KITRO and Ouay receive grants from FIT Digital


Two Vaud start-ups benefit from the FIT Digital program. KITRO receives CHF50,000, Ouay CHF20,000 respectively.


Launched in May 2018, the new FIT program aims to financially support entrepreneurs in the digital field, who are not necessarily attached to a university. In particular, it helps projects with an innovative business model that is based on digital technologies. Two start-ups have now received financial support. KITRO : Helping cut down on food waste Millions of tons of food are thrown away every day around the world. Not only does that further entrench poverty, but it also fuels climate change since the production and disposal of all that food generates greenhouse gases. No surprise, then, that reducing food waste is one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030: to half the amount of food waste. Local startup KITRO, founded by two EHL graduates, Anastasia Hofmann and Naomi Mackenzie, has developed a clever device for taking us one step closer to that goal. Working with engineers from ETH Zurich and EPFL, the two co-founders developed a device that fits onto existing trash cans and automatically measures and tracks the amount of food tossed into them. Managers receive regular reports of their companies’ food waste – showing them where they can cut costs for maximum impact. The FIT Digital Seed financial support will help KITRO finance its market launch and growth. The young company is also supported by Innovaud via its coaching tools and partners. Ouay : Towards more autonomy for the elderly Founded in 2019 by two students from HE-ARC and EPFL, the startup Ouay develops a platform that connects seniors with their loved ones, home assistance services and elderly houses. The goal of the project is to give more autonomy, security and happiness to the elderly and their entourage. Ouay’s system includes a voice interaction device and a mobile application to facilitate interactions. More than just a vocal assistant, Ouay is at the service of the elderly and at the heart of their daily lives. The system can alert in case of emergency. It is also useful for users to give instructions on their choices and program of the day, to their immediate environment (for example, in an elderly house). Finally, the solution can track the daily activities of a user and detect abnormalities in her/his habits, which prevents accidents and reduces the stress of those concerned.   The FIT Digital Grant will allow Ouay to finance its development and refine its business model. At the end of 2019, the young company will make its product available to the elderly, through a partnership with home care services. Market entry is scheduled for 2020. (Press release)