ANTWERP, Belgium – Three Skolkovo startups are among the top 50 scale-ups selected to take part in SuperNova, a major new tech fair taking place in Antwerp on September 27-28.
SuperNova will take place in various locations surrounding Antwerp's iconic Museum aan de Stroom (above). Photo: Sk.ru.
Group-IB, which provides cybersecurity solutions for preventing and investigating high-tech crime, Doc+, an online medical consultation and doctor callout service, and CPS Lab, which makes wearable devices for business and industrial safety systems, have been selected by investors to take part in the SuperNova Investor Pitching Track. As well as pitching to investors, they will have the chance to meet representatives of venture funds for one-on-one meetings.
The SuperNova event is for scale-ups rather than startups, and therefore, to be eligible for the Investor Pitching Track, tech companies must meet several criteria, Bruno Vandegehuchte, lead of the SuperNova Investor Pitching Track, told Sk.ru in Antwerp: they must have made at least 3 million euros in revenue in 2017, have already raised Series A funding of at least 1 million euros, have strong international ambition and average annual growth rates of at least 20 percent in the last three years.
“This is an investor programme completely built by investors,” said Vandegehuchte, who represents Scale-Ups.eu, an ecosystem focused on accelerating the growth of European scale-ups that, together with Flanders District of Creativity, is organising SuperNova.
“The companies have all been selected and assessed by investors, and the criteria we use are really very strict. It’s a very niche growth-stage later-stage venture event which is quite unique,” he said.
The Mayor of Antwerp (left) earlier awarded CPS Lab, one of the Skolkovo startups taking part in SuperNova, with a month-long trip to the city to implement pilot projects at regional companies in September. Photo: Sk.ru.
In addition to the investor programme, SuperNova – which is being held for the first time – comprises a tech fair of primarily B2B companies, a conference featuring international speakers, and a festival track on September 29-30 that is open to the public free of charge, featuring technology such as virtual reality, house robots, self-driving buses and drones, all on display along the waterfront near Antwerp’s iconic Museum aan de Stroom (Museum on the River, MAS). In front of the eye-catching deep red building on the River Scheldt that houses MAS, on the water itself, a floating globe will offer visitors a glimpse into the future of Antwerp Port, the second biggest in Europe after Rotterdam.
One of the Skolkovo startups taking part in SuperNova, CPS Lab, was earlier selected during a visit by a large Antwerp delegation to the Skolkovo innovation centre to take part in a month-long acceleration programme in the Belgian port city in September. During their time in Antwerp, paid for by the city itself, CPS Lab’s representatives will get the chance to launch pilot projects at several major regional companies.
"This is an investor programme completely built by investors. The companies have all been selected and assessed by investors, and the criteria we use are really very strict. It’s a very niche growth-stage later-stage venture event which is quite unique” - Bruno Vandegehuchte.
The 50 companies selected for the Investor Pitching Track include scale-ups from France, the U.K., the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal and Israel, as well as Belgium and Russia. They will take it in turn over the two days to make their pitches to an expected 150+ international later-stage investors, including the U.K.’s Columbia Lake Partners, Russia’s Runa Capital, Jerusalem Venture Partners, the U.S.’s Accel, and Belgium’s own Belfius and imec innovations hub.
The organizers of SuperNova, whose motto is “Tomorrow is unstoppable,” expect at least 500 meetings between scale-ups and VCs to take place during the event, Vandegehuchte told Sk.ru.
“Based on the very strict filtering of companies we have done together with VCs there will be at least five to 10 deals coming out of this,” he said.
SuperNova’s organisers see the event as the logical continuation of Belgium’s tech expos, which have produced, among other things, the Atomium, a national landmark, which was built for the Brussels World’s Fair in 1958.
“We’ve been waiting for the perfect moment to showcase our tech solutions,” Vandegehuchte told Sk.ru.
“Sixty years ago we had the Expo 58, and then 30 years later we had the Flanders Technology International fairs, and now, 30 years later, we have the perfect moment to score again with Supernova.”