The 2nd time in a row the EIT ICT Labs partner Deutsche Telekom is looking for smart ideas. In this year’s Telekom Innovation Contest teams from 39 countries submitted 326 ideas. However, only 11 teams are invited to the Champions Pitch in Krakow. Inseveral Semi-Finals across Europe & Israel close to 100 teams had to compete for a slot in the final pitch event in Poland on June 27th.
In Germany the semi-finalists had to rock the biggest stage of all semi-finals: the pitches took place at re:publica, a blogger conference in Berlin with more than 5.000 guests. After 10 strong pitches the Berlin-based startup PlugSurfing was the favorite of the panel of experts from Telekom Innovation Laboratories, hub:raum in Berlin and Krakow, as well as Kitchen Budapest. With it’s IT solution and app for the e-mobility sector the young startup convinced the jury.
Founded in Berlin in 2012, PlugSurfing is one startup that benefit from some intensive coaching of EIT ICT Labs' BDA team and expert advice of the action line „Urban Life and Mobility". The team coming from England, The Netherlands and Germany developed an app not only providing drivers of electric vehicles with information on where to find charging stations, it lets them pay for charging, too.
“Our app gets around the problem of there being so many provider networks. Drivers need to have a hundred (exactly: up to 70) RFID cards if they want to be able to charge their vehicle anywhere – now all they need is a smartphone,” said PlugSurfing CEO and co-founder Adam Woolway. On June 4th the new app has been launched together with the PlugSurfing Charging Key, a RFID-enabled keyring for the few charging points not yet able to be remotely accessed. The first 100 pieces have been sold within one week.
Refine the Pitches
Together with 10 other finalists, PlugSurfing’s founders will attend a four-day „Startup Training Program“ in Krakow at the venue of hub:raum Krakow, Deutsche Telekom’s incubator for Central and Eastern Europe. During the program all finalists will work closely with special pitch coaches and experts from Deutsche Telekom, Amazon and other consultants to refine their pitches and develop their ideas further in a series of workshops.
On June 27, at the Champions Pitch in Krakow, 11 teams will go head to head for the Telekom Innovation Contest’s top prize - investments of up to EUR 150,000 from Deutsche Telekom's incubators, hardware and software, support from Deutsche Telekom experts, and a place at the „Startup Night“ in Berlin on September 6.