EIT Digital Challenge awards the 3 best European digital deep tech scaleups of 2021

  • The 20 most promising deep tech scaleups competed in the EIT Digital Challenge 2021 finals.
  • The 3 best companies receive prizes totalling € 250.000, including international growth support by the EIT Digital Accelerator.

EIT Digital has awarded the 3 best European deep tech companies in the online final of the EIT Digital Challenge scaleup contest 2021.

The first prize went to Connecting Food from France. The other two winners are Cubbit (Italy) and Nect (Germany).

“I was really impressed by the level of the companies that I saw pitching, really promising companies, we are very proud that Connecting Food was chosen. We have really great work to be doing and we are thrilled to be accelerated by the EIT Digital team,” says Maxine Roper, Co-Founder of the 1st prize winner Connecting Food.

A record number of 409 scaleups from 33 countries applied in the 8th edition of the EIT Digital’s flagship contest for digital deep tech companies. The EIT Digital Challenge targets European digital technology scaleups focused on fast growth of their business in Europe and worldwide. The companies applied in one of five strategic innovation areas: Digital Tech, Digital Industry, Digital Cities, Digital Finance and Digital Wellbeing.

The winners of this year’s competition have raised on average €7 million funding, have average revenue of €1.4 million and average team size of 45 people.

The 3 awarded companies will join the EIT Digital Accelerator program for their European expansion, both fundraising and customer acquisition. In addition to that, first prize winner receives a cash prize of €100,000.

“We do not organize the EIT Digital Challenge for the sake of having yet another startup competition,” states Chahab Nastar, Chief Innovation Officer at EIT Digital. “Our ambition is for Europe to build global dominant companies. The 20 finalists are the top 5% among 409 submissions that we have received. The popularity of the EIT Digital Challenge makes the competition extremely selective.  All 20 finalists have the potential to become European Unicorns. The jury saw outstanding qualities in the 3 winners. We now welcome them into the EIT Digital Accelerator and will give them hands-on dedicated support for pan European fundraising and customer acquisition”.

3 flagship scaleups strengthening the digital future of Europe

The 20 finalists presented their innovative digital solutions to juries composed of tech specialists, investors, and c-suite level executives of European technology corporations. After thorough analysis of the scaleups, their technology and market success, the jury selected the 3 winners.

  • Connecting Food (France) - leverages blockchain technology to make the food systems more transparent.
  • Cubbit (Italy) - transforms underutilized resources at the edge of the Internet into next-generation b2b cloud services: zero-knowledge encryption, 2x more cost-efficient and 10x greener.
  • Nect (Germany) - highly converting and compliant remote Identity Verification solution using Robo-Ident, an AI-powered, patent-pending technology.

“It is important to promote sustainable agriculture and food in Europe, and doing it through digital technology is the way forward. We are planning to grow our clients and scale in European countries. To do that we will be raising a Series A round and we are counting on the support of EIT Digital Accelerator team to go forward,” says Maxine Roper, Co-Founder of Connecting Food.

Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Cubbit, Stefano Onofri, elaborates, “This victory acknowledges how the European innovation ecosystem recognizes the importance to scale such an enabling technology, in order to compete with hyperscalers and enforce Digital Sovereignty by protecting the environment. This is a strategic priority both for businesses and public institutions”.

“Scaling our business in Europe is a particular challenge,” shares Benny Bennet Jürgens, CEO and Founder of Nect. “We are fortunate to have support from EIT Digital Accelerator at this time. Especially important for us will be the access to markets and potential customers. This will bring us closer to our goal of becoming the leading European identity wallet, including identity verification and eSignatures”.

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