Season 2017

OVERVIEW

2017 was a real turning point for both CESAwards and the startup ecosystem in the region.
We have seen a booming number of ventures growing up to be scaleups, a number of new accelerators opened and we have been getting more and more recognition for innovations coming up in the field of biotech, AI and IoT.
We looked for the best of the best in the ecosystem in 2017 in 10 countries, received 1700+ unique nominations and worked together with a mere 200 partners to highlight and celebrate our local #futureshapers.
The Grand Finale was held in Sofia, Bulgaria with the cooperation of ABLE (Association of the Bulgarian Leaders and Entrepreneurs) where 400+ attendees from across the region and beyond met and celebrated the colorful and diverse innovation landscape of Central and Eastern Europe.

CESA Winners 2017

  • Turbine.AI

    Turbine.AI

    Startup of the Year

    Hungary

    www.turbine.ai

    Description

    Turbine takes trial and error experiment out of the laboratories, and moves it onto their servers that can run millions of experiments in a matter of minutes. Their services help deliver effective treatments to cancer patients faster by combining the most accurate model of human cells with tumor-specific data.

  • ABC Accelerator

    ABC Accelerator

    Best Acceleration and Incubator Programme

    Slovenia

    www.abc-accelerator.com

    Description

    At ABC Accelerator, startups get lectures on various topics from pitching to business development and sales four days per week. ABC is strategically connected to large, multinational enterprises like IBM, Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle and BMW and supported by Harvard and Berkeley Universities.

  • LAUNCHub Ventures

    LAUNCHub Ventures

    Investor of the Year

    Bulgaria

    www.launchub.vc

    Description

    Founded in 2012, the first LAUNCHub fund of €9M, was actively investing until the end of 2015 and has been deployed in pre-seed tickets up to €200K. The former fund backed 62 startups which have attracted more than €20M in follow-up funding. They are currently investing with a ticket that normally ranges between €300K and €700K but they are ready to invest up to €1.5 million in the right startup.

  • Puzl CowOrKing

    Puzl CowOrKing

    Best Coworking Space

    Bulgaria

    www.coworking.puzl.com

    Description

    Puzl CowOrKing areas are designed around the IT community needs - a hybrid between coworking, event and chill spaces. Topped with the social buzz of a neighborhood and designed with the digital folk in mind. They opened their doors in 2015. Since then 400+ people joined to their community. They have been expanding since and have plans to open several new offices across the CEE region.

  • Turbine.AI

    Turbine.AI

    Best AI Startup

    Hungary

    www.turbine.ai

    Description

    Turbine takes trial and error experiment out of the laboratories, and moves it onto their servers that can run millions of experiments in a matter of minutes. Their services help deliver effective treatments to cancer patients faster by combining the most accurate model of human cells with tumor-specific data.

  • SoWat

    SoWat

    Best Social Impact Startup

    Romania

    www.sowat.eu

    Description

    SoWat is a portable water purification system that turns any source of fresh water into clean drinking water, using a mechanical process with no chemicals. One SoWat system can produce enough daily water for 5,000 people, at a monthly cost of just €0.05 per person.

  • Bitpanda

    Bitpanda

    Best FinTech Startup

    Austria

    www.bitpanda.com

    Description

    They make it easy for everyone to instantly access the world of digital currencies and assets with the highest security standards in the industry by connecting the new digital financial world with the old economy.

  • Turbine.AI

    Turbine.AI

    Best Biotech Startup

    Hungary

    www.turbine.ai

    Description

    Turbine takes trial and error experiment out of the laboratories, and moves it onto their servers that can run millions of experiments in a matter of minutes. Their services help deliver effective treatments to cancer patients faster by combining the most accurate model of human cells with tumor-specific data.

  • Bee Smart Technologies

    Bee Smart Technologies

    Best IoT Startup

    Bulgaria

    www.beesmart.tech

    Description

    Bee Smart is a remote diagnostic and monitoring station for any bee hive. The software is based on proprietary bio-based AI algorithms that translates the collected data into actionable statistics and notifications on an intuitive dashboard.

  • Symvaro

    Symvaro

    Best Smart City Solution

    Austria

    www.symvaro.com

    Description

    Symvaro’s flagship project WATERLOO is a powerful tool which assists and helps water providers to organize water meter exchanges and meter readings in several paperless ways, that way mater management cost could be reduced up to 80%.

  • Sara Koslinska

    Sara Koslinska

    Founder of the Year

    Poland

    Linkedin

    Description

    Sara Koslinska is a CEO of Limitless (http://www.limitlessapp.io), a FinTech startup providing a micro investment app to financial institutions willing to engage Millennials. Previously she gained international experience, worked for startups and running her own B2B ventures.

  • EVA Vision

    EVA Vision

    Best Newcomer Startup

    Hungary

    www.eva.vision

    Description

    Eva Vision provides self-navigation for blind and visually impaired people. EVA is a voice controlled eyewear for the visually impaired. EVA’s Artificial Intelligence recognises objects, texts, signs and verbally describes what it sees.

  • Billon

    Billon

    People’s Choice

    Poland

    www.billongroup.com

    Description

    Billon can securely convert traditional cash into digital money. Digitized funds can be transferred P2P or B2B without any third parties charging fees. Transferred money can be kept as digital money or converted back to paper cash.

Country Partners

Grand Finale Partner

Let's see our Grand Finale Day 2017 in Sofia! Grand Finale Day 2017

Regional Jury Board

  • Andrew Chanin

    Andrew Chanin

    United States

    CEO at PureFunds

    Linkedin
  • Adam Cheyer

    Adam Cheyer

    United States

    Co-Founder of Siri & Viv Labs

    Linkedin
  • Alex Farcet

    Alex Farcet

    Denmark

    Co-founder of Startupbootcamp and Rainmaking Innovation

    Linkedin
  • Jeff Burton

    Jeff Burton

    United States

    Founding Partner of Electronic Arts

    Linkedin
  • Peter Stracar

    Peter Stracar

    Czech Republic

    President & CEO at General Electric Central & Eastern Europe

    Linkedin
  • Manuel Koelman

    Manuel Koelman

    Germany

    Co-Founder at PIRATE.global

    Linkedin
  • Tanya Soman

    Tanya Soman

    United States

    Venture Partner at 500 Startups

    Linkedin
  • Jürgen Kopelke

    Jürgen Kopelke

    Germany

    CEO & Co-Founder of Webumbrella

    Linkedin
  • George A. Tilesch

    George A. Tilesch

    United States

    US Managing Partner at Innomine Group

    Linkedin
  • Chris McCann

    Chris McCann

    United States

    Head of community at Greylock Partners

    Linkedin
  • David Vitezy

    David Vitezy

    Hungary

    Director of the National Transport Museum of Hungary

    Linkedin
  • Tanja Kufner

    Tanja Kufner

    Germany

    Managing Director at Startupbootcamp Berlin

    Linkedin
  • Cristobal Alonso

    Cristobal Alonso

    Spain

    Global CEO at Startup Wise Guys

    Linkedin
  • Matthew C Eshed

    Matthew C Eshed

    United States

    Co Founder & Director of Operations and Wellness at Impossible Labs

    Linkedin
  • Gyula Feher

    Gyula Feher

    Hungary

    CTO and Founder at Ustream, an IBM Company

    Linkedin
  • Bernard Moon

    Bernard Moon

    United States

    Co-founder & Partner at SparkLabs Global Ventures

    Linkedin
  • George Northcott

    George Northcott

    United Kingdom

    Co-Founder & Head of Business Development at Founders Factory

    Linkedin
  • Peter Szabadhegy

    Peter Szabadhegy

    Hungary

    Hungary's former ambassador to London

  • Adrian Pica

    Adrian Pica

    Romania

    Co-Founder of 150sec.com

    Linkedin
  • Mark Cameron White

    Mark Cameron White

    United States

    Founding Partner at White Summers Caffee & James LLP

    Linkedin
  • Zoltan Kalmar

    Zoltan Kalmar

    Hungary

    Serial Entrepreneur, Commercial Real Estate Expert

    Linkedin
  • Mateusz Nowak

    Mateusz Nowak

    Poland

    Partner at Mazovia Capital

    Linkedin
  • Ramesh Haridas

    Ramesh Haridas

    United States

    Angel Investor

    Linkedin
  • Matteo Penzo

    Matteo Penzo

    Italy

    Executive Technology Director at frog

    Linkedin
  • Alexander Jarvis

    Alexander Jarvis

    Ireland

    Founder of 50Folds

    Linkedin
  • Kinga Stanislawska

    Kinga Stanislawska

    Poland

    Managing Partner and Founder of Experior Venture Fund

    Linkedin
  • Daniel Saaristo

    Daniel Saaristo

    Germany

    Deep Learning Startups Business Manager at NVIDIA

    Linkedin
  • Georg Kuttner

    Georg Kuttner

    Austria

    Managing Partner Sales and Partnerships at Startup Live GmbH

    Linkedin
  • Chris Houghtaling

    Chris Houghtaling

    Austria

    Founder of VisioneersPartner

    Linkedin
  • Kevin Koym

    Kevin Koym

    United States

    Founder & CEO Tech Ranch

    Linkedin
  • Sandras Phiri

    Sandras Phiri

    South Africa

    CEO Africa Trust Academy

    Linkedin
  • Hussein Kanji

    Hussein Kanji

    United Kingdom

    Non Executive Director at Yieldify

    Linkedin