The culmination of our second challenge, the Sixth Sense Summit, took place on 01 February in the Hague at Unknown Group’s recently opened Titaan innovation hub, with 3D tactile sensing technology startup GelSight securing victory.
Over 150 members of the European start-up community, investors and manufacturing experts attended the event to participate in roundtables, meet-ups, networking and exhibition, and, of course, hear the pitches of Sixth Sense’s brilliant finalists.
The Summit began with an introduction to the event from moderator Michael Hayman and Head of Sixth Sense Milan Kocic before a welcome to our judges and further information on the venue from Unknown Group CEO Hendrik Halbe. This was followed by a panel discussion exploring the concept of sustainable manufacturing – hosted by Richard Heggie, founder and CEO of H Catalyst.
Ana Avaliani, Director of Enterprise and Sustainable Development at the Royal Academy of Engineering, shared an overview of the broader ecosystem around sustainable production and highlighted a few cutting-edge technologies able to make a positive impact. Next, Abhishek Sengupta, Vice President of Portfolio & Strategy at Hexagon MI and Marion Rouzeaud, Global Sustainability Director at Hexagon MI, described Hexagon’s approach to sustainability and how the company plans to develop its eco-friendly practices in the future. Finally, Milan Kocic and Jeroen van de Bosch, CCO of the Unknown Group, shared their perspectives on whether start-ups could help to drive more sustainable practices in the manufacturing industry.
The discussion on stage was followed by a Q&A with the audience, who asked how consumers can help to steer the industry towards net zero, and lower waste and pollution, by making sustainable choices.
Insightful conversations continued in the breakout rooms. In a series of roundtables, the guests of the Summit explored how to measure start-ups’ impact on promoting sustainability, talked about the importance of diversity and inclusion in the industry, and discovered the foundations of building successful ventures.
Those attendees, who did not join the roundtables, had an opportunity to make new connections while exploring the Sixth Sense Summit exhibit. Multiple stands demonstrated the recent Hexagon technologies and the innovative solutions built by our second cohort of start-ups.
The event culminated with the Demo pitch ceremony, live-streamed to viewers worldwide. Our fantastic innovators – Threedy, Oculavis, 3YOURMIND, CASTOR, GelSight, Augmentir, Teratonics and JITbase – pitched their concepts in a bid to win and secure a partnership with Hexagon.
Each speaker had six minutes to tell the audience about the company’s product and four minutes to answer the judges’ questions, with Israeli startup CASTOR selected as runner-up and US company GelSight as the winner.
GelSight’s proprietary technology enables digital tactile sensing., with the sensitivity and resolution of human touch to transform industrial process efficiency, accuracy, and quality. The judges were impressed that over 90 days of the Sixth Sense challenge, the GelSignt team integrated its invention into Hexagon’s device and even found a potential customer excited to buy a combined solution.
The second Sixth Sense challenge is now over, but the partnership between Hexagon and the companies in the second cohort has just started. We cannot wait to see what they do next.