Two UK-based startups win top awards at 2017 Nokia Open Innovation Challenge




Startups focusing on wearable nanotechnology and connected media won top honors at the Nokia Open Innovation Challenge. In partnership with NGP Capital, the Challenge called for ideas, technologies and new business models that will help enable a smart, safe and sustainable world.

The 2017 Open Innovation Challenge solicited entrants focused on key markets in the Internet of Things (IoT) domains of transportation, safety & security, smart cities, connected industries and health. The competition concluded with 10 finalists, selected from a record entrant pool of more than 400, who pitched their ideas during a two-day workshop in Helsinki, Finland.

Continuum Technologies of the UK received first prize for their concept of graphene-based sensing nanotechnology embedded into fabrics. Focusing on athletic performance enhancement as a use case, Continuum aims to provide real-time monitoring of biometric and biomechanical health data.

“Continuum promises to take athletes to the next level by enabling actionable insights that improve performance, speed recovery and prevent injury, and deliver intelligent goal tracking,” said Nokia Chief Strategy Officer Kathrin Buvac. “This is exactly the type of human-centric application of sensing and connectivity that we feel passionately about accelerating into the IoT landscape.” 

The investor choice award presented by NGP Capital went to Snaptivity, also from the UK Snaptivity offers a smart stadium solution integrating IoT sensors and robotic cameras and intelligent software to enable the capture of candid emotional moments during live events, through which venues and brands can engage fans. Snaptivity also received the audience choice award.

“All companies were small at one time, but at the end of the day, at NGP Capital we believe it is about the entrepreneurs wanting to change the world,” said NGP Managing Partner Bo Ilsoe. “Witnessing the great teams, energy and innovativeness shown at the Nokia Open Innovation Challenge is a testament to the vibrant ecosystem forming around new wireless standards such as 5G.”

Winning startups will have the opportunity to explore co-innovation and joint business opportunities along with access to Nokia’s global market, technologies, products and resources, and potential investment opportunities.

Rounding out the finalist group were:

  1. Balcony: A SAAS platform that enables organizations to point at a map and ask for real time information from people onsite.
  2. Enigmedia: A cybersecurity company specializing in cryptography and data transmission protection.
  3. Health Gorilla: Aggregates medical and health data into a single web-based and mobile access patient-centric repository.
  4. LISNR: Aiming for a new standard for device connectivity using sound.
  5. NuCypher: Proxy re-encryption, a scalable form of public key encryption that is well-suited for data sharing scenarios and distributed systems (e.g. IoT).
  6. OQ Technology: World’s first universal plug & play IoT device that can provide connectivity leveraging Low-Earth-Orbit satellite infrastructure.
  7. Savari: V2X analytics stack as well as V2X applications.
  8. Toposens: The first 3D sensor based on ultrasound.




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