Deep Tech scaleups: apply now to the EIT Digital Challenge 2021

European fast-growing startups in digital technologies are invited to take part in the 2021 edition of the flagship competition to win international growth support.

The EIT Digital Challenge, the leading competition for European digital deep tech companies, is now accepting applications. Fast-growing startups with existing customers - so called scaleups - are invited to apply in one of five thematic areas: Digital Tech, Digital Cities, Digital Industry, Digital Wellbeing and Digital Finance. The best three companies will receive prizes totalling €250,000 in cash and in kind. The application deadline is 10 May 2021.

"We will select 20 companies out of all applicants and invite them to an exclusive event in the autumn where they will pitch to a jury of high-profile corporates and investors," says Shehryar Piracha, Head of the EIT Digital Accelerator"A total of 3 winners will be announced during this event, one Challenge winner and two runners-up. They all will receive a full year of tailored support from the EIT Digital Accelerator, valued at €50,000. On top of that, the Challenge winner will receive a cash prize of €100,000."

The competition is focusing on ‘deep tech' scaleups, broadly defined as technology companies with a differentiating product offering, leveraging sophisticated technology that is often protected or hard to reproduce.

"It is our ambition to help companies overcome the fragmented European market and successfully grow across the continent. The EIT Digital Challenge is our key instrument to identify the best European deep tech entrepreneurs and help them, through our Accelerator, to raise funds, access new markets, and scale up internationally. We support them to become leading companies on the global market and enhance Europe's competitiveness in digital," says EIT Digital Chief Innovation Officer Chahab Nastar.

Being awarded by the EIT Digital Challenge represents a significant milestone for scaleups on the verge to grow and expand internationally.

"Winning the EIT Digital Challenge was a huge recognition for the work of our team and being named by EIT Digital as best deep tech startup in Europe was really meaningful at this point in time - the beginning of our scaleup stage", says Augustin Marty, CEO & Co-Founder of Deepomatic, who won the 1st prize of the EIT Digital Challenge in 2020.

Since its launch in 2014, the EIT Digital Challenge has attracted more than 2,500 entries from all over Europe. Prominent award winners include KONUX, Medicus.AI, or SidekickHealth, digital technology scaleups that have become internationally successful companies.

How to apply

The deadline for applications is 10 May 2021. For further information on selection criteria, and to apply, please visit

About the EIT Digital Accelerator

The EIT Digital Accelerator provides tailor-made growth support for fast-growing European digital deep tech scaleups by helping them raise capital, find customers and scale up internationally, thanks to a distributed team of business developers and fundraising experts operating from 10 European countries. Since 2012, the EIT Digital Accelerator has supported startups and scaleups from 18 countries who have raised over 1 billion Euro in investment. The EIT Digital Accelerator has been recognized as a world's top public Business Accelerator by UBI Global, and as one of the top 4 accelerator brands in Europe, according to Startup Heatmap Europe.

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