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The 10 Engineering Startups Worth Watching

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August 7, 2021

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Every day, it seems as if more and more exciting innovations emerge from engineering firms around the world. 

From intriguing, potentially life-saving new research in the biotechnical and biopharmaceutical fields to leaps forward in the already well-established automotive industry, we’re seeing near-constant engineering development. 

Keeping track of these advancements, however, can be a challenge. Every time you glance at social media or check the news, there’s another startup promising to change the world. Some do, while others fade into obscurity, making it difficult to figure out where the true promise lies. 

This list of engineering startups covers a range of industries. Some have been in business for decades, while others are relative newcomers. Publicly traded or private, large or small, each of them is developing a unique product or service.

Stratio Automotive

Stratio Automotive is a software company out of Portugal that is dedicated to creating a fully automated fleet experience by combining machine learning with automotive engineering. 

Its goal is to eliminate the downtime associated with maintenance and operational inefficiencies. 

Stratio boasts the world’s only intelligent eco-driving system compatible with fleets that encompass multiple brands. The goal of the eco-driving system is to reduce fuel consumption, saving you money and reducing your company’s carbon footprint. 

Founded in 2017 by Ricardo Margalho and Rui Sales, Stratio Automotive now employs roughly 50 people. It raised three million euros in seed funding in 2019 and has been steadily working to transform the industry since. Its customer base is broad, and they now have offices in both the UK and Singapore. 

Frontier Developments 

Frontier Developments is a British video game development company. While not a recent startup—David Braben founded the company in 1994, and it’s the oldest on this list—it’s still one to watch. 

The company self-publishes a range of innovative games through its own cross-platform technology called Cobra. Titles you might recognize include Elite Dangerous and Planet Coaster, both of which were BAFTA nominees. 

The gaming industry is competitive, but Frontier Developments doesn’t limit itself to competing with other video game development companies. Instead, it’s working to push gaming to the cutting edge of the global entertainment industry. That’s part of what makes it so successful. 

Refusing to settle for the industry standard or meeting expectations has allowed Frontier Developments not only to survive but to thrive.

Aprea Therapeutics, Inc. 

Aprea Therapeutics, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to becoming a global leader in p53-targeted cancer therapies. 

P53 is a protein that suppresses tumor growth through a process called apoptosis, which is the controlled death of cells. When p53 is working correctly, it kills cells showing signs of DNA damage that may lead to cancer. Thus, problems are detected and dealt with before you see any adverse effects.

In most cancers, however, p53 isn’t working correctly. Apera Therapeutics wants to change that. 

Founded in 2003 by Klaus Wiman and Galina Selivanova, the company went public in 2019. Recently, the value of its shares jumped by three percent after it announced its leading drug candidate performed well in a mid-stage study. Its headquarters are in Boston, but it has a research facility in Sweden.

It’s possible that the FDA may fast-track the approval of this drug candidate. It’s called APR-246 or eprenetapopt if you’re interested in reading more about it, and it has the potential to transform the world of cancer treatment. 

CMR Surgical 

CMR Surgical, formerly Cambridge Medical Robotics, is a UK-based company focused on the development of robotic surgery systems. 

Its end goal is to make minimally invasive surgeries available to all in need. Its primary product - a robotic system called Versius - aids in laparoscopic surgeries. 

The less invasive a surgery is, the more quickly a patient tends to recover. SHorter hospital stays, less scarring, and decreased pain are among the other benefits. The use of robotics during surgical procedures can allow for greater precision, dexterity and visualization, resulting in better patient outcomes. 

Founded in 2014 by Luke Hares, Mark Slack and Martin Frost, CMR Surgical now employs nearly 500 people worldwide. It’s one of the largest medical technology companies in Britain. Recently, it raised 600 million dollars in funding.

Oculis S.A.

Not to be confused with Oculus, which focuses on virtual reality technology, Oculis S.A. is a biopharmaceutical company working to develop treatments for ophthalmic diseases. 

Its goal is to shift treatments from injections to eye drops. 

Reducing the discomfort and fear surrounding the treatment of ophthalmic diseases is likely to improve the sight and lives of patients. Because topical therapies like eye drops require far less medical training to apply successfully, areas that lack healthcare infrastructure may also benefit. 

Einar Stefansson and Thorsteinn Loftsson founded Oculis S.A in 2003, and it’s been steadily progressing toward its goal since then. In 2020, the company made the prestigious Top 100 Swiss Startups list, which is typically a sign of exciting things to come. 

DISCO

Located in Austin, Texas, DISCO is a legal technology company devoted to improving outcomes through the use of artificial intelligence and cloud computing. 

More than 900 law firms currently use the company’s document review and e-discovery services.  

DISCO was founded in 2012 by Gabe Krambs, Kent Radford and Kiwi Camara. In the beginning, it was a litigation boutique founded by lawyers for lawyers out of frustration with slow, hard-to-use e-discovery tools.

It went public in July of 2021, resulting in it being valued at more than 2.5 billion dollars. They have a London office as well with plans to continue growing. 

Wiliot

Wiliot is an award-winning startup co-headquartered in Tel Aviv and San Diego that is dedicated to creating more energy-efficient ways to connect the world. 

The semiconductors that Wiliot makes harness electromagnetic energy from Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and cellular networks that would otherwise go to waste.

Founded in 2017 by Tal Tamir, Wiliot received financial backing from household names like Amazon and Samsung in a 2019 bid for funding that raised 30 million dollars. 

Wiliot has the potential to transform a wide range of industries with its battery-free chip, which, at the moment, collects item-level information to provide previously unavailable insights. Right now, it works primarily with food, retail and healthcare companies.  

Fluidic Analytics 

Fluidic Analytics is a UK-based biotechnology company focused on quantifying protein interactions. 

The goal behind doing so is to understand better how the biological world operates. Specifically, Fluidic Analytics aims to transform the process of disease diagnosis and treatment development.

Founded in 2013 by Andrew Lynn and Tuomas Knowles, Fluidic Analytics currently offers a range of instruments and services. It also performs research into neurodegenerative and infectious diseases, and most recently, COVID-19. 

Fluidic Analytics is contributing to global efforts to understand, treat, and prevent the spread of the virus. Its immunoassay platform is in use to help study the immune response produced by exposure to SARS-CoV-2.

Magazino

Founded in 2012 by Frederik Brantner, Lukas Zanger and Nikolas Engelhard, Magazino is a privately held robotics company in Munich that seeks to shape the future of warehouse logistics.

Robotics has had a place in the industry for years now, but Magazino is doing something different.

Warehouses, particularly those dedicated to e-commerce fulfillment, typically involve a large number of repetitive tasks, including fetching and transporting items. Automating these tasks using robotics has the potential to save time and money. However, many facilities lack the necessary infrastructure for robots.

While Magazino’s bots are larger than people, they’re capable of moving through and interacting with the same spaces. The bots use real-time 3D imaging to boost their sensing abilities, reducing collisions and increasing precision. 

Given the high market demand for this technology and the increasing importance of e-commerce to the global economy, Magazino is likely to continue to grow and shape the warehouse logistics industry. 

Elaphe Propulsion Technologies

Elaphe Propulsion Technologies is a Slovenian company founded in 2006 by Gorazd Lampic that focuses on electric vehicles. 

The company is working to make in-wheel electric motor technology a success. Doing so will hopefully reduce the use of fossil fuels and other nonrenewable resources, leading to a cleaner and greener tomorrow. 

In addition to in-wheel motors, Elaphe Propulsion Technologies also focuses on developing high torque motors, vehicle electrification, and powertrain electronics. Having been involved in government and international research projects in its early days, the company likely has the depth and breadth of knowledge to make its goals a reality. 

In 2020, EIT InnoEnergy invested nearly five million dollars into Elaphe Propulsion Technologies, which will allow for further research and development activities, some of which have the potential to revolutionize the automotive industry. 

To stay abreast of new developments with these and other exciting engineering startups, set up a Google Alert or follow them on your preferred social media platform. And to get a jump start on hiring for your latest and greatest startup idea, check out Hunt Club today. 

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