Last night, Powered by Twente organized the final of the Young Technology Award (YTA), an award for young, innovative companies or business cases. Both the audience and the jury selected SoundEnergy as winner of the YTA 2015. Congratulations! We were there and did our own assessment together with some experts on the spot, based on the investment criteria in our Golden Egg Check software. Our winner? Well… we had a different opinion than the jury and the (remainder of the) audience.
If you don’t know what the Golden Egg Check is: in short it is a method, implemented in software to assess business ideas based on the criteria of (venture capital) investors. For last night’s YTA, we thought it would be cool if we would have a live panel assessing the pitches and see who our winner would be. So we did.
Our panel comprised more than 10 innovation experts, including growth entrepreneurs, investors, banks, accountants and business developers, who were present at the YTA event. After every pitch and Q&A session, our panel assessed the proposition on seven criteria, which are the clusters of our full size investor readiness check: Team, Execution, Growth, Market opportunity, Value proposition, Competitive edge, and Investment opportunity. We shared the results more or less real time with the audience via the twitter feed of #YTA15.
Although our panel liked the technology of winner SoundEnergy, our results indicated a different winner. Our top three included Triboform (82%), LipoCoat (80%), and KITE Robotics (75%). SoundEnergy got a score of 56%, which isn’t bad at all, but we would be lying if we would say that we expected SoundEnergy to win.
Golden Egg Check scores of our live panel at YTA15
We will highlight every company below. You can click on each of the participants’ thumbnail to see their cluster scores (i.e. the average of all the panel members).
360SportsIntelligence is an upcoming player in the Twente startup scene. Recently, they were granted an innovation credit of the TOP-program. 360SportsIntelligence has developed an automatic annotation system to analyze videos sport games including soccer and field hockey. We introduced the company in our blog last month, read it here (in Dutch). Based on the pitch of 360SportsIntelligence the team and value proposition were ranked the best.
KITE Robotics (75%)
The second pitch came from Stefan Spanjer of KITE Robotics. This company has gained some momentum in the last weeks; they demonstrated their window cleaning robot in action at the University of Twente and were a finalist at the “Get in the Ring summit”. The pitch was well received by the Golden Egg Check panel, especially the value proposition and market opportunity.
“Actually I just want to get rid of these” is what Jasper van Weerd said when he finished his pitch by throwing his glasses off stage. LipoCoat is developing nanocoatings for medical devices and is now targeting the contact lens market first. Their bio-inspired coating improves the comfort of contact lenses. The panel especially acknowledged the growth potential and market opportunity of LipoCoat. Although not the YTA’s winner, Jasper was proud to state that he received a substantial grant earlier that day.
SoundEnergy, the big winner of last night, has a technology to cool buildings based on thermo-acoustical energy. SoundEnergy had a rather technical pitch, not fully utilizing the two minutes to share not only their technical solution but also the value that their solution offers to customers. SoundEnergy’s market opportunity and their competitive edge were the relatively high-scoring clusters, and the team (including the ‘Godfather’ of thermo-acoustics) was ranked solid as well.
Symetrics is developing a new econometric model to enhance performance of assets under management and to assure compliance with regulatory requirements. Symetrics’ solution is focused on the banking sector and the pitch was promising, since they claim they can predict a lot. The metaphor of predicting the weather was used: “you want to predict tomorrow’s weather, not today’s weather”. The jury was quite critical, especially regarding to the competitive edge and proof/ credibility of the product. Our panel agreed, but was quite positive on the team and market opportunity (if it works….).
TriboForm Engineering (82%)
TriboForm Engineering was the final (and according to our panel, the best) pitch of the evening and had a very relaxed entrepreneur in Jan Harmen Wiebenga. With help of the first jury question, Jan Harmen could explain the Triboform solution: metal forming simulations by integration of realistic and accurate friction and lubrication data, enabling faster and more accurate metal forming simulations with enriched functionalities. There was a really good business case, the highest score of all pitches on investment opportunity and value proposition, and all the clusters scored around 70% or more.
Result & concluding remarks
The jury commented that they decided to go for a very young technology company which has a lot of potential and societal/ environmental impact, that is: SoundEnergy, instead of two companies (LipoCoat and Triboform) that were a step further and needed the prize less in their opinion.
Based on the panel scores, we would have expected LipoCoat or Triboform to win. We did not expect SoundEnergy to win the double, but we are happy for Herbert and his team. Obviously, we only could form our opinion based on a 2-minute pitch plus 9 minute Q&A, and there is an option that the jury had extra info to base their decision on.
We doubt this point, because of several reasons (the jury’s explanation and the inside information we had as well since 5 of the 6 companies are current or former clients of Golden Egg Check). Therefore, our impression is that the jury of YTA 2015 handed out an encouragement award, but our opinion is that you should highlight your best “Young Technology”.
We tried to get a good and credible sample of the audience, but we are aware of statistics’ rules and limitations. Furthermore, it is a snapshot of the current business (or pitch) potential. We are more than happy to extend this pilot into a fully-version voting app for the YTA 2016 or another event, to get a real Golden Egg Check audience award.
About the Golden Egg Check
Golden Egg Check is software to assess business ideas based on the criteria of (venture capital) investors. Besides our software, we help entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, investors and incubators to grow with our services, including market analysis and investor matching. For more information, please contact Gilles Meijer (firstname.lastname@example.org).