The EIT Digital Challenge 2017 is now open for applications. Late-stage startups – so called scaleups – can apply with their successful deep technology products in one of the following five categories: Digital Industry, Digital Cities, Digital Wellbeing, Digital Infrastructure and Digital Finance.
The winner in each category will receive an international growth package worth €100,000. The package includes a full year of dedicated support from the EIT Digital Accelerator worth €50,000 and a cash prize of €50,000.
Dedicated support for deep-tech ventures to scale up globally
The contest focuses on deep-tech businesses seeking to accelerate their international growth. Deep-tech innovations are technologies that are built around unique, often protected or hard to reproduce technological or scientific advances. They have a strong research base and develop disruptive solutions that fuel the digital transformation. However, these businesses face specific challenges that involve time to market, capital intensity, and technological risk and complexity.
“Deep-tech digital ventures require high-quality specialised support when it comes to finding customers and raising capital,” said Willem Jonker, CEO of EIT Digital. “Through our excellent pan-European business and technology ecosystem, and guided by our experience and our proven track record in deal making, we as EIT Digital are in a unique position to drive the international scaling of these digital deep-tech ventures.”
Ben McClure, access to finance manager, EIT Digital London, said: “EIT Digital is committed to internationalising and scaling innovative digital ventures. Leveraging our unrivalled direct network of world-class corporate partners and venture capital investors, we help digital CEOs secure the customers and funds they need to grow their businesses successfully across Europe and globally.
“The EIT Digital Challenge is a superb opportunity for UK scaleup entrepreneurs to connect with our international business and investment community and start to realise their full European growth potential.”
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Calling all late-stage startups to submit their application
To successfully apply for the EIT Digital Challenge, companies must fulfil the following criteria: They must be based in one of the member states of the European Union, their revenue must have been at least €300,000 in 2016 or they must have at least €2m in equity investment, and the companies should be in their first 10 years of existence.
The best five applicants in each category will be invited to pitch their technology in front on an expert jury at one of five final events:
- Digital Cities – Trento – 28th November 2017
- Digital Industry – Eindhoven – 29th November 2017
- Digital Wellbeing – Madrid – 30th November 2017
- Digital Finance – Budapest – 4th December 2017
- Digital Infrastructure – Berlin – 11th December 2017
The deadline for applications is 8th October 2017. For more information and to apply, please visit www.challenge.eitdigital.eu
Former winners of the EIT Digital Challenge from the UK include Cuvva, which was awarded in 2016 for its pay-as-you-go car insurance for people who borrow a car from friends and family. This year, Cuvva CEO Freddy Macnamara was recognised in Forbes 30 under 30 Europe.
Since 2014, the EIT Digital Challenge has drawn more than 1,400 entries from 27 EU countries. Most awarded scaleups grew to become internationally successful companies.
EIT Digital Accelerator
EIT also operates an accelerator, called the EIT Digital Accelerator, which supports European digital technology ventures to scale by helping secure target customers and raise capital. A team of 40 experienced business developers and finance experts operate from 13 cities across Europe, along with a hub in Silicon Valley. Since 2012, the EIT Digital Accelerator has supported more than 250 companies to access new markets, and helped them raise more than €80m in investment to date. The program was ranked 8th among the Top 20 in the Global Accelerator Report 2016 by Gust.
For more information about EIT Digital, the EIT Digital Accelerator and the EIT Digital Challenge, visit the organisation’s website.