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Lisbon, December 16th 2019

Sens’ability, SpawnFoam and Lilheads are the winning startups of Big Impact

  • SOS wristbands for people with hearing or visual disabilities, biodegradable vases and interactive experiences with AI win amongst 15 finalists
  • Enabling People, Renewing Ecosystems and Empowering Society are the three areas of the challenges
  • More than 80 submitted projects

Sens’ability, for the Enabling People challenge, SpawnFoam, for Renewing Ecosystems, and Lilheads, for the Empowering Society challenge, are the winning startups for the three questions at Big Impact, the entrepreneurship competition that succeeds Big Smart Cities and that, in this edition, looked for innovative technological projects that answer today’s society’s challenges.

For the Enabling People challenge, by Vodafone, the startup Sens’ability presented a prototype of a device that is very similar to a bracelet, designed for people with hearing or visual disabilities. This solution, which recurs to the NB-IoT technology, allows people to send requests for help in case of emergency.

SpawnFoam was the winner for the Renewing Ecosystems challenge, proposed by Cascais’ Town Hall. This startup develops biodegradable vases for reforesting projects, through the combination of various natural elements, organic, agricultural or forestry waste. These sustainable plantation vases allow for an increase of the growth rate of trees, but can also be reused for the organic fertilization of the ground, as they are dissolved in the land.

In the Empowering Society challenge, made by Trust in News, the big winner was Lilheads with a project that allows for creation of interactive experiences based in Artificial Intelligence. Recurring to the creation of chatbots and the development of gamification strategies, the startup proposes a creation of customized interactions with the users of different social networks, improving the access to information.

The Big Impact winning projects were selected after a 48 hours Hackathon, which took place in DNA Cascais on the 11th, 12th and 13th of December. During these days, the 15 finalist teams had the opportunity to define the best strategy, design its solution with the support of mentors of each one of the areas and be in inspirational talks and workshops. Now, there is a period of nine months for the teams to develop their pilot, which will be presented and tested in September 2020.

The winners of the Boost Award – Sens’ability and SpawnFoam – will receive an award of two thousand five hundred euros, as well as the possibility to presente a demonstration of their solution in the Demo Dare and incubation both in Vodafone Power Lab and DNA Cascais during 12 months. The startup Lilheads, winner of the Big Pilot Award, will receive an investment prize of five thousand euros, as well as support from Vodafone in which regards the technological development of projects and from Cascais’ Town Hall for the experimentation of the solutions in a real environment.

Created in 2013 to capture technological ideas aim to improve the daily life of the people who live, work or visit a city, Big Impact, organized by the innovation consultancy imatch, is among Vodafone Power Lab’s initiatives, the entrepreneurship and innovation incentive program initiated by Vodafone Portugal in 2009. Its goal is to foment the creation of technological projects in the telecommunications sector, through support in incubation, mentoring, workshops and training, giving work conditions to the new enterprises so that these can develop.