On Thursday, 1st December, the 2016 winners of the Central European Startup Awards were introduced during the Grand Finale in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Out of over 800 nominations, the jury chose winners in 12 different categories.

CESA (the Central European Startup Awards) is the biggest no-pitch, no-conference startup festival in the CE region. The best startups from 10 countries – Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia – were chosen during national finals to face their competitors from all over the region.

The “Best Early Stage” category drew the most attention with an astounding number of 150 companies aspiring to receive the award. This number shows the amazing speed of development of the startup stage and promises even more surprises to come in the future of Central European startup community.

This edition of CESA is a huge success for Polish startups, which received 4 out of 12 awards during the Grand Finale. The only other country that was recognized in more than one category was the Czech Republic.

The winners of 2016 CESAwards will compete with other regions in the Global Grand Finals 2017. You can find the complete list below:

  1. Best Social Impact Startup: Brainly, Poland – a collaborative learning website that allows students to help one another with their homework.
  2. Best FinTech Startup: Invoice Xchange, Slovenia – the first organized exchange for trading B2B receivables in Slovenia.
  3. Best Early Stage Startup: GREYCORTEX, Czech Republic – a startup that uses A.I., data mining and machine learning in improving the security of IT operations.
  4. Best Coworking Space: sektor5, Austria – a Viennese coworking space and incubator program.
  5. Most Influential Woman: Urška Sršen, Croatia – a co-founder of Bellabeat, a company that develops systems of prenatal and neonatal care.
  6. Best IoT Startup: Kontakt.io, Poland – beacon hardware that can be used to build beacon solutions of any scale for any industry.
  7. Best AI/Chatbot Solution: Imagga, Bulgaria – an image recognition platform that provides image tagging APIs for developers.
  8. Best Indie Game Developer: Awakening of Heroes, Serbia – a multi-platform game, a hybrid between a casual and MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) game.
  9. Best Acceleration/Incubation Program: Huge Thing, Poland – an acceleration program dedicated to startups working on an innovative and scalable idea to help them on the growth stage.
  10. Investor of the Year: Andrej Kiška, Czech Republic – investor at Credo Ventures and a startup blogger.
  11. Best User Experience: Nostromo.io, Hungary – a project management tool for teams, called “Trello on steroids”.
  12. People’s Choice: Everytap, Poland – an app that helps you discover the best places in a city and save money when going out.