Automation is emerging a critical component to manufacturing prowess, a trend that will only intensify in the coming years. Seminal startup companies are appearing on the horizon with ideas that will change the face of the industry.
The Association for Advancing Automation (A3), a global advocate for the benefits of automating and producers of Automate 2017 tradeshow, have identified eight companies that it deems the industry’s most innovative young startups in the automation industry. These companies will compete at the upcoming show for a $10,000 cash prize.
“Automation is among the most dynamic emerging markets, with venture funding increasing robustly each year,” stated Jeff Burnstein, president of A3. “The finalists in the Automate Launch Pad Startup Competition represent the many types of innovation that will transform the manufacturing and services sectors over the next decade.”
This is the second year for the contest. Last year, Soft Robotics took the prize. The company makes robotic grippers that “are adaptive, plug and play, repeatable and reliable,” Soft Robotics said.
The competition, which is sponsored by General Electric and co-produced by Silicon Valley Robotics, aims to generate awareness of the technologies offered by these organizations and give them a chance to find new sources of funding, A3 said.
“We were focused on identifying technologies that would complement the Automate attendees, who lean toward the manufacturing space as well as materials handling and warehousing,” said Bob Doyle, director of communication for A3. “The robotics and warehousing space is expanding outside the traditional manufacturing facilty. It’s becoming more than just pure robotics, and includes some vision and motion control.”
The finalist, chosen from 30 contestant entries from the United States and around the world, will have three minutes to pitch their technology solutions to a judging panel at Automate 2017. The judges awarding the prize are:
- Saman Farid, Managing Partner, Comet Labs
- Oliver Mitchell, Founding Partner, Autonomy Ventures
- Chris Moehle, Managing Director, The Robotics Hub
- Steve Taub, Senior Director, GE Ventures
- Melonee Wise, CEO, Fetch Robotics
In the contest application, each company shared about their technologies, why that technology was transforming the industry, and how they planned to use the funding if they won the prize. To be eligible, the company had to be founded in the last five years, and have raised less than $2 million in funding. In addition, applicants must not be affiliated with a larger, more established company.
The winner will receive a $10,000 cash award. Each company are also getting a booth at the show (a prize worth more than $5,000), to give them a chance to showcase their offerings to over 20,000 show attendees.
Click on the image below to start a slideshow of the finalists.
— Hailey Lynne McKeefry, Editor in Chief, EBN