The results are in! Out of a total of 26 submissions for Startup in Residence, 8 startups have been selected to join the program. Last Friday at the Groninger Forum, they pitched their ideas and now it high time to roll up sleeves and get cracking on making Groningen and even more awesome place to work and live.
In the next six months, the startups will tackle societal challenges provided by the City, Campus Groningen, Groningen Seaports and Groningen Province. They’ll be working closely with the challenge owners, getting help and guidance from their mentors, as well as taking a workshop or two to turn their ideas into a real life product and healthy business. The City will become the launching customer for the solutions that show the most potential, and mentor and G-force Investment Fund founder Marco de Jong is also keeping a close eye on promising results...
The who’s who and what they’re gonna do
In a couple of years, the city center will be car and emission free. Or at least, that’s the plan, but it’s easier said than done. All the stores, bars, restaurants, supermarkets and companies in the inner city will still need to be supplied of course. The urban logistics pose a hefty challenge, but Goederenhub Groningen Eelde is going to be part of the solution, with bundled and sustainable delivery of transported goods. The startup is going to focus specifically on the facility deliveries for the City Government buildings in the coming months.
Speaking of the inner city, the many small retailers and stores make up for much of the liveliness, but it can be difficult to compete with their online counterparts. Zupr wants to help give them a boost, by introducing a platform that uses location services for products. In other words, if you’re out shopping and looking for something specific, you’ll get a real time overview and location of the stores that sell it.
No shortage of beautiful parks in Groningen, to chill in on warm days or party during the many festivals and cultural events. But maintenance and cleaning up is costly, not to mention protecting the grass, trees and other plant life against an increasing number of visitors. Sec Groen wants to place sensors to monitor the soil and crowds and use the data to help prevent damage and make maintenance easier.
As for making sports facilities and Campus buildings more sustainable, there’s the very aptly named Sustainable Buildings, as well as Slimmer wifi working on it. The first will be focusing on sports facilities like swimming pools and monitor water and energy waste with real time software dashboards. Slimmer wifi is going to combine wifi and sensor data to reduce the CO2 footprint of the campus buildings, save on energy and improve both the comfort and safety of its occupants.
In an effort to get kids off the couch and promote healthy exercise, Live & Fun is going to turn esports into real sports. The startup will use augmented reality and gamification to make sports and exercise a lot more fun for the Fortnite generation.
Groningen Seaports is booming with tech and innovation and it’s no wonder that companies like Google are located there. But in order to keep on growing, a lot of IT and technical talent is needed, and they’re not always so easy to find. Growth is going to work on that problem with innovative recruiting. And to make sure all that talent sticks around, Rand Design is to make sure working conditions are competitive and tailored to talent, with things like daycare, parental leave and helping families move to the area.