The first 4 prizes of Boldbrain 2023 go to startups from USI, with Foldcast taking first place
USI Startup Centre
11 December 2023
Science-based startup projects developing innovative solutions to tackle important challenges in different industries, from construction and industrial site inspection to diagnostics and data security, dominate the Boldbrain podium this year. The 2023 winner, Foldcast, is a spin-off of the Academy of Architecture of USI that provides a solution to drastically reduce concrete usage. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th places went to the projects originating from the Faculty of Informatics of USI, Cognitive Inspect, Securified and SkinMind, while the 5th award went to WiSort.
The winners of the sixth edition of the Boldbrain Startup Challenge, the acceleration programme for innovative ideas organised by Fondazione Agire with the collaboration of USI Startup Centre and sponsored by the Department of Finance and Economy (DFE) of the Canton Ticino and BancaStato, were announced on December 7th at the Palazzo dei Congressi in Lugano in front of 500 participants.
Foldcast, the winning startup currently pre-incubated at USI Startup Centre, that designed a process that allows to reduce concrete usage in construction by 50% thanks to cardboard formworks, received a cheque for CHF 40,000, a full scholarship of CHF 54,000 for the Executive Master in Business Administration at USI and consultancy vouchers from Bär & Karrer and Fidinam. The project is developed by an outstanding team composed of Prof. Ena Lloret-Fritschi (USI), Fabio Amicarelli (PhD candidate, USI), Andrea Realini and Elia Quadranti. The outstanding pitch of Fabio has also convinced the Award Ceremony attendees, bringing Foldcast the Audience Award.
Cognitive Inspect, a startup project developed by Dario Mantegazza (PhD candidate, USI-IDSIA) and Lorenzo Galli, that revolutionises industrial equipment monitoring using AI, ranked second, winning CHF 30,000 and a consultancy voucher from Fidinam. With its novel secure data analysis system for the cloud, Securified, founded by Prof. Patrick Eugster (USI) supported by Pavel Chuprikov (PostDoc, USI) and Shamiek Mangipudi (PhD candidate, USI), came third, receiving a cheque for CHF 20,000. The fourth place went to SkinMind and its AI-powered app for instant self-diagnosis of skin lesions developed by Sepehr Behesti (master student, USI) with support from expert dermatologists. Finally, the intelligent waste bin for recycling created by WiSort brought Ermes Zamboni and his team 5th place and a cheque for CHF 10,000. Together with Foldcast, both Cognitive Inspect and SkinMind are pre-incubated at the USI Startup Centre.
The top three winners also receive the opportunity to access the Swiss Economic Award and MassChallenge Switzerland as well as coaching vouchers offered by Connect Switzerland. Additionally, all finalists benefit from a voucher provided by the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property to carry out an initial assisted patent search.