US management and consultancy firm McKinsey has partnered with Google to create the Digital Top 50 Awards to celebrate the latest technology start-ups

DT 50 McKinsey technology start-up

Some of Europe’s most ambitious and innovative technology start-ups are recognised in the Digital Top 50 awards – a competition jointly organised by consultancy company McKinsey, business incubator Rocket Internet and Google.

The top business ideas from four categories are rewarded with up to €50,000 (£45,000) cash, mentoring and exposure at TechCrunch Disrupt in Berlin.

Karel Dörner, senior partner at McKinsey, said: “The DT50 award provides a platform for some of the most creative, talented and entrepreneurial individuals in Europe and adds force to a rising tide of European innovation.

“This is an opportunity for Europe to develop the next generation of digital leaders and businesses.”

Here’s the six finalists from last year’s cohort, including the winner.

McKinsey technology
DT50 winners 2018 (Credit: McKinsey)


Tech start-ups that won the 2018 McKinsey DT50

Kaia Health

Kaia Health, the 2018 winner of the DT50, is a healthtech app which helps patients dealing with chronic back pain.

Founded in 2015, the app offers personalised therapy lessons and uses AI to find the best treatment for each user.

Konstantin Mehl, founder and CEO of Kaia Health, told TechCrunch: “Rather than just giving patients another way to connect to a carer, Kaia Health has utilised the most powerful and prevalent tools we have to provide clinically effective health treatments, at a fraction of the cost – freeing up physiotherapists time for more meaningful interactions.”

Kaia Health has received over $14m in funding, according to Crunchbase statistics.


Aid: Tech

Aid: Tech utilises a range of technologies, including blockchain, AI and machine learning, to improve data transparency within organisations.

With offices in Dublin and London, Aid: Tech hopes its tech-powered product can help improve public trust in how public funds are spent and make organisations more accountable.

Similarly, the tech can help companies make data-led decisions and improve the services they deliver to customers.



GTN AI has developed technology to help drive efficiencies in the drug development cycle.

It claims its AI can help speed up the process of delivering medicines to patients.

GTN uses machine learning algorithms and quantum physics techniques to analyse drug-like molecules and find new cures and treatments.

The company is currently targeting neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and has raised £2.1m in funding.


Urban Jungle

Online insurance start-up Urban Jungle is aimed at “generation rent” and serves a demographic which hasn’t previously been catered to by traditional insurance companies.

Founded in 2016 by Jimmy Williams and Greg Smyth, the London-based company raised £2.5m in its seed funding round.

It offers customers cheaper, pay-as-you-go policies for personal insurance and wants to shake up current pricing models, which it says are “outdated and unfair”.

Automation and collection of customer data helps users find the best insurance policy and keep costs low.



Digital identification platform Onfido uses AI to determine whether people’s ID is genuine or fraudulent, and combines it with facial recognition software to determine whether the person using the app is genuine.

Its technology is used by companies like Revolut, Zipcar and Bitstamp and allows them  to onboard customers remotely and securely.

They currently cover over 4,500 different document types from 195 countries.



Perlego is the “Netflix for textbooks”, where a subscription grants customers access to over 200,000 books on any device.

The digital library covers 500 different topics and has a built in referencing tool for students and academics to easily cite articles in their essays.

Its September 2018 series A funding round closed at £3.7m.



Zesty aims to speed up the process of booking medical appointments and claims that patients can book a healthcare appointment in less than 60 seconds through its platform.

It has recently expanded its offering to NHS consultations and other European healthcare providers.

Based in London and launched in 2014, Zesty also allows bookings for physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors and dental appointments.