Getting ready for Sin City

On 17 October, thousands of attendees flocked to the Beurs van Berlage for CES Unveiled in Amsterdam 2019. The annual event serves as a launchpad for the newest technology from around the region and attracts a large media presence, as well as tech industry influencers and executives. 

At the Amsterdam event, the 49 Dutch startups that will head to Las Vegas for the upcoming global edition of CES were revealed. They are all working to explore future innovations and possibilities within five fields or themes: energy transition and e-mobility, city living, consumer technology, life sciences and education.

CES has been the premier destination for innovators to introduce breakthrough products for over 50 years. The 2020 edition will feature nearly 5,000 exhibitors and over 1,000 guest speakers. A delegation of Dutch representatives, including HRH Prince Constantijn van Oranje, Mona Keijzer, state secretary for economic affairs and climate policy, and Gerbert Kunst, consul general in San Francisco, will also attend, accompanied by representatives from TechLeap.NL. 

Amsterdam canal at night Andrew Stripp Photography

These are the Amsterdam-based startups heading to Las Vegas: uses machine learning and satellite imagery to provide cities with information about their green spaces and forests, including the size and species of different trees. This makes it easier to engage in sustainable forest management practices, which can help cities combat pollution and cope with natural disasters.

BrainCreators aims to improve companies’ work processes using tech. Through its BrainMatter platform, it helps clients from an array of industries automate various processes with the help of AI. It also assists in the creation of high-quality structured datasets, which can come from any data source, at scale.

Envision Technologies wants to make a difference in the lives of people with visual impairments. Combining assistive technology with AI, its text recognition tools can text from any surface in over 60 languages. Users can also get audio descriptions of their surroundings through smartphones and smart glasses, helping them to navigate a train station platform or identify faces and objects. 

Hiber, a startup founded by tech entrepreneurs and satellite specialists, aims to expand global IoT connectivity by launching and operating a nano-satellite constellation. In November 2018, Hiber became the first commercial satellite company in the Netherlands; it has also received significant funding.

Hyko (which is named after an Inuit word for ‘ice’) offers a smart lamp and night light shaped like a polar bear. The adorable creation glows in different colours and is controlled through a free app that includes games and educational modules. Little ones can also use it to learn about saving energy and climate change. 

Lightwell makes a smart lamp post, called Lightmotion, which offers electric vehicle charging, 5G internet, sensors and LED lighting. The multi-purpose device helps cities pursue their smart ambitions and efficiently use space. It’s also billed as ‘future-proof,’ since regular updates and innovations will keep it from becoming obsolete. 

Scitodate is a market intelligence AI tool for data-driven sales and marketing in academia, allowing users to determine their market’s research needs, identify new trends and secure the funds they need. The company’s powerful tool also lets clients integrate scientific articles with funding databases, so they can find people with the power to make decisions and provide financial support.

Th3rd offers 3D scanning services, focussing on creating copies of products for use in e-commerce. In its scanning studio, 130 DSLR cameras can create a photorealistic scan of a human being in just one-thousandth of a second. Any other object can be analysed as well, no matter its size, shape or composition. Th3rd can then use the resulting info to create a digital 3D model that’s suitable for use in videos, holograms, animations, pictures and other forms of media.

Bringing Dutch talent to a global audience

In 2020, CES attendees will have a chance to visit a special pavilion dedicated to Dutch startups. A similar promotion, Holland Tech Square, took place at the 2019 edition of the show. Young companies representing an array of fields (including drones, digital health and robotics) took part and connected with thousands of visitors and members of the media. 

Holland Tech Square at the 2019 edition of CES in Las Vegas

This year’s participating startups are a promising group and are likely to continue the tradition of Dutch companies winning awards, earning international recognition and making waves with exciting new developments. When asked about his feelings on participating in CES Amsterdam and his upcoming trip to America, Dr Mehdi Farza, CEO at Scitodate, said: “The breakfast and the opening ceremony of CES Amsterdam provided a sense of community and also a sense of being part of a greater Dutch startup movement. Going to CES Las Vegas is an exciting moment for us as it provides us with the opportunity to meet international investors and finally meet our customers in the US, and around the world, in one place.

Read more startup news from around Amsterdam.