EIT Digital recently launched this year’s edition of the renowned EIT Digital Challenge – the annual Europe-wide call for the most innovative startups in digital technology ready to scale up.
From now on EU-based startups can apply for the EIT Digital Challenge. The three best teams in each of the competition’s five categories will get access to EIT Digital’s pan-European innovation network with more than 130 partners that bring together Europe’s leading corporations, SMEs, startups, universities and research institutes in the field of digital technology. The startups will also have the chance to join the EIT Digital Accelerator for a full year.
An expert jury will select the best 10 teams per category and the finalists will have to pitch at one of five final events in London, Paris, Stockholm, Helsinki or Eindhoven. They are competing for an exclusive prize package:
- The best three teams in each category will gain access to EIT Digital’s innovation network and gain great visibility and publicity.
- They will also have the chance to join the EIT Digital Accelerator for a full year and work with a team of dedicated business developers and finance experts in order to build and develop their market strategy and get support in terms of customer acquisition and funding.
- On top, the best team per category wins a €50,000 cash prize.
The deadline for applications is July 31, 2016. At the EIT Digital Challenge 2016, startups can apply for one of the following five categories:
- Digital Industry
- Digital Cities
- Digital Wellbeing
- Digital Infrastructure
- Digital Finance
According to EIT Digital CEO Willem Jonker, the challenge aims to foster digital innovation across borders to position Europe as a leader in the global digital transformation.
Dominik Krabbe, EIT Digital Challenge Lead explains: “80% of European startups plan to internationalize their business, but only about half of them actually take this step. If Europe’s goal is to lead digital transformation worldwide, innovation must be enabled to expand across borders. We want to identify and support those thriving European startups who are ready to enter new markets and start their journey to becoming international brands,”
Willem Jonker, CEO EIT Digital, added: “However, European startups face a number of barriers including the highly fragmented European market and investor landscape. It is crucial that we actively help startups to ensure European innovation leads the way globally. Through our Accelerator, we support early stage scaleups to gain access to new markets and new customers, as well as providing access to finance by leveraging our pan-European investor network,”
The EIT Digital Accelerator comprises a team of around 40 experienced business developers and finance experts operating from 13 cities across Europe as well as a hub in San Francisco. Since 2012, they have supported a total of 233 startups to access new markets and helped them raise more than €67 million in investment to date. At present, more than 120 early scaleups from across the continent are part of the Accelerator. To identify the next wave of top European startups and help them scale up, EIT Digital has launched its third annual pan-European startup contest. Grab your chance and apply now!