As the end of the year is approaching, many of us start the countdown not only to Christmas but to one of the most exciting and complex start-up competitions in Europe: EIT Jumpstarter. Get ready to be amazed by the power of innovation and tune in to the Grand Final on the 1st of December to meet the finalists.
This year has been special in the life of EIT Jumpstarter – whose main goal is to support innovators from Progressing EU regions turn their ideas into a thriving business – for several reasons: a new category, New European Bauhaus, has been added to the programme, a record number of applications (548) was received and due to a new target scope, this unique pre-accelerator programme welcomed teams from countries and regions – the Western Balkans – that had not participated in the competition before. These milestones are already a cause for celebration but the cherry on top will be the Grand Final, which will be held on the 1st of December (to follow it live, register here).
Finalists – who come from the fields of healthcare, agri-food, raw materials, energy, urban mobility, manufacturing and quality living – will pitch their business ideas at an online event after which the jury will pick the winners. The top 6 start-ups in each category will compete for the first prize which is €10,000.
„We are very proud that 568 start-ups have been trained and been part of the EIT Jumpstarter experience since 2017. This is a big number for a highly selective and competitive programme. Our aim has been from the very beginning to boost innovation and entrepreneurship within Central-Eastern and Southern Europe and help talented innovators get their idea out of the lab and onto the market. Many of our graduates have already made an impact in these regions which is the best feedback we can have” – said Dora Marosvolgyi, Cross-KIC Strategic Regional Innovations Director at EIT Health InnoStars.
The programme, however, is not only beneficial for the top 3s but is an opportunity for all graduates to proceed to the next level. Throughout the programme they learn from expert trainers and mentors, who help them build a viable business model, validate it, and, if it is sustainable, they are encouraged to register their company.
After finishing EIT Jumpstarter participants will have the skills and know-how that is necessary to launch a company. They will also belong to a vibrant alumni community that is known for providing further support to its members if they need advice regarding the next steps of their business journey. They will have access to the EIT’s world-class network, through which they have the possibility to meet VCs, companies or even their future customers. Those who aim for entering foreign markets may do so by being introduced to major European innovation hubs. The Jumpstarter community is especially proud of the success stories of start-ups that participated in different programmes after Jumpstarter: Arclub One was the winner of the Manufacturing category in 2020, won #CREATE category at #BoostUP! RIS 2021. The Slovenian start-up’s unique system provides innovative and sustainable cooling and lubrication in CNC machines. Another great example is BNanoFood, winner of EIT Jumpstarter Food category in 2019, which later became Network Partners of EIT Food.
„Participating at the 2020 EIT Jumpstarter was a game-changer for us. It is a highly selective programme and we received crucial insights regarding our business model and commercialisation. EIT has a fine expert network which meant that we got advice from seasoned professionals. The training and mentoring are still bearing fruit now. The diverse community made the programme even more special: we learnt a lot from each other as well” – said Alexis G. Pantziaros, CEO and co-founder of Coffe-eco, winner of the EIT Food category.
You can meet the finalists during the Grand Final and see the list of the teams on the EIT Jumpstarter Facebook page.