Socially-Assistive Robot Project Wins Special Award at 2nd Mind & Market Forum

The projects presented at the Mind & Market in Luxembourg forum are living proof that Luxembourg is about much more than finance.

The second edition of the annual Mind & Market in Luxembourg forum filled the Maison du Savoir in Esch-Belval with ambition, commitment and fresh ideas on 30 June. 24 innovative projects were presented to the audience and to juries consisting of experienced business people. Each project team had 15 minutes to pitch their idea and convince the audience that their project would fly if only someone would give it wings.

Beyond profits

This year, the projects were divided into five categories; engineering, social & sustainable development, platform interaction, health and smart data. The ideas presented covered football-playing robots, a sustainable clothing brand and a voice command to help visually impaired athletes use a treadmill, amongst other suggestions. The forum has become an important meeting place for young startups on their first, arduous journey to success, and showcases the amount of creativity and innovative ideas that exist in Luxembourg and the Greater Region.

Several of the projects reflected the new awareness of sustainable business, often linked to Millennials, but spreading fast to other generations. Business ideas that, if turned into reality, could improve the lives of large groups of vulnerable people, in one way or another.

To set the scene, Robert Dennewald, owner and Chairman of the Board of Chaux de Contern, and Prof. Eric Tschirhart, vice-president at the University of Luxembourg, gave the opening addresses while Bogdan Serban, CEO of Apateq and Roger Assaker, CEO of e-Xstream engineering, shared their success stories. Nathalie Reuter, news anchor at RTL, chaired the conference. As an additional bonus, some of the winners from last year’s forum were back this year, not to pitch but to motivate the project teams from the stage. 

The winners

The Mind & Market special award 2016 went to the startup LuxAI, which was created following a research project at the University of Luxembourg. The company builds socially-assistive robots to teach people social interactions as part of healthcare or education. Home Farmers, a startup providing vegetable home gardens and related services, and Seerus, which gathers and delivers client testimonies on the internet to enhance companies’ branding and positioning, each won a handful of other prizes. Cabin 3D, a startup specialised in 3D photography and printing, also received several awards.

Moreover, Tap Tap, which offers interactive retail solutions to improve sales, Luxembourg United that puts Luxembourg on the map through a national, robotic football team, and Yollty, which helps companies incentivise customer interactions won one prize each. Furthermore, DreamZ, that introduces children to algorithmic games, Aquachiara, a company that works on developing a connected bottle to measure water quality and drinking habits and Bhaluu, a startup whose overarching goal is to construct energy efficient, cheap housing, were all awarded with a prize.      

The forum was sponsored by Banque de Luxembourg, d.law, Luxair, Foyer, Wildgen – partners in law, Cargolux, Post and PKF HRT. Several companies and organisations from the local business scene, such as Distinctive, Lux Future Lab, Technoport, EuroDNS, Allen & Overy, Office Freylinger, Nyuko, Vous and Institut de la propriété intellectuelle Luxembourg assisted as jury members and gave their own awards in the form of mentoring, legal advice or other free services to their favorite project team.

Minds meet markets

Mind & Market in Luxembourg is a joint initiative by Deloitte Luxembourg, Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR), Luxinnovation, University of Luxembourg and Mind & Market ASBL. The initiative was launched in Luxembourg last year with the overarching goal of helping creative minds in Luxembourg and the Greater Region turn their innovative ideas into business reality. Mind & Market in Luxembourg organises an annual forum where project teams can pitch their ideas and get valuable feedback from experienced market players. Throughout the year, the Mind & Market in Luxembourg platform creates a meeting place for creative minds and experienced business people on the lookout for the next big thing, and thereby helps individuals develop their innovative ideas and build a winning team.