Konica Minolta sets up €10m startup fund

October 29, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Collaboration, News 

Japanese printer company Konica Minolta has set up a €10m fund to help startups in Europe over the next two to three years.

The fund is managed by the European Business Innovation Centre (BIC), based in London, set up this year. Any startup can apply to the fund, which is focussing on the digital workplace, healthcare business, information automation and business technologies.

“Our vision is to develop innovative products, which will revolutionise the market. That is why we are now going through an amazing and radical change. A company, whose roots are printers, is now involving the community and start-ups in order to create innovations on a common basis. This is a radical change – from exclusively proprietary products to collaborative co-innovation,” said Dr. Dennis Curry who heads up the European BIC.

“Start-ups profit enormously from collaboration with established companies like Konica Minolta”, said Curry. “We own resources, networks and management know-how. Being a partner with us means always playing a part in designing the future and obtaining privileged access to Konica Minolta’s industry-leading know-how. Our partners get access to our leading R&D, including top-tier scientists and engineers worldwide.” Start-ups in particular can speed up the time to market for their new products by leveraging our supply chain and sales channels. They accelerate their return on investment and company growth.“Konica Minolta wants to draw in Europe’s top talent from start-ups. To create this win-win situation, we need platforms upon which companies and start-ups can meet,” he said.

The first strategic partner of Konica Minolta is the Austrian augmented reality start-up Wikitude. Today, Konica Minolta announced its initial intention to partner and investment in the company. “When a multinational company like Konica Minolta engages in a partnership dedicated to augmented reality, the possibilities are enormous. While we at Wikitude will provide our award-winning technology, expertise and vision, it will be Konica Minolta’s market presence and business network to mark the next milestone on our mission to augment the enterprise world”, Martin Herdina, CEO of Wikitude says.

Konica Minolta is also launching a “Leading Edge Partner Community”, a pan-European tool to build up new partnerships and develop innovations together with these partners. The community is a place to collaborate online, i.e. in special Leading Edge Networking Sessions (LENS), as well as during client events and start-up events. It is a place to achieve knowledge transfer and advance the commercialisation of ideas and prototypes.Anyone with an idea can join the community and apply for funding. Promising development ideas will pass through a formal investment process consisting of five review points, which Konica Minolta will use to filter the most viable partners to take a business idea right through to commercialisation. The emphasis is on co-innovation, on working with others in related fields to accelerate a proof of concept or vision.

It has set up a specific platform especially for startups at https://pioneers.konicaminoltabic.spigit.com. If start-ups have an idea, a concept or product connected to the related fields, they can join the platform and submit their ideas. The best ideas will win the opportunity to shape the future digital workplace in the Konica Minolta labs and receive funding.


Venturefest Bristol 2012 announced

June 18, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Events, News 

Wednesday 7th November 2012

New venue: UWE Exhibition and Conference Centre

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Venturefest Bristol is back for a second year to showcase the latest new technology business ideas and innovations.

The venue moves from the Bristol & Bath Science Park to the Exhibition Centre at UWE, bringing together technology businesses at all stages, from pre-commercial to established organisations. Venturefest Bristol 2012 aims to offers opportunities to businesses regardless of their size, sector or location within the UK.

Last year’s event attracted more than 700 attendees and this year promises to be even bigger. Venturefest is aimed at anyone who has an early-stage technology business idea and is looking for support and advice to get that idea off the ground. Attendees can listen to other entrepreneurs’ stories, get IP and funding advice and to network with like-minded people.


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SouthWest startup Xsilon launches in Barcelona

March 3, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: News 

A startup from Bath has launched its technology to the world at the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona aiming to connect up all the different bits of electronics in the home.

Xsilon’s HANADU “Whole Home, Every Home” technology is aimed at service operators and equipment makers and can handle any communications link whether it is wireless or wired, with low cost and low power.  It is initially aiming at smart meter connections in the home as s well as in difficult building deployments, in-home energy management solutions, appliance monitoring and maintenance applications, and telemedicine services.

A lot of wireless links struggle to reach devices that are located inside homes, as external wireless networks struggle to penetrate the shell of the building and internal wireless networks continue to face challenges with the obstacles, clutter and coverage deadspots within a typical home environment.

HANADU plus into the growth of machine-to-machine, or M2M, technology where machines in the home all talk to each other and so is low cost enough to work in your fridge or washing machine as well as with your phone or iPad. The key is that it reaches within the home to every point where M2M connectivity might be needed, and overcomes the deadspots and range problems typically associated with previous inhome  deployments. Unlike equivalent wireless offerings, costly but underused repeater points are not needed.

All sorts of different ‘ad hoc’ approaches are supported with auto-discovery routing algorithms where the system looks around for waht avaiable and then connects to it automatically, and the bandwidth scales to support many dozens of connected endpoints within a single home.
HANADU comes with a radically lower power consumption than legacy approaches and state-of-the-art network security keeps householders’ privacy fully secure.

Xsilon’s experienced technology team in the South West has created HANADU using more than two man-centuries of communications technology development and product experience. Other communications technologies deployed in the home were originally designed for other areas, and compromises in performance or connectivity have inevitably been encountered during deployment as an In-Home M2M offering. Rather than accepting such compromises, the Xsilon team designed HANADU using a cleansheet approach with three design goals in mind: superior performance within the home environment; direct relevance to the needs of in-home M2M applications; and, compatibility with all
legacy in-home technologies.

Xsilon has generated its own intellectual property in designing HANADU, and it will be opening the technology up to standardisation activities in the near future. The first products will allow vendors and service providers to evaluate the connectivity advantages of HANADU technology, followed by connectivity modules for integration into equipment.

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