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We’re putting this one first, because the application window for the EIT challenge closes in a few days.
If Europe ever does become the digital innovation capital of the world, it will be in part because of EIT Digital.
European Institute of Innovation and Technology is the umbrella organization for EIT Digital and has a significant network. This is an ambitious effort – educational as well as entrepreneurial – backed by a number of universities and corporations across Europe. Corporate partners including British Telecom, Philips, Airbus, Ericsson, Nokia and Siemens. University partners including technical universities in the Netherlands, France, Italy and the Scandinavian countries. You can see the full list here.
So what’s so great about EIT Digital?
Well, they have several programs including:
• A scale-up accelerator. The accelerator focuses on access to markets and access to capital on the way to raising a multi-million euro A-round. Since 2012, the EIT Digital Accelerator has supported more than 230 startups from different European countries access new markets and helped them raise more than 80 million euros in investment to date, according to the website.
• There’s also an EIT Digial Startup Challenge. A cohort of 25 scale-ups in five categories will be selected to pitch their product/service in front of an international jury of corporates and investors at the final EIT Challenge event in October. The categories are: industry, cities, wellbeing, infrastructure and finance. The two best companies per category will enter the 12-month EIT Digital Accelerator worth 50k to scale up their business. The first prize winner in each category receives a cash prize of another 50,000 euros.
You can apply here.
In the great European tradition, EIT programs include more studies than action. BUT, EIT has built a network across Europe including co-location centers in Berlin, Eindhoven, Helsinki, London, Paris, Stockholm, Trento, as well as in Budapest and Madrid. And of course, there’s a hub in Silicon Valley.
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