On the tenth day of the tenth month in Munich, there were ten.
Deeply ambitious AI startups, that is, going head to head at GTC Europe. They were vying for the title of Europe’s Hottest Startup in a series of lightning-fast pitches and Q&A with a panel of startup specialists at the show’s Inception Awards.
With some 400 tech execs, developers and academics looking on, Germany’s BrighterAI took the bragging rights, along with a tidy prize valued at about $100,000 in cash and an NVIDIA DGX Station personal AI supercomputer. At news of the victory, much of the company’s young 12-member team, who had made the 600-kilometer trip from Berlin, leapt from their seats hooting and pumping fists.
BrighterAI’s co-founder and CEO Marian Gläser had just three minutes to describe their work, which uses deep neural networks to enable businesses to store and process images and video in a way that complies with GDPR and other increasingly important privacy laws and practices. The company creates perception layers from camera inputs to anonymize images in a natural way, while also stripping out distortions from weather and other factors. He projected revenue from the two-year-old company to grow to $70 million in five years.
All 10 Inception finalists were focused on applying AI to specific vertical industries – healthcare, financial analysis, manufacturing optimization and call-center operations, among others.
In presenting the award to BrighterAI, Jensen Huang, who admitted to being far less polished when he founded NVIDIA 25 years ago, said that the next wave of computing will be focused on such companies.
“The revolution of the past was inventing computing tools, but the revolution of now is applying computing technology to solve the great challenges of humanity,” he said. “The last 35 years were about the computer industry, the next 35 years is about your industries.”
The finalists had been whittled down from a list of more than 140 entrants from the 1,600 European AI startups in NVIDIA’s Inception program, a virtual incubator for AI companies that in total has more than 3,000 members.
Other finalists included:
- axial3D (Ireland): Produces medical 3D printing software to advance the standard and efficiency of surgical intervention.
- ATLAN Space (Morocco): Makes drones smarter and enables them to monitor vast areas, identify risks and make smart decisions.
- Axyon AI (Italy): Uses its deep learning platform to augment work in financial areas from credit risk and wealth management to churn-rate prediction and fraud detection.
- Conundrum (Russia): Uses AI and machine learning to predict failures, malfunctions and quality issues in complex industrial equipment and processes.
- Corti Labs (Denmark): Uses deep learning to help medical personnel in call centers and other settings to make critical decisions when time is of the essence. It provides accurate diagnostic support to emergency services, allowing patients to get the right treatment faster.
- IPT (Germany): Deploys its software to enable engineers to combine their own experience, AI and data to optimize manufacturing processes.
- RetinAI (Switzerland): Develops preventative treatment for such eye diseases as age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.
- Serket (Netherlands): Uses AI to assist farmers in tracking and monitoring the health of livestock. It’s named for the Egyptian goddess of nature, animals, medicine and magic.
- TheraPanacea (France): Uses AI, high performance computing, physics-based simulation and medical imaging to improve the efficiency and accuracy of radiotherapy treatment planning.