AI, VR, Robotics Startups Vie for $100,000 at ECS

by Alain Tiquet

Some of the brightest startups in the tech world go head-to-head next month, vying for $100,000 and a shot at glory.

We’ve selected a dozen young companies from over 100 applicants worldwide for this year’s Early Stage Challenge, a feature event of our eighth annual Emerging Companies Summit (ECS). Each company has raised no more than $1 million in seed funding, but most have already received awards for their technology.

BriSky Technology develops all-weather industrial drones that use computer vision and deep learning to conduct autonomous tasks.

Here’s how the Early Stage Challenge works: Each CEO will have four minutes to present onstage, plus four minutes to take questions from an expert panel. The group includes tech pundit Rob Enderle; George Hoyem, investment partner at In-Q-Tell; and Jeff Herbst, vice president of business development at NVIDIA. NBC Bay Area TV anchor and tech reporter Scott McGrew will moderate.

Once the last competitor has finished, the panel and audience will immediately vote for their favorite. The winner gets $100,000, right on the spot.

The Early Stage Challenge takes place from 2-5 pm on April 6 at the San Jose Convention Center. Sixty-five innovative startups participating in ECS will also exhibit in the GPU Technology Conference expo hall.

Horus Technology’s wearable device uses computer vision and machine learning to aid the visually impaired.

The Early Stage Challenge competitors are (in order of appearance):

  • Aerialguard (Israel) – Provides autonomous situational awareness for drones and UAVs, dramatically increasing safety, survivability and mission capabilities.
  • CogniCor (Spain) – Uses AI and natural language processing for handling product queries, claims and other customer support issues.
  • Lucid VR (U.S.) – Develops LucidCam, a stereoscopic 3D camera for consumers with 180-degree wide-angle lenses and spatial audio.
  • Linkface (China) – Offers facial recognition technology powered by deep learning. Its cloud platform provides free services for non-commercial use and high-concurrency services for business use.
  • Intelligent Voice (U.K.) – Offers speech-to-text technology and analysis of unstructured communications for compliance purposes, including the collection, processing and analysis of audio and other data types.
  • Horus Technology (Italy) – Develops a wearable device that uses computer vision and machine learning to aid visually impaired people, describing the environment through bone conduction.
  • Hypercubes (U.S.) – Develops satellites that reveal unprecedented details of Earth, with the ability to remotely classify chemical compositions for applications such as precision farming, mining, and oil and gas operations.
  • BriSky Technology (China) – Develops all-weather industrial drones that use computer vision and deep learning to conduct tasks such as autonomous inspections of power lines, wind turbines, traffic monitoring, surveillance and public security.
  • TempoQuest (U.S.) – Develops software as a service to meet the need for faster, more accurate weather forecasts for commercial users and government agencies.
  • Sadako (Spain) – Develops a robot that uses computer vision, deep learning and careful manipulation to sort household waste, enabling the recovery of materials such as PET and HDPE plastic at lower costs than alternatives.
  • Entropix (U.S.) – Enables inexpensive cameras like those in smartphones and drones to capture extremely high resolution images at up to 8K.
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    Analytical Flavor Systems uses machine learning and AI to predict flaws, contamination and batch-to-batch deviations for food and beverage producers.

    Analytical Flavor Systems (U.S.) – Uses machine learning and AI to identify and predict in real time flaws, contamination and batch-to-batch deviations for food and beverage producers.

The Emerging Companies Summit, to be held Wednesday, April 6, is part of the annual GPU Technology Conference taking place at the San Jose Convention Center in Silicon Valley from April 4-7. The summit provides companies with an opportunity to present their technologies to potential investors, industry executives, customers, analysts and media. Register for the summit and conference at