EIT Digital Accelerator announced a few weeks ago that the Italian scale-up TeamDev has joined their acceleration program.
Founded in 2008, TeamDev was part of the FIWARE Accelerator Programme… twice: with WiseTown –one of the top projects of the second open call launched by Finodex, the Open Data accelerator– and Agricolus –supported by SpeedUP! Europe.
WiseTown is a B2B solution powered by FIWARE that collects information from different data streams, to identify the issues that are affecting urban communities in several areas: public safety, transportation, urban renewal, refuse collection, social services or environmental issues. More than an application, WiseTown offers a data-driven ecosystem developed for the Smart City, a Big Data analytics platform for the public administration sector, focusing on local governments.
TeamDev has now joined the EIT Digital Accelerator to increase the access to the market, locally (in Italy) but also throughout Europe, expecting to grow their workforce as well, making use of the access to talent that the EIT Digital Accelerator provides.
TeamDev will also join the EIT Digital 'Digital Cities' Action Line which leverages the digital transformation of cities through centralised, participative and collaborative interactions between city actors: government, city service providers, industry and citizens. This transformation enables the deployment of disruptive information, mobility and safety services in cities.
"We are very pleased to welcome TeamDev to the Accelerator. They have developed a really innovative product that can adapt to any public administration setting and therefore has a Europe-wide application. We love the idea that they don't want to focus only on big cities but also on smaller towns as well. It's completely in line with our motto at EIT Digital of 'driving Europe's digital transformation”, said Dolf Wittkamper, Head of EIT Digital Accelerator.
We had the chance to talk with Andrea Cruciani, CEO and founder of TeamDev, to know more about the company joining EIT Digital Accelerator and the added value that being powered by FIWARE solutions has brought to both WiseTown and Agricolus.
He also told us about the present and future plans for the team and their projects. They were expecting for a confirmation that has come today: TeamDev has joined the FIWARE Foundation as Gold Member.
– We meet TeamDev projects (first Agricolus and then WiseTown) through the FIWARE Acceleration Programme, as “startups”. Now EIT is talking about a company that have finished the starting stage of its development and is ready to scale-up… Which would be the role of FIWARE in getting you to that point?
Our experience with FIWARE has been an important milestone in our process to reach the “scaleup” status, for several reasons. First of all, FIWARE open approach allowed us to develop an “open by default” architecture. Which we are discovering now, is one of the key-point of our business proposal.
Then FIWARE ecosystem allowed us, through the acceleration process, to open our minds and to experience an international-level approach that enriched our skills and allowed us to adapt our company to be scale-up ready. We are part of a wide and valuable international network, and it’s thanks to this that we meet EIT, during the final event of the Finodex accelerator in Trento. We can say that, without the FIWARE technologies and community, we wouldn’t be in EIT Digital scaleup program.
– Could you explain the “open by default” concept and its benefits?
Our platforms are, thanks to FIWARE, open to third parties’ integrations, to enrich our solutions with other functionalities.
Being open is a commercial advantage: our customers know that they can integrate our innovative products with other solutions because we don’t block anything. On the contrary, we see it as a competitive advantage.
– Both of your solutions are powered by FIWARE. On the technological side, do you feel that TeamDev could act as an evangelist about the benefits of the FIWARE platform for other projects that have joined EIT Digital?
Our solutions are also part of the IoT-Ready program. In the FIWARE IoT & Big Data stack we have found valuable pieces of technology that have shortened the time to get into the market during the MVP phase. And, even now, these pieces are a powerful part of our applications. As the open community that it is, FIWARE needs the support of its contributors, in order to spread the word about the benefits of such technologies. We are committed to persuade as many companies as we can, about this approach: making FIWARE a robust standard is a common goal that we are going to pursue in the following years.
– EIT will be helping you to develop a marketing plan aimed to reach further, to new investors and clients. Which would be the next markets to aim for?
During the first months of the EIT acceleration we will work on WiseTown, focusing on the countries that we will target during scaleup phase. In first instance, we are thinking in Germany, Netherlands, Spain and Denmark, but we will define these countries in a few weeks.
We will also have a look into the USA, mainly for expanding the Agricolus ecosystem.
– TeamDev have been working in two projects, aiming for two of the main verticals for FIWARE: smart agriculture and smart cities. Is EIT interested in empower any kind of cross-sector vision?
EIT Digital will mainly focus its support into the WiseTown ecosystem, our smart cities solution. But they are also going to support Agricolus scaleup process, with its Silicon Valley office pushing our solution into that market.
Both of our solutions are focused in improving daily work and quality of life, and I foresee some interesting interaction between cities and agriculture. Like the “urban farming” concept, which is becoming a need that will grow in the next decades!
– You will be joining specific initiatives within EIR (namely, the Digital Cities Action Line and the Access to Market program). Tell us something about them and, particularly, about how the Digital Cities Action Line can be in line with other initiatives that FIWARE is part of or is working with?
EIT Digital identifies cities’ digital transformation as one of the main challenges of the near future. Civic technologies –as the ones offered by WiseTown– need standards and a robust and scalable approach, to support the growing needs of digital interaction between the citizens and their local governments.
We experienced the same vision wen approaching to and working with other international initiatives, like OASC and GCTC: there’s a huge worldwide effort that we think is supporting this transition, and we expect that there will be an even tighter collaboration between all these activities. Through WiseTown, TeamDev is involved in some of them and aims to be one of the actors of this stage of the cities’ evolution.
– Now being part of EIT Digital and with the FIWARE Foundation in place, which would be the next steps to take by TeamDev?
TeamDev has just requested the admission to the FIWARE Foundation and we hope to be one of the parts that will be supporting this new adventure. We will act, as we have done so far, as direct users and supporters of the technologies among the developers community and towards other SMEs. 2017 will be a challenging year for us with the scale-up process, the creation of a dedicated spinoff for Agricolus and a lot of R&D because innovation never stops!