FasTrackathon V: HighTechXL reveals all six technologies for spring 2021 cohort

Making deals for new tech takes time, and the HighTechXL tech scouting team just confirmed the last of the six technologies coming to FasTrackathon V on 17 March.

At this virtual event on Microsoft Teams, talents from across Europe will come together to assess technologies from TNO, Philips, the European Space Agency and CERN, then form teams. So this is for you, aspiring CEOs, CTOs and CFOs.

Over the past 12 months, the Eindhoven-based deep-tech venture builder has built tremendous deep-tech ventures with impressive teams who collaborated entirely virtually, says John Bell, HighTechXL CEO. In the COVID-19 age of working from home, that might not seem unusual.

Yet it is, Bell says:

Team members who didn’t know each other before the 2020 FasTrackathon are realizing their dream to create an impactful startup even though they’ve never met in person … even to this day. Can you imagine what will happen with the next cohort of new ventures when they can meet in person again in a couple of months? We can hardly wait to feel and experience that magical moment again that the venture teams will come together here in the Netherlands.

Here are the details on the new technologies:


Scientists at CERN developed the coaxial pulse conditioner technology to generate extremely precise (nanosecond scale) electrical pulses at high voltage (more than 10,000 V) and high currents (up to 5,000 amperes).
One of the key benefits of this technology is its ability to generate extremely repeatable pulses, down to only a few volts of accuracy for a pulse of more than 10,000 V.  High-power nanosecond-scale pulses have multiple applications including control of radiations in medical imaging and treatment, generating clean energy and providing clean air and water.

Learn more here on the CERN website.


Philips researchers have developed a unique, miniature, fiber-optics-based microscope which provides a wide field of view of approximately 200 microns with sub-micron accuracy. The microscope fits in a probe smaller than three millimeters in diameter and four centimeters long. The technology supports advanced imaging techniques such as reflectance, fluorescence, 2-photon Raman spectroscopy and 3D-computed tomography.

Potential application areas include biomedical and pharmaceutical fields for cancer diagnosis, development of new medicines and in-vivo inspection. The technology is covered by 11 patents.


Philips is opening its extensive portfolio of knowledge and intellectual property on electro-active polymers to explore cool new applications for this emerging technology. Electro-active polymers change when stimulated with electricity. When electrical current is applied, it is possible to induce a small deformation of a very thin polymer layer. Since the principle is reversible, it’s also possible to apply this technology to design sensors reacting to pressure, temperature and mechanical deformation.

Potential applications include medical wearables and implantable devices, such as sleep monitoring, Haptic feedback, sensors and actuators for sports, motion capture and “Smart” clothing, wellness.


This novel, maskless lithography technology could revolutionize the semiconductor industry. STED makes it possible to print 3D structures in polymer resins with nanometer resolution. TNO has sped up what used to be a very slow process without losing resolution.

Potential applications include maskless lithography and extremely precise 3D printing of optical structures for optical instruments and photonics chips.


ESA has developed an additive manufacturing solution to circumvent the limitations of traditional metallic powder-based approaches in a zero-gravity environment. Powder-based solutions require an inert atmosphere chamber and inefficient energy sources such as lasers or e-beams, making them unsuitable for use outside of a very controlled manufacturing environment. ESA combines conventional light-based heating with a wire feed, enabling a compact and low-complexity approach to manufacturing preforms of parts on demand. This makes the system lightweight and easy to transport and operate in the field with minimum pre-requisites.

This invention could also open the door to new applications of additive manufacturing for bigger or more complex parts using a variety of materials.


TNO Holst Centre gives new form factors and design freedom to electronics through ultra-thin printed temperature sensors.  

Potential applications are broad and include:

  • Industrial and automotive
  • Mobile Communication Devices
  • Consumer Electronics
  • Household Appliances
  • Heating & Air Conditioning

FasTrackathon teams will enter HighTechXL’s nine-month venture building program and start the intensive process of creating business plans and testing. This is your chance to become part of one of the most aggressive deep-tech efforts in the world. Just sayin’.

The event is free and you can register here.

HighTechXL’s approach has been getting a lot of pub lately, with big companies and local government increasingly signing on. You can see Innovation Origin’s latest post here.

About HighTechXL:

HighTechXL is located on High Tech Campus Eindhoven. Since 2015, the Eindhoven-based venture builder has produced dozens of successful startups in both high-tech and deep-tech including Accerion and Sustonable.

In aggregate, HightechXL startups have raised more than 122 million euros, with a far higher survival rate than other accelerators. And they’ve gone global, with business operations and clients spanning the globe.

HighTechXL is an initiative of the Eindhoven Startup Alliance with ASML, Philips, and High Tech Campus Eindhoven as members.

Read more about HighTechXL here on Dispatches.

Read more here about Eindhoven’s tech ecosystem.

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