Top 10 Startups at Slush 2023
Slush is one of the world’s biggest tech startup events, so there was no way Startups Magazine was going to miss out on the 2023 edition of the event!
Slush 2023 featured panels with the CEO of Monzo, a fireside talk with Nico Rosberg, former Formula One World Champion turned sustainability entrepreneur, a discussion with the VP of Product of OpenAI, and much, much more.
Alongside a jam-packed programme of insightful talks and panels were the many global startups presenting their innovations. Deputy Editor, Anna Wood, has compiled a list of the Top 10 Startups at Slush that caught her attention!
Arctic Farming is an AgriTech startup, founded in 2019 and based in Otaniemi, Finland. Founded by Daniel Rotko and Oliver Rotko, the company is on a mission to revolutionise the way food is produced, both on Earth and beyond. The team has taken inspiration from NASA-developed technologies to develop a fully automated indoor farming appliance, named Herby, that enables anyone to grow almost anything, anywhere.
The startup's mission is to make vertical farming mainstream, aiming to transform the traditional methods of food production. This method of farming is designed to address global food issues by optimising space and resources for agricultural production. The technology enables indoor farming, which is an efficient alternative to traditional farming methods, especially in regions that have challenging climates or limited arable land.
Alfaleus Technologies was founded in 2018 by Sandal Kotawala, based in India. The startup was started by a group of engineers with a mission to make eye care accessible and affordable for everyone.
One of the startup’s main offerings is a VR-based visual field perimeter. This technology is designed for visual field tests, low vision assistive aid, and includes a C3 field analyser. This product was clinically validated at Aravind Eye Hospital and launched in February 2019. The original C3FA model was later replaced by a more advanced version, the Intelligent Vision Analyzer (iVA+). iVA+ has real-time gaze tracking, ensuring minimal fixation loss and more accurate reporting. The reports the test produces are designed as per Goldmann perimeter standards, making interpretation easy. Testing on iVA+ doesn’t require a dedicated dark room, meaning tests can be conducted anywhere, making the service much more accessible than a standard eye test.
Beyond Words VR
Beyond Words VR is a French startup, founded in 2020 By Maria Grazia Le Mura. After years of teaching languages at schools and universities, Le Mura created Beyond Words, an online tool for learning languages through immersive scenarios, in VR and with AI.
Beyond Words VR is a solution designed following the European Framework of Reference for Languages which allows you to learn to speak a language through real-life scenarios, projected in virtual reality. Thanks to a voice recognition and artificial intelligence system, the user receives detailed feedback on their language learning to discover areas for improvement. The programme also gives feedback on progress, so users are able to see how far their language development has come. Beyond Words is currently being used in schools and universities, businesses, and training organisations.
Faircado is a Berlin-based startup, founded in 2021 by Evoléna de Wilde d’Estmael and Ali Nezamolmaleki. The company is known for its focus on sustainability and responsible consumption in the retail space.
Faircado has developed an AI-powered browser plugin that is designed to automatically locate cost-effective, pre-owned alternatives for online shoppers to provide consumers with like-for-like items in the category they are looking for. The tool aims to help users save time, money, and reduce their CO2 emissions, making shopping more sustainable and eco-friendly. Faircado's innovation promotes the circularity of produced items. By prioritising used items, the plug-in contributes to a more sustainable and circular future in commerce.
Over the two-days, Slush held its renowned 'Slush 100' startup competition, where Faircado emerged as the triumphant startup, securing a significant prize of €1 million in funding following their victory.
Greenzy is an innovative startup that was founded in Belgium in 2020 by Fiona Milano, Laetitia Dupret and Adélaïde Biebuyck.
In Europe, 80% of organic waste is incinerated even though it represents 50% of waste. Based on this, the three civil engineers decided to take up the challenge of developing Greenzy, an indoor composter for households, to help as many people as possible recover their organic waste. The product addresses common issues associated with composting, such as odours, flies, and other insects, offering an odourless, worm-free solution.
How the composter works is that you insert organic waste into the Greenzy composter, and turn the crank 2-3 times, which is connected to the shredder and mixer, to obtain compost. The composting is continuous, which allows you to continuously throw away organic kitchen waste. This will turn into compost within two months, which you can regularly collect via the bottom of the composter. The product comes with an accompanying app, which connect to the sensors within the product that monitor the process so that the composting is done in ideal conditions. You receive notifications explaining the condition of the compost and whether something needs to be added, for example, water.
Founded in 2016, Kuva Space, previously known as Reaktor Space Lab, is a Finnish startup founded by Tuomas Tikka and Janne Kuhno.
Kuva Space is building the world’s first extensive microsatellite constellation with patented hyperspectral camera technology to collect gapless data aimed at solving the world's most pressing issues, such as climate change, food security and safety and security. Combined with its AI-driven analytics platform, Kuva Space aims to deliver reliable and timely global insights that transform spaceborne data into actionable insights users can use for efficient resource management, optimisation of operations, and profitability.
Minimalist Phone was developed and founded by software engineer Martin Morávek in Munich, Germany. Minimalist Phone has developed an app designed to reduce screen time and promote digital wellbeing. It aims to prioritise users' mental health by encouraging mindful smartphone usage.
The app features a simple interface that is designed to combat smartphone addiction. By using a minimalist launcher, the app helps users engage with their phones in a more mindful manner, thereby reducing toxic usage patterns. Apps appear as just names, rather than logos, which can minimise mindless clicking and scrolling. Minimalist Phone’s unique and minimalist user interface is deliberately crafted to encourage mindful phone use, helping users avoid spending hours on their phones mindlessly. When opening an app on their phone, a user sets a time limit of their choice of how long they would like to be on the app and will get a reminder once this time has passed so they can quit the app, or extend the time.
Morrow Eyewear was founded in Belgium in 2016 by Jelle De Smet and Paul Marchal. The startup was founded with a mission to revolutionise the eyewear industry by integrating cutting-edge technology with elegant design. The founders designed the autofocal lens using their combined skills in electronics and nanotechnology.
The glasses that Morrow Eyewear produces are active devices that mimic the natural accommodation of the human eye with the startup’s proprietary lens-in-foil technology, which utilises liquid crystals. With the push of a button, a small electric current activates the liquid crystal, instantly changing the refraction of light. In just 0.6 seconds, the user can switch the focus from near to far with ease. The autofocals expand your field of vision and reduces defects that normal bifocals can cause. The smart glasses feature a user-friendly interface with simple touch-button controls. With a quick charge time of less than 30 minutes, users can enjoy the technology for over two days, though, even if the battery runs out, the glasses remain fully functional in critical situations as they are prescription grade.
NANTOO was founded in Milan, Italy in 2021 by Beatrice Sileno, a Product Engineer Designer.
NANTOO is a startup with a focus on garden maintenance, that created a system for cleaning outdoor spaces, from gardens and terraces to car parks and public spaces. The product, known as the NANTOO_biocycle, works by sucking up, packing, and compacting leaves in compostable bags, achieving a 90% reduction in volume through its proprietary _Airless technology, which is patent-pending.
The startup is part of ‘LeafCycle’, the first supply chain that transforms leaves from waste to resource. LeafCycle brings together research institutions and industry frontrunners in the chemical, pharmaceutical, and paper sectors to recycle leaves and create leaf-based products.
Yukai Engineering is a Japanese robotics startup that was founded in 2011 by Shunsuke Aoki, that develops and sells products that make the world a more “yukai” (fun) place to live. YUKAI’s award-winning products include Necomimi, a headband with fake cat ears that move in sync with the user’s brain waves, and Qoobo, a tail-wagging therapeutic pillow, amongst other robotic devices.
The product on show at this year’s Slush event was its Fufuly, a relaxation pillow whose rhythmical pulsations prompt the user who is hugging it to subconsciously adjust their breathing, helping them wind down both physically and mentally, and has been recommended as an anti-anxiety device. The Fufuly cushion offers three operating modes – "regular," "deep," and a third mode based on common relaxation breathing techniques. These modes are intended to suit different calming needs. The pillow was developed using findings from the University of Tokyo’s research, and applies the well-known phenomenon of rhythmical synchronisation between individuals, gently stimulating the user’s belly to induce slower and deeper breathing.
As I wrap up this exploration of the 'Top 10 Startups at Slush 2023', it's clear that this year's event showcased extraordinary innovation and entrepreneurial spirit.
Compiling a list of 10 startups that caught my eye was difficult, as there were so many more innovative startups in attendance that also could have made the list. From AI-driven technologies to sustainable solutions, all of the startups at Slush are innovating for a better future, and we at Startups Magazine are excited to see the heights they will reach.