These early-stage startups will shape European business ecosystem
Over a hundred innovators traveled 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 from 20 countries 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," says Dóra Marosvölgyi, the director of the EIT Community's Regional Strategic Innovation Projects.
FCL from Serbia was awarded the best business idea from Western Balkans, and Bulgarian startup Green Kilometers won the Best Cross-Thematic Business Idea prize, a special award for impactful innovators. The company, in cooperation with local municipalities, has created a social-benefit system that rewards inhabitants for non-motorised, "green" covering of urban distances. New European Bauhaus prize went to Spektral Seismic Solutions from Slovenia.
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.
Betting on promising innovations
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 trainings that are deep dives into business modeling and business planning. Based on the developed business plan, the startups are evaluated and the six best ones are qualified for the Grand Final 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 a number of success stories including further financing they received.