“We are ready to expand our business in Europe, and Luxembourg is right at the centre. That is why I’m here,” says Sera Kwak, engineer at Korean company MINDs Lab. “We offer an artificial intelligence (AI) platform called maum.ai, and many companies here are interested in AI. We are already present in the United States, and I came to Luxembourg to let people here know what we are doing.”
MINDs Lab is one of around 15 international start-ups that took advantage of the Luxinnovation booth to present their innovative products and services to the ICT Spring participants. “Our booth has been designed to provide a platform for showcasing R&D in Luxembourg,” explains David Foy, Head of Sector Development – Digital Economy at Luxinnovation. “Several of Luxembourg’s most innovative companies – satellite operator SES, tyre specialist Goodyear, natural user interfaces expert iNUI Studio and sensing solutions provider IEE, to mention but a few – are displaying their innovations in the ‘innovation tunnel’ at the booth. Our main objective is, however, to make it possible for national and international companies to meet and exchange. We have organised pitching sessions throughout the two days to make it easy for participating companies to get the message out about their skills and offer.”
Connecting Luxembourg and Russia
Many of these start-ups came with support from the Luxembourg Trade & Investment Offices in their countries. A number of pitching Russian companies were also brought to ICT Spring through a collaboration agreement recently set up between Luxinnovation and the Skolkovo Innovation Centre. Skolkovo is a major start-up hub and support agency in Russia that currently hosts a thousand start-ups and companies. The cooperation aims to help Russian companies set up operations in Luxembourg as a means to target the EU market, as well as to pave the way for Luxembourg firms wishing to start commercial activities in Russia.
“Many of our companies want to land in Luxembourg as the country is a good platform for starting business in Europe,” says Anna Bezlepkina who manages Skolkovo’s Department for International Cooperation. “This provides us with a strong case to cooperate with Luxinnovation and the Luxembourg Ministry of the Economy. Luxembourg has many advantages: it is a small and very well connected country. If you get to know the right people, you can easily get access to all the contacts that you need to succeed.”
A place on the map
Getting this message out is a priority for Luxinnovation. “Luxembourg was not on the map for me when I started to work on our European expansion,” admits Avi Kasztan, co-founder and CEO of Israeli Sixgill that specialises in analysing Dark Web activity and preventing cyberattacks and sensitive data leaks. “I was invited to come here during a visit to Germany, and when researching the country I found much of interest. I have made some interesting contacts during my two days at ICT Spring. The next step is to see what will come out of the follow up.”
For the young start-up Sonic Invasion, Luxembourg was on the contrary a quite natural choice of location. “We offer audio solutions, spanning from classical audio and recording services to sound installations and sound brandings for businesses as well as tailor-made 3D sound and audio for virtual reality,” explains one of the four co-founders, Oliver Lang, enthusiastically. “We have just started the company in Luxembourg as one of the co-founders is from here, and we found that there is much interest here in future-oriented sound technologies.”
Sonic Invasion both pitched at the Luxinnovation stand and gave demonstrations of its sound solutions to booth visitors. “We came here to meet people and find new clients,” says Mr Lang’s colleague Cedric Fischer and follows with great interest the virtual reality demonstration given by Studio3WG at the booth as we speak. “Luxembourg has much to offer, and the Creative Industries Cluster managed by Luxinnovation opens many interesting doors for us,” he concludes before moving on to discuss with more people who will hopefully one day become clients.
Read more about why Luxembourg is a prime business location.
Luxinnovation contributes to the economic development of Luxembourg by fostering innovation, fuelling international growth and attracting foreign direct investment supported by: Ministry of the Economy, Ministry for Higher Education and Research, Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, Luxembourg Chamber of Skilled Crafts and FEDIL – The Voice of Luxembourg’s Industry.