Best of | Smart Cities & Sustainability
X-Europe is passionate about startups that want to have a positive impact. A group that strikingly embodied this desire is the Smart Cities & Sustainability Cohort of our X-Europe program. Now as the cohort comes to an end, let’s recap on some of the conversations we had with the startup founders.
The founder of Volta Plant put it well when he said,
“To think, design, and act green (with very low, possibly null environmental impact) as a starting point. This key thought is required because a new product or technology without this quality is not expected to be well accepted by present and future markets” - Volta Plant
He was referring to what entrepreneurs should consider when constructing their business models. The essence of the statement is that sustainability has become more than an industry, it is a requirement from all actors in the social, political, and economic spheres. Success will soon be dependent on how climate and resource-conscious the product, service, and organisation of a venture are. At X-Europe, we had the opportunity to pool together some of the most groundbreaking startups whose product is entirely aimed at sustainably transforming a social, political, or economic aspect of living. Here is what they had to say.
Innovations in sustainability are on demand and on the rise. How we live as societies needs to be rethought in order to create and maintain a habitable environment for all. Smart Cities & Sustainability founders are therefore experiencing breakthroughs in the market, gathering support from key players across the tech, business, and governmental ecosystems.
What surprised us the most is the number of extraordinary people, companies, and investors ready to put their skin in the game for our vision - Vemini
The most surprising thing for me was being able to beat this kind of company in these tenders, using our own resources for funding the development of FIWOO (we didn’t receive any investment yet). - FIWOO/Secmotic
We managed to sign the first customer deals in Poland and we are looking forward to scaling in Europe. The most surprising was the pandemic itself! But the most important and amazing thing was my team, who never gave up and helped our company move forward. - VivaDrive
Participation in the X-Europe program brought a wide range of results. Founders gained a deeper understanding of the market and an extensive network with other startups in the sector. Quality mentorships helped launch companies into the European context and further. A keyword that kept on coming up was growth; a product of access to international investors and interaction with like-minded individuals with shared values.
X-Europe helped us launch our company in a European context with the ambition to go worldwide. Seminars are well organized, but the added value is the face-to-face training, about which we had just a taste by now. - Volta Plant
X-Europe links us with other startups, investors, and potential customers. It also assures global visibility. - VivaDrive
On the one hand, we have been able to know other startups in our sector, which are potential partners because we can work together on different projects. On the other hand, the mentorship received in terms of strategy is quite interesting and we are learning a lot thanks to the international experience of our mentor. - FIWOO/Secmotic
In addition to the inherent desire to have a positive impact, these founders share another powerful thing in common - ambition. Each interviewee expressed the aim to become a leader in their industry. Smart Cities & Sustainability brought together minds with innovations that stick, and solve.
Looking at the exponential increase of the population in cities, expected to reach a figure of 6.4 billion by 2050, there is no doubt the economy will shift towards sustainable businesses and smart city solutions. The time to act is now and my advice to the entrepreneurs that have taken this challenging journey is not to be afraid to fail or ask for help and to keep going. Our planet needs them! - MOWEA
To these founders, X-Europe has been a platform to bring together brilliant thinkers and a melting pot of solutions ranging from palm vein biometrics for better security to nearly 100% recyclable and 100% green electrical energy. The program has also been a springboard to more extensive and impactful positions in the market. Refreshingly, it has been a place where values sat higher than returns. Supporting such individuals is what X-Europe is all about.
Keep your eye out for these innovators!