Covision Quality Wins $10,000 Grand Price in Cowen Startup Challenge at Automate 2022

Covision, which makes AI software for visual inspection, is hoping to expand its U.S. customer base.

Cesareo Contreras

Left to right: Covision Lab engineer Pietro Buzzega and Covision Lab CEO Franz Tschimben.
Covision Quality beat out nine other startups to win the top spot and plans to use the money to cover some of its costs, but the biggest benefit from winning is the increase visibility in the U.S. market.

DETROIT—Last week at the Automate 2022 trade show and conference here, Covision Quality was awarded the $10,000 top prize in “The Cowen Startup Challenge: Automate to Outperform” competition.

South Tyrol, Italy-based Covision Quality makes software using machine learning and computer vision that scales and automates “visual inspection and defect inspection on metals and plastics,” according to its website. The startup is a spin-off of Covision Lab, which is backed by seven multinational technology companies, including Durst, Microtec, alupress, TTControl Hydac International, Microgate, Mirco Photon Devices, and Barbieri. 

Covision Quality said its customers include manufacturers in the “downstream industry,” including GKN Powder Metallurgy and Aluflexpack.

Its partners include NVIDIA, the German AI Association,, and iMAGE S.

Covision Quality has made a lot of strides in the nearly three years since its founding, said Franz Tschimben, CEO of Covision Lab. He told Robotics 24/7 that the company has customers in Italy, Germany, Croatia, and the U.S. 

Covision applies deep learning to inspection 

The software company said it takes advantage of technologies such as deep learning, 3D modeling, and image processing to complete its work. 

Tschimben said the main key performance indicators (KPI) Covision focuses on include reduction of scrap rate and deployment speed. 

Startups compete at Automate

Covision Quality was one of 10 startups that competed in the Cowen Challenge. Others included Aivero AS, FLX Solutions, INNOCISE GmbH, InOrbit Inc., Neurocle Inc, NINOX 360 LLC, Quotebeam Inc., Scalable Robotics Inc., and Voaige.

Each of the companies nominated has raised less than $5 million since they were founded. Although there was only one winner, each of the finalists was given exhibit space on the Automate show floor. As part of the contest, each of the companies had to pitch their technologies to a panel of judges at the show.

The competition was sponsored by Cowen Inc., an independent investment bank. The multinational company is based in New York. 

Covision is presented with the Cowen Award.

Covision Quality is awarded a $10,000 at the Automate Show floor at Huntington Place in Detroit. Source: Covision Quality 

Covision has U.S. ambitions

Tschimben said the company came to Automate “with a specific goal to win the competition in order to generate visibility in the U.S. market.”

Covision Quality said it plans to use the $10,000 to cover some of its expenses, though Tschimben noted the biggest benefit of being recognized is the marketing value. He said the company is in the process of doing its first installation in the U.S.

The company also attended the show hoping to generate partnerships with systems integrators.

“When we go to a new production line, we would love to partner up with system integrators who have experience in setting up systems for whole production lines,” Tschimben said.

An overview of the Covision Lab management dashboard.

About the Author

Cesareo Contreras's avatar
Cesareo Contreras
Cesareo Contreras was associate editor at Robotics 24/7. Prior to working at Peerless Media, he was an award-winning reporter at the Metrowest Daily News and Milford Daily News in Massachusetts. Contreras is a graduate of Framingham State University and has a keen interest in the human side of emerging technologies.
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Cesareo Contreras

Left to right: Covision Lab engineer Pietro Buzzega and Covision Lab CEO Franz Tschimben.

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