The fourth edition of EIT Jumpstarter, one of the most well-known pre-acceleration programmes in Europe, has just kicked off virtually. The programme is the entry-point of scientific innovators aiming to create their businesses. This year, there has been an enormous increase in applications – out of 348 applications, 120 were selected predominantly from Central-Eastern and Southern Europe to participate in the programme in 2020.
EIT Jumpstarter is a pan-European pre-accelerator initiative for early-stage innovators supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). It is one of the most cross-disciplinary programmes that involves six unique innovation communities from EU: EIT Health, EIT Food, EIT RawMaterials, EIT InnoEnergy, EIT Urban Mobility and EIT Manufacturing, which have one common goal: to turn the best innovative ideas into budding businesses.
This year, 120 applicants from 25 countries were selected to the next phases of the programme. It’s 260% growth compared to the last year. The most significant increase in the submitted ideas was seen in the fields of raw materials, followed by health.
“EIT Jumpstarter is a unique pan-European programme which provides not only an intensive business training but also identifies talents, discovers the most promising innovative ideas, and gives them comprehensive and professional support. All Jumpstarter mentors are excited to be part of this journey, to help newly-born start-ups and to join this special 2020 edition” – says Dora Marosvolgyi, EIT Health InnoStars Project Manager, who manages the programme.
EIT Jumpstarter aims to reach out, identify and support the best ideas from students, PhDs, tech enthusiasts as well as researchers and professionals from Central, Eastern and Southern Europe.
Due to COVID-19 pandemic, most activities related to the programme in the 2020 edition of EIT Jumpstarter will take place online. Jumpstarter Bootcamps which are the first phase of this project will be organized virtually between May and June, with the aim to identify the best 90 teams and fast-track their entrepreneurial journey in the second phase. All 120 teams will have the opportunity to get a grip of fundamental entrepreneurial skills, prepare pitch decks and identify areas for further development.
Local joint training which is the second part of EIT Jumpstarter will take place in September 2020. 90 selected teams will work on prioritizing, testing and validating their businesses, enriching their understanding of business planning tools, and getting an overview and expert advice on setting up own enterprise. Later on, 36 best teams will be selected for the last phase.
Joint Grand Final is the third and the last phase of the EIT Jumpstarter programme. The 2020 final will be organized in November. During one day, the best 36 teams with the most promising business concept will have a chance not only to win a money prize but also to make connections within the EIT network and take their businesses on the next level. To learn more about EIT Jumpstarter Grand Final click here.
“Jumpstarter is a highly comprehensive programme that prepares early-stage start-ups for facing the real world and encourages them to do so. It forces you to get out of the lab, think about your clients, and teaches you how to pitch. The training and mentoring is top-class and the practical sessions are extremely valuable, especially for the first-time founders. It is highly recommended to every founder wishing to fast-track their entering the market!” – says Luis Valente, CEO & Co-founder at iLoF, winner of the 2019 EIT Jumpstarter in Health category.
In 2019 the programme was announced as the Best Association Training Initiative and won The European Association Award in this category. It was also named a “Success Story” of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).