- Biomedical Engineering Institute
- Food Institute
- Health Telematics Science Institute
- Institute of Architecture and Construction
- Institute of Defence Technologies
- Institute of Environmental Engineering
- Institute of Materials Science
- Institute of Mechatronics
- Institute of Metrology
- Prof. Kazimieras Baršauskas Ultrasound Research Institute
Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) Santaka Valley hosted semi-finals of the international competition of startups from energy field KICkoff. The winners of KICkoff Lithuania – two teams from KTU – compete to win 10 000 euros in the finals in Warsaw in September.
KICkoff Lithuania is one of the six global startup competition semi-finals, taking place in different countries. Teams from Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia could take part at KICkoff Lithuania.
“This competition is aimed at finding and encouraging start-ups, researchers, and scientists working in energy field who are creating energy efficient and renewable energy solutions, such as solving issues for intelligent and energy-efficient buildings’ or urban problems,” says Head of KTU’s Startup Space Donatas Smailys.
KICkoff Lithuania was organised by KTU’s Startup Space on July 4-5. Six teams from Latvia and Lithuania competed in the event. The startups were evaluated by the commission of experts: founders of successful startups, startup mentors and venture capitalists. The criteria included the product’s relevance to the theme of the competition, quality of the business model and the market analysis presented, quality of the presentation, commercialisation opportunities and real results.
The Winners: Smart Car Charging System and Intelligent Gas Sensor
The trip to the KICkoff finals in Warsaw was awarded to the two teams comprised of KTU scientists and students, who presented innovations SmartChargeBox mobile and Highly Selective Multiple Gas Sensor.
“Our mobile charging station will satisfy the needs of different users. Our business model is aimed not only to individual households, but also businesses and public sector company”, said Kęstutis Valinčius, the generator of the smart mobile electric vehicle charging station SmartChargeBox concept.
The solution developed by KTU scientists will assist in quick charging not only of electric cars, but also of other electrical devices.
Highly selective multiple gas sensor developed by the second team, can be applied for measuring the air quality both in private and industrial surroundings. The sensor is easy to integrate and adapt to a variety of other devices, and can detect various sources of gas.
“Our device is designed to allow us to determine the concentration of any gas in any environment,” said one of the members of the team, KTU student Dovydas Barauskas.
12 the best energy field startups from different countries will take part at the KICkoff finals. The winning team will not only receive 10 000 euros’ investment, but also will get networking possibilities with international mentors, potential investors, and an opportunity to find potential partners in other countries.
Nurtures Beginning Startuppers
Two of the young teams participating at KICkoff Lithuania won additional prizes: KTU’s Startup Space acceleration packs went to Foamita and Multicord.
“The acceleration package includes a range of services, which the winning team will be able to use for three months. We know that it is really important to motivate young teams, to help them discover their strengths, define the roles among the team members, to teach them to how to “sell” their ideas. Young startups also need to have an actual space where the team could work and improve their products”, said Donatas Smailys, introducing the prize.
International Mentor and Best Practices Sharing
“Our idea was not only to hold the semi-finals and to determine the best teams, but also to provide additional knowledge. Mentoring and sharing of best practices are of crucial importance at our incubator”, said Smailys.
The seminars and discussions two days before the semi-finals covered various topics. Internationally acclaimed mentor from Estonia Gleb Maltsev gave a talk on successful presentation, engaging potential investors in a few minutes, and specified the most common mistakes startuppers make while presenting their ideas.
“Do not be afraid to speak in English; you speak better than you expect”, encouraged Maltsev young entrepreneurs.
The business models and the future sales performance experience were shared by the young Lithuanian business development experts and developers of startups: founder of Talent Garden Artūras Bulota, one of the most successful Lithuanian startups’ Inside Warehouse co-founder and KTU Startup Space mentor Justinas Taruška, and Arvydas Bložė, Head of startup accelerator Startup.lt.
All the speakers agreed that in order to build and to grow a successful business, it is important not only to know your clients and to offer them an exceptional product, but also to form a team whose members are able to adapt to a wide variety of situations, are flexible in response to changes, and can each give an equivalent contribution to the joint work.
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