Record number of ideas in 2021

Record number of ideas in 2021

EIT Jumpstarter’s 2021 edition saw a record number of applications, 548 teams registered to participate in this year’s programme. Although the eligibility checks are still ongoing by the participating Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs), this is still a huge increase compared to last year. Let’s dive into the preliminary results. 

Idea holders joined the 2021 call from the Emerging European regions, where innovative minds have fewer opportunities to embark on their entrepreneurial journey than their Western peers. A total of 548 teams issued a formally correct application, now an expert committee of KICs evaluate these, select the most innovative projects and invite them into the pre-accelerator programme. This year altogether 220 teams will participate in online Bootcamps that will be held in June.

548 teams applied to EIT Jumpstarter in 2021

548 teams applied to EIT Jumpstarter in 2021

“We select teams based on the uniqueness of their idea and their positive impact on the European Society. Those who have proof of concept (a lab test) are the best fit for this programme” – said Dóra Marosvölgyi, EIT Jumpstarter Manager when she took a look at the initial list of applications. “More than 15% of teams also participated in one of the 14 Pre-Jumpstarter workshops, organized by EIT Innovation HUBs. Attendees of these events were advised on how to create a successful application and received information about the EIT Jumpstarter programme as well” – she added.

Other factors in the huge influx of applications are EIT Jumpstarter’s pilot program with university TTOs to scout for technologies ready for commercialization and curated matchmaking by Latvian organization Commercialization Reactor. The six participating KICs also scaled up the communication activities, more than half-million Europeans saw the ads of EIT Jumpstarter.

A new category, the New European Bauhaus were opened this year to cover the EU’s newest initiative and to jumpstart European idea holders’ business career in this field where technology helps to create sustainable living solutions. As the programme manager said in an earlier article published on, the organizers are excited and expecting to accelerate awesome ideas that form a bridge between the world of science and technology and the world of art and creative design. Through EIT Jumpstarter young innovators now have the chance to contribute to the smart and sustainable recovery after the Covid19 pandemic.

EIT Jumpstarter entering  the education phase

The next phase of the programme is the Bootcamps. The training aims to deliver the fundamental qualitative and quantitative skills of developing a business case for an entrepreneurial idea; as well as knowledge on pitching the business case to get investor funding. All Bootcamps run along with the same curriculum, while the teams are mixed across the seven thematic areas. This phase focuses on the pitch deck development; identification of areas for further development; validation of the key modelling assumptions. Bootcamps are organized online in June 2021 and conclude in thematic demo days, which is the first time when the teams present their start-up idea.

About EIT Jumpstarter

The strategic aim of this programme is to create a sustainable impact in the Central-Eastern and Southern-European Regions by boosting innovation and entrepreneurship within this part of Europe. EIT Jumpstarter is managed by EIT Health InnoStars and organized by EIT Health, EIT RawMaterials EIT Food, EIT InnoEnergy, EIT Manufacturing and EIT Urban Mobility. They are six of the Knowledge and Innovation Communities of EIT, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology.

The program has trained more than start-up teams since 2017, and interest in our competition is growing. In 2019 EIT Jumpstarter won the Best Association Training Initiative Award of the European Association Awards, in 2020 EIT Jumpstarter was crowned as the winner of The Emerging Europe Awards’ Young Empowerment Initiative.

EIT Jumpstarter is a very selective, competitive program; participating in it opens doors towards the European markets and connects the best teams with the three EIT Communities’ large industrial partners such as GE Healthcare, Siemens, Philips, Roche, Bosch, Nestlé, Pepsico and Maspex, among others.