The volume of data processed in data centers and the number of transactions have been growing by leaps and bounds for years. At the same time, the IT infrastructure is becoming increasingly hybrid and heterogeneous: Mainframes and servers are being joined by computing capacities in the cloud, and hyperscalers are already offering the first quantum computing services (quantum annealers to start with).

In short: complexity is increasing, data throughput is growing, and at the same time the issue of cyber security is becoming more and more important. And this applies to data centers operated by corporates or outsourcers as well as to hyperscalers. In other words: A gigantic market. It is therefore not surprising that the start-up scene is also addressing this market. It’s all about managing data centers more efficiently, optimizing costs, minimizing energy consumption, and more.

In this blogpost I present 7 promising European start-ups: Companies no older than 7 years. Mind you, this is not about startups that run a data center themselves. And: In a (complementary) blog post, I have already looked at startups that focus on cloud and cloud infrastructure; these are not included here and are to be thoughtfully added to the below mentioned companies: 7 promising German start-ups in Cloud Computing. Enjoy the reading!


Economic newspaper Handelsblatt recently called the British start-up “Europe’s most valuable chip start-up”. The founders Simon Knowles and Nigel Toon are pushing into the industry’s top class: processors. They are the brain of every computer – thus indirectly the brain of a data center. It’s a field that Europe has so far largely left to the Americans.

The Graphcore processors are specially designed for machine learning; the design is “groundbreaking” – according to the European head of TSMC, Paul de Bot. As a result, these chips are faster and more cost-effective. The start-up is currently valued at around USD 3 billion.

Foundation in 2016. In Bristol (UK). Website:


The start-up Incooling emerged from a joint initiative of the Eindhoven Start-up Alliance with members such as ASML and Philips. Incooling uses a cooling technology for servers developed by CERN: Two-phase cooling. Based on this, a next-generation two-phase cooled server has been developed.

By its own account, the high-performance computing (HPC) custom-built server developed by Incooling can „achieve the fastest clock speeds in the market. With our proprietary cooling design and control, we are able to quickly respond to the fluctuating heat loads, adjusting itself to maintain the processor always within safe temperature ranges.”

Foundation in 2019. In Eindhoven / The Netherlands. Website:

Living Mainframe GmbH

The mainframe is still highly relevant despite the triumph of server technology (compare the blogpost The future of the mainframe). And especially in those industries with high volumes of transactions. These include banking and finance, merchants, utilities, healthcare, and governments. About 87% (!) of all credit card transactions are processed by the mainframe. It is therefore not surprising that 92 of the world’s 100 largest banks run their core business on mainframes.

The mainframe has its roots in the 1950s, numerous applications actually still date from that time (“legacy software”). Modernizing these IT landscapes is a challenge; and it is precisely here that the start-up “Living Mainframe GmbH” offers consulting. This ranges from the introduction of DevOps processes, the introduction of modern user interfaces to the integration of the mainframe via open interfaces with other elements of the IT infrastructure.

Foundation in 2018. In Böblingen (near Stuttgart). Website:


Like “Living Mainframe GmbH”, the Frankfurt-based start-up offers consulting services for the operation and modernization of existing mainframe landscapes. The consulting customers include, for example, the LBBW.

Foundation in 2021. In Frankfurt. Website:


The data processed in the data center is usually also stored; this storage often has to meet compliance requirements. For example: data protection guidelines, and in particular the obligation to delete data. This is exactly what EfficientNodes does: An audit-proof and legally compliant data storage system for long-term data protection in public administration and companies.

The company is a spin-off from Brandl Systemhaus (which has existed since 1990).

Foundation in 2015. In Straubing. Website:


The start-up QBilon addresses the incomplete decision basis in IT departments for optimizing the IT landscape. It is not uncommon that IT asset overviews are compiled in MS Excel, often from various (inconsistent) data sources.

What the product from QBilon thus offers: The consolidation of various data sources into a consolidated “IT map” as a basis for decision-making and an information or warning system. Likewise, the tracking of cost drivers and relevant information for the realization of savings potentials. In addition, there are dependency analyses to replace or remove legacy IT assets; and last but not least: creation of reports for internal and external audits; lists of active hardware and software incl. status to simplify auditing processes.

QBilon was a finalist at the „Innovators’ Pitch: Enterprise Analytics & Cybersecurity” of the 2022: “The business festival for digital movers and makers”. Clients of QBilon include BMW Group, Stadtwerke München or the IT company soffico.

Foundation in 2019. In Augsburg. Website:


Terabytes of logs are generated in data centers, which play a role in compliance, security and performance management. With its product LogSentinel SIEM (“AI inside”), the start-up LogSentinel offers just such a product, which covers compliance requirements for the financial sector, for example, as well as being an important building block for a cybersecurity architecture.

The company received numerous awards: „Most reliable Vendor of the year 2022“ (InfoSec SEE 2022), „Forbes Business Awards 2020“, „DigitalK 2019 Award“ oder den „CESA Bulgaria 2020 Award: Startup of the Year“.

Foundation in 2017. In Sofia / Bulgaria and Naarden / The Netherlands. Website:

Promising StartUps in other industries and areas


The author is a manager in the software industry with international expertise: Authorized officer at one of the large consulting firms - Responsible for setting up an IT development center at the Bangalore offshore location - Director M&A at a software company in Berlin.