The Open Innovation programs The Journey and Protechting achieved major pilot results – involving 23 startups from 15 countries, in three continents – to develop new solutions on Tourism, Fintech, Insurtech and Healthtech businesses
The crucial moment for establishing collaborative processes between corporates and startups, within Open Innovation programs, is unquestionably the Bootcamp. Under the method implemented by Beta-i over the years (and it’s been a decade!), Bootcamps are the turning point of every program, as the people behind the needs of organizations and the solutions brought by startups meet one on one, to develop something new – and collectively get achievable results.
The latest Beta-i Bootcamps on Tourism (The Journey) and the Fintech, Healthtech and Insurtech triad (Protechting) are a robust example of this process, with 29 pilots going to be considered and developed from 23 startups of 15 countries to impact both B2B and B2C fronts.
The Journey: innovation in Tourism
This Open Innovation program deals with one of the most interconnected industries of the contemporary era: Tourism, a gigantic cluster that generates economic, social and even identity consequences for the destinations visited. Goes without saying that the Tourism sector has been booming in Portugal for years in a row, and that’s why this Open Innovation program has been connecting key players in the Portuguese market with innovators from all over the world. “The Tourism Industry is one of the most competitive ones, and we must build everyday solutions and new services to our customers while envisioning the future,” explains Sergio Guerreiro, Senior Director Knowledge Management & Innovation from Turismo de Portugal, one of the organizations investing in the program alongside Barraqueiro Group, Parques de Sintra – Monte da Lua and Vila Galé Hotels (in addition to Unicre, a key payment solutions provider in the country that participates as a Data Partner).
Every innovator deserves a break: The Journey participants on a hop-on hop-off bus and boat
In its 4th edition, the program investigated and selected startups able to tackle Hospitality, Parks & Monuments and Tours & Activities pain points shared by our clients, then linked to themes such as Smart Connected Operations, Seamless Traveler Journey, Customer Experience and Sustainable Development Solutions. These scouting challenges emerge a result of the needs assessments carried out by Beta-i’s expert team alongside the participant corporates teams, so the process can converge to common goals from the very beginning – and so can be explored in the Bootcamp.
The result of this concerted effort generated in the end of October the excellent result of 17 pilots, from 11 startups of 6 countries in Europe and Asia. “This number is a result of the program’s direct response to these tourism operators challenges,” says Gonçalo Faria, Open Innovation Program Director at Beta-i, who also highlights “some very interesting solutions on water and energy efficiency, aiming for a more sustainable tourism”. The results of this collaboration will be known at the end of January 2020, when The Journey comes to an end with one of the key events for tourism innovation businesses in Portugal: the Lisbon Tourism Summit 2020, focused on sustainability and organized by Beta-i, which counts with The Journey’s Demo Day on its programming: in other words, the moment when the results of these collaboratively developed pilots are presented to the stakeholders.
Protechting: tackling multiple industry challenges and geographies
Bootcamps are a special moment because, as Beta-i Senior Growth Strategist Tomás Bento recalls, “startups come in very ambitious for the program, but sometimes lack the experience to make the best win-win connections with corporates. And we believe that our contribution is fundamental to trim every potential down to the very essentials, and help them set up a bolder pitch”. And that’s exactly what happened at the Protechting bootcamp, which ended on November 21st in Lisbon, where 12 pilots were selected out of 21 different startups from 12 countries in three continents. As Beta-i’s Program Director Francisco Carvalho adds, “thanks to this collaboration, some startups were able to fully adapt their technologies, turning their initial proposals into much more fit and desirable solutions for the participant corporates”.
Shiny happy people: corporates, startups and Beta-i celebrating the closing of Protechting Bootcamp
Protechting is defiant by definition as it brings together different industries under the leadership of the same shareholder, the Chinese group Fosun – the name behind companies such as Fidelidade (Insurtech track), Luz Saúde Learning Health (Healthtech track) and the German bank Hauck & Aufhäuser (Fintech track). The process was tailored to this consortium, which in addition to different industries also operates in different geographies and has a particular involvement with China. To solve that, two groups of startups were selected: one for pilots development, and another (with more primary business models, coming from other 5 countries) for a parallel mentoring and acceleration path. “We truly believe in Open Innovation. The Protechting program gives us access to startups from around the world, and in order to accommodate both our strategic and geographic goals, we created these two groups. The pre-acceleration one is focused on bringing startups from markets where we are expanding right now, such as Mozambique and Peru” says José Villa de Freitas, Fidelidade’s marketing manager.
This strategic ambition facilitated by Protechting is reinforced by Harald Patt, CEO at Fosun Europe Innovation Hub and Managing Director of Fosun’s Wealth Department and Fintech Sector. Responsible for the Chinese group’s deal flow on startups, Patt sees the program as a concrete way to incorporate new solutions into the company portfolio. “In addition to the areas where we operate around the world, it is important to remember that we´re deeply rooted in China and we are able to generate great opportunities there.”
Bootcamps are particularly prized by Patt, since it’s the crucial moment where original ideas, created to solve people and organizations daily problem, leverage their approaches as business models. “It’s exciting. Startups with good ideas and bad pitches often turn out to present amazing solutions at the end of the pilot phase. Not to mention that this is the moment of truth, where they must prove a differentiated and scalable technology”. What was a surprise in the beginning – a global open innovation program set up all the way from Portugal – now is the new normal to him: “although central Europe is not always paying attention, the Portuguese ecosystem is very active and we are aware of this”.
But as Protechting is now taking applications for this years’ edition, it is also pertinent to let applicants know about one of the perks of Protechting – Piloting track: the roadshow to China.
Pack some clothes (and a pitch or two), you are going to Shanghai
If you are part of the top three startups to participate, this is where Protechting is taking you. We are talking about a global financial hub, 8th place ranked in the Top 30 Global Startup Ecosystems, as stated in the Global Startup Ecosystem Report launched this year. Food for thought, Shanghai is also part of the only three ecosystems that made it to the top 10 in both female entrepreneurship and global performance.
The experience is made to open some doors for the brave entrepreneurs by meeting Fosun and their associated companies as well as expanding the knowledge about the country’s market and culture. In fact, you might even take the chance to explore other opportunities all by yourself as you are already there.
Protechting’s applications phase are currently open. This year, the program’s evaluators are adding a new criteria to the selection of the top candidates: solutions with a sustainable and socially impact will certainly catch their attention.
You can even have add up a pinch of Sustaintech and there you go: the fourth edition of Protechting is on the making.
After three previous successful editions, Protechting is back to promote the collaboration between startups and established corporations. It has now two different tracks to boost startups growth, according to their maturity: a Piloting track and a new Pre-Acceleration track, with a spotlight at sustainable and socially impacting solutions.
Healthtech, Insurtech and Fintech startups – If you are eager to pilot your solution or to speed up your growth, here are the Partners who are making it happen:
As the largest insurance group in Portugal, with over 200 years of existence and an international presence, Fidelidade consists of a group of companies in the insurance and health sectors, including also a combination of services, that as a whole, protect the future of families, companies and Country. If Protection is your thing, this is the partner for you.
Fidelidade is here from the very first edition of Protechting (Jesus, it has been a few years now) noticing how startups have been bringing innovation and a new look into these areas. Shout out to the brave winners of the first edition of the program: EctoSense LifeSymb and CleenBeen.
Hospital da Luz Learning Health
Inside Luz Saúde Group, Hospital da Luz Learning Health is dedicated to the advanced training of professionals, translational research and innovation, in healthcare provision and management.
As the improvement of knowledge, technologies and advanced practices in healthcare are what makes their DNA, you can already see that innovation is part of the job and therefore the right partner to collaborate – “Healthteching” speaking.
Hauck & Aufhäuser
Hauck & Aufhäuser presents itself as the Fintech partner for Protechting. Adding not only knowledge and expertise into the area, it adds also to the international focus of the program, since it is a private german bank, with a 220-year history.
This is actually the most recent partner of the program, joining for the previous edition in 2018 – in fact here is their own testimony entering Proteching.
Fosun was founded in 1992 and is a family-focused multinational company listed on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (00656.HK) since 2007. With its roots in China, and through technology and innovation, Fosun’s mission is to create customer-to-maker (C2M) ecosystems in health, happiness and wealth. The group embraces all the other partners of the program.
Actually, the presence of Fosun in Protechting is what can be taking you to China: The three best solutions of the piloting track will get the chance to participate in a roadshow in China with access to some of the largest global investors.
Last week I’ve been on the last day of Protechting’s bootcamp. It’s far from being my first one, but it was the first time I actually stopped to analyze them. Not to judge them, not to evaluate them, but to have their backs even without speaking. A lot of our startups come from abroad so their support system is far away.
I used to have this teacher back in college that said we all should go, at least once, to a club, to be completely sober and just observe, he said it was one of the richest sociological experiences he’d ever had. I never did it. But I’ve decided to observe people during a pitch day of an open innovation program, I pretty much minded their businesses without even knowing them.
For a week the startups share our building (Beta-i) but the whole team doesn’t have a close contact with them – we’re almost 60 people -, so we don’t get to know their dreams, their hopes, their fears. But if we stop for an hour to hear them pitch we can have an easy access to all of that. The beauty of pitching is that is someone on their most vulnerable state, trying to convince people they’re good, that they’re here to make a change and they know that unless they’re willing to put their heart, sweat, tears and nervous system on stage, they don’t stand a chance.
I learned that the more you understand and/or enjoy a certain kind of technology the more focused you are during the pitch and the more the nerves are insignificant to you. I have a soft spot for healthtech so, even though, I know for a fact they were all nervous it isn’t that easy for me to understand it and that made me realize that who’s evaluating can easily ignore the fact that their hearts are on their mouths on that stage.
Dry mouth, racing heart, moving hands frenetically are some of the stage symptoms, but it’s the differences that make them unique. Some decide to face the stage in pairs, others record their partner on stage. I may be extremely unfair here but I’d say portuguese and spanish are the ones who show more nerves on stage – this hot blood of ours doesn’t help our cause. The funny thing is that their posture changes from night to day as soon as their pitches end and the Q&A starts.
What do they all have in common? The relief when leaving the stage. For what they all go through, the pressure they put themselves under, my huge congratulations. All 23 were amazing – they always are.
However, from those 23 there were 12 moving forward, it’s not a matter of being better, it’s a matter of fitting better the needs of the client. And those are: SkinSoul, Criamtech, CopSonic, Humanoo, Wall-i, MedicSen, Gistek, BaylifeTech, TMASS, SpinAnalytics, Cardiomo and Rnters.
After 157 applications from 35 different countries that included 15% focused on Insurtech, 28% on Fintech and 31% on Healthtech and after a selection process, Protechting is ready to receive its 25 finalists selected for the bootcamp.
Among the selected 23 there are 5 from Portugal, 5 from Spain, 4 from Germany, 3 from the UK, 2 from the US, 2 from Macau, 1 from Mozambique, 1 from Finland and 1 from France.
Meet them – even though just online – and know what they do:
Medicsen (Spain) – Non-invasive artificial pancreas for diabetes: Predictive AI + smartpatch. It improves quality of life in the diabetic patients providing them with a personalized, automatic and non-invasive treatment, decreasing associated complications like blindness or amputations.
HUMANOO (Germany) – Empowers people to achieve their personal health goals. How? With the help of e-therapists. They count with the support of 40 people from 10 different countries from creative minds, fitness freaks, physiotherapists, yoga gurus to food bloggers.
SkinSoul (Portugal) – a technology that allows Medical Doctors (MD) from all specialties to screen for skin cancer their patients, with immediate feedback given by a tested AI system. Then the MD can immediately create a referral to the dermatologist. All in less than 2 minutes.
Criamtech (Portugal) – CRIAM stands for Chemical Reaction Image Analysis for Mobility, a portable medical device that identifies the human ABO and Rh blood type and subtype within 3 minutes, and detects diseases. CRIAM represents a new methodology for blood phenotyping based on a cartridge (with the specific reagents for the test) and on image processing techniques to determine the occurrence of agglutination – between blood sample and reagent.
Cardiomo (United States of America) – the mobile app serves as a display for vitals and metrics as well as a medication schedule reminder. It is also a communication center for user and designated observers — doctors, family, friends. When vitals go beyond normal range or the AI spots abnormalities in the EKG, there is a push notification to the user and/or observers stating the nature of the issue. This remote monitoring feature provides more precious time for rescuers in case of an emergency. The AI adjusts itself to each user thus providing more accurate diagnostics.
Supaspot (United States of America) – Captures lifestyle data from GenZ using the SUPA App at sports and music events (brand partnerships) from IoT devices (wearables, mobile phone apps). GenZ continues using the SUPA App and captures data.
Rnters (Portugal) – a peer-to-peer rental marketplace where users can rent or safely monetize any item. scene, there was no simple or safe alternative to purchasing a new board, which didn’t make sense for a casual traveller.
Gistek (Spain) – Develops advanced and independent solutions in the insurance sector that improve their value chain through automation, standardization, interconnection, communication and confidentiality, always promoting simplicity of management, cloud computing, mobility, e-commerce, e-invoice, groupware, document management, systems interconnection and Business Intelligence.
CopSonic (France) – A new, patented, universal contactless communication protocol enabling digital security, smart detection and IoT connectivity between electronic devices in either attended or unattended or automated mode. Not limited to smartphones, computers, connected devices and peripherals, other machines. Distributed through an SDK and white labelled applications, the solution can be integrated by B2B partners within their vertical activities and existing environments (applications, web sites, servers…) as a complement or alternative to state-of-the-art technologies such as NFC, Bluetooth or QR Codes which are currently suffering from the compatibility rate issues and poor UX on the end user side.
Working Minds (Spain) – It delivers affordable, remote treatment and develops AI-based diagnostic tools for mental disorders.
Senseitrade (Spain) – Their mobile-first investment platform seeks to democratize investing and targets demographics that have been priced out of investing on the stock exchange notably due to costly broker fees. It offers a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to search for companies that are trading on an exchange. The platform has no restriction around portfolio sizes and operates on a low-commission model so low value traders are not excluded. It offers smart alerts when relevant information is published on the internet or social media. So investors can make decisions in stock markets more informed.
BillFront (Germany) – They make it easy for young and growing digital media companies to access funding by connecting to their accounting and invoicing systems and getting their receivables as security.
CoinAnalyst (Germany) – It’s a software system that enables any trader in the crypto asset sector and other industries to access a dashboard which monitors and analyses real-time data from the crypto and ICO market. CoinAnalyst is based on the patented Cogia technology which uses semantic indexing and structuring of online data using pattern recognition and artificial intelligence. Additionally, the system provides news, price quotes and messaging. Similar to the information provider Bloomberg in the traditional financial market, they want to become the equivalent information provider in the crypto market – not exclusive like Bloomberg, but open for the mass market.
Wall-i (Portugal) – Wall-I.TV is the most advanced cloud-based Digital Signage OS, able to provide segmented content for the audience consuming the information and versatile enough to be adaptable to the presentation of contents within different context requirements, taking advantage of the IoT’s opportunities for the widely spread of the technology within the context of Smart Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising, Smart Cities and Industry 4.0. It provides immediate deployment and setup within different media display contexts, audience metrics, insights and interaction, ambience monitoring, APIs for integration, and both big and small business reach.
Spin Analytics (United Kingdom) – Brings digital transformation in Credit Risk Management by leveraging predictive analytics, AI and ML techniques on Big Data. It is a software framework that also implements and fully automates many modern sophisticated methodologies and algorithms used by the world leaders in the industries of Banking and Credit Modeling for effective Risk Management purposes and regulatory purposes.
Reputation Transfer (United Kingdom) – Makes tools that pull the user’s data from sharing economy platforms upon request, having verified that the data is sourced from the correct accounts. The verification process doesn’t require either the user’s credentials or the exporting platform’s consent.
Sharemy (United Kingdom) – The platform is based on a Shared Ledger framework which is underpinned by a machine learning & block chain model. Our focus is help enabled the users in the peer to peer market place to use our service to give them a on demand insurance service for peer peer transactions. Our mobile & desktop application is targeted at current and new peer to peer services where the renter/seller of that service need an on-demand insurance support/cover. Our second channel of focus is to offer the service to brands or retailers looking to enter the peer to peer marketplace, for examples tool manufacturers looking to rents tools versus buy them.
LitigationCoin (Germany) – Provides legal tech solutions for litigation financiers on different occasions.
B2Quant (Portugal) – It aims to explore the potential of automated quantification tools in the analysis of medical images. The starting point is QuantEmTool (QET), a quantification method developed within the context of a MSc thesis in Biomedical engineering. QET allows automatic segmentation of global brain volumes and FLAIR magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) sequence hyperintensities, and following calculation of brain atrophy and lesion load, particularly relevant indicators to multiple sclerosis follow-up. QET can also be of value in the follow-up of other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson and Alzheimer.
Fjuul (Finland) – Provides a digital platform that enables insurers to offer digital smart insurance using real-time data to increase customer engagement and trigger preventive care rather than providing just pure risk coverage.
Tech (Mozambique) – It’s a company launched completely for Mozambican people, where its own main goal is to generate applicable and innovative solutions to Mozambican needs. These solutions answer to needs in different sectors of society, based on Communication and information technology.
TMASS (Macau) – It aims to provide revolutionary solutions for quantitative and qualitative analyses of protein molecules, which covers various aspects of human healthcare including “precision medicine”, “therapeutic protein drugs” and “medical cosmetology”. It strives to solve the issues of high cost, long development time, long turnaround time, low accuracy and poor quality control.
Baylife Tech (Macau) – They’ve developed a groundbreaking technology that enables the storage of stem cells under room-temperature and oxygen-free conditions for more than 10 days with ensured cell viability and functions, thus saving costly cryopreservation equipment and the corresponding process.
The Bootcamp will run until June 22. Know more about the program here.