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Grand Final Livestream

Access opens
on April 23, 2024
04:55 PM
APR 23 2024, 05:00 PM

The Grand Final


Join our grand final 
Within our #CHALLENGING phase, we selected among 37 startups from 37 different countries the 16 best startups from all around the world. These 16 winning startups are now finalists of THE GRAND FINAL and have to compete against each other in this exciting pitch competition. The Grand Final takes place in Dusseldorf on April 23 and will be streamed live.

Are you curious about our finalists and the program? Get more information below.
See the finalists

Grand Final Program


Words of welcome

  • Dr. Ralf Mittelstädt, Chief Executive, IHK NRW
  • Mona Neubaur, Minister of Economic Affairs, Industry, Climate Action and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia
  • Michael Stölting, Member of the Managing Board, NRW.BANK

Introduction of the jury

Pitch round 1



  • Airee Felt from Mongolia
  • Elven Technologies from Georgia
  • Gescol from Colombia
  • Innova Space from Argentina
  • Leasi from Norway
  • stykka from Denmark


  • .lumen from Romania
  • Glycanostics from Slovakia
  • Kinexcs from Singapore

Break //

Pitch round 2



  • AgroGrIN Tech from Portugal
  • Craft Planet from Nigeria
  • districtlab from France
  • Einride from Sweden

InsurTech Startups

  • HydroArt from UAE
  • Midwest Composites from Malaysia
  • Mirai Solar from Saudi-Arabia

NRW x Startup 

Introduction to the keynote by Felix Neugart, CEO, NRW.Global Business

Scaling from Düsseldorf: The International impact of auxmoney

Keynote by Philip Kamp, Co-Founder, auxmoney

Winners ceremony

Who will win the grand final? // The first three places will receive a total of 15,000 Euros in Prize Money. // AN ADDITIONAL PRIZE OF 3,000 EUROS IS SPONSORED BY NRW.BANK.

with drinks and food

Moderated by Dominik Stute, Head of Unit Innovation, Industry, International Networks, Dortmund Chamber of Industry and Commerce

These startups have made it

.lumen builds glasses that empower the blind to live a better life.

There are 40 million blind people today, and despite all the technological advancements, the most used mobility solutions are still the walking cane and the guide dog.`

The guide dog is unanimously seen as a good option, but it has a few drawbacks. It costs between $40-$70K to train a single guide dog – and it can be a big responsibility for a blind person to provide care for such a companion.``

Because of this, there are only 28,000 guide dogs to 40 million individuals with visual disabilities.`

.lumen offers a solution that mimics the benefits of a guide dog without the drawbacks that make it a non-scalable solution.

AgroGrIN Tech is a startup that upcycles fruit & vegetable side streams coming from farmers, post-harvesting and processing companies. Through the application of a patent technology that enables to extract enzymes and vitamins that are naturally present in the side streams. Since the technology only employes green technology, the remain process by-products are also upcycles, producing gluten-free flour and natural additives for coloring and flavoring. The ingredients are clean label and applicable into food, nutraceutical and cosmetic industries.
AgroGrIN Tech is the 1st company upcoming 100% of side streams into 100% of ingredients.

Airee Felt is a Mongolian startup manufacturing 100% biodegradable sheep wool air filters for the air filtration industry, for use in building ventilation, car cabin, and various industrial applications. Filtration industry players, such as Mann + Hummel, are focusing on biodegradable filter media to decrease its scope 3 carbon footprint for the future. The air filtration market is expected to grow to 25.7B USD by 2030.
Airee has 3 intellectual properties, with 1 technological patent pending. With its air purifier product in Mongolia, the company generated US$22,000 from 300 users in the 2022-2023 winter. The company is now launching its production facility in January, and pilot exporting to
Turkey for a pre-order of air purifier device filters. The next step includes a supply agreement buyers, acquiring necessary certification, and creating a filter hub platform to franchise its model to local partners who can use their local raw materials to produce air filters regionally.

Craft Planet is a pioneering venture dedicated to transforming plastic waste into sustainable building materials and modular housing. Leveraging innovative sand polymer technology, we aim to address the pressing environmental challenge of plastic pollution while simultaneously meeting the urgent need for affordable housing. Our mission is to create durable, cost-effective, and energy-efficient solutions that not only reduce waste but also provide safe and comfortable living spaces. With a focus on social and environmental impact, Craft Planet is committed to driving positive change by offering sustainable alternatives to conventional construction materials and promoting circular economy principles.

DistrictLab provides an innovative simulation software solution for optimizing the design and operation of district heating networks.
Already in use in major district heating cities in France, such as Grenoble and Metz, and in Switzerland, such as Lausanne and Geneva, our solution is based on an R&D project spanning over 30 man-years at the French institute CEA.
Our main aim is to become the word benchmark solution for digital twins, and to help DHC operators offer people the chance of sustainable thermal comfort.

Einride is a Swedish technology company that designs, develops and deploys freight mobility solutions to accelerate the transition to sustainable transportation. Its service is based on a turnkey solution that includes connected electric and autonomous heavy-duty vehicles, charging infrastructure and an intelligent freight operating system.
Founded in 2016, Einride became the world’s first company to operate a cabless autonomous electric freight vehicle on a public road (Sweden, 2019). In 2022, it became the first company to operate such a vehicle on a US public road. Today, it operates one of the largest fleets of heavy-duty electric trucks.
The company’s innovative approach to freight and its drive to change an industry responsible for 8% of the world’s CO2e emission have made Einride a household name in transportation and beyond, with its technology and products receiving recognition by TIME’s Best Inventions, Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies and CNBC’s Disruptor 50 list.

Elven develops a flexible fireproof composite, with applications across industries with its lightweight, cost-effective design. Our patented technology is currently undergoing validation in the $160B advanced material market.

Our ongoing pilot with AuveTech, an Estonian self-driving eBus manufacturer, and Aleaf, the first FAA-approved flying car, demonstrate the adaptability of our innovative solution. Furthermore, we have secured Letters of Intent (LOIs) and sent samples to industry leaders, including Volvo, Lucid, Maxion, Parker, and Sur Seal. Active engagements with prominent entities such as LG, Stellantis, GM, and Ferrari underscore the widespread interest in our cutting-edge fireproof composite.

At Elven, we remain committed to pushing the boundaries of fire protection technology, providing solutions that not only excel in terms of thickness and protective capabilities but also offer a compelling combination of low weight and cost.

Gescol is a cleantech that manufactures construction and thermal and acoustic insulation elements from materials recovered from footwear. We developed a patented technology in Colombia and Mexico to transform the soles of safety boots into block-type elements and panels for walls and floors, which provide climatic comfort and energy savings. In addition, our product incorporates high-value design and aesthetic components. With our pioneering business model, we provide a solution for materials that are difficult to use, such as polyurethane, a type 7 plastic, preventing it from being buried or incinerated, and we also provide an energy-saving solution for building interiors.

Our technology is validated in Germany, we are alumni of the Circular Valley Foundation based in Wuppertal, where we were able to validate our business model with their partners and we got the financial sponsorship of the company KNIPEX.

Glycanostics has developed highly accurate, early-stage tests for detection of 11 types of cancer. The tests are based on detection of glycan changes in blood using Magnetic-based-ELISA. Our solution represents a novel and unique approach, protected by 5 patents so far.
It has the following unique features:
It is minimally-invasive (it analyses glycans from blood serum); It detects early stage of the disease with high accuracy; It is fast and easy to work with; highly affordable; compatible with equipment already used by laboratories world-wide (ELISA), and it also provides solutions for large-scale screening; It is organ specific, and suitable for disease monitoring and active surveillance as it provides quantitative and qualitative information.
Our first product (prostate cancer test) is currently being launched in Europe, to be followed by breast cancer test towards the end of 2024.
Our vision is to create world, where cancer will be diagnosed early and treated successfully.

HydroArtPod is revolutionizing urban agriculture, addressing the global food crisis and championing sustainable living. Our sophisticated, wall-mounted hydroponic system enables families to grow fresh, chemical-free produce year-round, aligning with our mission to minimize food waste, reduce carbon emissions, and eradicate harmful pesticides, reshaping food consumption trends. Designed for compact living, HydroArtPod is built for health- and Sustainability-aware consumers. With advanced technology, user-centric automation, and dedication to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, HydroArtPod is poised to transform the indoor gardening market, offering unparalleled convenience, sustainability, and health benefits. It empowers users to trust and enjoy their food sources, fostering a greener planet. Beyond providing nourishment, HydroArtPod is also an educational tool, introducing children to the wonders of growing food, instilling valuable lessons in sustainability and nutrition.

Innova Space mission is to provide access to low-cost IoT communications worldwide.  We are developing a constellation of pico-satellites capable of providing global connectivity with the mission of improving efficiency in industries such as agriculture, mining and oil, logistics, etc.
We have developed standardized satellites with less than1kg weight to reduce launching costs. The ground terminal (communication module) is compatible with existing LPWAN technologies to avoid migration costs for the costumer.  Our amazing multidisciplinary team have launched 6 these satellites in less than 4 years.
We will offer plug&play boards that will communicate ground sensors with our satellites and we will charge a monthly fee per device per data usage. Our product will provide efficient IoT connection with accurate and updated data; through a reliable and secure connectivity service; reducing costs and waste of resources for the end user.

Kinexcs is an AI-driven digital health platform and wearables company with a mission to enable and empower people for mobility and a better quality of life. It is focused on reducing the burden of musculoskeletal conditions, which affects about 25% of the world's population.
Their flagship product is KIMIA Recover, a recovery management solution for total knee replacement patients, helps reduce number of hospital visits and complications and is currently deployed in major hospitals across Asia-Pacific region.

Maximize fleet control - Leasi enables a comprehensive overview across the machine fleet, giving the opportunity to optimise its composition and use.

Leasi was established in mid-2022 and has since then built up key insight into the industry, developed the solution in Appfarm, completed a paid pilot project with Oslo municipality, signed Skanska Norway as first customer and scaled the team with the necessary expertise. In the past year, Leasi has raised € 160K in soft funding, connected with skilled mentors and networks through the accelerator of 6AM and European Space Agency (ESABIC), and onboarded a CTO with 25 years' experience. We have also been contacted by leading industry players with interest and are constantly invited to be present and give presentations at key industry events such as Tech in Construction 2023 (Berlin), The Nordic CivCon Summit 2023 (Bergen) and Road & Infrastructure Fair 2024 (Oslo).

Midwest Composites consults, designs, prototypes and manufactures advanced composites and biocomposites for customers that are looking for sustainable products made with renewable sources. Additionally, we manufacture high-performance technical textiles made from plant-based fibers sourced from the waste of crops such as kenaf, flax and pineapple to be used as the reinforcement, replacing traditional and synthetic fibers such as the widely used glass fibers and carbon fibers for composites manufacturing applications. These composites provide a 40% weight reduction compared to conventional alternatives, resulting in improved fuel efficiency, assembly efficiency, reduced lifetime maintenance costs and drastically lower carbon footprint. Furthermore, they exhibit excellent mechanical properties, including high strength-to-weight ratios, impact resistance, and corrosion resistance.

Mirai Solar is a solar energy company. We expand the utilization of solar energy beyond conventional applications. We invented the Mirai Screen: a lightweight and foldable electricity generating shade screen. Mirai Solar’s mission is to capitalize on the world’s need for shade with smart solar energy systems. Our solutions dramatically improve the energy use efficiency of greenhouses and smart buildings for a sustainable future.

Stykka specializes in circular building interiors for forward thinking building owners and operators. We offer digitally-managed products that seamlessly integrate into large building projects.

Our interiors are designed to reduce operational costs by 60% and interior waste by 70%, with only a 15-20% cost increase compared to traditional, less sustainable furnitures.

Our goal is to transform the construction industry by combining advanced technology with durable design. This shift is crucial in an industry that contributes significantly to global CO2 emissions and waste, with a majority of resources being used only once. Stykka's mission is to provide durable, high-quality products that are designed for longevity, with options for repairing, replacement, upgradability, and recycling. We're focused on delivering sustainable, long-term solutions, not just furniture.

Get in touch!

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