Japanese IT firm NTT DATA’s 10th annual international Open Innovation Contest 10 is underway. Edinburgh was among the 16 cities across 14 countries chosen to host one of its regional contests to select finalists.
Held at the city’s prestigious Bayes Centre, the University of Edinburgh’s innovation hub for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, the competition, which was being held for the first time in Edinburgh, was co-hosted with Innovative Finance.
The Open Innovation Contest is aimed at high potential startups across industries and a wide range of technologies from Artificial Intelligence (AI) to the Internet of Things (IoT) to Fintech. The shortlisted startups were invited to pitch to a panel of judges to convince them why they should be selected to go onto the next round.
Anomalous Technologies and Unmanned Life beat off stiff competition to take the top spot on the day. Shortlisted startups included Topolytics, NewsBlocks, Shoppa, The Data for Children Collaborative with UNICEF, Ocyan Cloud Technology, KareInn, BlueFlow and The Bot Platform.
Unmanned Life provides autonomy as service while Anomalous specialises in using AI for manufacturing quality control.
Kim Clement, CTO of Unmanned Life, told DIGIT: “We are very excited to have won today. And we are very much looking forward to working together with NTT DATA to deploy our autonomy as a service solution to help them to provide new services to their customers and to help provide the customers with more efficient services at the backend.”
The two winning companies are now invited to present their pitch to a panel of judges for the Tokyo grand final in January 2020 to determine the ultimate grand champion of the global contest.
Euan Wielewski, co-founder and CEO at Anonmalous, said: “Winning the this competition is a huge opportunity for us to access new markets and to work with one of the world’s biggest systems integrators. We are really happy to have the opportunity to work with NTT DATA and are looking forward to the trip to Tokyo.”
The overall winner will be funded up to $100,000 USD to develop a proof of concept with NTT DATA clients in addition to receiving support of a dedicated team of expert consultants, technologists and business experts who will work together with the startup.
NTT DATA will also help make important mentoring and business connections for finalists and winners among their client base and professional networks.
Jude McCorry, head of business development and marketing at The Data Lab, who served as a judge, said: “It was an amazing experience for all the judges and all the pitches were so well articulated. It is really good that NTT DATA hold events like this and invest money in Scotland helping the startup community.”
Fellow judge, Graeme Gordon, CEO of IFB, said: “It is great to see NTT doing what they are doing in Scotland and the way are they are doing it, supporting the Scottish marketplace.
“We talk about an ecosystem, but it is much bigger than that, it is a global system. Today we have representatives from Tokyo coming to Edinburgh to see the great things that Scotland’s tech startup scene is doing. It is fantastic to have outstanding Scottish companies pitching on the global stage.”