EIT Digital Challenge 2016 now accepting applications EU startups

EIT Digital has launched the third edition of its annual pan-European startup contest to identify the next wave of top European startups and help them scale up.

"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," Willem Jonker, CEO EIT Digital, says.

Startups can apply in five digital technology categories: Digital Industry, Digital Cities, Digital Wellbeing, Digital Infrastructure and Digital Finance.

They are competing for a unique prize package: the three best teams in each category 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. They will also have the chance to join the EIT Digital Accelerator for a full year. The winners in each category will also receive €50,000 in cash.

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.

Patrick Essers, Director EIT Digital the Netherlands, explains the need to support European startups gaining access to market and finance: "Eighty per cent 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."

Application is open until July 15, 2016.
Click here for more information and application form.

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