These early-stage startups will shape the European business ecosystem

These early-stage startups will shape the European business ecosystem

Over a hundred innovators travelled to Krakow, Poland, to join the EIT Jumpstarter Grand Final. The most promising early-stage startups from Central, Eastern, and Southern Europe were awarded nearly €200K.

On November 29, the sixth edition of EIT Jumpstarter, a pre-accelerator run by six communities of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), came to an end, summarizing the programme with pitches from 42 finalists in seven different categories – health, food, raw materials, energy, urban mobility, manufacturing, and New European Bauhaus (focused on sustainable and inclusive living spaces). 

“For the last couple of years, we noted an increasing interest from teams from the Western Balkans, but this year was exceptional in terms of innovators coming from this part of Europe. Many Jumpstarters joined the programme with clear and feasible ideas, and some had already funded their company, even before the Grand Final,” says Dóra Marosvölgyi, the director of the EIT Community’s Regional Strategic Innovation Projects.

Bulgarian startup Green Kilometers won the Best Cross-Thematic Business Idea prize, a special award for impactful innovators. In cooperation with local municipalities, the company has created a social-benefit system that rewards inhabitants for non-motorised, “green” covering of urban distances. The benefits include cultural events tickets, art classes or even tax reductions. 

Not only startups received awards during the Grand Final. The University of Warsaw, Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS) Hub of EIT Food, was named Best RIS Hub. “The institution actively participated in all stages of the program supporting the teams throughout their development with high efficiency since many teams they trained made it to the Grand Final. With the award, we would like to recognize their very professional, precise and inspiring attitude and work,” explains Anna Mihok-Peli, programme coordinator of EIT Jumpstarter.

Betting on promising innovations

The Jumpstarter programme’s goal is to push early-stage innovators from emerging European regions onto the market and help their scientific ideas and innovations turn into successful businesses.

The programme lasts seven months, during which selected startups work with mentors in local training that deep dives into business modelling and business planning. Based on the developed business plan, the startups are evaluated, and the six best ones are qualified for the Grand Final – this year hosted in Krakow, Poland – where they compete for the prize of 10,000 EUR in each category.

“More than 750 innovators have joined the programme during the last six years, and there are several success stories, including further financing they received. While some of the alumni keep refining their business idea, over 45 have formalized companies and continue to expand,” says Dora Marosvolgyi.

The full list of the EIT Jumpstarter Grand Final 2022 winners

EIT Health

1st prize – Thertact (Portugal)

2nd prize – Orgavalue (Portugal)

3rd prize – Play.air (Poland)

EIT Food

1st prize – LiFi4Food (Spain)

2nd prize – Ribes Technologies (Poland)

3rd prize – Digital Bites (Greece)

EIT Raw Materials

1st prize – FarMine (Turkey)

2nd prize – EpoxCE (Spain)

3rd prize – Kodatek (Estonia)

EIT InnoEnergy

1st prize – Solar Container Marine (Green Marine) (Spain)

2nd prize – EFC Mag (Slovenia)

3rd prize – EV to go (Republic of North Macedonia)

EIT Manufacturing

1st prize – Quimsil (Spain)

2nd prize – Lume Label (Poland)

3rd prize – Fprint (Spain)

EIT Urban Mobility

1st prize – Bruntor (Latvia)

2nd prize – BeBeep (Montenegro)

3rd prize – Esguil (Spain)

New European Bauhaus

1st prize – Spektral Seismic Solutions (Slovenia)

2nd prize – KEEEN (Italy)

3rd prize – Hiriki (Spain)

Special Prizes

Best cross-thematic business idea – Green Kilometers, Bulgaria

Audience Award – MaskOFF, Poland

Best business idea from Western Balkan – FCL, Serbia

Best RIS Hub – University of Warsaw, Poland