Five Key Innovation Areas at Hello Tomorrow

Hello Tomorrow Global Summit is an annual event – hosted in Paris – bringing together deep tech startups, investors and ecosystem supporters. The conference always provides a great opportunity to meet like-minded members of the deep tech community and learn more about the cutting-edge technologies being built today.

The mood this year was positive, perhaps not surprising given that deep tech is now the biggest sector of VC in Europe, although much debate ensued on how to provide an environment for long-term growth before Europe can consider itself comparable with the US.

Here are five of the most prominent technology areas being discussed and some interesting startups we met within each category.

Data centre tech

There were a number of companies tackling the demand for higher bandwidth and more energy-efficient optical interconnect for data centres: innovative modulation schemes (Phanofi), all-optical transceiver chips (NEW Photonics) and novel end-end optical networking (Astrape Networks).

Novel compute

Whilst there were a handful of companies within the quantum compute space, there were surprisingly few tackling novel compute. Two of note were Literal Labs (formerly Mignon) with their Tsetlin machine approach to AI, and Nanomation, a spinout from Cambridge that has developed novel software for utilising nanomaterials in next-gen chipmaking, neuromorphic computing, quantum applications and biosensing.

Outside of hardware, Embedl are an interesting Swedish startup utilising neural search, pruning and other mechanisms to reduce ML model size for more efficient deployment (and performance) on edge processors.


The AR/VR/XR space remains a target for startups and spinouts from academic research, despite the lacklustre performance of the smartglasses sector to-date (albeit with renewed interested following the launch of Apple’s Vision Pro).

Propositions ranged from Holographic Extended Reality (HXR) projection chips (Swave Photonics) for spatial computing, through ultra-bright laser-based displays enabling better use of smartglasses in sunny conditions (VitreaLab), to SPAE sensors for energy-efficient 3D scene scanning and eye/gaze tracking (VoxelSensors).


Sensing in general was a surprisingly well-attended space with a number of deep tech startups covering a wide gamut of industrial and consumer applications.

Multispectral imaging has emerged over the past few years covering a broad range of applications based on the wavelengths supported, and the size and cost of the imaging system.

In many cases, the focus is on industrial applications and replacing (or at least complementing) existing sensing systems (LiDAR, radar, cameras) to improve performance in adverse weather conditions or harsh environments (such as mining), or for use on production lines for spotting anomalies and defects.

Spectricity is unique in this regard by targeting consumer applications in smartphones (e.g., skin health, improved colour photography etc.) as well as industrial applications in agritech and manufacturing.

Elsewhere in sensing, simple RGB camera systems are getting a boost through AI (Tripleye), and companies such as Calyo are demonstrating an ability to deliver ultra-low SWAP-C 3D imaging through novel use of Ultrasound.

3D digital twins

And finally, startups such as Blackshark.AI and AVES Reality are using satellite and other imaging data for generating hyper-realistic 3D representations of the physical world for use across a range of applications including training for autonomous vehicles, digital representations & planning for utility companies, and a number of dual use civil/military applications.

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