Fizyr – a Netherlands-based company that leverages AI, robotics and machine learning to improve parcel sorting in delivery logistics – has been selected as StartUp Innovation of the Year at PostalPitch’s annual competition.
Fizyr was one of 16 finalists that presented to panels of industry judges at a day-long innovation summit at POST-EXPO this week as part of the PostalPitch competition.
PostalPitch, sponsored by Postal Innovation Platform (PIP) and PostalVision 2020, featured products and services designed to address some of the biggest challenges facing the post and parcel industry, such as last-mile and first-mile logistics; direct marketing and advertising mail; and operational efficiency, including automation, autonomous solutions and AI.
Each finalist made a five-minute presentation before a final award was made.
Bernhard Bukovc, chairman, Postal Innovation Platform, said, “Post and logistics companies have to be innovative, agile and develop services and solutions that correspond to the changing demands of their customers.
“It is increasingly important to survey the markets for new technologies and innovative solutions and identify the startups and game-changers that can provide them.”
In recognizing Fizyr, the judges noted that the firm’s robot handling capabilities enable identification, quality control, counting, picking and manipulating of a pile of items with different shapes or sizes. The flexibility and its handling capabilities brings robotics to a new level, allowing an integration into sorting processes for maximizing operational efficiency, according to Bukovc.
PostalPitch featured startups providing or developing solutions or products important to the continued viability of the postal sector. The winner was judged against three award criteria:
• Innovation: A new product or solution that identifies and addresses an unmet customer need.
• Value: The innovation has a strong cost-benefit ratio and provides a robust business model and market-entry strategy; it presents a significant value proposition.
• Impact: The proposal can change the market or create a new market while affecting the industry, environment and society.
Accenture served as one of the judges; Brody Buhler leads Accenture’s global post and parcel business.
Buhler commented, “It’s worthwhile to imagine what the world might look like in 10 or 20 years, given the tremendous ongoing disruption that has affected and continues to affect the post and parcel industry.
“There is immense opportunity for organizations with the foresight, discipline and creativity to think beyond today. These are the organizations that are not waiting to be disrupted by e-commerce innovation or other macro forces. They are exploring new ways to capture value.”
Finalists fell into three categories: customer experience and delivery efficiency; enablers and new revenue streams; and smart moving, such robotics and autonomous offerings.
John Callan, founder, PostalVision 2020, commented, “PostalPitch entries represent entrepreneurs from all across the global, postal-parcel-logistics system. We are pleased to be showcasing entrepreneurs from Europe to India to Silicon Valley.”