Five Flemish high-tech start-ups join the imec.istart entrepreneurship program

In the second quarter, five more promising high-tech start-ups have been admitted to the imec.istart entrepreneurship program, one of the most successful ‘University Business Accelerator’ initiatives in the world. For the next 18 months, the five start-ups can count on imec’s financial support, professional coaching and access various facilities tailored to start-up companies. An overview of the new arrivals:

Cable Alert: Risk detection and assessment to prevent damage to undersea cables

With their software ‘Cable Alert’, Ghent-based Fluves develops technology to monitor undersea cables (and damage resulting from the moving seabed, fishing nets, etc.) accurately and cost effectively. Today, an inspection only offers a one-time view on the cable’s condition, while the Fluves solution is able to monitor its condition continuously – thus pinpointing risk areas before any damage takes place. With the Fluves technology, the inspection and maintenance costs for undersea cables can be reduced significantly.

Hibbot: a mechanical robot helping children with cerebral palsy to build muscle strength

With the ‘Hibbot’, the Hasselt start-up Medical Robots launched an instrument to support children with cerebral palsy, both literally and figuratively. These children typically do not have strong enough muscle strength to support their own bodies, making it hard for them to walk. Today, these patients are prescribed physical therapy to strengthen their muscles. To speed up their progress, though, they have to practice regularly and their therapy needs to be continuously adjusted. This is possible with Hibbot, a mechanical robot that uses sensors and smart software to optimize the exercises. The solution has been therapeutically validated and is already being used by a number of patients.

SiteManager: launching and managing custom-made websites twice as fast

SiteManager from Ghent developed a timesaving cloud based web design platform, which allows professional designers, developers and webmasters to build and manage websites more efficiently. The platform combines project management, design, front and back end systems and content management in a single tool. Thanks to this approach and the platform’s intuitive character, custom-made websites can be launched and managed twice as fast.

The big difference with other CMS systems is that designers, developers and content managers are able to work together on a single platform. Thanks to its cloud based character, there is no need for maintenance.

SpotCrowd: detecting shoplifting in realtime

Last year, the retail sector lost 90 billion dollars worldwide due to shoplifting. Until now, this was a losing battle for shop owners. Enter SpotCrowd: a platform that mobilizes everyone to monitor the realtime camera footage of existing security camera’s to detect and discourage shoplifting.

‘Spotters’ will swipe between thousands of random feeds of security cameras – from which all faces are blurred for privacy reasons. If they manage to detect a shoplifter, they will receive a financial reward. Thanks to sophisticated algorithms, SpotCrowd is able to activate more spotters in stores where a suspicious situation has been observed.

The start-up from Antwerp is the first player to bring a solution to the market that is in line with privacy laws and received a lot of interest from the retail sector to test this technology

Qrama: an integrated platform for big data scientists

Qrama from Ghent has developed a platform that companies can use to build complex big data applications without having to understand every detail of the underlying technology, allowing those companies to save precious time. Qrama’s first focus is on bigger companies and projects. The technology is already being used for the City of Things project in Antwerp, where it plays a crucial role in collecting and unlocking data from sensors spread throughout the city. The team is about to sign contracts with a number of important players.

“This batch of start-ups stands out because of the high-tech products they offer,” says Sven De Cleyn, responsible for the imec.istart entrepreneurship program. “The imec.istart program is unique as it supports both those high-tech projects as well as start-ups who want to bring to market more generic and accessible applications.”