136 tech companies from 20 countries are in the running in Europe’s most prestigious scaleup competition, the EIT Digital Challenge. Digital technology ventures are competing in five categories. In each category, the best five teams will be invited to contend for a €100,000 prize package to accelerate their international growth. It includes a full year of dedicated support from the EIT Digital Accelerator and a cash prize of €50,000. For the 2017 edition, most applications came from Germany, followed by France, the United Kingdom and Spain.
"We have set the requirements very high by looking for startups in the growth stage, so called scaleups. Applicants had to show a significant amount of revenue or investment,” says Dominik Krabbe, EIT Digital Challenge Lead. “We are very impressed by the excellent applications we received from all across Europe. We are looking forward to meeting the best ones in person and identifying the ones that we will support to become true European success stories."
The final events will take place at end of November and beginning of December 2017 in the following cities: Trento (Digital Cities), Eindhoven (Digital Industry), Madrid (Digital Wellbeing), Budapest (Digital Finance) and Berlin (Digital Infrastructure). The finalists will be announced by early November.
- A total of 136 tech scaleups applied in five categories
- 20 EU countries are represented
- Average revenue in 2016: €425,000
- Average funding raised: €2,000,000
- Average team size: 17 persons
- 59% of the companies have female founders or co-founders
- More than half of all entries were in the Digital Industry and Digital Infrastructure categories
The winning teams will receive international growth support from the EIT Digital Accelerator to scale up their businesses in Europe and beyond. The EIT Digital Accelerator comprises a team of 40 experienced business developers and finance experts operating from 13 cities across Europe, along with a hub in Silicon Valley. Since 2012, the EIT Digital Accelerator has supported more than 250 startups to access new markets, and helped them raise more than €80 million in investment to date. Accelerator alumni companies have gone on to raise over €250 million in total investment.