Innovation through collaboration

2020 has been a pivotal year for Digital and this year we have seen many innovations that appeared as we adapted to circumstances.

Innovations change the way we live and interact. Over the last 12 months we’ve seen new technologies emerge to host meetings, connect with family and friends, and help us grow our communities safely.

For ABB Electrification, innovation is focused on how we can transform the way people live, connect and work by delivering safe, smart and sustainable electrification solutions to our customers and partners.

Across our five divisions we want to shape future trends in electrification by imagining the solutions that transform new ideas into real value for communities around the world. But we also believe that innovation needs resilience and must be sustainable in our fast-paced 24/7 world. The true value of innovation lies in seeking out and leaning-in to new ideas through co-creation and partnership working.

We are very excited to launch the first ABB Electrification Virtual Startup Challenge for 2020, in collaboration with SynerLeap, ABB global innovation growth hub, and our event partner Microsoft. Within this pursuit, SynerLeap brings together startups and ABB teams in an inclusive and open community with access to mentorship, investments, as well as ABB technology and ecosystem.

Our work with startups truly inspires our organization and we focus on nurturing talent, uncovering more of the world’s smartest thinkers and fostering ideation together.

We know that the journey of innovation and bringing a product to market is complex and can often be long for many startups, with limited opportunity to pitch their ideas and access networks. At ABB we wanted to provide a forum for new ideas and creativity with direct access to knowledge, experience and customer markets. With the Virtual Startup Challenge 2020 we want to give participants a head start to turn their ideas into reality.

Under the Virtual Startup Challenge 2020 we have invited startups from around the world to participate across ten days to ideate, refine and develop a real-world solution for one of three scenarios:

  • Innovate the digital future of smart homes to lower the energy footprint, as well as engage and support end-users to adopt sustainable behaviors and habits
  • Improve and enhance energy efficiency, and optimize loads in power plants to have a relevant impact on overall energy production costs through digitalization
  • Deliver reliable power distribution in industry and utilities to detect changes in condition of electrical equipment and environment of the switchgear

Three winning startups will each receive $30,000 investment and will work in close collaboration with our teams with the aim to bring their innovative ideas into market through ABB Ability Marketplace™ and benefit from immediate access to ABB’s global customer base.

The winners will also benefit from marketing and networking support, along with exclusive access to ABB Electrification tools, infrastructure, data and on-hand expertise.

As one of the judges at the ABB Electrification Virtual Startup Challenge I’m excited to see the scope and range of new ideas that this competition will foster. I’m looking forward to working with the finalists who share a common vision and passion to shape future solutions.

I would like to wish all the applicants in the challenge the best of luck and I look forward to seeing a range of ideas and collaborative approaches.

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About the author

Anton Kotov

Anton Kotov heads global strategy, business development, and digital for ABB’s Electrification business. Within his role, Anton drives the $13 bn Business’ organic and external development, portfolio transformation, as well as the digital agenda. Prior to joining ABB in 2017, Anton spent 10 years in various roles at Schneider Electric, where he was driving business optimization for the global Installation Systems & Control Business Unit. Having started his career as a Head of Marketing for Baikal Business Center in Russia, Anton also used to work for Nokia in Helsinki, Finland, before moving to Paris, France. He holds an MBA Degree from HEC Paris and IESE Business Schools. He also completed Executive Education Programs on M&A at London Business School and on Strategic Sales at Harvard Business School. Outside of the office, Anton is a seasoned traveler who visited more than 100 countries. His hobbies include cross-country skiing, playing piano, and composing music. Anton is a French and Russian citizen, and he is based out of Zurich, Switzerland.
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