ABB Electrification Startup Challenge 2023

Smart Buildings

Presented by Fabio Mercurio
Head of Strategy & Portfolio Management,
ABB Electrification, Smart Buildings

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Winner award: collaboration project worth 30,000 USD

Advancing the user experience in tomorrow’s buildings

Sustainable and user-centric Human-Building solutions connect people with their homes.

Key trends such as urbanization, digitalization, and the need for greater energy efficiency are rapidly shaping the built environment around us. At ABB, our solutions create the digital and technological foundation addressing customer needs for modern living, making tomorrow’s residential and commercial buildings safer, smarter and more sustainable.

At the same time, our innovations empower people to interact comfortably and conveniently with a building as demand for more human-centric building design, construction, and particularly the application of smart technology, grows. Our commitment to collaborating with partners around the globe, including agile and entrepreneurial startups, allows our customers to benefit from the latest flexible, open tech solutions and thinking.

The Opportunity

With innovative, integrated building automation and wiring solutions, Smart Buildings’ future-oriented technology portfolio ensures that the diverse demands of building owners and occupants towards ever-greater connectivity are met. Because these needs are constantly evolving, we want to work with creative thinkers to jointly foster new ideas and solutions that advance Human-Building Interaction by carving out an even more sustainable, intuitive and seamless user experience.

The Challenge

The connection between a building and its occupants is a critical part of the overall user experience. This year’s ABB Electrification’s Smart Buildings Start-up Challenge targets the Wiring Accessories and Smart Home products used in the residential application field, aimed at finding new technologies that take how people interact with their home to the next level. Residential room applications are often found in lighting, blinds, heating, air quality (HVAC) or a combination of these domains (e.g., energy related).

We are looking for pioneering solutions to achieve this, more specifically in areas such as:

  • New ways of interacting with the room/home functions – user experience UX/UI, e.g. Touch-free Smart Home solutions for a personalized user experience (for example- voice activated devices via smart home hubs or Bluetooth-integrated, automated locks, virtual keys, smart thermostats, etc.)
  • Devices that help lower the energy consumption needed to power all the conveniences in a smart home, such as Energy Harvesting/Standby and Autonomous tech (self-supporting, no batteries & no external power supply)
  • Solutions that gather data/insights from room through Multifunctional Smart Sensors / Multipurpose smart sensor – a one-in-all sensor used for monitoring of an array of different scenarios
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning solutions based on user and room information to control a room based on the user needs
  • A software solution embedded into OR connected with our residential ABB free@home offering (including free@home flex) or a cloud-based connection to our MyBuildings Portal

Following the human-centric approach, we aim to enhance today’s user experience by integrating and combining these domains in limited user interactions together with ground-breaking solutions in the respective fields. Consideration on how to achieve a minimum viable product and a solution targeting European and/or North American markets considered a plus.


The Startup Challenge Awards
  • The winner of the challenge will be able to show and share the solution in a pilot or customer testcase.
  • The winner will have the opportunity to access lab environments we jointly use with customers, allowing ABB customers to actively experience the solution and share their feedback.
  • $30,000 for a collaboration with ABB Electrification to develop the solution.
  • 6-month free SynerLeap membership, ABB’s startup accelerator, which will boost your growth and visibility across ABB, our partners, and customers (value $10,000).
  • Exclusive mentoring sessions with Microsoft startup advisors.
Ready to shape future user experience together?

We invite you to download the ABB application Powerpoint template for ABB Electrification’s Smart Buildings Startup Challenge 2023!

Download template

Apply today or latest by February 21 – we evaluate the applications continuously

If you have any questions about your application, please contact

Apply here

ABB Expert Collaboration

You will receive dedicated support from ABB during the 10 days of the challenge from the following global Smart Buildings division experts:

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    Dirk John

    Digital Innovation Manager

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    Sven Werdes

    Global Product Manager Wiring Accessories Range 60 & Smart Room devices

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    Peter Bos

    Smart Room Innovation Manager

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    Karsten Goette

    Head of R&D BHAS Europe

ABB Home Appliances Integration – Building and Home Automation Solutions

Introduction to the Smart Buildings challenge

About Smart Buildings

Enhancing people’s quality of life through buildings of the future
  • We digitally transform buildings for the highest level of comfort, efficiency, safety and security. Our focus is on creating products and solutions that improve people’s lives.
  • Building & Home Automation solutions and Wiring Accessories are key to evolving safe and sustainable spaces that support new ways of living.
  • Imagine the very best in comfort, security, design, and energy efficiency for tomorrow’s smarter living. Every Home is unique and so is its user.
  • Functions that can be controlled such as blinds, lighting, heating, or air-conditioning are designed to make your life simpler and more energy efficient.
  • We are aiming to improve the User Experience together with partners by creating sustainable and user-centric solutions that connect people with their homes.

ABB Electrification Startup Challenge 2023



Let’s write the future. Together. ABB is a leading global technology company that energizes the transformation of society and industry to achieve a more productive, sustainable future. By connecting software to its electrification, robotics, automation and motion portfolio, ABB pushes the boundaries of technology to drive performance to new levels. With a history of excellence stretching back more than 130 years, ABB’s success is driven by about 105,000 talented employees in over 100 countries.


SynerLeap powered by ABB

By bringing startups, ABB, industrial partners and our customers together through our innovation growth hub SynerLeap, we ignite innovation transfer across industries, ranging from industrial automation, and robotics to grid technologies, smart cities, buildings and transportation technologies. So far we have created more than 200 collaborations, together with our 160 startup members from 24 countries. SynerLeap brings in up to 4 new members monthly, and one new ABB collaboration is starting every week. Sandvik, Westinghouse, Microsoft, Intertek, and Hitachi Energy are just a few examples of our partners that together bring value into our entrepreneurial ecosystem. We are open to international members


Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft)

Microsoft enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. With the dedicated Microsoft for Startups Program, Microsoft helps cloudbased startups with a B2B focus grow and scale through a global ecosystem of customers and partners. The focus is on building a long-term partnership with the startup, while ensuring that intellectual property is always owned by the inventors and founders