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6 November 2023

Stoking the fire of Innovation: Intel Ignite selects 10 startups for Fall 2023 European Cohort

Intel® Ignite, Intel Corporation’s global startup accelerator program for early-stage deep tech startups, has now launched its sixth cohort in Europe. For this occasion, we spoke to Markus Bohl, Managing Director at Intel Ignite Europe.

Sparks have always been the seeds of progress.

They are the first glimpse of light breaking darkness. They are the beginning of something new, something important, something greater, something lifechanging.

What is the Big Bang but a spark in the greatness of the universe? Just a spark, a spark that ignited suns, flying rocks, celestial bodies of all kinds. On these rocks emerged blazing volcanos, breaking the earth, cracking the stones, leaving room for rivers, lakes, seas, oceans to appear.

And then, in the darkness of these oceans, sparked another light. The spark of life. Evolving as a microbe, we then swam, walked, ran, climbed, flied, went to outer space.

A spark ignited fire. The fire of mankind, the fire of revolutions, whether industrials or political.

On the political side, the spark of philosophers have enlightened people for thousands of years. The French Revolution, for example, ignited the passion and the will of freedom of France and the rest of Europe. The Enlightenment philosophers cast a new light over the world.

The Industrial Revolution is something that started back in the 19th century. But it has never, ever stopped. Its flame might have damped down during times of crisis and recession, but is still alive and asks for nothing but to be stoked.

This is where Intel® Ignite comes into play. Igniting innovation, startups who matter for the industry and the future of mankind, progress and sustainability, their spark enlightens the pyre of innovation, and will soon expand as a warm blaze around the world.

Intel Ignite’s mission

“Our mission is to accelerate ground-breaking startups. We look into early stage startups that precede Series A, or including Series A in eight different deep tech verticals. I.e. really hardcore stuff, from AI machine learning all the way down to quantum computing. Very broad.” – said Markus Bohl, Managing Director at Intel Ignite Europe

“What we look for is breakthrough innovation. We always want to have something really innovative.”

The program is based in Munich, Germany, and covers startups from across Europe. From an applicant pool that included nearly 300 companies, 10 startups were selected for the 12-week program that begins on November 6th. The companies have an average of £3.39M in funding and hail from seven countries – Germany, Switzerland, Croatia, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain and France.

12 weeks to change the world

The 12-week program focuses on all aspects critical to the success of early-stage startups. Global business and technology leaders individually mentor the startups to further accelerate their growth and enable them to successfully realise their breakthrough ideas.

“We have taken the decision not to pay the mentors. Everybody involved needs to be because of their own motivation, their own will to give back to the ecosystem. And I must say, this was the best decision I ever took, because this is a very good filter. This really separates the kids from the adults. This really brings in the right mentors.”

The startups in this batch have a strong focus on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), but also span technologies as diverse as fusion power, x-ray cameras for manufacturing, chip-scale photonics, and cloud computing.

European Champions

“We have a highly curated list of applicants because most of them come from referrals, i.e. venture capital companies. We want the companies to have an institutional investor in their cap table. It is a proof point that this company has a certain ambition and will go or follow a certain trajectory. I’m not saying a that bootstrap company or a company funded with their own money is worse, that’s not the case. But for us, this institutional investor shows the direction in which this company is heading and has a certain ambition.”

The startups in the 6th European cohort are

  • Deep Detection (Spain) – Next-generation multispectral X-ray cameras for industrial inspection and material of contaminants and composition through deep learning.
  • Dotphoton (Switzerland) – Lossless raw data image compression for scalable and reliable AI in critical applications. 
  • Electric SQL (Croatia) – Local-first software platform for building modern apps that feel instant to use, support multi-user collaboration and work offline.
  • FononTech (Netherlands) – 3D impulse printing via micro-to mm range patterns with multiple materials (conducting, isolating, waveguides).
  • Giskard (France) – E2E testing and monitoring framework to eliminate risks of biases, performance issues, errors in ‘critical’ AI/ML models.
  • Proxima Fusion (Germany) – Building next-gen energy fusion systems through high-performance digital twin simulations.
  • Quantum Diamonds (Germany) – Quantum sensors for semiconductor failure analysis allowing for higher accuracy and shorter test duration.
  • Semron (Germany) – Analog CapRAM AI acceleration IP, as base for LLM AI acceleration platforms and power-critical edge use cases.
  • SuperDuperDB (Germany) – Enables integrated deployment, training, and management of any AI models and APIs on top of datastores.
  • Zerve (Ireland) – Collaborative data science and AI development environment, overcoming deficiencies of notebooks.