EIT Digital supports the next generation of startups in the East Balkan region with a new venture program

7 selected startups from Greece, Bulgaria and Romania pitched their ideas to investors, following an intense accelerator program by EIT Digital and Found.ation, part of the ARISE Europe Venture Program, a two-stage competition that supports the establishment of deep-tech-based ventures in East and Western Balkans. 

Celebrating young entrepreneurship and fresh ideas, Found.ation and EIT Digital organized a Demo Day on July 10, during which 7 startups pitched in front of investors, corporate and state stakeholders. In its effort to promote youth entrepreneurship in the wider region of the Balkans, Arise Venture Program provides aspiring entrepreneurs with the necessary tools to structure their business model and value propositions.

The startups were selected to participate in an intense acceleration program that focuses on deep tech pre-seed startups and was organized by Found.ation in collaboration with EIT Digital’s ARISE Europe for the first time. The ARISE Europe Venture Program offers a prize of €15,000 (€5,000 in the first stage and €10,000 in the second) per applicant from EIT Digital, an expert support in the development and finalization of their MVP, and training in entrepreneurial skillset through the aforementioned Bootcamp and the respective Acceleration Phase that are provided by experienced mentors.

The selected startups participated in a 2-day bootcamp with interactive workshops, fast-pace mentoring and a diverse curriculum with the purpose of enabling participants to refine and mold their ideas into scalable businesses. A 6-week intense mentoring phase followed that prepared them for their final pitch in front of the investors, during the Program's Demo Day. The startups are expected to establish a legal entity for their company in order to successfully complete the program by September.

The teams, originating from Greece, Bulgaria and Romania, are:

EasyDoc is a platform that helps patients search for a doctor and book an appointment with a few taps.

Eliminatore is an eco-friendly algae cleaning solution for aquaculture nets.

Embiots creates an end-to-end IoT solution that monitors use, location and condition of power tools.

HireFlows is a recruitment software for SMBs, featuring an innovative matching algorithm.

Orderstate is a cloud service that brings superior supply chain control to SMBs.

Quarioo is a platform focusing on air quality and energy management for buildings.

Scoop exploits the penetration of social media to create a modern rewarding and loyalty mechanism.

The teams valued the program and the insight they received from mentors.

For Orderstate : "The program was incredibly helpful to provide the right mentorship and connecting us with the industry. The progress during the last 6 weeks was summed up perfectly in a fantastic demo day that allowed us to present and discuss our progress with like-minded investors and technology enthusiasts."

And Embiots founder said: "Our participation in ARISE program helps us move our venture on the next level, both technologically and business-wise. Found.ation, through our mentor Chris Andreikos, was our guide throughout this process and although the stress of a live hardware demo, everything went fine. Demo Day gave us the opportunity, not only to showcase our prototype but also to receive useful feedback and contacts that will help us towards our journey."

From individuals taking their first steps in the entrepreneurial world to a fully formed and already evolved company, EIT Digital and Found.ation wish to provide participants with the necessary tools to structure their business model and value propositions.

By creating an environment that focuses on generating knowledge capital while at the same time offering access to invaluable information and networks, the participants will structure a better understanding on how to approach funding opportunities and meet the requirements of potential investors.

The accelerator, supported by EIT Digital under the ARISE Europe program and facilitated by Found.ation, is one of the many activities that EIT Digital supports in Greece, proving its interest in strengthening the local entrepreneurship ecosystem.

About Found.ation

Found.ation is a leading privately funded and operated technology venture builder located in Athens, Greece. Originally established in 2011 as one of the first co-working spaces in SE Europe, it provides a full range of support services for the emerging community of Greek technology enterprises. It is a leading startup enabling platform for tech-oriented products & services in SE Europe, a digital transformation accelerator for corporations and a tech education hub.

Since 2015, Found.ation signed an exclusive agreement with EIT Digital, under the Arise Europe Program, with the objective of strengthening the Greek startup ecosystem, through the implementation of common, well-structured initiatives.

ARISE Europe, part of the EIT Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS), is a program of EIT Digital designed to stimulate regional growth in EU countries where EIT Digital is not present with one of its Nodes. The aim of the collaboration is to support startups, give them faster access to the wider European market and hook them up with potential investors.

The partnership has been renewed for a third year in 2017, and it will now include co-branded activities that will include scouting, in Romania and Bulgaria.

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