Agaidi and Ductor aiming for the Top 100 list
The Red Herring Europe Awards 2013 brings together 235 founders of European growth companies, all rigged for energetic expansion, to meet with established technology entrepreneurs, corporate strategists and venture financiers on 8-10 April 2013. The event features keynotes about founding, financing and nurturing success stories but most importantly, it highlights the stories of future successes – the finalists themselves. 21 Finnish growth companies are racing to be among the 100 finalists celebrated at the awards ceremony on April 10th. Agaidi and Ductor are two of them.
Ultra low energy wireless technology and e-paper displays
Agaidi has built a wireless communication platform that uses low power RFID technology, e-paper displays and software in cloud. The basic platform enables real time location system (RTLS) with wireless devices that identify unique users or assets and pin points their location real-time. The RFID based solution can be installed to indoors without cabling or wiring while other technologies, such as wlan based networks, have trouble providing a consistent flow of data over larger spaces or need time consuming cabling and a lot of base stations. Agaidi is currently starting a pilot of the first application built on top of the platform, with Finnish retail chain HOK-Elanto for location based marketing on-site in hypermarkets. A previous concept test was in Helsinki Airport, where transfer travelers were given an e-paper display card to guide them while finding their way to the next flight.
“Besides easy-to-install wireless infrastructure that needs no cabling or wiring, a real benefit of our RTLS solution is the wireless device’s extremely low use of energy. One wireless device with e-paper display can function 1-3 years without charging, depending on how it is used”, says Agaidi CEO Tiina Vuorio. Data can also flow either one way; a location aware marketing information to a display on the shopping cart handle for example; or both ways, with additional data like temperature or speed of movement being sent back from where the device is. “We would love to hear from third party developers on ides of how to use of the platform in new ways.”
In Amsterdam, Agaidi is looking to get feedback on the solution from technology company executives and investors alike. “We’ve already received invitations for meetings”, says Ms. Vuorio. “And of racing for the final 100!”
Bacteria and bioprocess solving worlds energy and food problems? Check!
The world needs phosphate and nitrogen to make fertilizers that grow food crops. For the time being, these two key elements are extracted with methods that us enormous amounts of energy: nitrogen from natural gas and phosphates by mining the ground. Both methods produce large numbers of CO2 emissions. Ductor has patented a bioprocess that extracts the ammonia and phosphates from organic waste such as slaughterhouse and food waste with zero CO2 produced during the process. It separates the needed ammonia and phosphate, while the remaining matter turns into black soil. “A miniature factory in Helsinki is using the bioprocess and we have proven the method to be industrially viable”, says COO Jukka Ropponen. “We are already negotiating licensing contracts with potential industrial partners.”
The same bioprocess is also capable of producing a crude oil alternative made from algae, optimizing its living conditions with the help of nutrients created through the bioprocess. The result is enough quantities of algae to reach profitable production. Together with ideal nutrients, growing conditions and Ductor’s latest innovation that boosts the natural photosynthesis, it is now becoming financially viable business to produce green crude from algae commercially. “A current problem with biofuel raw material is that it’s being grown on fertile land, taking needed space from food crops. The algae, however, can be grown in surroundings that are not suitable for food crops, freeing up farming land for food”, Ropponen explains.
“The Red Herring event in Amsterdam is an excellent place to do some international PR. It’s a great way tell your story, hear some interesting other stories and network”, Ropponen states. “And we’re planning on being in the final 100. That’s the goal for Amsterdam.”
A good variety of Finnish innovation
The Finnish companies competing for the top 100 spots at the Red Herring Europe are spread out among twelve categories varying from big data/storage to life sciences/biotech. Check out all the finalists here. The Finns in the 2012 Top 100 list were Epicrystals, Kiosked, Miradore, Modz, Relaxbirth, Senseg, Uniqoteq and Unity Mobile. Who will follow them this year? We’ll know on April 10th.