74 start-ups out of 461 applications have been nominated for this year’s Idea Challenge finals. With finalists coming from 17 different countries the contest has significantly grown with variety and internationality in comparison to last year, when the selected start-ups came from 11 countries. The start-ups will pitch to a wide audience of potential buyers and investors in one of eight categories at events across Europe.
Find our more about the nominated start-ups for each category and final events here:
Future Cloud (final October 19-20 in Rennes, France)
Smart Energy Systems (final November 4 in Berlin, Germany)
Cyber Security & Privacy (final November 19 in Trento, Italy)
Urban Life & Mobility (final November 23 in London, United Kingdom)
Health & Wellbeing (final November 25 in Eindhoven, Netherlands)
Smart Spaces (final December 1 in Helsinki, Finland)
Internet of Things (final December 3 in Stockholm, Sweden)
Cyber Physical Systems (final December 4 in Paris, France)
Three winners from each category will be chosen by an expert jury and will receive a package including a cash prize up to €40,000, mentoring support, workspace, and access to buyer networks across the EU and beyond. Winners will also be part of EIT Digital’s unique ecosystem, an international innovation network that includes global companies, world-leading universities, research institutes, and cutting-edge innovators, and be supported in international growth through the EIT Digital Business Development Accelerator.
"Our EIT Digital Idea Challenge has quickly established itself which is demonstrated by the fact that we attract high quality, high potential, disruptive digital innovators from across Europe. Scaling up these European start-ups to global actors in the world markets is central to our strategy to position Europe in the global digital economy." states Willem Jonker, CEO of EIT Digital.
This year for the first time teams from the Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Latvia, Portugal and Romania entered a final event. Having 15 teams, Germany brought the most finalists in, followed by France and the Netherlands.
Facts & figures:
- Submissions: 461 tech start-ups from 26 EU countries applied in eight categories
- Finalists: 74 tech start-ups from 17 countries (compared to 11 countries in 2014)
- First-time entries in the finals by the Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Latvia, Portugal and Romania
- 83% of the finalists come from outside Germany, France or Italy (compared to 43% in 2014)
"Most female" category: Health & Wellbeing with 60 % female founders or co-founders compared to 25 % among all final start-ups.