Nov 24, 2023

Celebrating a Decade of Innovation: Highlights from the 2023 Europas

Capturing the spirit of innovation as we celebrate Europe's tech trailblazers at The Europas Awards 2023

Celebrating a Decade of Innovation: Highlights from the 2023 Europas

Interview multiple candidates

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Search for the right experience

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Ask for past work examples & results

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Vet candidates & ask for past references before hiring

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Once you hire them, give them access for all tools & resources for success

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The Europas Tech Startup Awards has, over the last decade, become a microcosm of the vibrant and dynamic nature of Europe's tech startup ecosystem. Curated by Pathfounder and originally conceived in 2009 by TechCrunch editor-at-large Mike Butcher, The Europas has evolved significantly over the past decade. What started as a platform to highlight Europe's tech scene has become a prestigious event, celebrating breakthroughs and innovations that are not just changing the continent, but also making a global impact.

Reflecting on Europe's historical strengths in scientific and technological invention, The Europas bridged a gap—to recognize and propel startups that could rival the tech giants emerging from Silicon Valley. This vision has materialized remarkably over the years. The awards have been a spotlight for now-household names like Spotify, Wise, Deliveroo, Farfetch, and Starling Bank. These success stories underscore Europe's potential to create tech companies that redefine industries and influence daily life on a worldwide scale.

The 2023 edition of The Europas was no exception. It was a convergence of ambition, innovation, and brilliance. As our Venture Consultant Victoria Kather walked through the venue, there was a palpable sense of excitement and anticipation. With over 1200 in-person attendees, including 60 judges and 27 top industry speakers, the event is now the Oscars of tech startups in Europe. The number of partnerships—28, including sponsors and media partners like Machinelab—speaks volumes about the industry-wide recognition and support The Europas has garnered.

The day kicked off with a thought-provoking panel on "Venturing in Uncertainty," moderated by Mike Butcher and featuring leading figures from the VC world. Ekaterina Almasque from Ocean VC, Jenny Ruth Hrafnsdottir of Crowberry Capital, Pippa Lamb from Sweet Capital, and Rainer Märkle of HV Capital shared their insights into navigating the challenging and ever-evolving landscape of tech investment.

Perhaps one of the most impactful discussions was centered around the resilience of Ukrainian entrepreneurs. The panel, "The State of Ukrainian Startups," moderated by Butcher and featuring Andrey Kolodyuk and Viktoriya Tigipko, delved into the experiences of these indomitable spirits amidst the country's ongoing conflict. Their stories were not just about survival but about thriving against all odds, offering invaluable lessons to the global tech community.

In a special session, the audience was captivated by Tony Jamous, the celebrated 2x Unicorn CEO of Oyster (and look out for our interview of Tony coming soon!). His journey to achieving unicorn status twice was not just inspiring but also offered a roadmap for aspiring entrepreneurs.

These discussions were a reflection of The Europas' core mission—to highlight those who are not just part of the tech industry but are actively shaping its future.

This year's event showcased an impressive array of talent and innovation. Let's dive into the details.

1. VC of the Year: IQ Capital

Early-stage deep-tech investments in global market dominators, focusing on breakthrough technologies in computer science, energy, life sciences, fintech, space, and advanced engineering.

Shortlist Finalists:

  • Cavalry Ventures: Known for their keen eye for disruptive tech startups.
  • Form Ventures: Specializes in nurturing tech-driven businesses with scalable potential.

2. Fintech Winner: Fiskl

A mobile-first, AI-powered invoicing, accounting, and tax management SaaS platform for small businesses.

Shortlist Finalists:

  • Plumery: Digital engagement platform for banks offering mobile and web customer experiences.
  • Loctax: The first collaborative platform for in-house global tax teams, focusing on compliance, risk, and governance.

3. Scaleup of the Year: Cleo

An AI assistant platform that goes beyond savings and budgets to change financial perceptions, serving over 7 million users.

Shortlist Finalists:

  • Odevo: A tech firm specializing in property management.
  • Prolific: A platform offering quality data for researchers.

4. Web3 Winner: V-Art Digital

A tech solution for IP licensing, enhancing efficiency and monetization for brands and creators.

Shortlist Finalists:

  • Dippi: Focused on building a usability ecosystem for Web3.
  • OpenPeer Labs: Developing a decentralized peer-to-peer marketplace.

5. Spacetech Winner: SatVu

A high-growth company providing high-resolution thermal data from space, aiding global sustainability challenges.

Shortlist Finalist:

  • Space DOTS®: A UK-based startup pioneering in-space R&D for advanced space materials.

6. Mobility Winner: Zeelo

A leader in commuting solutions, optimizing transportation services for work and school.

Shortlist Finalists:

  • EVware: Developing a next-gen platform for automotive HMI systems.
  • Leon Mobility (XOO): A smart charging infrastructure for sustainable micromobility.

7. Media & Entertainment Winner: Papercup

A machine learning startup transforming media by translating videos into multiple languages.

Shortlist Finalists:

  • Supernova: A social network aimed at benefiting mental health.
  • UncovAI: Focused on detecting generative texts efficiently.

8. Insuretech Winner: Coverflex

Innovating in the insurance technology space.

Shortlist Finalists:

  • FloodFlash: Specializing in flood cover using modern technology.

9. eCommerce & Retail Winner: Sensei

European leader in autonomous stores, providing a frictionless shopping experience with AI and machine learning.

Shortlist Finalists:

  • AssetFloow: Offers a sensorless behavioral AI software for retailers.
  • Miros: A predictive personalization platform for fashion shopping.

10. Healthtech Winner: Humanity, Inc

A consumer service focused on extending healthspan by tracking aging biomarkers.

Shortlist Finalists:

  • Akara Robotics: Combines environmental sensing and mobile apps for modernized public health.
  • Daye: A female-founded gynae health startup.

11. Edtech Winner: Zero Gravity

A platform unlocking potential by propelling students into higher education and careers.

Shortlist Finalists:

  • Promova: A language learning platform with a variety of tools.
  • Zutobi: An online driver education platform.

12. Deeptech Winner: Space DOTS®

Leading the way in in-space R&D for space materials.

Shortlist Finalists:

  • OctaiPipe: A FL-Ops platform for Edge AIoT devices.
  • Twig: A bioengineering company creating sustainable ingredients through AI.

13. Cybersecurity Winner: Hudson Rock

Hudson Rock leverages its team's IDF 8200 Cyber Unit experience to pioneer advanced cybercrime intelligence and forensic technologies.

Shortlist Finalists:

  • BRIGHTSIDE Technologies SA: Focuses on protection against AI attacks.

14. Climate Tech & Sustainability Tech Winner: UNDO Carbon

UNDO specialises in enhanced rock weathering for permanent carbon dioxide removal, with the hope of reversing global warming.

Shortlist Finalists:

  • NORNORM: A flexible furnishing service aiming for workspace sustainability.
  • Vaayu: Offers real-time tracking and reduction of carbon and environmental impact.

15. B2B SaaS / Enterprise Winner: VLGE

A no-code world-building platform for immersive experiences.

Shortlist Finalists:

  • Beams: AI Insights Platform for regulated industries.
  • Zelt: Manages HR, IT, and financial operations for companies.

16. Agtech & Foodtech Winner: Ordinary Seafood
A food-tech company offering sustainable seafood alternatives.

Shortlist Finalists:

  • COOKO: Enhancing the cacao industry with source traceability.
  • S4D: Solutions for quick-service restaurant chains.

17. Artificial Intelligence Winner: New Native

An AI platform aggregating the latest technologies for various solutions.

Shortlist Finalists:

  • Neural Concept: Provides fast numerical simulations for industrial companies.
  • COOKO: A player in the cacao industry focused on traceability and sustainability.

Congratulations to all the winners and finalists of The Europas Awards 2023! 🚀🌟

Each winner and finalist, from IQ Capital's groundbreaking investment strategies to New Native's pioneering work in AI, represents a collective journey towards innovation, towards embracing the future rather than sticking to tradition.

The diversity of the categories and the companies within them tells a story of a multifaceted and resilient European tech ecosystem. Companies like Cleo and Fiskl are redefining the financial landscape, making complex processes accessible and engaging, much like how Papercup is transforming the way we consume media across language barriers. Meanwhile, Space DOTS® and SatVu remind us of the boundless possibilities that lie in exploring and understanding our universe and environment.

The triumphs of these companies are not just their individual successes but are reflective of the broader themes of our times: sustainability, accessibility, and innovation. UNDO Carbon's endeavors in environmental sustainability parallel the efforts of companies like Ordinary Seafood in the FoodTech sector, both striving for a more sustainable and equitable world.

In a landscape often dominated by concerns over economic uncertainty and environmental challenges, the stories of these companies demonstrate the power of human ingenuity in finding solutions, the potential of technology to bridge gaps, and the importance of a collaborative spirit in facing global challenges. It is in this way that the Europas can remind us of the transformative power of technology and the human spirit—a combination that continues to drive us towards new horizons of possibility.

Images courtesy of: Victoria Kather and the Europas

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