As happens every year, the Eindhoven business establishment and the startup ecosystems announce a lot of exciting developments just before the summer vacation break as everyone rushes to get deals done before they head out the door till September.
Venture builder/fund LUMO Labs, based on High Tech Campus Eindhoven, in particular has had a very productive few weeks.
LUMO Labs is taking it to the streets with a substantial early-stage investment in CityLegends, an emerging multi-media urban lifestyle startup. CityLegends is an urban sports and culture platform for capturing and sharing
“spots,” ”jams” and ”challenges.” The CL app has huge potential due to scalability and a unique, culturally influential and untapped audience.
CityLegends connects a diverse urban street culture that includes extreme athletes, artists and community creators. CityLegends’ founders and team members have a deep understanding of this emerging global phenomenon and the tech skills to galvanize the community, according to LUMO founding partner Andy Lürling.
“We are building a platform for the local and global community of unbound urban athletes and artists,” said Jimmy Hermans, co-founder and CEO of CityLegends in a media release. “CityLegends is about capturing and sharing video-based creativity and passion for ‘spots,’ ‘challenges’ and ‘jams’ with others.
“Urban mentality is very much ‘Do it yourself, but do it together,’ and this is exactly the same mentality that we found at LUMO Labs,” Hermans said.
Lumo Fund II’s seed round will further develop the platform and expand the CityLegends community in Europe. CityLegends currently is active in the Netherlands and Belgium.
LUMO’s investment follows pre-seed funding from Leuven-based accelerator Imec.istart. LUMO founders are investing based on the quality of the team, scalability and CityLegends’ promotion of vitality and community connection.
LUMO Labs and the Lumo Fund II are focused on social impact, and CityLegends’ secret sauce is building a creative community around urban activities that promote health, vitality and individuality that is also a shared experience.
“Among many other good things like physical activity and fun, urban sports is about guts, confidence and perseverance,” said LUMO Labs’ Lürling. “CityLegends builds connections and influence for its community, without compromising on the free and open urban culture. Their impact potential is huge because of the scalability and perfect market fit of their proposition.”
The CityLegends team will work from LUMO Labs offices on HTCE, with additional bases at Eindhoven Area 51 (Urban Sports Center) and in Belgium.
Urban Lifestyle terms courtesy of CityLegends:
• Spots are the places where you experience urban & cultural life; where you meet others; where you fall down and get up again to learn that one cool trick. It can be a small spot around the corner, or a big park.
• Jams are the places and moments where you train with a chill vibe, challenge each other and meet peers. Urban sports & culture is not something you do casually; it is a lifestyle.
• Challenges has a broad definition. It can be that one special place where you always wanted to do a trick or a battle, tournament or any other competition. In competitions, the winners aren’t necessarily the best athletes, but athletes with the most creativity.
Here’s what we know: When you connect a lot of energetic and creative young people, you get more than just a good workout. You get the kind of synergy that produces new music, new fashion and a whole new zeitgeist.
LUMO Labs partners with TechCrunch to launch XTC Netherlands
LUMO founders also announced a partnership with Extreme Tech Challenge (presented by TechCrunch) to launch XTC Netherlands in 2022. LUMO Labs will organize the XTC Netherlands “chapter” with local partners such as High Tech Campus Eindhoven and NXP Semiconductors in 2022.
The XTC is the world’s largest startup ecosystem for powering a better world via purpose-driven innovation and technology inspired by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. More than 3,700 applicants representing six continents, 92 Countries vie for a spot in the social impact, greentech, healthtech and sustainability tech ecosystem, according to TechCrunch. Finalists pitch to a panel of high-profile investors. XTC startups have raised more than $1.8 billion from some of the world’s most influential VC firms and private investors.
LUMO Labs will organize several semi-final pitch events culminating in one final event in early 2022. The winner from the Netherlands will go on to compete at Extreme Tech Challenge next year in Palo Alto, Calif.
Stay tuned for the XTC Netherlands 2022 launch in September.
HighTechXL alumni on stage
Let’s do a quick return to HighTechXL’s XL day earlier this month. Yes, there were a lot of new teams and some very, very promising concepts including Veridis, which makes plastics recycling more efficient, and Optiflux, which uses a lens to focus radiation for ultra-precise surgery. But interspersed between the pitches were two Q&A sessions with HighTechXL alumni, which reminded us how successful this deep-tech venture builder has been and how much it has contributed to the Eindhoven ecosystem.
Had there never been a HighTechXL, Eindhoven would have two successes to show for the past decade – JW Player and SendCloud. And as great as both are, neither reflect the deep-tech roots of Eindhoven, headquarters to semiconductor giant ASML.
The Q&As touched on challenges during the pandemic along with many other topics.
In the Q&As – moderated by HighTechXL founder and Chief Growth Officer Guus Frericks and Robin van Scheijndel, program and community director, – were:
• Soukaina Adnane, co-founder, marketing and branding exec with Onera, which develops sleep diagnosis technology. Frericks told the crowd that it was Onera’s success that lead to HighTechXL’s pivot to deep-tech venture builder in 2018 from a conventional accelerator. Onera has spent the past four years “doing everything at the same time,” including gaining a CE Mark for medical devices and applying for FDA certification for the American market, Adnane said. Onera has multiple commercial pilots with hospitals in the Netherlands and in Germany. In 2019, the startup raised a $9.3 million Series A round led by Jazz Pharmaceuticals, based in Dublin, the Republic of Ireland. BOM, Brabant’s investment fund, and imec, the Leuven-based high-tech research institute, also invested.
Biggest issue was hiring during the pandemic and maintaining the startup spirit while working virtually, Adnane said.
• Rudie Verwiej, founder and CEO of Incooling. Incooling is an alumnus of the 2018 deep-tech cohort. Verweij said Incooling, which has developed technology to cool CPUs and GPUs, had increasing contacts and collaborations with global semiconductor companies, including Intel. ASML and Incooling won an award for best startup/corporate cooperation.
• Han Dirkx, CEO and co-founder of AlphaBeats. Alphabeats uses biorhythms to reduce stress simply by listening to users’ favorite music. AlpaBeats is in beta testing as it begins to focus on the U.S. market. “It’s a big stress-relief market. It’s also where the streaming music companies are, Dirkx said. “It’s also the main wearables market and has the largest mindfulness-as-a-meditation app industry.”
• Vincent Burg, CEO at Accerion, which builds mobile robot positioning technology. Accerion was part of the inaugural HighTechXL accelerator cohort in 2015. Burg talked about Accerion’s entry into Asia.
• Marco Arts, COO at Carbyon. Arts joked that his startup has “a humble challenge. We want to tackle climate change, basically.” He noted that humans need to reduce carbon emissions by zero … “but even that’s not enough. We need to remove all the excess CO2 pumped into the atmosphere during the past 200 years.” Carbyon uses direct air capture to filter CO2 out of the air affordably via technology developed at TNO. Arts noted Carbyon can source all the hardware and talents locally to scale up quickly. Carbyon is part of the 2019 HighTechXL cohort.
• Hans de Penning, co-founder of Amber Mobility. Amber is a car-sharing platform “for people who don’t want cars,” de Penning said. He talked about how the pandemic cut use dramatically and forced Amber executives to pivot to B2C from corporate mobility after more people started working from home. “We completely shifted the business to consumers and not only business customers, and that really helped us … actually, it grew the business.” Amber now has a waiting list for their platform, de Penning said.
• Betsy Lindsey, co-founder and CFO of Aircision. Airicison builds communications tech using lasers, including Free Space Optics links for 5G network. The startup just had successful tests earlier this year, and a German telecom has agreed to joint testing in December, Lindsey said. Aircision started in 2018 in the first venture building program along with Incooling and other deep-tech startups.
Almost all the panelists talked about hiring people online during the pandemic, people they’ve only recently met.
In the long run, HighTechXL startups have raised about 100 million euros and created almost 2,400 new jobs … and those numbers are increasing every day, with Eindhoven ever closer to having a major exit.
HighTechXL alumnus Bambi Medical starts clinical trials
Speaking of HighTechXL alumni, medtech startup Bambi Medical from the second cohort has started clinical trials for its neonatal vital sign monitoring system – the Bambi Belt. The trials are the final step needed for approval to obtain the CE mark.
The two clinical trials for are for the skin-friendly and wireless neonatal vital sign monitoring system developed by Bambi CEO Fabio Bambang Oetomo and team. It measures full cardiac function (ECG), heart rate and respiration rate of premature babies. The first clinical trial is lead by the Amsterdam University Medical Centers (Amsterdam UMC), and executed by both Amsterdam UMC and the Maxima Medical Center (MMC) in Veldhoven, part of Eindhoven, according to a news release.
The study will compare the monitoring performance of the wireless Bambi Belt and the standard method via wired adhesive electrodes currently used for cardio-respiratory monitoring. A second parallel clinical trial at the MMC in Veldhoven will compare the skin condition of premature babies monitored with the Bambi Belt versus the skin condition after traditional monitoring with adhesive electrodes.
Forty babies, from 26 weeks of gestation, will be monitored in the Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) in a standard care environment, simultaneously wearing both the Bambi Belt and the traditional monitoring system.
Conducting these clinical trials is the last phase of the product development process for Bambi Medical, with the study submitted for the CE mark under the European Medical Device Regulation.
Neonatologists of both Amsterdam UMC and MMC in Veldhoven involved in the execution of the study have spent a significant amount of time, along with their normal tasks, to ensure a timely start of these clinical trials, Bambang Oetomo noted in the release.
Bambi Medical plans to release the Bambi Belt solution in the European market, after obtaining the CE marking, in the second quarter of 2022.
• High Tech Campus Eindhoven has introduced a line of merchandise for running, cycling, fitness and just hanging out. Items include cycling jerseys and bibs, sports shorts and tights and T-shirts and hoodies.
• HTCE also introduced an app for High Tech Plaza, the three-building campus startup hub. The app allows people already registered in the startup system to connect with the campus ecosystem – people involved with startups: founders, engineers, venture capitalists, patent specialists, marketeers and all other kind of supportive people.
You can email HTCE here to get an invitation to download the app: [email protected]