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Berlin start-ups compete to solve challenges

Tom Bristow · 14 Nov 2013, 10:29

Published: 14 Nov 2013 10:29 GMT+01:00

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The aim was to develop ideas to overcome the challenges of the future.

The Challenge Cup competition in Betahaus, Kreuzberg pitted start-ups against one another in the fields of health, education, energy and designing smart cities.

Organized by Washington-based incubator platform 1776, and sponsored by Microsoft, the Challenge Cup is being held in 16 cities worldwide.

Co-founder of 1776 Evan Burfield told The Local: “We really liked the fact that Berlin is already a hub for start-ups in Europe and the fact that it is a capital city.

“For me, what is exciting in Berlin is the unique and novel ideas which we have not seen before. It is really creative.”

Victor in the education category was Danish-based WriteReader App which helps overcome youth illiteracy by allowing children to import pictures and come up with stories about their favourite activities.

They saw off competition from UnlockYourBrain, an app which acts as a learning companion, telling the user when they work best.

In the energy category, Berlin-based start-up Plugsurfing was the winner with an app which collects data on nearby charging points for electric cars.

An app which scans your eye to test your chances of blindness, OPTretina, won the health category.

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The Smart Cities category was won by einFach, an app which acts as a local dropbox telling users where they can access lockers around a city to store their items.

The winners will fly to Washington in May next year to compete against the victors from the 15 other cities. It will also provide them with the opportunity to meet investors.

READ MORE: Berlin airlift site touted as tech start-up hub

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Tom Bristow (tom.bristow@thelocal.com)

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