Ario Technologies Inc., a software-as-a-service company that delivers augmented reality (AR) technology to the industrial workforce, is the first winner of Beekeeper’s Frontline Innovator Award.
The US-based startup earned the trophy at Frontline Future 2021, the virtual summit on frontline work. Ario was recognized for its workforce empowerment technology, the Ario Platform, that enables frontline workers to share critical knowledge when and where it’s needed.
Fast Track to Success
In addition to getting an award, Ario will participate in the Beekeeper Acceleration Program, receiving guidance from the experts at Beekeeper in order to introduce the Ario Platform to over 1,000 companies across the globe.
“Beekeeper’s mission to transform the frontline by digitally connecting critical workers aligns directly with our mission to revolutionize frontline knowledge-sharing.”– Nate Fender, CEO of Ario
“Ario is honored to receive the 2021 Frontline Future Innovator Award and we would like to express our admiration for the innovative startups who were shortlisted,” said Nate Fender, CEO of Ario.
“Beekeeper’s mission to transform the frontline by digitally connecting critical workers aligns directly with our mission to revolutionize frontline knowledge-sharing. We look forward to collaborating with Beekeeper so we may offer Ario’s empowering workflow tools to essential employees during this pivotal year.”
Beekeeper’s co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer, Flavio Pfaffhauser, is seeing a lot of potential in Ario’s solution: “Congratulations Ario. After the rise of mobile phones as a user interface, augmented reality is the logical next step and is going to revolutionize how work-relevant information can be displayed in the right moment & context. At Beekeeper we are excited to collaborate with Ario to make this a reality.”
“Augmented reality is going to revolutionize how work-relevant information can be displayed in the right moment & context. We are excited to collaborate with Ario to make this a reality.”– Flavio Pfaffhauser, CIO of Beekeeper
Ario emerged victorious as the strongest contender in a crowded field. More than 30 startups heard Beekeeper’s call and decided to go after the Frontline Innovator Award, with 4 of them reaching the final round. Here, the founders of these promising companies made their pitches to a select, international jury of industry experts.
Here’s the final four:
- Ario, the eventual winner
- epyMetrics, tracking the health of industrial athletes
- MachIQ, helping maximize asset performance
- Wowflow, digitizing property maintenance workflows
Each finalist made a strong case for themselves, often not just pitching their core solution, but also offering an outlook into what a collaboration or integration with Beekeeper might look like.
Ario took home the popular vote at the event with their dynamic and engaging pitch presentation, but the real challenge they faced was convincing the jury of seasoned experts:
- Julie Maples, General Partner at FYRFLY Venture Partners
- Juan Muldoon, Partner at Energize Ventures
- Julian Riebartsch, Associate at btov Industrial Tech Fund
- Dr. Benoit Leleux, Professor of Entrepreneurship at IMD Business School
- Kees de Vos, Chief Product Officer at Beekeeper
All of them found the idea of using AR in such a practical way intriguing, with only a few questions remaining around the content for Ario’s augmented reality “pips.”
“It’s a very interesting concept and use case”, says investing maven Julie Maples. “My questions would revolve around the tagging and how the pips get updated as machines or materials get recalled or replaced.”
Professor Leleux was similarly impressed, “You’ve created one of the first practical use cases for augmented reality on the shop floor. I definitely also appreciate the verticals you are addressing, which are very rich potentially.”
“I really appreciate that Ario’s solution applies augmented reality in a real life situation, helping frontline workers to do their job more efficiently and safely,” explains Kees de Vos, Chief Product Officer at Beekeeper. “I very much look forward to working with the Ario team and jointly building solutions to really support the frontline worker.”
Check out Ario’s pitch and watch the jury congratulate them on their win below:
There can only be one Frontline Innovator each year, but the Beekeeper Acceleration Program is still looking for new members. Apply now!