Why EIT Jumpstarter?


Do you have an innovative idea and want to jumpstart your business?

With EIT Jumpstarter, you can access the largest innovation network of EIT Communities. You will compete for the whopping first prize of up to 10,000 in nine categories.

With the contribution of best-in-class experts, a creative community, and unique know-how, we aim to support idea-holders in turning their ideas into business. We help innovators and entrepreneurs build a viable business model around their innovative product or service idea and validate it. If their business idea is sustainable, we encourage them to register their company.

The strategic aim of this program is to create a sustainable impact in the Central-Eastern and Southern-European Regions by boosting innovation and entrepreneurship within this part of Europe. The programme’s concept originates from the real needs of the innovation ecosystem of these regions. Countries face similar challenges; they have enormous innovation potential with bright scientific minds, but the research results will likely remain within the labs. At the same time, many needs have been unmet from the corporate side. To overcome these challenges by connecting innovative solutions with the industry’s articulated demands and increasing our regions’ competitiveness, six EIT Communities teamed up to jointly run EIT Jumpstarter: EIT Health, EIT RawMaterials, EIT Food, EIT InnoEnergy, EIT Manufacturing and EIT Urban Mobility organize the competition. The seven Knowledge and Innovation Communities of EIT, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. They bring together businesses, research centres and universities as partners creating a favourable environment for creative thought and innovation to flourish. EIT is a valuable, credible partner to get your business idea up and running.

Graduates of the program possess the skills and knowledge to launch their companies. As part of the alumni community, they receive further support and dedicated advice from the EIT Communities regarding the next stage of their start-up journey. We introduce teams to partners, VCs, regulatory bodies and companies that can produce their products, their first buyer or a test site. They meet major innovation hubs in Europe, which is essential when they want to enter foreign markets.

The program has trained more than 970 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.

Rebuild Ukraine

This new cohort is for all Ukrainians who want to rebuild and revitalise the country through innovation. We’re looking for scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, PhD and master’s students and innovators across all thematic cohorts – namely Digital, Food, Health, Innoenergy, Manufacturing, New European Bauhaus, RawMaterials and Urban Mobility. Ukrainian citizens and teams can only apply for this category.

Western Balkans

It is more than a special prize, it is a shift in mindset and approach. With this new dimension across the categories of EIT Jumpstarter, we are strengthening the cooperation between the countries of the Western Balkans and the European Union.

New European Bauhaus

Since its 2021 edition, EIT Jumpstarter has been accepting applications from the fields that the New European Bauhaus initiative covers.

The New European Bauhaus proposes focusing our conversations on the places we inhabit and our relationship with natural environments beyond the built space. It is a practical approach to discovering beautiful, sustainable, inclusive ways of living and using them to inspire our way forward. It is also a design lab, accelerator and network simultaneously. A creative and interdisciplinary movement, convening a space of encounter to recuperate and revisit sustainable practices from, empower the most inspiring practices of today, and design future ways of living at the crossroads between art, culture and science.

Eligible countries

Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Kosovo, Türkiye, Ukraine, Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Réunion, Martinique, Mayotte and Saint-Martin (France), the Azores and Madeira (Portugal), and the Canary Islands (Spain).

Regarding Kosovo: This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.

>> EIT Jumpstarter Terms & Conditions 2024

Important dates in 2024

  • Deadline for submitting business ideas: 5 May
  • Selection of ideas and invitation to the bootcamps: May
  • Bootcamps will be held online in May-June
  • Local joint training: July-September
  • Grand Final: late November

Is it for me?

Are you part of a scientific project team, innovator, scientist, PhD student or master’s student with a product or service idea to disrupt the existing markets in healthcare, agri-food, raw materials, energy, urban mobility or manufacturing sectors? Do you want to bring your idea out of the lab to the market? Then EIT Jumpstarter is ideal for you.

What will you learn?

During the 8 months-long programme, you will find and validate the best business model for your innovative idea. The courses build on the lean start-up methodology from Silicon Valley translated to the European Environment. You will learn about: how to refine your deal, market segmentation, customer value proposition, market segmentation, financials, investment basics, legal basics

You will receive travel and accommodation support during the program, and the best teams in each category will have the chance to win a €10,000 money prize.

Why it is unique?

EIT Jumpstarter is a very selective, competitive program; participating in it opens doors towards the European markets and connects the best teams with the seven EIT Communities’ large industrial partners.