Challenge Up! start-ups impress with innovative Internet of Things solutions

  • Intel, Cisco and Deutsche Telekom combine expertise to mentor and accelerate start-ups
  • First Challenge Up! programme draws to a close. 12 IoT start-ups showcase their solutions at unBound Digital
  • Use cases from analytics to smart technologies to industry 4.0 are the outcome of an intense six-month incubation programme that took the participants across European start-up hot spots including Berlin, Dublin, Krakow and London
  • Start-ups received ongoing mentoring and combined support in the form of resources, coaching and access to partners from Intel, Cisco and Deutsche Telekom,
  • For the first time, Intel, Cisco and Deutsche Telekom have teamed up with a joint initiative to drive open innovation in the Internet of Things
  • Start-ups have benefitted from the expertise, business and sales power of three big players, resulting in faster go-to-market and a range of added benefits
  • Challenge Up! 2016 announced – pre-registration already possible on

unBound Digital LONDON, United Kingdom, 1 December 2015 – Today Cisco, Intel and Deutsche Telekom presented the results from Challenge Up!, the European acceleration and incubation programme for start-ups, which aims to bring promising Internet of Things services and solutions to market at a faster pace. The demo day at unBound Digital in London follows a six-month acceleration and incubation programme that brought together resources from the three companies to champion and develop IoT innovation among European entrepreneurs, working with start-ups that are transformative in their industries.

The participating start-ups have been selected by a panel of senior leaders from Cisco, Intel and Deutsche Telekom, elected for their success in conceiving a number of IoT products across different areas, including smart solutions, big data and connectivity.

The programme itself has provided the businesses with investment above and beyond the financial, such as access to the three partners’ resources and clients, ongoing mentoring and the opportunity to accelerate the go-to market preparation requirements.

  • For example, N-joins data analytics solution for manufacturing plants makes production facilities more flexible, efficient and environmentally friendly, and has benefited from the programme by enhancing their offering and capabilities, with the help from the three technology companies. In practice, this allows N-Join to provide the software, while Cisco provides the hardware and Deutsche Telekom the cloud infrastructure. Intel will help to ensure the solution is market-ready, by demonstrating a Proof of Concept with N-Join in factories.
  • Smart device company Senic started a joint smart office project by integrating their smart controller Nuimo into Intel chip-based computers and in the Cisco Telepresence System. Deutsche Telekom will have Senic’s product integrated in their Smart Home platform Qivicon.
  • ProGlove, a company producing smart gloves for factory workers, is creating a smart supply chain through seamless integration of ProGlove into Supply Chain Monitoring solutions of for example warehouses, logistic and transportation companies. This will be demonstrated through proof of concepts with selected customers from Cisco, Intel and DTAG.
  • SEMSEYE, dubbed Google Analytics for retailers and shopping malls, runs a pilot with Intel in the Dublin Croke Park Sports stadium and also in Dublin’s museums and libraries, where SEMSEYE is used to monitor visitor flows. Alongside this, Deutsche Telekom installed SEMSEYE in five flagship stores in Romania and two in Poland.

Throughout the programme, the 12 start-ups from around Europe impressed with viable IoT solutions that have clear real-world benefits, from allowing diabetes patients to measure and maintain blood sugar levels in real-time (Admetsys) to reducing time spent searching for parking through crowd-sourced data (HiPark).

The two-day event saw the start-ups present their use cases to the panel of mentors, including Elias Drakopoulos (SVP Deutsche Telekom), Mike Flannagan (VP & GM Cisco) and Christian Morales (CVP & GM Intel), and to an audience of more than 50 technology and business experts and executives as well as more than 2,500 unBOUND Digital attendees from over 30 countries. The showcase results from months of work by the winning teams, with each team having at least three dedicated mentors from each corporation, face to face meetings and weekly remote working sessions, to build on their fresh ideas and ensure they reach a level of sophistication that will allow them to flourish in the IoT space.

Christian Morales, VP and General Manager EMEA at Intel Corporation: “Having personally witnessed the intense work with the start-ups over the last six months, I am truly excited to see tangible, real-world IoT solutions from industrial to smart cities benefiting our customers and partners. I am convinced that Challenge Up! will continue to capture the attention of the IoT sector in Europe and contribute to the very innovative and fast growing digital economy.”

Mike Flannagan, VP and General Manager at Cisco Data & Analytics Business: “The Internet of Things opens up great opportunities. To help better address these opportunities, Challenge Up! brings together the best of the technology world in an ecosystem of open innovation. I look forward to watching the 12 joint use cases succeed at organisations across the world.”

Elias Drakopoulos, SVP responsible for Europe B2B at Deutsche Telekom: “We initiated Challenge Up! for start-ups with business ideas in the field of Internet of Things. Working with these start-ups, supporting their development and go-to-market partnering creates value for all sides.
It is a win-win approach for the start-ups as well as for corporations like Deutsche Telekom. The start-ups receive unique knowledge and access to resources which supports their scaling, and at the same time we receive valuable services and solutions that we can offer to our B2B customers.
We believe that Challenge Up! is next the generation of Open Innovation. The success of this program shows how important it is to create an ecosystem as a basis for the development of innovation.”

The 12 participating start-ups are developing technologies that monitor, regulate and improve systems across a range of industries, including retail, smart homes, analytics and health. The full list of start-ups can be found here:

Start-ups that are interested in applying for the next round of Challenge Up! can pre-register on the website:

About Intel
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About Deutsche Telekom
Deutsche Telekom is one of the world’s leading integrated telecommunications companies with around 151 million mobile customers, 30 million fixed-network lines and more than 17 million broadband lines (as of December 31, 2014). The Group provides fixed network, mobile communications, Internet and IPTV products and services for consumers and ICT solutions for business customers and corporate customers. Deutsche Telekom is present in more than 50 countries and has approximately 228,000 employees worldwide. The Group generated revenues of EUR 62.7 billion in the 2014 financial year – more than 60 percent of it outside Germany.