Over the past years, Elektor has been organizing the electronica Fast Forward (e-ffwd) start-up competition. Normally this event takes place at the electronica (and productronica) trade shows, but this year things are a bit different and you all know why. Instead of cancelling the event, Elektor and electronica moved it online, where companies from countries such as Germany, USA, Hungary, and France (to name only a few) presented their elevator pitches, business plans, and products.

After reviewing the various start-ups and their technologies, the official e-ffwd jury — which included Professor Rik De Doncker (RWTH Aachen University) and Elektor engineering and editorial representatives — has selected the top three winners. Congratulations to the winners: Hungary-based AXS Motionsystem Ltd (First Prize), Germany-based Micropack-3D (Second Prize), and Hungary-based e-Fásli Ltd (Third Prize). 

Virtual Pitching

Even though the electronica Fast Forward competition was open to any start-up company, not all were admitted to the final round. Only the participants who sent in a business plan, a company profile, and a short video were presented to the jury.

The video replaced the elevator pitch participants do live in Coronavirus-free times in front of an audience and a jury. The audience was simulated by public voting as visitors of the start-up profiles could rate them by giving stars.

electronica Fast Forward Winners

After studying the provided documents and watching the videos, and merging in the public votes, the jury – headed by Professor Rik De Doncker from RWTH Aachen University (see below) – selected three winners:
  • First Prize - €75,000 Elektor marketing budget & a starter booth at electronica 2022
  • Second Prize - €50,000 Elektor marketing budget
  • Third Prize - €25,000 Elektor marketing budget

The winning three start-ups were chosen by the jury because of their high commercial potential and the quality of the team, two important criteria for a start-up to grow into a successful business.

Congratulations to the winners!

See You Next Year?

The virtual the electronica Fast Forward 2020 competition was a success thanks to its wide field of high-level participants. The technologies included:
  • Wireless charging
  • Edge computing
  • Electric vehicles
  • Energy harvesting
  • MEMS mirror and laser scanning solutions
  • Actuator technologies
  • Real-time control and monitoring
  • And more

Hopefully, things will be back to normal soon and we'll see you at the next event!

About Professor De Doncker

Professor Rik W; De DonckerRik W. De Doncker (M'87 SM'99 F'01) received in 1981 his Diploma in Electrical-Mechanical Engineering and in 1986 his Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the KULeuven, Belgium. In 1987, he was appointed Visiting Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. In 1988, he joined the GE Corporate Research and Development Center, Schenectady, NY. In November 1994, he joined Silicon Power Corporation (formerly GE-SPCO) as Vice President Technology, developing world’s first medium-voltage static transfer switch.

Since Oct. 1996, he is professor at RWTH Aachen University, Germany, where he leads the Institute for Power Electronics and Electrical Drives (ISEA).

In Oct. 2006 he was appointed director of the E.ON Energy Research Center at RWTH Aachen University, where he also founded the Institute for Power Generation and Storage Systems (PGS).  He is director of the RWTH CAMPUS Cluster Sustainable Energy and leads the German Federal Government BMBF Flexible Electrical Networks (FEN) Research CAMPUS. He has a doctor honoris causa degree of TU Riga, Latvia.

He has published over 400 technical papers and is holder of more than 40 patents. Dr. De Doncker is recipient of the IAS Outstanding Achievements Award and the IEEE Power Engineering Nari Hingorani Custom Power Award (2008). In 2010, he became member of the German National Platform for electro-mobility. He is the recipient of the 2013 Newell Power Electronics IEEE Technical Field Award, and the 2014 IEEE PELS Harry A. Owen Outstanding Service Award. In 2015 he was awarded Fellow status at RWTH University. In 2016 he became member of the German Academy of Science and Technology (ACATECH). 2017 he became Member of the International Advisory Board of French automotive research institute VEDECOM. He has been awarded the 2020 IEEE Medal in Power Engineering.