Dr. Marilyn Ritholz, psychologist at Joslin Diabetes Center, a Harvard Medical School affiliate, and Dr. David Horwitz, former Global Chief Medical Officer of Johnson and Johnson Diabetes Institute, will help guide strategic and development roadmap
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The post [DarioHealth in PR Newswire] Diabetes and Behavioral Health Global Experts Join DarioHealth Scientific Advisory Board Expanding Innovation Leadership in Digital Therapeutics for Chronic Care D appeared first on OurCrowd Blog.
No longer a niche technology, AI has become a fixture for many businesses and has a growing role in consumers’ lives. On its heels is virtual reality, which is gaining popularity across multiple applications, from employee training to entertainment to mental health recovery.
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The post [BrainQ in Forbes] Tech Experts Predict 13 Areas AI And VR Are Set To Revolutionize appeared first on OurCrowd Blog.
In the startup-world, we love to talk about disruption and never has there been more disruption than in the year 2020. Needless to say, not all of it came from startups and not all of it was the good kind. So what about the next year? What does the year hold for the ecosystem, as predicted by the experts?
The Amsterdam startup-scene in 2021
Four people with deep knowledge and insights in the Amsterdam startup-ecosystem tell us about what they expect to happen in the coming year: Jan Andriessen, a partner at Amsterdam-based VC-fund HenQ; Bas Beekman, program director of StartupAmsterdam; Myrthe Hooijman, Director of Policy and Governmental Affairs at Techleap.nl and Kauan Von Novack, the Managing Director at Startupbootcamp.
Growth sectors in the Amsterdam startup-scene
I believe clean energy is going to be huge in the coming months”, says Startupbootcamp’s Von Novack. “The tide is turning politically and funding-wise, there’s mature technologies and experienced players by now, not to mention real impact in people’s lives.” He also predicts a strong recovery in ridesharing and massive growth in startups working on electric mobility solutions. “Last, but not least: I think there is a lot of space for micro-financing, micro-credit and any-time of fintech initiatives to support SMB’s and SME’s to recover from the COVID crisis.”
Fintech is also where Techleap’s Hooijman sees a lot of potential. And that means jobs, she says: “eCommerce, FinTech, and Food have already shown resilient growth during the first months of the Corona crisis. Overall, startups continue to be the number one job growth engine in the Netherlands. Startup jobs are growing faster than any individual sector. Even in 2020, there was a resilient growth despite Covid-19. “
StartupAmsterdam’s Beekman sees similar sectors grow rapidly in the coming year: “It will not be an easy year from an economic point of view, that’s for sure, but Amsterdam has a very diverse economy. If you zoom in on the tech sector, I think that companies in Healthtech, Biotech, Cleantech (climate economy), food, mobility and logistics have a chance to show growth in 2021.”
‘It’s usually a surprise’
For HenQs Andriessen, growth is not limited to a sector. It’s about the people: “One clear factor in Amsterdam is the maturity of several high growth companies such as Adyen and Thuisbezorgd, Backbase and Mollie. So I would look for people who played a role in building these companies and ran into problems or challenges that they think they can solve better when running their own company. Which sector that will be? That’s usually quite a surprise.”
For instance, Andriessen explains that smart employees in a disruptive B2C food company can run into problems with invoicing, which leads to a brand new B2B fintech. “But these people have been exposed to the right way of building a company and they are aware of what is state of the art in the tech industry. This combination has created many successful companies before.”
The year of a new cloud-generation
With those growing areas of the ecosystem in mind, how will Amsterdam’s ecosystem evolve in 2021?
Andriessen believes, “that the cloud market is maturing. Most enterprises have made the switch from on-premise to cloud software. However, a lot of ‘first generation’ cloud software is high on functionality but was never really built for your employees who are the actual target user. We love companies that address this opportunity and are part of the second generation of cloud providers that do not just provide functionality on paper, but know how to build a great product that will be used.”
Hooijman is looking at the broader picture when it comes to startup trends in Amsterdam: “Startups and tech trends don’t limit themselves to a city. When we talk about technology that will change the future and impact the economy, we are talking about deep-tech, where technologies like AI, blockchain, and data science meet physical components, such as robotics and sensors, to provide solutions for the major problems we face. Whether that be climate change, healthcare or mobility, and transport. One of the biggest challenges is how to attract and retain the right talent, and organise a quantitative and qualitative talent pool that matches the needs of scaleups.
Digitisation and the return of tourism
Beekman focuses on the digitisation of businesses, to make sure they are future-proof: “Not so much a new trend, but very important in times like these: in recent months we have been working on setting up a major program to help SMEs with the necessary digitization they have to make, the so-called MKB Digitaliseringsoffensief (SME Digitization Offensive), which will start at the beginning of 2021. We are looking for startups that can help with that important task, whether it concerns remote working, or digital security, payment methods, use of AI and so on.”
At Startupbootcamp, Von Novack is pretty clear about what he considers the most important trend: “Sustainability, for sure. Building back but in a better way is key. I think governments, corporations, investors, SMEs, everybody will be very critical of consumption choices.” He also predicts another trend, that many Amsterdammers will probably not like. Tourism will come back, big time. “All that locked up energy will come in full force during summer or winter breaks. Startups building value props now for the Tourism 2.0, can reap the benefits.”
Diversity and inclusiveness in 2021: serious business
Part of the growing consciousness in the businessworld is an increased focus on diversity and inclusiveness. StartupAmsterdam is launching RISE Female Hub to take action, says Beekman: “The aim of this action program, which will start at the beginning of this year, is to stimulate more attention for female entrepreneurship and women in tech, in the city and ultimately to get more diversity, including more women with an ethnic background, into the start-ups.”
Von Novack says there is no other way, “And not only from the social angle of diversity and inclusion, but from the top-line angle as well. If Amsterdam companies want to grow exponentially in other markets and countries, they must include different points of view and cultures into their decision making, otherwise they run the risk of making cultural and market assumptions which are very dangerous.”
For Techleap, diversity and inclusion is a key focus area, partly proven by their work with Fundright, says Hooijman: “The technology sector is predominantly male, and that causes limitations in the innovative ability of the ecosystem. Research shows that a more diverse ecosystem is a more productive ecosystem, so we must work to promote balance, diversity, and inclusivity. As the capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam can take a lead on some of the best practices.”
Andriessen would like to see these topics go beyond mere talk: “Rather than making this a mission statement item and sticking to words only, I hope diversity and inclusiveness will be put into action and be part of hiring and performance management of all VC’s and startups.”
Connection within the city and beyond
Besides making new years’ resolutions, the beginning of a new year is also a good moment to make a wish. What Hooijman would like to see change in Amsterdam is a more connected ecosystem in 2021: “It is essential to flourish. As Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands, ànd a best practice example on building a vibrant startup ecosystem, it would be great if Amsterdam reaches out even more to other regions in the Netherlands and they act as one ecosystem together.”
Von Novack hopes for something similar too: “A broader and more united network of founders and support organizations. For a city of its size, Amsterdam is quite fragmented so you encounter founders in the same sub-industry that have never even heard of each other. Some level of coordination would help the players be more connected and competitive in the global market.”
Remember in-person meetings?
Meanwhile, Beekman hopes the city and its people come out of the crisis all right: “The current crisis will cause more and more people to lose their jobs in sectors that will be hit hard. I think that after retraining and upskilling, many of these people can work for the fast-growing tech companies in the city. We are busy setting up a talent ecosystem guide that will connect tech companies, knowledge institutions and start-up academies and make it easier for people without a job to get started in the start-up ecosystem.
Finally, Andriessen articulates what everyone in the pandemic-weary world is currently craving for: “Even though we do just as many deals remotely as in person, I miss the face-to-face meetings with portfolio and prospect investments. I hope we can meet again in person!”
I am looking to build my founding team with industry experts. My company is in retail, so the expertise I need is in e-commerce, supply chain management etc.
How do I reach out to people that I want to potentially work with on LinkedIn etc.? And obviously, I won't be able to match their current salary so would I compensate for it with equity? For example, if I want to ask VP of supply chain operations at IKEA (hypothetically) to join my team.
Australian experts and Israeli cybersecurity firm allege ‘unusual behaviour’ by Twitter accounts retweeting or liking Zhao Lijian’s tweet.
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The organizer of Electric City 2021, WindEurope, believes that climate-neutrality requires wind energy to significantly exceed current capabilities. Electric City is their platform to kick-start the conversations regarding clean and sustainable global energy utilization. The onshore and offshore wind event has participants from the energy sector and beyond. Heavy industries, mobility, district and domestic heating, storage, hybrids, hydrogen, and many more, are invited to join the conversation on how to go about building a clean economy.
All of these sectors want to go in business with renewables, and the wind industry is an essential player in this regard. Electric City is a place where win-win synergies between wind energy and other energy players are boosted for building next-generation solutions.
In 2021, the event offers you a platform to be the new voice at the conference as well as gain new business opportunities, partners, and customers.
How Can Startups Gain Visibility In This Sector?
Startups will play a starring role at Electric City. Why? Because you can’t build a new world without new thinking and fresh ideas.
Located at the heart of the exhibition floor, the Innovation Park at Electric City is an ideal place to profile your organization, meet other innovators, and showcase your vision with the entire value chain of the wind industry and its energy partners.
Why Your Startup Should Join Electric City 2021
- Your own dedicated exhibition space where you can showcase slides, give information, and hand out flyers/reports on project activities
- A guaranteed speaking slot on the stage to pitch your project
- Printed logo on your exhibition space
- Entry in the exhibitor list
- Dedicated page on our event website
- Social media coverage before and during the event
- Opportunity to reach out to a large and broad audience
- Meeting spaces
- Connection with other innovative projects
- Consortia-building opportunities for future projects
How To Get Noticed At The Innovation Park
The Innovation Park is a special area on the exhibition floor, exclusively dedicated to showcasing your new ideas and products. You will have your own dedicated exhibition space to showcase slides, give information, and hand out promotional material. You will also get a guaranteed speaking slot on the stage to pitch their project. Overall, here’s what’s in it for you:
- 6sqm stand
- 2 exhibition staff passes
- 1 Startup Station
- Speaking slots
- Online visibility
Don’t wait too long – applications close soon. Apply for your stand now & enjoy a 60% discount – including free cancellation!
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All our lives, we never stop learning. But exactly how we learn is rapidly changing. Education is developing with the use of new technologies needs to get us ready for jobs that don’t even exist yet. Add to that a global pandemic keeping both students and workers at home, and it raises some unexpected questions and interesting challenges. The Education & Employment theme of the second generation of the Blue Tulip Awards is looking for innovations to solve those -and more – puzzles.
Education & Employment partner, jury and winner
With the current pandemic in mind, forcing both schools and corporations to quickly adopt new ways of working and learning, we asked the experts about the future of work and education. We asked Blue Tulip Award partner Marnix Broer of StuDocu, jury member Jacqueline Touw of Sligro and last years’ winner Anouk Binkhuysen from Faqta their view on the current challenges.
Faqta flips the classroom
Anouk Binkhuysen is founder of Faqta, an online learning platform for primary schools. With its online platform of theme-based projects with educational videos, the company aims to ‘flip the classroom’ and stimulate a more active way of learning. The impactful way of combining online video’s with meaningful coaching earned her the Blue Tulip Award in the Education theme of last year. Being a remote learning platform in times of COVID is not the worst position to be in.
“We started Faqta from the idea that education shouldn’t stop at the end of a school day when you go home”, says Binkhuysen. “That vision translates very well to the current situation. Our platform offers the type of hybrid education that offers a solution for schools.” Needless to say, the adoption of their product has accelerated.
The COVID-effect on schools
That wasn’t immediately the case, says Binkhuysen. “Schools in The Netherlands usually make their decisions for the next school year between March and July. However, due to the lockdown, they were closed for business, which slowed down growth. So we have some catching up to do.” During the summer, things started turning around for Faqta. They are currently working with 247 primary schools in The Netherlands, with 41,000 students using the platform to learn at least three times a week. So far, Faqta reports a churn rate of zero.
With the pandemic being far from over, schools are looking for a solution to keep their students in the loop, even when coming to school is not an option. “With the obligation of working and learning at home, schools are forced to digital education. Video is essential in the transfer of knowledge and the scepticism surrounding video has changed. We are now able to accelerate the shift to digital education and to approach it smartly.”
‘Education is old-fashioned’
On another level of education, Marnix Broer from StuDocu sees the same trends. “I’m impressed with how quickly universities adapted to new education techniques,” he says. StuDocu offers an online platform where students of European colleges and Universities can share their knowledge.
“Education is an old-fashioned realm,” Broer says. “Schools have only recently ditched the chalkboard for a smartboard, so to say, but it is mainly still one person in front of the class, having a say. Despite that, we see a huge acceleration, in which educators start to work with technology that has been available for the last three years.”
‘Studying like crazy’
For StuDocu, this offers chances. Broer: “The first two weeks of March, our usage declined. The Universities were closed, students figured they had some free time. But when it occurred that exams were still on, we could see from our user statistics that they started studying like crazy. After that, we went back to our normal growth.” For StuDocu, ‘normal’ is relative. The edtech-company currently has 15 million monthly users, which it aims to double next year.
Besides helping students study, Broer also hopes StuDocu prepares them for the working life. He sees a strong disconnect between the two: “First off, working together is discouraged. An assignment is done alone otherwise, it’s cheating. In a job, cooperation is a must. Second, companies thrive on innovation, or they go bankrupt. Education is lagging here. And third, it’s old fashioned to learn everything by heart. Now that we have vast knowledge at our fingertips. I think it’s more important to understand and be able to use this knowledge.”
The social aspect of online learning
On the other side of graduation, Jacqueline Touw notices the same developments. Touw is CHRO of Sligro Food Group, a major player in the wholesale of food and food-related products in The Netherlands and Belgium. She is, among others, responsible for internal education of all employees. “Major trends in education involve online solutions. Technology helps us to learn, to develop”, she says.
“This stimulates different types of peer learning which in turn will increase learning efficiency.” The digital path does offer some challenges, according to Touw. “The social aspect of learning, building relationships, dealing with feedback, celebrating successes or sharing experiences, are all an important part of learning. To implement these is a challenge.”
This tech-ecosystem of learning and working is accelerated by COVID, says Touw. “Now we also need to learn to deal with online work and education. That also means we need to deal with new personal challenges. How to benchmark yourself with others and know where you stand and feel competent, how to cope with stress and even loneliness. But also how to promote ourselves in a group. An online environment requires different social skills.”
The importance of working together
“The world of education is being hindered by the real world. Many companies haven’t reached a certain level of digitization yet. So people that join that company probably have more high-tech at home than at work. Companies need to adopt new technologies so they can shift to a way of work that connects more to the way people are educated.”
It does lead to corporations keeping a closer eye on developments in education, Touw notices: “Education used to absorb trends and influences from the business world. Now they are more often choosing for co-creation.” Touw points to incubators at Academies and collaborations between corporations and Universities, such as the development of solar-powered racing cars at the University of Twente.
Co-creation is here to stay
This form of co-creation will only get more prevalent in the future, says Touw. “There’s no one clear answer to all the current questions. Corporations, governments and educational institutions must work together. The Blue Tulip Awards is a good example. It fosters innovation, offers exposure and works as an accelerator. The questions we’re facing are clear, these awards help to get answers within reach.”
But even finding an answer to the most pressing matters that are currently facing the world of work and education, will not guarantee success, says Broer from StuDocu. “Some innovations are brilliant, with great ideas, but many will not make it. Not every entrepreneur or innovator is also skilled in things like marketing or PR. The Blue Tulip Awards puts these small companies in a bright spotlight which will really help them.”
‘Innovating is tough’
Speaking from experience, Binkhuysen from Faqta agrees: “This programme puts you on the map. We participated to distinguish ourselves, and also for a bit of marketing to the outside world. The bundle of prizes they offer is of a very high level. It offers access to knowledge that money can’t buy.”
“Innovating is tough. It’s hard work. Sometimes it’s hard to push forward, not knowing for sure if you’re on the right track. It can feel like you’re a voice crying in the wilderness. That is why this programme is so important. Not necessarily to win the prize. It can be just as important to connect with peers and get recognition there.”
Register now for the Education & Employment theme
The second generation of the Blue Tulip Awards is now open for registration. Can you re-invent education so it prepares children for jobs that don’t even exist yet? Or prepare employees for a way of work that is yet to be invented? Innovators in the world of Education & Employment that are ready to push forward can sign up on the website of the Blue Tulip Awards. Registration is open now, you have until December 11th so don’t wait.