An Estonian company wins a European competition for energy startups

The Estonian company, Zubax Robotics, won this year’s edition of PowerUp! – a European competition for energy, cleantech, mobility, cybersecurity and smart city startups in Central and Eastern Europe.

Zubax beat startups from across Europe and was awarded for its solution that provides 10% more energy-efficient electric motor controllers for aerospace applications. The company’s technology allows electric vehicles – especially aircraft – to travel further using less energy from the battery, thus alleviating one of the most significant obstacles in the way of total electrification of all kinds of transport.

The startup was awarded €30,000 in the competition’s grand finale that took place in the Czech capital, Prague.

“We applied to the competition because it seemed very relevant – as this contest helps technological advancement for startups by providing funding and support to innovative ideas and teams,” Pavel Kirienko, the leader of technical research at Zubax, said in a statement. “Winning the competition is a very motivating surprise – we knew that we had a good idea and a good product that has potential. We are planning to use our prize and invest it into further development of the product and take our market presence into the next level.”

The European innovation initiative

Heleri Holm, the project manager at the Tallinn-based Tehnopol Startup Incubator and the competition’s ambassador in Estonia, said that “participation and acknowledgement in such a high-profile international competition shows that Estonian cleantech startups are forward-thinking and competitive on the global scale”.

PowerUp! is organised by InnoEnergy – part of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology – with an aim to promote innovation, entrepreneurship and education in the sustainable energy field. “In the seven years since its launch, InnoEnergy has invested in innovative projects with a total value of €2 billion. Thanks to our support, eighty products have so far been brought to market. Now Zubax has this amazing opportunity,” Christo Balinow, the business development director of InnoEnergy Central Europe and the chairman of the competition’s jury, said in a statement.

During the grand final in Prague, 15 startups – from Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine, Estonia, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Greece – presented their solutions before the jury, investors and media representatives. The finalists were selected from 299 teams from the 24 European countries who applied to the competition. The title of runner-up and a €10,000 prize was awarded to WellParko from Lithuania and the third place and €5,000 was won by Neuron Soundware from the Czech Republic.


Cover: The winning teams at the PowerUp! competition.

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