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BitMetrics, Most Promising Industrial Startup of 2020

26 January 2021

BitMetrics, the startup that creates an industrial process automation system through a camera for robotic arms with artificial intelligence, has been chosen as the Most Promising Industrial Startup of 2020 during the fourth edition of IQS Tech Fest.


BitMetrics, the startup that creates an industrial process automation system through a camera for robotic arms with artificial intelligence, has been chosen as the Most Promising Industrial Startup of 2020 during the Demo Day of the fourth edition of IQS Tech Fest, the first and Europe's only industrial startup festival, organized by IQS Tech Factory, the IQS entrepreneurship center, and Barter.

The technology developed by BitMetrics facilitates processes that currently account for 40% of the tasks in the industry such as grasping, placing, and selecting objects. Thanks to the artificial intelligence built into the camera, the automated processes make autonomous decisions and provide practical adaptability in different contexts.

IQS Tech Fest has become the festival of reference in the sector, giving visibility to companies that manufacture disruptive technologies and bringing together the main international leaders of the industrial innovation ecosystem. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the festival was held in a digital format this year for the first time ever. The event's theme focused on sustainability and startups, companies, and investors discussed the current situation and the future of the industry. "With this event, we aim to promote industrial entrepreneurship, a type of entrepreneurship with a scientific and technical foundation that also includes production processes," explained Oriol Pascual, Director of IQS Tech Factory. "These startups will become tomorrow's industrial companies," Pascual added.

BitMetrics was the winning startup selected among the nine startups that participated in the IQS Tech Factory Acceleration Program, the first industrial accelerator in Spain. The program is partnered with ACCIÓ, the Government of Catalonia public agency that aims to improve competitiveness for companies in the region through innovation, internationalization, and attracting foreign investment. "The program is specially designed to help hardware-based startups take their functional prototypes to the first manufactured series. To do this, we help startups find the most suitable domestic component suppliers and manufacturers, among other activities," Pascual stated.

"We help startups with a physical product base (hardware) and proprietary technology to overcome the delicate and risky stage of product industrialization," Pascual noted. All participants in this program – disruptive startups that will change the future of the industry – worked shoulder-to-shoulder with leading mentors and professionals in the sector over recent months. During the Demo Day event, they presented their project to a panel made up of top experts from the ecosystem such as Heriberto Saldivar, Managing Director of Brinc Accelerator, Jordi Aguasca, Director of Startup Catalonia, ACCIÓ, Simone Van Neerven, Founder of reBella, and Judith Cruxent, Manager of GoHub Barcelona.

As the winner, BitMetrics will have the opportunity to travel to Shenzhen (China), considered the world's foremost manufacturing city and region, to carry out an acceleration program with Brinc Accelerator.

In the previous edition, the Most Promising Industrial Startup of 2019 was Steering Machines, a company that created an omnidirectional robotic platform to transport industrial materials and tools. Their design incorporates conventional wheels and is capable of moving anywhere. In 2020, the company commercialized and began manufacturing the first units of their product. It is currently signing new commercialization deals and Juanjo Canuto, CEO of Steering Machines, explained that "during this new edition of IQS Tech Fest, we have taken advantage of the presence of investors and companies to start a financing round.” 

Sustainability and trends for 2021 set the agenda for IQS Tech Fest

“COVID-19 has changed the future. There is no longer any certainty and we must change our way of thinking about the future,” said Adi Yoffe, founder and CEO of the Israeli startup Business Futurist, in one of the IQS Tech Fest sessions in which she spoke about trends for 2021 and the innovations that will shape the future. "Decentralization and branching are here to stay," Yoffe commented, adding that "the future promises empowerment for people through knowledge transfer. The decentralization of power relationships between consumers and companies requires new operating and management models." Simone Van Neerven, founder of reBella, who was a Catalyst Innovator at Chanel, highlighted the need for adaptability in entrepreneurship and innovation.

Sustainable mobility and Barcelona as an industrial hub were among the issues discussed at the festival, in addition to the importance that sustainability has been gaining in recent years. With this in mind, Serge Joris, president of Girbau, highlights that "sustainability isn't a button that is simply activated, a significant effort has to be made."

Alfons Cornella, founder and president of Infonomia and the Institute of Next, gave the keynote address. In his speech, he highlighted the business subscription model, which consists of customers paying a regular fee in exchange for a service or product. “Most companies will evolve towards a subscription model because industry will end up calling for it. The largest companies will be first, and mid-sized companies will follow them,” Cornella explained.

The circular economy was also discussed during this edition with Jordi Oliver, CEO and founding partner of Inèdit Innovació. He stressed that "to implement the circular economy, we must change the vision and the framework. We have to view it as a shared value opportunity.”
Other notable names from the industrial entrepreneurship ecosystem that have been present at IQS Tech Fest include Gonzalo Martínez, founder of Cardumen Capital, Orlie Gruper, Executive Director of EcoMotion, Agnieszka Stasiakowska, from the European Innovation Council, Amnon Levav, co-founder of Systematic Inventive Thinking, Carles Navarro, from BASF Española, Mar Pérez, Director of Acció's Tel Aviv Trade and Investment office, and Heriberto Saldivar, Managing Director of Brinc.

"The most competitive and resilient economies are those with a strong industrial sector. This event aims to focus on the importance of promoting and creating new industrial companies with high added value," noted Pascual.

Israel, the global startup epicenter

The guest country for the fourth edition of IQS Tech Fest was Israel. With its culture based on chutzpah (or, audacity), it has become the fourth biggest power in the world's startup ecosystem. Israel invests 4.2% of its GDP in R&D and in Tel Aviv alone there are more than 1,000 startups for a city of just 400,000 inhabitants. A figure worth highlighting is that 43% of the country's exports are in the software sector.

The Wizmann Institute of Sciences and the Technion Institute of Technology are just two examples of Israel's solid foundation in the field of research. In addition, the country stands out for its public risk funding programs that invest and support new technology companies.

“Israel's main resource remains its human capital and, especially, the inventiveness and initiative of its people. Entrepreneurs are used to thinking globally and startups expand abroad at a very early stage,” said Karina Rubinstein, Director of Business Development at the Israel Innovation Authority. In this sense, Itzik Goldwaser, CEO of Yissum, highlighted the importance of the research ecosystem. "Working closely with the best research teams is essential to ensure solid innovation," said Goldwaser.