The grand finale of Innovators for Children took place on the 15th of September and was organized by Impact Hub Bucharest in partnership with Botnar Fondation and Impact Hub Basel. Ten teams made it to the finale where they pitched for their ideas and solutions. KIDoc, Emoface, AutismON (Help Autism Association), Peditel and Brio were the winners of the day.
This online event completed the selection process and the winning start-ups will now move forward into the program and upscale the solutions that they worked on to improve the life and well-being of the children and teenagers in Romania.
Who are the winners?
Brio, the winner of the grand prize of 30.000 de euro – is a platform with scientifically proved solutions that can improve the school performance of students at the Romanian language & Mathematics subjects. It is dedicated to students, parents, educators, schools, and other institutions that are taking part in the educational system in Romania. Tested on 18.000 students, Brio wants to develop a practical instrument for students in the 1st to the 8th grade at Mathematics, instrument that will help them test, exercise and gain all the knowledge that they need to improve their abilities at this subject.
“For us at Brio, winning the 1st prize in the Innovators for Children finale means a lot; besides the obvious material help that it provides, this is also about including Brio in the top innovators for the educational system in Romania. The project that we entered this competition with – the generation of procedural items/problems using artificial intelligence will certainly be a premiere in Romania and probably globally as well. We are extremely proud to bring this kind of project to the life, but more than that, we are proud to be able to present it here, through this program. Our warmest appreciation to the organizers and congratulations to all the contestants that were part of this program”, said Gabi Bartic, COO, Director Consumer Division BRIO.
Peditel, who took the 2nd place and won the 20.000-euro prize, is a service for free pediatric medical assistance, service made possible through telemedicine (mobile app, video call, chat, phone call). With the help of this prize, they will take the service to the next stage and will become a medical hub integrated with telemedicine. The new technology could help over 150.000 children have access to non-stop pediatric medical assistance, anytime and anywhere.
“The mentoring program, the expertise, the trainers’ experience and the good case practice inputs from Romania and Switzerland, the network that we created with all the teams that were part of this and all the solutions that were already operating, it all helped us refine the most efficient and effective pediatric telemedicine solution which we will implement in the future. This will let us provide pediatric medical assistance to any child from Romania or diaspora, at just one click away. And all that because health is a fundamental right to each one of us”, Cristina Grigore, Coordinator at Peditel.
AutismON, the project of the Help Autism Association, also the 2nd winner of a 20.000-euro prize, is the 1st online center that covers all the needs for a child with autism disorder (evaluation, intervention plan, guidance and therapy) and their families’ as well (assistance, resources and know-how), all coming to help children reach their full development potential. The platform will stand as the greatest hope for families that live in cities or villages which do not have specialists on the field.
“The prize we won at Innovators for Children will help us develop the platform, which will rapidly offer the needed support for the 86 organizations we work with in the Romanian ASD network. We are still looking for investments to help support this dream forward so that we can become a real solution to the 40% of children of Romania with ASD who do not have access to the therapy that they need. AutismON is their hope and chance to an independent life.” Raluca Bogdan, Communication Manager AutismON
Emoface, the 3rd winner with a 15.000-euro prize, is an educational app which helps children with autism learn emotions and improve their social abilities. This app comes in help to independent specialists, organizations and families that work with or take care of children with autism.
“We are very happy that we can continue our collaboration with Impact Hub and this prize will allow us to finally open the Emoface app in Romania! Our solution created for the development of social abilities was validated in France and now we are ready to launch it in Romania. Through this app we want to help as many therapists as we can, parents and children who have difficulties in social interactions, like children with autism spectrum disorders.” Adela Bărbulescu, CEO Emoface
KIDoc, 3rd place and the winner of a prize of 15.000 euro, is a professional medical app created for parents who have children with chronic illnesses. This app offers real-time assistance regarding the administration of medication and prevents any mistakes or wrong information on the latest treatments or personalized medical solutions and it also offers quick access to all the medical records in digital form. The first version of the app will approach the needs of children with epilepsy – a total of over 40.000 diagnosed so far in Romania.
“The prize we won for the KIDoc project that we released only a few months ago, is a clear validation of an ambitious idea which stands on the strong motivation to have an impact in the lives of the children suffering from chronic illnesses and their parents. Innovators for Children was a real catalyst for our project, which stayed true to its professionalism nature through each stage.” Andreea Șerban, Founder KIDoc
From 130 registrations in the program, only 11 solutions were finalists and 10 had the opportunity to pitch their ideas on the 15th of September: Asociatia Help Autism (AutismON), Brio, Emoface, JSKids, KIDoc, Parentool, Peditel, REThink, Tactile Images, Univrse Education. You can find more about the finalists here.
The mentors who offered support to each of the teams and called out the winners of the program were: Oana Craioveanu (Impact Hub Bucharest), Ionuț Pătrăhău (SeedBlink), Sabina Antoci (Vodafone România Foundation), Diana Certan (Humanitarian Foundation Concordia România), Adelina Dondorici (Parenting Ads) and Adina Crețu (Startarium).
The selection criteria included: the impact of the solution on the targeted clients, the operational and financial feasibility, the skill set of the team in improving the solution and making it work in real life and also, the innovating factor brought by that technology/project.
The grand finale was an online event, fully broadcasted on Impact Hub Bucharest’s Facebook page, where the audience could watch the teams’ presentations and vote their favorite for the 1000-euro popularity prize. The winner of this prize was AutismON – Help Autism Association.
“Congratulations to all the participants and winners for their outstanding progress and for all the solutions developed which will surely make children and teenagers’ lives better! We are so proud of the results from the first edition of the program, where Kinderpedia – last year’s winner, is now one of the main pillars of the digitalization of the education system in Romania. We are definitely on the right path in contributing to the whole process of innovation and we hope this year’s winning teams value the whole experience of Innovators for Children acceleration program and take it to another level”, said Oana Craioveanu, Managing Partner Impact Hub Bucharest.