Startup Playbook

Dutch deep-tech startup opens Malta RDI base

With the support of Malta Enterprise, Prickly Bits. Ltd opens in Malta to run Secret.Kiwi and Fe/male Switch.

Earlier this year the team of CADChain, a Dutch deep tech startup, was identified and invited by Malta Enterprise (ME) to contribute actively towards shaping Malta’s start-up/scale-up ecosystem and start new highly innovative projects on the island. CADChain is creating innovative solutions at the intersection of intellectual property protection and industrial design data security, making sure that valuable CAD (Computer-Aided Design) files are safe while collaboration and sharing are possible, as well as developing products that can be implemented in the metaverse space. Headquartered in the province of Limburg, CADChain is currently beta testing one of its solutions for Autodesk Inventor and is engaged in a long-term R&D project in 3D printing with two other Dutch companies.   

Malta is going to be the home base for several upcoming projects. The first one, Secret.Kiwi, was born out of the need for the protection of various types of trade secrets (data like recipes, client lists, software code, etc. that cannot or should not be patented but have to be shared). The company discovered this need while talking to potential customers who desperately want their digital valuable assets safe at all times. This way Secret.Kiwi deals with the protection of any trade secrets in any industry, while the requirements are rather different in each instance. Secret.Kiwi evaluates the overlap of confidential information without providing direct access to the information itself, which is a vital requirement for keeping a trade secret undisclosed. 

Another project, Fe/male Switch, is a social impact educational role-playing game for future female entrepreneurs that equips them with the skills required to launch a startup or work in one. This project is our way to contribute back to the entrepreneurial community for all the support that we have been receiving for years. Users are placed in a virtual startup village and get to play as a startup founder, mentor or investor. With the help of a game master, they create a startup, get an office and gain startup experience. Taking their burn rate into account, they need to go through quests and earn enough tokens to move to the next level. All of their experience and new skills are recorded in their portfolio and, therefore, have real-life value. The game helps aspiring entrepreneurs learn how to bootstrap their startup by mastering a lot of digital tools that postpone (or even eliminate) the need for a technical co-founder or initial funding.

Co-Founder of Prickly Bits, Ms. Violetta Shishkina stated:

Malta Enterprise has given us an amazing opportunity to set up in Malta. Not only has ME provided funding to relocate some of our team members to Malta (including, non-EU team members), but they are also indispensable when it comes to getting in touch with the right stakeholders and future partners. We are extremely grateful for their dedication and their continuous support. We have felt welcome on the island from day one and we are confident that expanding to Malta will allow us to be even more resilient, innovative and diverse. We are extremely excited to be joining a booming ecosystem for startups and scaleups and are definitely going to play our part in making it prosper.

CEO of Malta Enterprise, Mr. Kurt Farrugia remarked:

We are enthusiastic to see that Prickly Bits will be setting up a new R&D base in Malta that will drive its scaling up efforts and launch new innovative projects. The Secret.Kiwi project complements other start-ups and scale-ups that ME has attracted in the sphere of data security during the last years. We look forward to seeing Prickly Bits establishes itself as an active player in the local start-up ecosystem. As ME we believe strongly in the promotion of female entrepreneurship. The Fe/male Switch project will also contribute very positively locally.
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