What impact does winning an international competition have on you? For ESA Young Graduate trainee Peter Vaník from Slovakia, it became clear real fast. After he won the 2018 The Netherlands’ Challenge of the Galileo Masters, things started to fall in place for him and his business AR World.

His idea of creating and sharing 3D content through AR while using GNSS data, eventually led to a business called AR World. Last year we interviewed Peter about his experiences. He said the award opens many doors. In a new interview conducted by AZO (the German space application center and the organizer of the Galileo Masters) we now know which doors he talked about.

Support from SBIC Noordwijk

Vaník recalled: “With the support gained by winning the Galileo Masters Netherlands Challenge, provided by SBIC Noordwijk, AR World has progressed from ideation to validation. AR World’s initial concept has been narrowed down to one solving a specific problem in order to establish a business case on which to validate the technology.”

To this end, AR World has been selected for the Wildcard Challenge of the Startup in Residence programme organised by the Province of South Holland. “A proof-of-concept demo has been built that allows the user to display 3D objects at given geographic locations in AR. The pilot project for the Province will integrate advanced computer vision features and explore the potential of the application for public organizations.”

AR World and accelerators

Next to that the Galileo Masters award helped AR World to get a spot in the Venture Academy accelerator programme of the Leiden Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (PLNT). “In addition, we are taking part in the Astropreneurs Space Startup Accelerator, which has provided valuable business mentoring from Verhaert innovation consultants,’’ said Vaník.

Galileo Masters: from brain spark to business

The prize made it possible to investigate the business case and potential applications for a cutting-edge developing technology and to indirectly spread awareness of newest technological developments across a variety of sectors. Peter Vanik: “The learning, knowledge and network support that has been provided as a result of the prize has been extremely valuable. Overall, Galileo Masters is a unique, excellent innovation platform for early-stage GNSS entrepreneurs.”

So, in short: winning the Galileo Masters Netherlands Challenge launched an idea and sent it on a successful startup trajectory!