-offs from the University of Amsterdam (UvA): Kepler Vision Technologies and Confocal, as well as Findest, a spin-off from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. It offers a scouting service that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to find technologies for research and development. They will now go on to pitch at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), which takes place in The Hague on 4 and 5 June 2019. The companies have also been offered a trip to Silicon Valley by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, during which they will learn how to transition from startup to scale-up.

Life Sciences and Health in the Amsterdam Area

Two winning life sciences and health startups

As Amsterdam-based life sciences and health startups, the victory of Kepler Vision Technologies and Confocal is further evidence of the city’s commitment to innovation in the field. Kepler develops body language recognition software that uses AI to analyse video footage. Its star product is the Kepler Man Down Detector, which can be connected to existing camera feeds to detect if someone is lying on the floor or needs help. Confocal, founded in 2016, aims to disrupt the microscopy industry with a confocal microscope based on the re-scan invention: the Re-scan Confocal Microscope (RCM), which combines super-resolution capabilities with higher sensitivity than most confocal microscopes. The RCM system was invented by Erik Manders, Confocal’s CTO, who built and developed it alongside his research team at the UvA’s Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences.

Why Amsterdam is leading the way in life sciences and health

Amsterdam is a leading life sciences and health hub. The city thrives on cooperation, driven by the concentration of its many research institutions, universities, established corporations and startups. The sector also has a close relationship with technology. In fact, the Amsterdam Area currently positioning itself as a world leader in medical data science, playing to the region’s strengths in data science and artificial intelligence.

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