Full report on Bliksem & Donderdag #3

Just like the previous two editions, the third ‘Bliksem en Donderdag’ managed to draw a packed house.
The evening was led by moderator Joep Huiskamp from the TU/e. Projects were pitched and questions were asked by the participating audience, all under supervision of our enthusiastic critics Mirjam Wouters (Philips) and Geert-Jan Bogaerts (VPRO Digital).
The audience actively contributed to the program and new matches between pitchers and people in the audience were made.

The next Bliksem & Donderdag will be held on the 6th of October!

SUR+, The Roots and The Loop

SUR+

Philippe Roll was the first to take the microphone and explained his SUR+ project. SUR+ wants to reduce food waste in the agricultural sector. They do so by connecting supply and demand of the fruit- and vegetable surplus through an app. This communication channel promotes awareness and collects data about food waste within the agricultural business. Through SUR+ they want move the priority from efficiency and price to inclusiveness.

SUR+ pitched about their biggest concern, namely offering an adequate logistic solution. In most cases neither the restaurants or the farmers seemed to be the designated partaker to ship the products. The audience replied on how to get in contact with some regular distributors, same saw a solution in social networks like BlaBlaCar.
Meanwhile SUR+ has been named Radical Innovator 2016 (Vrij Nederland, Kennisland & VandeJong) and they won the Ambitie2020 challenge of MVO Nederland.

The Roots – Breakdance Competition

Second in line was Christian Boscheri of wedoHIPHOP. The Roots is a Breakdance competition where crews are assembled according to their cultural background and battle against each other. The idea is to gather dancers from all over Europe to represent their parents’ countries (e.g. Suriname to Indonesia, Curacao, Somalia). Through video’s that are shot over the weekend, they also create an online connection with the dancers in the respective countries. The Roots also connects with the multi-cultural environment of Eindhoven. Christian had several questions for the public which led to a discussion focused on how to connect all the different cultural groups in Eindhoven.

The Loop

Mark Stoetzer and Daphne Rieken of The Loop gave a demonstration. Their project is about how art experiences can be shared. They use sense technology that reads personal data like a heartbeat and subsequently transform that information into the pulsation of colours in a lamp. Their aim is to design an interface between viewer and technology that enriches this experience, allowing meaningful and/or creative follow-up to emerge. A dilemma that follows is how to devise such technologies that allow human and machine interfaces to explain, give meaning and accommodate the interaction between art and the observer. The public connected The Loop to several other companies and artists – so new connections were undoubtedly made.

Flywheel, PAO and The Spring Thunder Machine

Flywheel

Aoife Wullur from Energy 4 energy came to the stage to talk about Flywheel. Flywheel researches how solar energy can be stored during day time when too much energy causes the cables to overcharge. During evening hours on the other hand, when we consume the most energy, no solar energy is available. Flywheel is the solution to store green energy generated during the day in a sustainable way, ready for use through the entire day. Drawn from a central energy station or an in series connected tile floor. Right now Energy 4 energy is confronted with problems realizing both commercial and technical aspects of this product. Creative feedback came from one of the critics: Geert-Jan Bogaerts, head of Digital Development at the VPRO: he recommended to look into different forms for the tiles. Can it not be a work of art?

PAO

Paó was represented by Halit Soysal. Paó is a hardware startup that recently joined HighTechXL. They develop a compact wearable tech device that helps to enhance various aspects of the user’s body and behavior. By tracking multiple posture and activity related metrics, a more comprehensive picture of user attitude, behaviour and mood is made. Paó helps the user transform into a better version of him- or herself and does that in a beautiful, fashionable package as any wearable should do.

Soysal believes that nowadays we as people need more than merely plain technological devices. We need more empathic and attractive devices that will be true companions to our endeavor of self awareness. Like a Tinkerbell is to Peter Pan, it does not only support you, but also provides criticism and recommendations. Paó believes that if we are to develop something like this we need to do this ourselves. So, get on board and join the revolution!

They are looking for highly skilled individuals with especially technical and marketing backgrounds to be a part of team Paó.

Spring Thunder Machine

Last but not least Eduardo Scaggiante pitched his project Spring Thunder. The lack of sunshine is a big down side of the Netherlands: the thick layer of clouds above our heads and the frequent rain limit the production of clean solar energy (currently at 0.2%) and put many outdoors events at risk. That is the reason why Eduardo came up with the idea of the Spring Thunder: a machine that can make a hole in the clouds through magnetic impulses. This machine will multiply the amount sunlight of the Netherlands by threefold. Besides that it has other enormous advantages in preventing showers during sports events, deterring pollution from cities and inducing rain in arid regions. This idea might seem crazy but isn’t that the case for most innovative inventions when they first arise?    

His pitch question was a call for companies or people to connect with him to find a way to test his idea. Mirjam Wouters, one of the critics that night, gave him some insights on a possible playground. The audience went pretty wild with this idea and many of them gave great tips for relevant networks.

Two open pitches from the audience

We like the audience to fully participate so we also invite people to pitch their idea spontaneously on the evening itself.

Open Pitch by SensUs

SensUs is a team of 17 students organizing the first international student competition for molecular biosensors for healthcare applications, all under the supervision of professor Menno Prins at the TU/e. Their main mission is to stimulate the development of molecular health sensing technologies by organizing an international competition between teams of students. In a friendly, yet competitive manner SensUs will challenge multidisciplinary teams of students to conceive and build innovative molecular biosensing systems. The competition will give students a unique opportunity to gain experience in goal-oriented multidisciplinary teamwork and in innovative technological design.

They were looking for better ways to promote and explain a complex technology to the general public. To generate as much exposure as possible they were asking for ways to make a promo video to excite people about biosensor technology and inform them about the SensUs event. 

HackEindhoven

During the open pitch two TU/e students took the stage. [name] and [name] are planning a hackathon event for the TU/e and they were looking for people with experience in organizing hackathons. More importantly, they needed cases that could be used for the hackathon. Direct connections were made with Samantha Castano, producer of VPRO Medialab hackathons and critic Mirjam Wouters, whose job is to organize hackathons for Philips. The audience added to that by referring to Rene Pare of MAD Emergency Art Centre and made the suggestion to connect with the municipality of Eindhoven for interesting cases. 

If you would like to get in contact with any of the pitchers please send us a mail to medialab@vpro.nl