EIT Jumpstarter rewards the best European early-stage innovators in health, food and raw materials sectors, prize fund reaches €70,000

EIT Jumpstarter rewards the best European early-stage innovators in health, food and raw materials sectors, prize fund reaches €70,000

Yesterday, in Riga, Latvia, the EIT Jumpstarter Grand Final took place as the side event of Digital Freedom Festival. In total 18 teams from 10 countries, shared their innovative solutions in healthcare, food industry and raw materials sector. The 1st place in Health category won iLoF with a product that screens patients for Alzheimer’s Clinical trials, using artificial intelligence and photonics to transform drug discovery using an inexpensive, portable device. 2BNanoFood, providing biodegradable solutions for the food industry, won the 1st place in the Food category while in Raw Materials the 1st place received UP Catalyst, with its innovative solution of producing synthetic graphene.

The EIT Jumpstarter is one of the well-known European competition for early-stage innovators, which was awarded with the Best European Association Training Initiative title in 2019. The programme has been developed by three collaborating organisations – EIT Health, EIT Raw Materials and EIT Food, which are supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of European Union. This programme aims to reach out, identify and support the best ideas from students, PhDs, tech enthusiasts as well as researchers and professionals with a potential impact on the Healthcare, Food and Raw Materials value chain.

Overall in the third consecutive year of EIT Jumpstarter, 90 teams from 13 European countries went through two intensive periods: six business-planning bootcamps in Spring and further business skills, training and mentoring sessions in the Autumn. Only 6 best teams in each category – Food, Health, Raw Materials – coming from ten countries were selected to join the Grand Final which for the first time was organised in Latvia. The best teams were awarded with cash prizes in total amount of 70,000 EUR.

“EIT Jumpstarter is the unique pan-European programme which identifies talents with the most promising innovative ideas and provide them with comprehensive business skills mentoring and training support. According to our survey, 70% of programme attendees had no business experience earlier. We provided them with intensive training sessions run by best cross-industry mentors. As a result, they are ready to set up their own business and make headway. The funding they received is a cherry on the pie.” – says Dora Marosvolgyi, EIT Jumpstarter Programme Manager.

Multinational innovators came to Riga

The finalists in Health category came from Italy (three teams), Lithuania (two) and Portugal (one). In Food category – two teams from Netherlands, one from Spain, one from Romania, one from Portugal and one from Lithuania. Whereas in Raw Materials category the Finals included two teams from Estonia, one from Germany, one from Italy, one from Denmark and one from Finland.

In total nine winner teams were chosen. Three best ideas in each category won prizes of €5,000, €7,000 and €10,000 accordingly. Additionally, special prizes across all categories were given: Best Cross-thematic Business Idea to Baltic Freya, Audience Awards received Odd.Bot and Best RIS start-up went to ZeroSbatti, each of value of €5,000.

1st place in Health category won team from Portugal iLoF with a product that screens patients for Alzheimer’s Clinical trials, using artificial intelligence and photonics to transform drug discovery using an inexpensive, portable device. “I cannot be happier about this prize. We work closely with pharmaceutical companies, so the money will be used to fast track our product in market and make sure our solutions reaches patients as soon as possible”, says Luis Valente from ILoF.

2nd place received Ligence from Lithuania with a solution that uses Deep Learning to automate heart ultrasound examination what results in shorter procedure and greater patient admission rates. The 3d place won team from Italy iBioTHEx that plans to develop a new anti-cachexia drug to be exploited by pharma companies in basic and drug development studies aimed against cachexia.

1st place in Food category received 2BNanoFood who will produce and commercialize custom-made solutions based on bio-based and biodegradable materials, aiming to replace synthetic materials in foods while maintaining their quality and safety. 2BNanoFood  team comments: “We can name lots of benefits from the EIT Jumpstarter – we have reached several achievements, made so many contacts, all the mentoring that we had in all these months is measureless, and of course the prize that will help us move forward.”

2nd place was earned by RapidPricer B.V. – solution that helps retailers to increase margins and reduce waste by automating pricing and promotions in real time unlike traditional consulting solutions. FiberBio won the 3d place whose fiber-rich products are made of upcycled fruit, vegetable and seed pomace which are presently discarded during juice and oil production.

In Raw materials category’ s the 1st place received UP Catalyst (Estonia) with novel, inexpensive and sustainable technology to produce syntehic graphite, graphene and various catalysts out of secondary raw materials. 2nd place in this category won Nordic Carbon (Finland) with technology to produce value-added carbon materials with high porosity and activity for the fuel cell reaction which has also a high potential for the electrodes of supercapacitors and batteries due to the high porosity. In the 3d place ranked MiningSandboxAR (Estonia) that helps mining companies who want to get social licenses to operate and simplified mine planning and awareness of their mining operations.

Ivar Krusenber from Estonia, first place in category EIT Raw Materials: “We are very excited and happy about this win. EIT Jumpstarter is a great programme with amazing mentors. For us it’s a unique opportunity, because there are not many funding mechanisms which work with raw material. This prize will be our first investment in our small facility”

In 2019, the EIT Jumpstarter programme was awarded and named as the Best European Association Training Initiative, thus it can be treated as the litmus paper of trends and tendencies among young innovators.

This year EIT Jumpstarter Programme was held for the third year. For the first time event was held in Riga and it was organized as a side event of Digital Freedom Festival.

A full list of finalists can be seen: