- The participating start-ups AldoraTech, BlindStairs, Deep Hearing, Innogando, Oroi Wellbeing and Salus Coop have received support and advice to scale up their social impact businesses over a six-month period.
- The Foundation is already planning a third edition and intends to create a community soon that will serve as a meeting point between participants and mentors of all editions.
Barcelona, 19 April 2023. The second edition of Cellnex Bridge, Cellnex Foundation’s acceleration programme for social impact start-ups in collaboration with the accelerator Aticcolab and the social innovation consultancy Innuba, draws to a close. This programme has already helped nine start-ups to promote and accelerate their business projects and the second edition ended with the “Demo Day” at Cellnex’s head office in Barcelona.
Lluís Deulofeu, President of the Cellnex Foundation, welcomed the participants at the event, underscored the success of all the projects and thanked the entrepreneurs for their work and commitment to the programme. “We are very happy with the results of this programme, which views innovation and entrepreneurship as a driver for sustainable, economic and social development,” said Mr Deulofeu. “We have again managed to develop cooperation networks that have promoted the talent and innovation of entrepreneurs with innovative ideas. We hope that these start-ups will go from strength to strength and expand their positive impact, both nationally and internationally, and that they will continue to grow with us through the Cellnex Bridge community” he concluded.
During the event, the start-ups had the chance to present their Proofs of Concept (PoC) and all the technical and commercial advances of their projects, developed over six intense months of work, before a team of experts comprising staff from Cellnex and other professionals from the innovation ecosystem. Taking part in the session were David Alayon, CEO of Innuba, who introduced the session with a talk about “Generative Artificial Intelligence” and the start-ups that were involved in the first edition, Nixi For Children, Voluta Coop and eAgora, who told the new entrepreneurs how Cellnex Bridge had helped them grow and get to where they are today.
Throughout the programme, the entrepreneurs have had access to a customised plan with individual advice and mentoring, workshops, theoretical-practical workshops and training aimed at different work areas: business, financing, strategy and creativity to focus on the various challenges and objectives of each project. They have also had legal, business and technological support, as well as access to clients, business connections and financing to allow them to scale up their projects successfully.
This second edition was characterised by its longer duration, with twice as many start-ups promoted and received greater financial support from the Foundation and was highly valued by the start-ups. “Entrepreneurship can be a lonely road. Achieving success requires a high-quality support and guidance network, which is what we provide our entrepreneurs at Cellnex Bridge” said Àngels Ucero, Director of the Cellnex Foundation.
In addition to projects focusing on reducing digital, social and territorial divides by using technology and connectivity, this second edition broadened its scope to include initiatives that also contribute to environmental sustainability and the fight against climate change.
Work has also begun to create a community involving all the participants and mentors from all the editions to establish a meeting point in which to share experiences, advice and information from the world of entrepreneurship and to stay in touch once the programme ends.
Smart solutions to bridge divides
With their innovative projects, the start-ups that took part in this second edition address existing problems in fields such as medicine, care for vulnerable groups or promoting rural areas.
Aldora Tech offers a parcel delivery solution in rural and hard-to-reach areas using drones made with 3D printers to facilitate an efficient, sustainable and safe transition towards more accessible automated logistics. The programme facilitated a joint project with the Olot Hospital Foundation to start the first pilot in Catalonia for transport in a healthcare setting. The aim is to speed up the transport of analytical tests from primary care centres to hospitals, accelerating patient diagnosis and improving care.
BlindStairs has created software to eliminate gender, racial and age biases that can consciously or unconsciously affect selection processes. Data such as name, gender and photographs are removed to allow hiring based 100% on the candidate’s skills. This solution has received numerous awards and some companies are already testing this innovative technology in their selection processes, including Cellnex Telecom.
Deep Hearing provides a software solution that applies artificial intelligence techniques to the audio of any smart device to detect surrounding sounds, providing hearing-impaired persons with real-time information about events around them, for example the sound of a door, a doorbell, a mobile phone or a shout. They are working on a pilot test together with Suara Cooperativa with a group of hearing-impaired users.
Innogando works to develop technology in the Smart Farming sector. A “smartwatch” for cows incorporating a GPS tracking system and real-time monitoring remotely and automatically provides farmers with information on the situation and location of their animals without the need for mobile coverage. The goal is to progress in the digitalisation of the livestock sector to increase the profitability of farms, the quality of life of the person in charge of the holding and guarantee animal welfare. More than 5,000 animals are currently monitored using this system and the developer has internationalised their service in Portugal.
Oroi Wellbeing has created a platform with virtual reality therapeutic content for the elderly. This solution provides virtual experiences such as going for a walk, visiting another city, or performing physical activity. The aim is to create experiences to entertain and cognitively stimulate seniors, improving their day-to-day lives. In collaboration with Suara Cooperativa, this initiative has already been implemented in day centres and supervised housing in various neighbourhoods of Barcelona.
And finally, Salus Coop, a citizens’ cooperative that aims to accelerate research and innovation in the health sector by empowering citizens concerning the portability and transfer of their own data, affording them the opportunity to take part in health research projects while fully guaranteeing the anonymity and confidentiality of their data. Its first operational project is CitiesHealth, in collaboration with the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), to explore how people’s health is affected by the environment in which they live.