Join us in boosting entrepreneurship and innovation for a strong digital Europe
Application deadline: 8 February 2023
The EIT Digital is looking for EIT Digital Venture Program Partners in Hungary, Italy and Spain to support for development and deployment of local Venture Program editions in mentioned countries
To this end, the EIT Digital launches an open call with submission deadline on 8 February 2023. The process is guided by EIT Digital Strategic Innovation Agenda 2022-2024 (SIA), which identifies the five focus areas of our strategy: Digital Tech, Digital Industry, Digital Cities, Digital Wellbeing and Digital Finance. An overview is available on page 13 of the SIA. As a result, proposals are expected to be aligned with these areas.
The EIT Digital Venture Program is a two-stage competition whose mission is to support the establishment of deep technology-based ventures by helping innovators in:
- developing and finalizing their Minimum Viable Product (MVP)1, e.g. a market-validated functioning version of their product
- establishing their company.
The program is executed and delivered by Innovation Partners of EIT Digital.
In 2022, the program was delivered in 7 editions over 19 countries. In the last 5 years, the EIT Digital Venture Program has invested in the creation of 124 deep tech startups, supporting more than 200 entrepreneurs in their early stages of development.
In March 2021, the Greek startup Oliveex, a graduate of the 2020 edition of the Venture Program, closed a €270K financing round to expand its team, and boost research and development activities. Another 2020 graduate, Revolab, quickly went from inception to closing a pre-seed round and expanding to the US. Polish startup Restimo in the end of 2022 has raised €255,000 to develop its RestHub application for the catering industry.
EIT Digital reserves the right to choose at its entire discretion and without any further liability on EIT Digital’s part, to not execute this edition of the program if the number of applications does not reach the required amount for the development of the program. EIT Digital shall communicate said circumstance to the applicants of the cancelled edition as soon as reasonably possible.
The Venture Program 2023 call is open to residents in countries listed hereinafter.
EU Member States: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain.
H2020 Associated Countries in Europe: Montenegro, Republic of North Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine.
For more details on the Venture Program 2023 process, please refer to the Annex A.
1 A minimum viable product (MVP) is a development technique in which a new product or website is developed with sufficient features to satisfy early adopters. The final, complete set of features is only designed and developed after considering feedback from the product's initial users.
How to participate
EIT Digital is a partnership-based organization. Organisations that are not yet a Partner are expected to initiate their application for partnership before the submission of the proposal. If the proposal is selected, the application must then be completed before the start of the activity.
It is highly recommended to be in contact with EIT Digital before the submission date to ensure a clear understanding of the partnership requirements.
More information including details on how to become a partner are available at: https://www.eitdigital.eu/our-community/become-a-partner/
Proposals need to be filled and submitted via the email address: email@example.com.
Proposals need to be formally submitted via the email address: firstname.lastname@example.org before the deadline on 8 February 2023, 5 pm CEST (Brussels time).
Should the quality or number of proposals be insufficient, EIT Digital reserves the right to open a second submission before the 18 February 2023 to collect and assess new EIT Digital Venture Program Partner proposals.
Each eligible submitted application shall be evaluated by experts from EIT Digital. The main selection criteria are the demonstration of capabilities to deliver a local edition of Venture Program which in the view of the evaluators holds the most promise to be successful.
The assessment by EIT Digital experts will be based on the questions below. Internal reviewers will be asked to provide a assessment for each question, as well as an assessment and comments of the whole proposal.
- How well the proposal aligns with EIT Digital Focus Areas and Strategic Innovation Agenda 2022-2024?
- How well is the proposal aligned with the requirements ? (Venture Program scope and process)
- How does the profile of the team members and previous experience in successfully implementing similar activities ensure the proposal’s successful implementation?
- How well will the activity promote the programme to the participants?
EIT Digital will, in good faith, address any potential disputes on the outcome of the selection process described in this document in a timely manner. An appeal should be issued, by the proposers, to the attention of the relevant Node Director, by factually underpinning the alleged incorrections in the evaluation and feedback provided by EIT Digital.
To respect the tight timeline, the following will apply:
- Publication of the results: approximately 1 week after the submittal deadline.
- Proposers should bring the appeal to the attention of the relevant Node Director within 5 business days from the publication of the results.
- The Node Director examines the appeal, and if the grounds for the appeal are found with merit, then the appeal will be sent for a second review by the Management Committee. The EIT Digital Management Committee will review the appeal and make a final decision.
- EIT Digital launches on 31 January 2023 an open call with submission deadline on 8 February 2023.
- Review process will take place 8-10 February 2023.
- Results will be published by 11 February 2023.
Structure of the Venture Program
By applying to the Venture Program, teams participate in a two-stage competition. In the first stage teams have the chance to win a “Growth Package” consisting of a cash prize and participation in the pre-Acceleration Phase. Admission to the second stage requires the successful completion of the first stage and the incorporation of the venture, and gives applicants the chance to win the “Final Prize”, a cash prize of either 10,000 € or 20,000 € based on their performance. Established ventures will provide EIT Digital with equity.
The Growth Package consists of an 8 week pre-Acceleration Phase delivered by qualified experts, and a cash prize of 5,000 €. The pre-Acceleration Phase will support teams in the development and finalization of their MVP and in the establishment of their venture. It will provide training in entrepreneurial skillset through a two-day bootcamp and an 8 week-long virtual mentoring program and features a Pitch Day as defined in the Venture Program. The pre-Acceleration Phase for this call will be executed by the EIT Digital Venture Program Partner and will be overseen by the Venture Program Committee consisting of 2 representatives from EIT Digital and 2 representatives of the Partner. The pre-Acceleration Phase will:
- Help selected teams to focus on market verticals & offer, shifting from a product to a market perspective.
- De-risk deep-tech ventures via product and market validation, pushing participants to test market hypotheses with real potential customers.
- Create opportunities for peer-to-peer learning among selected teams encouraging a strong community spirit that will last far beyond the end of the program.
- Enable participants to maximize their product-market fit by exposing them to real market actors in their target sectors.
- Prepare the participants for a seed stage investment from Business Angels or Venture Capital firms.
At the end of the pre-Acceleration Phase, successful participating teams are expected to have executed and validated their Minimal Viable Product (MVP) and to have established their one and only one venture through incorporation in one of the current 27 EU member states.
Teams that a) have been awarded the Growth Package and b) have successfully completed their MVP and incorporated their venture in one of the EU 27 countries , will be eligible to apply for a prize of either 10,000 € or 20,000 € depending on their performance, payable to the venture.