Inside Airtame
3 min read

We won a €1.15m EU grant! Here’s how we are gonna use it

Jonas Gyalokay
June 29th, 2018

We won a €1.15 million grant from the European Union. Awesome! We’re gonna make sure we put it to good use

We have an exciting announcement! Airtame was recently awarded a €1.15 million EU grant through Horizon 2020.

Funding is still an essential part of who we are as it helps us speed up the development process of fulfilling our customers’ needs. More than that, it’s a stamp of approval for us and our projects. We applied for the EU grant with a specific focus in mind; unlocking the full potential of professional displays. We think this needs a bit of elaboration, and If you’re not too sure about what Horizon 2020 is, we’ve got you covered there too.

What is Horizon 2020?

Horizon 2020 is the biggest European Union Research and Innovation program in the history of the EU. The program aims to support researchers, organizations, and entrepreneurs, and the goal is to aid promising breakthroughs and discoveries.

Just the name itself is a great story of innovation as it derives from a crowdsourcing campaign. “Horizon 2020” won over more than 1,600 name suggestions, and I think it reflects the story of the funding program. Horizon 2020 looks for businesses and innovators with a promising product who, with the help of funding, can mature and realize their idea. Great ideas come from everywhere and everyone, and we’re proud to have our idea recognized as well.

In the startup world, funding usually comes from VCs, loans, and crowdfunding. But there are other opportunities out there with no obligation to repay, such as the Horizon 2020 grant. The EU grant is what’s called “soft funding”. Soft funding is loans and grants from governmental institutions and generally comes with no requirements or attachments. While we are very grateful for our backers and other types of funding, receiving this grant gives us more freedom to target an important and specific challenge without losing focus on product development and revenue.

What’s our plan with the funding?

The EU grant will go towards developing an open integration platform for professional displays. This is something our customers have sought after and asked for, and we want to accelerate the project of giving it to them. With the open integration platform, users can tailor content for their screens from a central, smart platform. Because it’s an open platform, other developers may contribute to its development too.

Airtame at the moment is active screen mirroring which is perfect for presentation mode. But we want to make professional screens easily accessible in other situations too, and make digital signage come alive. Static information, dynamic content or real-time updates. We want to give people the opportunity to share information with the right audience at the right time and in the right situation. By making it accessible to other developers we also ensure that it’s not limited to a certain idea or branch of work. We’ve already got started with this, and the launch of our first beta app integrations with Trello, Google Slides and Unsplash.

Let me hash out a few different scenarios to explain the use cases. Research studies show that looking at art may reduce depression and anxiety. If that’s the case, why not show art to people suffering from those disorders? The infrastructure is not there yet, and that’s where our project comes into play.

Because it’s an open integration platform, developers may contribute to showing the right art, and at the right time, patient-specific works of art, figuring out copyright issues etc. Developers may contribute to tight contribution on professional displays that are location specific in case of emergencies, for example. In the unlikely event of a fire or chemical spill, students or employees will be real-time updated details where to go, what areas to avoid and steps to take.

In a school environment, the platform could also be used for automated messages such as classroom details that show the current subject, next subject, and where students should head.

Putting an end to boring blank screens

We want to build an infrastructure that makes it easier to share and show information at the right time and in the right context. In many organizations, there are lots of blank screens. Turning those into a more productive platform for digital signage and information sharing will make it easier for many work environments. Notifications, calendar integrations, meetings and events could be shown. Action points for job interviewees, happy (or unhappy) customers, dashboards and KPIs. Those are all possible scenarios with the open SDK we plan to build.

Because of the EU grant, we are able to speed up the process of developing this platform and to invest time and resources in making it even better. It makes us very happy that the EU also thinks that professional displays should be easier to access. Our goal is to deliver a platform for users to share the right message at the right time, with user-friendly, attention-grabbing digital signage.

We’re on a mission, and we look forward to taking the next steps into the future of wireless technology and digital displays. If you want to join us for the ride – just reach out.
Jonas Gyalokay
Jonas is an entrepreneur at heart. He's the CEO & co-founder at Airtame. And he's the co-founder of two sons with his wife, Amanda. When he's not building, he's probably playing with his kids, eating great food with his wife, listening to an audiobook, out running or watching either basketball or comedy.