Future innovators begin their journeys today

Future innovators begin their journeys today

EIT Jumpstarter has reached its second phase, with 183 teams entering the Bootcamps in seven categories. Applicants will learn essential entrepreneurial skills and evaluate and upgrade their ideas with the help of expert trainers and mentors. The most committed teams will be ready to launch their start-up by the end of their journey.

Participants from 27 countries populate the seven categories of the programme. This year, the Western Balkans region has a strong presence as the countries here are way overrepresented. This might be due to EIT Community’s massive efforts last year to create a meaningful connection with organisations and citizens in this region.

One in every seven young Jumpstarters has participated in the Pre-Jumpstarter workshops, matching last year’s statistics. At these events, members of the EIT Community provide assistance to the teams looking to apply but have questions or might be stuck in the registration process.

This is their first step into the EIT ecosystem. Only 13% of the attendees have ever participated, and only 3 received some funding from a programme organised by any EIT Community member.

Teams, in general, need 1-5 years to commercialise ideas entirely; Jumpstarter helps them from the business side: to identify their business model and their customers, understand their industry and plan the next steps. They are also encouraged to develop their minimum viable products or prototypes by 2023.

“Most of the teams have submitted an idea or a proof of concept only. The first meeting with the teams shows that they expect to get advice on their business model, work with experts and network. Some teams even mentioned world domination… well, they will get advice on how to dominate their niche.” – said Dora Marosvolgyi, Programme Manager. The training during Bootcamps aims to deliver the fundamental skills of developing a business case for an entrepreneurial idea. Teams will also learn how to pitch the business case, which will be a valuable skill when they want to get investor funding.

Programme is strong among innovators in the Western Balkans

Program extensions in 2021 allowed us to welcome even more innovative Jumpstarters from the Western Balkans and a thematic category called the New European Bauhaus.

We have 31 teams joining the Bootcamps from the Western Balkans region. Dora also explained that “expansion to the Western-Balkans aims to upskill the talent pool by entrepreneurial education and open the doors for them to join European initiatives. We worked closely with local incubators during the applications phase and organized several local Pre-Jumpstarter workshops.”

Photo by Richard Clyborne of Music Strive