Global talent search for digital startups to ‘speed up sustainability’

Global talent search for digital startups to ‘speed up sustainability’

ABB Electrification’s Startup Challenge in collaboration with Microsoft and SynerLeap is scouting for startups. Applications are now being accepted with three winners set to each receive $30,000 for project development.

With renewed global focus on emission reduction and energy efficiency, the competition theme for ABB Electrification’s 2021 Startup Challenge - Speeding up Sustainability - is focused on uncovering the world’s smartest thinkers to address how commercial buildings and industrial power applications can tap into disruptive technologies to enable a low-carbon society.

Cutting-edge startups looking to shape the future needs of society through the creation of safe, smart and sustainable solutions are being invited to participate in the global competition that will leverage ABB’s product offering using technologies such as machine learning, AI and blockchain.

Tarak Mehta, President of ABB Electrification said: “With many global economies setting net zero emissions targets, the need for action on climate change is becoming ever more urgent. Our 2030 sustainability strategy is focused on enabling a low-carbon society and working collaboratively to ensure sustainable practices throughout our value chain. As such, to help meet the climate challenge, innovation and uncovering talent in the startup community will be vital to drive change.”

In collaboration with Microsoft and ABB’s global innovation growth hub, SynerLeap, the competition will seek out and select shortlisted startups who are able to deliver scalable solutions across three main categories: Smart Buildings, Smart Power and Distribution Solutions. Each category has defined criteria and will look at how data mining, automation and other applications can be used to optimize the digital future of commercial buildings, improve power consumption through greater visibility and apply digitalization to upgrade safety solutions and maintenance.

Three winning startups will each receive a $30,000 prize to jointly develop and work in collaboration with ABB and SynerLeap to bring their innovative ideas into the market through the ABB Ability Marketplace™.  The winners will also benefit from marketing and networking support from ABB R&D experts and immediate access to ABB Electrification tools and its global customer base. The winners will also receive access to Microsoft experts, earning one to one business and technical coaching, and access to Microsoft cloud technologies.

2020 marked the inaugural year for the ABB Electrification Startup Challenge, with leading startups from around the globe having the opportunity to showcase new solutions. Last year’s winners included Mavenoid, a computer software company from Sweden, which looks at technical support automation;  Fsight, from Israel, which markets solutions to optimize the grid from the bottom up; and Viking Analytics which empowers experts in asset-heavy companies with analytics.  

Earlier this year, Sweden-based Viking Analytics went on to sign a framework agreement with ABB to develop data-powered monitoring for strategic assets, marking a new stage in the collaboration between the companies.

Peter Löfgren, Head of SynerLeap explains: “We are sincerely proud to be part of the ABB Electrification Startup Challenge for a second year. Enabling change and supporting safe and sustainable progress is something that we are passionate about, and we are excited to be working with talented startups to turn new technologies and solutions into real value for communities around the world.”

For further details and to apply by 30th April 2021, startups can visit 

ABB’s Electrification Business Area is a global leader in electrical products and solutions, operating in more than 100 countries, with over 200 manufacturing sites. Our 50,000+ employees are dedicated to transforming how people live, connect and work by delivering safe, smart and sustainable electrification solutions. We are shaping the future trends of electrification, differentiating through technological and digital innovation while delivering an outstanding experience through operational excellence for our customers across utilities, industry, buildings, infrastructure and mobility. For more information visit

SynerLeap is ABB’s global innovation growth hub. Our goal is to help startups to accelerate and expand in a global market together with ABB. SynerLeap opens up for investments and offers to the members mentorship as well as a unique access to ABB’s networks, customers and technology in automation, robotics and energy. Today, more than 90 companies have joined SynerLeap including Graphmatech and MTEK from Sweden, Everactive from USA and NumoCity from India.  The growth hub started with a focus on Sweden, expanded to the Nordic countries and is now also open to companies from all over the world.


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