Despite the current state of affairs, Grenoble Ecole de Management (GEM), Massachusetts Institute of Technology Global Startup Workshop (MIT GSW) and the project sponsors have fully maintained their commitment to continuing both the Elevator Pitch Competition and the Sustainable Society Startup Challenge. Both competitions were held virtually: the candidates were asked to submit their pitches in a video format and the pitch videos were then evaluated by an esteemed panel of judges.
MIT GSW 2020 Elevator Pitch Competition (EPC)
The EPC strives to identify individuals with original ideas on how to solve pressing issues facing the world. The solution must be in the ideation or early implementation stages and not yet incorporated into a business. Candidates were given 1 minute and 30 seconds to pitch their idea, and evaluated for both solution fit and novelty, as well as pitch clarity and delivery. The two winners selected by the EPC jury this year are:
First Prize Winner: Salvatore Raddino from Seeingrobot
In his pitch, Salvatore Raddino, co-founder of Seeingrobot, addresses the problem of autonomy in mobility for both partially and completely visually impaired people. His solution is “MiMi”, a cane equipped with a camera and wheels, operating via artificial intelligence to accompany its user. The jury was impressed by the clarity of the pitch, the match between the solution and the identified problem and the credible team, who could get this business off to a good start.
Second Prize Winner: Nicolas Cault from Ludico
Nicolas Cault, founder of Ludico, proposes a playful device to help students develop their vocabulary and eloquence. The jury thought that the pitch was excellent thanks to the persuasive and well-constructed argument, which was able to immediately get the audience on board. This presentation clearly proves that Nicolas has impressive expertise in speaking and teaching.
MIT GSW 2020 Sustainable Society Startup Challenge (SSSC)
The SSSC invites teams to address a major challenge that the Alps (and communities in general) are facing. Established startups of all stages with a focus on sustainability and social issues were encouraged to apply. SSSC finalists prepared 5-minute pitches and pitch decks, and they were evaluated based on their understanding of the identified problem, value proposition, market opportunity and management team The two winners selected by the SSSC jury this year are:
First Prize Winner: BeFC® – Bioenzymatic Fuel Cells
In their pitch, the BeFC team discussed their innovative approach to making electricity from paper and enzymes. Their paper-based biofuel cells offer a sustainable and environmentally-friendly energy solution for low power electronics (in today’s world these are largely powered by non-recyclable lithium coin- or button-cell batteries). The jury was impressed by the team’s innovative technological solution, market and customer analysis, and the progress they have made to date.
Second Prize Winner: Lancey Energy Storage
In their pitch, the Lancey Energy Storage team shared their vision of a new era for energy storage, an era in which home appliances can store electricity at home, encouraging energy conservation while reducing the electricity bill. Their first product is the first electric smart heater with an embedded battery and energy management system. The jury was impressed by their clear presentation of the problem statement, startup traction and the extensive expertise within the management team.
As a Business Lab for society, accompanying new talents and startups in their development is part of our mission and made us an ideal fit to co-organize the MIT GSW 2020 startup competitions alongside Major Sponsor: La Région Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, and Sponsors: Université Grenoble Alpes, STMicroelectronics, Bpifrance, Schneider Electric, Tessi, GIANT, Capgemini Invent, Minatec, Atos, Institut Carnot LSI, Banque Populaire Auvergne Rhône Alpes, Grenoble INP, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Entreprises, Inria, CEA Leti, AG2R La Mondiale, IRT Nanoelec and Waoup.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the startups that participated and the members of our competition juries for their patience and goodwill. All our finalists’ pitches have been uploaded onto the MIT GSW YouTube channel.
We are also pleased to announce that two of the MIT GSW 2020 Keynote Lectures are now available for viewing online:
“What is Entrepeneurship? Can it be taught? How should it be taught?” by Bill Aulet, Managing Director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship and Professor of the Practice at the MIT Sloan School of Management
“Creating and Implementing Breakthrough Technologies” by Dr. Robert Langer, MIT Institute Professor, Departments of Chemical and Biological Engineering
We look forward to sharing more information with you soon.