Wieselburg, 10/9/2018. ZKW is known as a specialist for premium lighting and electronic systems and as a driver for innovation in the industry. To accelerate the development of innovative solutions for future mobility concepts, ZKW invited start-up companies to take part in the “Drive Light and Sight” start-up competition. The jury, consisting of experts from ZKW and Oberbank, has now honored the best ideas and most creative approaches. The three most innovative start-ups were awarded a total of 30,000 EUR in prize money and a space in the partnership program. “ZKW already has lots of bright minds on board, however, it is key to expose the company to fresh expertise and to drive innovations forward quickly. This is the only way ZKW can remain a technological pioneer in the era of autonomous driving” says Ralf Klädtke, CTO of the ZKW Group, emphasizing the great importance of continuous development.
International Start-Ups in Wieselburg
Eight start-up companies from around the world met at the ZKW headquarters in Wieselburg on September 24th and 25th. They were received upon arrival by the event’s initiators, Christian Bemmer and Yvonne Danzinger from ZKW Innovation Management. The eight start-ups qualified for the final pitch from a pool of roughly 40 applicants. The nationalities of the finalists were just as diverse as their ideas: The newcomer “Newsight Imaging” from Israel deals with CMOS image chips for processing data, such as LiDAR sensor data for optical distance and speed measurement. “Photonic Vision Ltd.” from the United Kingdom developed a revolutionary LidarVision sensor technology that combines optical distance and speed data with imaging information. “Brighter A.I. Technologies,” headquartered in Berlin, presented an algorithm that processes visual data, removes disturbances (such as fog) and optimizes the data for further image processing. Lightly Technologies from Ireland presented its ultra-thin LED light source “Hikari SQ,” and XYZ Interactive from Canada presented its 3D gesture sensors.
Best Ideas Awarded
On September 24th, the most innovative concepts from the start-ups were presented to a professional jury consisting of ZKW representatives Ralf Klädtke (CTO), Christian Bemmer (Director Innovation Management), Gerald Böhm (Director Pre-Development) and Sebastian Mayerhofer (Director Legal & Insurance) as well as Oberbank Senior Banker Gerald Hoschek. On the second day of the event, the young companies met with ZKW experts in workshops to work out joint project concepts to implement their approaches. After the results were presented, the jury awarded the three main winners. Newsight Imaging, Photonic Vision Ltd., and Brighter A.I. Technologies each won 10,000 EUR. Over the next few months, the winning start-ups will work on new solutions, technologies, and approaches for the lighting systems of the future alongside ZKW experts.