Pitch your smart energy startup idea to ABB and ‘Unlock Your Ability’

2017-02-13 - The call for ideas is designed for startups and businesses that are able to provide innovation in the energy distribution field.

Zurich, February 12, 2017 - ABB is looking for ideas with the potential to revolutionize energy distribution. The pioneering technology company has launched the “Unlock Your Ability” Challenge for individuals and teams to win backing for new digital energy management products and services.

The initiative is organized in collaboration with PoliHub, the startup district and incubator of the Politecnico University managed by Fondazione Politecnico di Milano.

Digitization is the key to finding sustainable solutions for energy that enable economic growth. In 2016, the company launched ABB Ability, a platform that enables its technologies to connect to the industrial Internet of Things. Now Unlock Your Ability is opening the door to engineers and start-ups with visionary solutions that can write the future of low-voltage energy distribution.

Giampiero Frisio, head of ABB's Protection and Connection business unit, said: “Digitization is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform the way society distributes and consumes energy. Unlock Your Ability is about discovering innovators with ideas that can make a difference – and fast tracking their progress. It’s easy to get involved: make a pitch to ABB and we will back the best ideas with our resources, connections and know-how.”

Unlock Your Ability aims to discover new smart energy and grid edge solutions that use energy data to improve efficiency and power savings, as well as smart ways to make monitoring and managing industrial assets simpler.

Judges are looking for ideas, concepts or technologies that can address any of these challenges. Researchers, engineers, entrepreneurs, professionals and students should apply now for the chance to develop their ideas with ABB backing.

The final deadline for entries is April 30, 2017. Register now for more information.

Accelerate your idea
A panel of business and energy experts will choose up to 20 projects to fast track for additional coaching and technical support. PoliHub will help competitors hone their innovation pitch and presentation skills with one-to-one online training sessions and technical support.

A final round of pitches will then identify the three projects that go forward. Each will win funded places in ABB’s six-month Accelerator Program, managed by PoliHub.

Stefano Mainetti, Chief Executive Officer of PoliHub, said: “We are glad to be part of this project that was built from an Open Innovation perspective. The skills of the ABB team, one of the pioneers of the energy management industry, combined with the tailored entrepreneurial program designed by PoliHub, is the right combination for a great and innovative success. We are confident about the growth potential that the participants could achieve during this Challenge”.

Begin your journey
Based at ABB’s Bergamo technology center near Milan, teams will have access to the company’s state-of-the-art development, simulation and testing facilities. ABB and PoliHub will design each program around the specific needs of individual projects. The intention throughout is to foster stronger technical and entrepreneurial skills, as well as a better quality solution.

ABB and PoliHub will also set up networking opportunities with potential investors and sponsors and will provide professional support from its network of consultants, experts and researchers.
“Unlock Your Ability gives people a unique opportunity to access world-class R&D resources and mentoring from energy and innovation experts at ABB and PoliHub,” said Frisio.

Build your network
At the Unlock Your Ability final event, teams will be ready to present viable solutions to a select audience of potential investors, partners, business angels and senior executives from ABB. By the end of the competition, the best ideas will have found the right partnerships to prepare them for market launch.

“ABB was built on a belief in backing people with good ideas,” said Frisio. “We have smart technologies and the infrastructure to connect them; we want to empower people to use them in new ways. If you have an idea that makes electrical energy smarter, Unlock Your Ability is a unique opportunity for you to get the backing and support you need – now is the time to make your move.”

About ABB
ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technology leader in electrification products, robotics and motion, industrial automation and power grids, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing more than a 125-year history of innovation, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization and driving the Energy and Fourth Industrial Revolutions. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 132,000 employees. www.abb.com

About PoliHub
PoliHub is the startup district and incubator of Politecnico di Milano, managed by Fondazione Politecnico di Milano and supported by the Milan Municipality. PoliHub, awarded by UBI Global (University Business Incubator) the title of world’s fifth best university incubator, the second in Europe, supports high innovative startups with scalable business models, sets up collaboration with corporations through Open Innovation programs and offers dedicated Mentors and Ad hoc consulting Advisory service. PoliHub is hosting 100 companies (35 Acceleration, 45 Start-up, 20 District). They work in various sectors, such as information technology, electronic devices, internet applications and services, biomedicine, energy, design, aerospace. Founded in 2000, PoliHub has collected more than 9000 ideas and supported 390 ideas in startup phase.

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