Global startups ‘speed up sustainability’

ABB Electrification’s Startup Challenge, in collaboration with Microsoft and SynerLeap, has announced its 2021 winning line-up, as Machine Learning, advanced AI and 3D modelling scale-up safe, smart and sustainable solutions

Now in its second year, the ABB Electrification Startup challenge saw an unprecedented level of entries from global startups across 28 countries. Competing applicants took up the challenge to seek out and develop next generation solutions using IIoT and digitalization to enable a low-carbon society and provide sustainable practices.

With renewed global focus on emission reduction and energy efficiency, the competition theme - Speeding up Sustainability – focused on uncovering the world’s smartest thinkers to address how commercial buildings and industrial power applications can tap into disruptive technologies.

Introducing new business models such as “energy efficiency as a service” and advancing customer experience, this year’s applicants impressed judges with their drive to collaborate, mature their solutions and deliver progress and real value for ABB and its customers.  

Tarak Mehta, President of ABB Electrification said: “The need to accelerate and turn up the dialogue around climate change and energy efficiency has never been more important. Open innovation and discovery are critical to help make the energy transition more affordable, effective and accessible. Working with global startups provides us with a unique opportunity to look beyond what is front of us, to the role we can play in shaping a safe, smart and sustainable future.”

With ABB’s 2030 sustainability strategy the company is actively enabling a low-carbon society and working collaboratively to ensure sustainable practices throughout the value chain.

Pivot Energy, an analytics company from Sweden with teams in the UK and US, will now work closely with the Electrification Smart Power team to deliver a scalable platform that scrapes, aggregates and correlates analytics to mitigate the costs of grid instability of industrial facilities. The proposed solution uses Machine Learning, data driven engineering and insurance to create new business models such as “energy efficiency as a service”. Judges were impressed by the company’s ethos in empowering the zero-carbon transition of buildings and industrial processes.

French startup, Wise Building, won the competition in the Smart Buildings category with its building management platform. Wise Building's "all-in-one" human-centric application gives users in commercial buildings a flexible tool for booking meeting rooms or shared desks, ordering lunch or adjusting heating, lighting and cooling in their office. The application can closely interact with ABB's open building operating system, making building operation easy to use, more efficient and sustainable.

ViewAR’s augmented reality system impressed judges from Distribution Solutions based on its flexibility to improve workplace safety in electrical sub stations. The startup based in Vienna, uses cutting edge AR technologies and 3D visual recognition, to deliver a fully immersive experience without the need for WIFI or installed hardware. Using wearable technology and smart phones the platform guards and protects workers based on their corresponding position and highlighting hazardous areas.

Peter Löfgren, Head of SynerLeap explains: “We are delighted to be part of the competition and we are seeing a real desire from startups who want to make impactful change. With ABB’s support, we truly believe that this year’s winners will add new thinking and deliver real world solutions that will address some of the biggest challenges in industry and society.”

The winning startups will each receive a $30,000 prize to work in collaboration with ABB and SynerLeap to bring their innovative ideas to a global customer base via the ABB Ability™ Marketplace.  The winners will also benefit from marketing and networking support from ABB; and, receive access to Microsoft experts, earning one to one business and technical coaching, as well as access to Microsoft cloud technologies.


ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a leading global technology company that energizes the transformation of society and industry to achieve a more productive, sustainable future. By connecting software to its electrification, robotics, automation and motion portfolio, ABB pushes the boundaries of technology to drive performance to new levels. With a history of excellence stretching back more than 130 years, ABB’s success is driven by about 105,000 talented employees in over 100 countries. 

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. We support startups to accelerate and expand in a global market together with ABB. SynerLeap opens up for investments and offers a unique mentorship and access to ABB’s networks partners, customers and technology in automation, robotics and energy to company members. Today, more than 100 companies from 19 countries spanning five continents have joined SynerLeap including Graphmatech and MTEK from Sweden, Everactive from USA and NumoCity from India.

ABB AbilityTM Energy and Asset Manager
ABB AbilityTM Electrification
ABB Ability MarketplaceTM  

For more information please contact:

Kate Watkins
Media Relations Manager
Electrification business
Phone : +44 7546 408 384
E-mail : 

Affolternstrasse 44
8050 Zurich


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