Innovative Start-ups — Part 1 | Outlook Business
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Techtonic 2018

Innovative Start-ups — Part 1
Tech ventures from around the world that have successfully married innovation and impact

Aleph Farms

Year: 2017 
Country: Israel
Founders: Didier Toubia and Shulamit Levenberg
Category: Food technology, 3D printing

It aims to change the traditional way of producing meat by creating a sustainable alternative. The start-up is printing three dimensional beef by replicating cow cells. Aleph uses a technology whereby four types of meat cells — muscle fiber, fat, connective tissue and blood vessels — are used to create a complex 3D model of beef. It is adding on to the ‘clean meat’ revolution by reducing the environmental footprint of beef production. The artificial meat tastes and feels very much like actual beef.

Axiom Space

Year: 2015
Country: United States
Founder: Michael Suffredini
Category: Aerospace

The Houston-based Axiom is looking to develop a private space station that will commence operations as soon as the International Space Station (ISS) retires in 2024. The start-up is building its first module, which will be attached to the ISS by 2020. It will detach itself once the international laboratory shuts. Unlike the ISS, this will cater to astronauts, researchers, scientists, entrepreneurs and tourists alike. It will encourage in-orbit research and commercial testing of new technologies by private companies, and promote space tourism. However, its main revenue will be from countries that wish to send their astronauts to space. Other forms of revenue will be exploration support, scientific research, manufacturing and sponsorships. Revenue generation is estimated to be about $37 billion by 2030. 

Blue Frog Robotics

Year: 2014
Country: France 
Founders: Rodolphe Hasselvander and Franck De Visme
Category: Robotics, artificial intelligence

The Paris-based start-up has developed ‘BUDDY’, a mobile, sociable and emotionally intelligent robot designed to be a family’s companion. It weighs about 5 kg, costs $749 and has a battery that lasts for about eight to 10 hours. Its platform allows the developer community to distribute Android applications through the BUDDY Store. The start-up aims to design and develop robots that help people enhance the quality of their lives. The robots will be controlled via a mobile phone and have sensors that can detect visitors, act as a smart home device or allow children to learn through games. It will also help the elderly through features such as fall detection, medical reminders and act as a family calendar. 

BlueRock Therapeutics

Year: 2016 
Country: Canada

Founders: Gordon Keller and Lorenz Studer 
Category: Biotechnology

The start-up, which raised $225 million in Series A financing by Bayer and Versant Ventures, uses biomolecular technology to replace dead, damaged and dysfunctional cells in patients with degenerative diseases. The platform is based on induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), which can be generated from cells and produced in large quantities. This technology of regenerating stem cells aims to help patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease as well as cardiovascular diseases. Due to the fact that 10 million people are affected by Parkinson’s each year and that cardiac failure is a leading cause of death, success in this platform will prove to be a major development in the healthcare segment.  

Eviation Aircraft

Year: 2016
Country: Israel 
Founders: Aviv Tzidon, Dekel Tzidon, Michael Ilan, Omer Bar-Yohay
Category: Aerospace 

Eviation aims to make air travel eco-friendly, regional, and more importantly, cheaper with its Alice Commuter. It is developing electrical drones, all set to launch in 2021, to carry up to nine passengers and travel at a speed of about 450 km/hr between charges. It uses Kokam batteries that can help it stay in the air for about 21 hours with a charging time of 10 minutes. It promises to have lower operating and maintenance costs than traditional aircraft. 

This is part one of a three-part series. You can read Part 2 here and Part 3 here.

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