While different challenges come with being an entrepreneur, the threat of uncertainty seems to be the one that gets them nervous the most. From startups to the tech industry, there is one question on every entrepreneur’s mind: what does the future hold?
Well, if you belong to a deeptech scaleup ecosystem in Europe and are trying to figure out how to continue your growth and progress, this article might be what you need to read today!
EIT Digital, a pan-European organisation aimed at promoting innovation, education, and entrepreneurship in digital technology, is all set for the 9th edition of its flagship competition – EIT Digital Challenge 2022.
The EIT Digital Challenge aims to identify the best European deep tech entrepreneurs and help them scale up internationally, supporting the European deep tech ecosystem.
Since its launch in 2014, the competition has attracted thousands of applications from more than 33 European countries. Many of the winning scaleups have moved on to become internationally successful companies.
The competition focuses on ‘deep-tech’ scaleups, broadly defined as technology companies with a differentiating product offering built around unique scientific or technological advances which are often protected or hard to reproduce.
“The EIT Digital Challenge aims to identify the best European deep tech entrepreneurs and help them scale up their businesses internationally, supporting the European deep tech ecosystem. We will select the top 20 companies and invite them to an exclusive closed-door event at the end of October where they will have the opportunity to pitch to a jury of high-profile corporates and investors,” says Diva Tommei, Head of the EIT Digital Accelerator.
EIT Digital Challenge is open for applicants based in EU27 and Horizon Europe-associated countries, with a minimum annual revenue of €300,000 or €2M in equity investments, and that are a maximum of ten years old.
The applying company’s solution must be applicable to one of five thematic areas: Digital Industry, Digital Finance, Digital Cities, Digital Wellbeing, and Digital Tech.
The EIT Digital Challenge’s team will examine the market and internationalisation potential of the applicant’s products or services as well as the quality of their core team.
The team will also consider the fit of the product or service to the organisation’s thematic areas and the impact EIT Digital’s support could have on the company’s business.
What to expect?
In the end, the best five companies will receive a full year of tailored support from the EIT Digital Accelerator team, worth €50,000, which includes access to finance and business development support, as well as international visibility.
They also get access to a 350+ members strong ecosystem of EIT Digital partners across Europe consisting of corporations, SMEs, startups, universities, and research institutes.
Here’s why you should apply
After winning the challenge in 2019, Sidekick Health, a digital therapeutics scaleup, was actively supported by EIT Digital’s fundraising experts. As a result, the company closed a $20M oversubscribed Series A financing round in 2020.
“The EIT Digital Accelerator team delivered critical support during this process and was key in the successful closing of our fundraising: in addition to providing invaluable feedback and advice, their systematic management of the process and coordinated efforts allowed us to meet with all the right investors from across Europe in a very short time,” says Sidekick’s CEO and co-founder, Tryggvi Thorgeirsson.
Another Challenge winner, Medicus.ai, was vocal about the benefits received from the Acceleration programme.
“We met investors we couldn’t have reached on our own, and this has contributed positively to us closing our round of 5 million Euros in mid-2019,” says the company’s CEO, Baher Al-Hakim.
For 2021 winner Connecting Food, the award helped bring the company to the next level.
“When we took part in the Challenge, we were impressed by the companies that we saw pitching. That made us even prouder of being selected as winners. Afterwards, the support of the EIT Digital Accelerator helped us promote and scaleup our technology at the international level, introducing us to other top European players,” says Maxine Roper, CEO of 2021 winner Connecting Food.
Where to apply?
Apply to the 9th edition of the EIT Digital Challenge here. The deadline for the application is September 19, 2022. The finals will take place in October.