Disrupt Europe: Will the Hardware revolution take roots in Europe?

Nov 4, 2013
Vote on Hacker News

berlin wall

Lots of people complained about Disrupt Europe as sponsors being too influential or the sales focus. The fact is the Startup Battlefield was controversial, some of the startups having already raised money, one of them up to $8 mil. Then there was this tweet where Michael Arrington proposed to not choose a winner for this year’s Europe Disrupt:

However, a winner was chosen, even a runner-up, both from London, and both representing the 2 sectors Europe is good at: hardware and fashion. Lock8, the winner is proposing a $199 solution to safely lock/unlock your bike using your smartphone, but on a continent where riding bikes is extremely common, buying a new one would be less expensive than investing in the lock-up solution. However, the team posted their project on Kickstarter and they’re doing great, so congrats to them!

Asap54, on the other hand, is a solution combining image recognition technology and social features to search and discover fashion. Imagined by CEO Daniela Cecilio former COO of Farfetch and actual wife of Farfetch CEO Jose Neves, the app was built with the help of an army of engineers (20 to be exact). The team has already raised $850,000 and I’m sure every wannabe fashionista will rollover to download the app when available.

Oddly enough, a lot of the startups present at Disrupt (Battlefield & Alley) had their project on crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo. Did Disrupt become a defilée of Kickstarter projects and a good amount of sponsors blended together?

That being said, hardware is written all over Europe and TechCrunch Disrupt is proof of this trend. We are at the beginning of a new era, with a high market perspective of $2.7 trillion to $6.2 trillion per year by 2025.

There were many hardware startups on this first european edition, and not only on the second day of the event as it was in Disrupt SF last year for instance. Here’s a selection of the most interesting projects we have seen during this two days:

  • Airfy : seamless wifi management with a Kickstarter campaign.
  • Vaavud: also a successful kickstarter project is a wireless wind meter containing no electronics.
  • 1sheeld: got noticed by their innovative solution. The app is designed for Arduino fans and community. The shield they propose acts like an add-on board that supports as many functionalities as possible. Also,a Kickstarter project in a few days.
  • Brahma3: powerful stereolithography 3D print, gorgeous high-resolution. The price range: $3000 for the printer, $150 for 1 liter of liquid photosensitive polymer.
  • Theeyetribe: an eye tracker,with a new field of applications on mobile devices, priced at $99, tablet and laptop.
  • Qardio: Heart monitoring system, less invasive than the majority of solutions proposed.