• ABB announces the results of the ABB Electrification Startup Challenge 2022 after over 100 applications were received from 34 countries and 20 were shortlisted, the competition’s winner for Smart Building is MOOST, alongside i-EM in the ​​Smart Power category and Pratexo in Distribution Solutions
  • Startup Challenge secures MOOST, i-EM and Pratexo each $30K collaboration projects with ABB Electrification for proofs-of-concept that save energy, lower emissions and increase climate resilience as well as longer-term opportunities to work with ABB, SynerLeap and Microsoft
  • Following a Conviction Q&A with ABB’s Anton Kotov and previous winner Q&A with Tallarna’s CEO Tim Meanock about industry collaboration and startup growth, this week Conviction’s profiles of MOOST, i-EM and Pratexo have more on digital innovation in energy

ABB has revealed the results of this year’s ABB Electrification Startup Challenge, announcing the winners MOOST, i-EM and Pratexo at an awards ceremony in Berlin. In collaboration with Microsoft and ABB’s accelerator SynerLeap, the third Startup Challenge had more entrants than ever with 100 applications received from 34 countries to pitch digital solutions that fight climate change, reduce emissions and increase resilience in the built environment, energy supply and industry.

Startup Challenge fosters the next generation of digital solutions for electrification in the energy transition. Anton Kotov, Chief Digital and Strategy Officer at ABB Electrification commented on the importance of innovation to tackle “the unprecedented issues the energy sector is facing.” ABB’s competition ran from 31st March when applications closed to see the winners announced against the backdrop of a global energy crisis.

The competition’s winner for Smart Building is MOOST, alongside i-EM in the ​​Smart Power category and Pratexo in Distribution Solutions. Each proof-of-concept has been awarded a collaboration project worth $30,000 with ABB Electrification.

Following Conviction’s interview with ABB and Q&A with Tallarna’s CEO Tim Meanock before applications closed, this week we have features lined up with MOOST, i-EM and Pratexo.

Subscribe for free, read on about the competition and check back for more with ABB’s Startup Challenge winners.

Startup Challenge 2022

Digital solutions for the energy and climate crises

Image credit: ABB

In addition to the awards of a $30,000 collaboration project with ABB Electrification, Startup Challenge secures MOOST, i-EM and Pratexo longer-term opportunities to work with ABB, SynerLeap and Microsoft. According to one of last year’s winners in a Q&A with Conviction, the Startup Challenge can accelerate innovation, development and business growth with ABB Ability Marketplace.

Tim Meanock, CEO of Tallarna and class of 2021:

‘‘ABB Electrification Startup Challenge enabled us to extend our platform’s capabilities into the industrial space.”

Applicants were invited to apply to pitch at the competition - startups with digital solutions that save energy, lower emissions and increase climate resilience across three categories - Smart Buildings, Smart Power and Distribution Solutions. ABB received 100 applications and shortlisted 20 to undertake two weeks of mentorship from ABB, Microsoft and Synerleap to finalise their proposals. Finalists pitched at a second stage and 9 were selected to go through to a live pitch event in Berlin, where the winners were revealed.

ABB’s panel of judges said the pitches of MOOST, i-EM and Pratexo were most impressive for their unique ideas of gamification, personalisation and edge computing. The three will now work with ABB Electrification on their winning proofs-of-concept with a view go-live on ABB Ability Marketplace which boasts customers in over 100 countries. ABB’s startup accelerator SynerLeap and Microsoft’s startup advisors will provide additional mentorship.

Startup Challenge winners

Gamification, personalisation and edge computing

Left to right: Ciro Lanzetta and Emilio Simeone from i-EM; Blaine Mathieu and Mats Olsson from Pratexo; and Lucas Senn and Joël Samsinger from MOOST. Image Credit: ABB

MOOST won the Smart Building category for digital tools that ‘nudge’ people toward choices that reduce emissions and encourage smart use of electricity in homes and offices. Uniquely, MOOST gamifies energy management with ‘fun’ personalised notifications. The Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) startup simplifies energy data so ‘anyone can take climate-friendly action’ to address issues and live more sustainability.  

In the Smart Power cohort, i-EM’s tool x-EM uses artificial intelligence to simulate ‘behind-the-meter’ energy systems. This category called for engineers to build an online simulation tool that enables the design of sustainable behind-the-meter electrical systems in commercial facilities with a virtual ‘energy blueprint.’ i-EM enables operators to cope with fluctuations in energy costs through simulations that maximise efficiencies and reduce emissions.

Finally, Pratexo won the Distribution Solutions pitch for proofs-of-concept to provide critical services, hospitals, utilities and data centres with tools that address increasing complexity and rising demand for electricity. Pratexo’s edge computing for intelligent grid optimisation can rapidly deploy systems to process large volumes of data and run advanced analytics in real-time. ABB and Pratexo will co-develop the platform for ABB’s customers to improve decision-making in their operations.

ABB’s concept of collaboration

‘Access to new ideas and ways of thinking’

Image credit: ABB

ABB, SynerLeap and Microsoft bring together an extensive network of expertise and industry partnerships for the Startup Challenge to find the “brightest mavericks” with digital solutions for the energy and climate crises. That’s perhaps even more prescient today as public concern for record-high emissions has been overshadowed by price rises and energy security in just a few short months.

In March, ABB Electrification’s Chief Strategy and Digital Officer explained how collaboration fosters and accelerates innovation in a Q&A with Conviction. ABB aims to unlock “disruptive thinking,” according to Anton Kotov, and the benefits cut both ways.

“The ABB Electrification Startup Challenge is about creating a pipeline of innovative digital solutions that help our customers to become more sustainable by reducing emissions, cutting energy usage and integrating with renewable energy sources. Collaborating with startups gives us just that - access to new ideas and ways of thinking.”

ABB reported a strong pipeline of talent this year with more applications than ever which Anton said made it “difficult to pick just three champions.”

Anton Kotov, ABB Electrification:

Open innovation and discovery are key to tackling some of the unprecedented issues the energy sector is facing. It is only by collaborating with some of the brightest mavericks in the world that we will develop solutions to solve the world’s energy and climate challenges.”

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