Croatia-based MeshPoint wins The Europas Startup Oscar 2016 in the category for Best Humanitarian Tech of the Year. The award ceremony took place last night in London at the official closing of the daytime conference. Startup winners in a total of 20 categories got publicly announced and celebrated in front of the European tech audience. The Europas awards were founded in 2009 by Mike Butcher from TechCrunch in a quest for the hottest tech startups in Europe. They are regarded as independent awards for startups voted and judged by the tech community itself.
The team behind the award-winning startup has a volunteering background in the refugee crisis that recently hit the Balkans and Europe. They came to be once they got united by the mutual willingness to help refugees connect to the internet no matter where they are. The idea for a movable Wi-Fi device followed shortly after. This is how the refugee crisis gave birth to a device described as “an open source Wi-Fi router”.
Valent Turković, Srđan Kovačević, Ivan Jelušić, Vlatko Matijević, Milica Radišić Milosavljević, and Vjekoslav Radišić are the team members who designed a 3D printable case consisting primarily of routers and batteries. Every part of the device is open-source and can be printed out and put together by anyone who needs it, as reported by Total Croatia News. The idea is to sell this turnkey product to charity organizations and thus facilitate social entrepreneurship.
They recently received another valuable prize for social innovation awarded by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Croatia. On June 13, MeshPoint entered the final circle of nominees for The Europas awards for 2016. MeshPoint wins The Europas startup Oscar on June 14, by outvoting the stiff competition of 11 other startups: Refugee InfoHub, RefugeeAidApp, GeeCycle, MedShr, Funzi, GetAcross, mOm Incubators, NaTakallam, AID.Tech, Kiron University, and Refugeeks.