EIC Women Leadership Programme Launching Event: Acknowledging the Winds of Change

Is promoting the female role models and innovative business leaders of today – across the entrepreneurial spectrum – something that sparks your interest? You’ve come to the right place then.

To shed further light and reinforce the ongoing support on the uphill battle that has been the participation of women in the innovation, tech and business areas, the European Innovation Council (EIC) is launching a full-fledged impactful Women Leadership Programme (WLP). 50 women researchers and entrepreneurs were selected from a pool of over 200 applicants coming from various EIC funded projects (Accelerator, Pathfinder, and other Horizon 2020 legacy calls). Given this matter is becoming more important with each passing day, on the 7th  October 2021, the EIC Women Leadership Programme will be officially set in motion with a virtual event that will outline its services.

Changing the status quo has never been so important. Learn the answers to questions such as ‘Why is the EIC WLP so important’, ‘What is in it for you’, ‘What are its benefits’, ‘How to promote gender equality in the workplace’, among others, by following the launching event and meeting the programme’s participants and mentors. So, save the date: on the 7th  October 2021, from 16:00 to 18:00 (CEST, online), we’ll introduce you to the EIC Women Leadership Programme.

Apart from an overview of the programme and its services, this launching event will feature speeches and testimonials as well. You can expect the presence of high-level European Commission officials such as Mariya Gabriel (European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth) and Jean-David Malo (Director of EISMEA)Kinga Stanislawska (investor and entrepreneur, former member of the EIC Advisory Board and member of the EIC Fund Investment Committee) will also be with us to shed light on the challenges faced by females active in the world of research and innovation.

There will also be a roundtable discussion on ‘Female Leadership: where we are and where we need to go’ with contributions from EIC-funded companies and awarded female innovators, committed to challenging barriers and drive forward their innovations and business ideas.

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Apply Now: i4Trust Open Calls

i4Trust is a collaborative initiative boosting the development of innovative services around new data value chains in multiple sectors. i4Trust is building a sustainable ecosystem where companies will be able to create innovative services by means of breaking “data silos” through sharing, re-using and trading of data assets.

There is no doubt that digital transformation offers new business opportunities for SMEs, however, there are still significant barriers that limit their ability to share data and capture the real potential for innovation.

European Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) are called to play a key role in this respect since their mission is to find common mechanisms that could help their local startups, SMEs and slightly bigger companies to really scale up their businesses, contributing to the creation of smart cross-domain and cross border solutions. Ultimately, coming up with new business models fitted to solve most of the issues that are holding the EU back from realising its potential in the data economy.

In this context, the main goal of the i4Trust initiative is to boost the development of innovative services around new data value chains. We achieve this by providing the right tools, training, mentoring and funding for the creation of Data Spaces enabling trustworthy and effective data sharing. Ecosystems of collaborating SMEs and supporting DIHs will emerge in a sustainable way around such Data Spaces. Throughout the duration of the Project, i4Trust will launch two open calls to select up to 32 Bottom-Up Experiments.

i4Trust will help generate significant benefits for European SMEs that are not yet data-driven, in terms of innovative power and higher sales and revenue. Selected SMEs and DIHs will receive funding as a lump sum, ranging from €72,000 to €120,000 per consortium, depending on the number of members within each consortium.

Besides the financial support, they will join a tailored mentoring program that will onboard them into a vibrant community of collaborating SMEs, DIHs and technology partners around Data Spaces. i4Trust will help them create new services for their current customers, win new ones or enter new markets. By participating in the i4Trust community, SMEs selected through the open call will benefit from sharing knowledge and know-how as well as participation in events at the European and International levels. This will support the creation of links and synergies between them and the development of new business opportunities on an international level. Up to 32 selected Bottom-Up Experiments (up to 16 per each open call) will become part of a customized 9-month i4Trust Data Sharing Mentoring Program, which includes:

  • Refinement of the proposed Use-Case definition
  • Mentoring support for workforce re/up-skilling
  • Mentoring support on legal, operational, technical and business matters
  • Support on i4Trust technologies (building blocks).

The first i4Trust open call has been opened from May 12, 2021, and will close on October 25, 2021 at 14:00 CEST.

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BlockStart Presents 5 of Europe’s Most Promising Blockchain Startups

Meet BlockStart

BlockStart is an EU-funded Horizon 2020 DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology)/blockchain Acceleration Programme. Its main objective is to facilitate goal-oriented, business-focused, and mutually beneficial partnerships between DLT/blockchain solution providers and more traditional end-user SMEs operating in the fintech, retail and ICT sectors. BlockStart will support 60 tech startups and 60 end-user SMEs with mentoring, networking, and a total of €795,000 in equity-free grants.

BlockStart is run by a team of 3 partners: Bright Pixel, an early-stage VC investor, CIVITTA, a leading innovation management consultancy in Eastern and Central Europe, and F6S, a global tech founders’ community.

BlockStart’s top 5 DLT/blockchain startups

In its 2nd Open Call in 2020, 10 early-stage DLT/blockchain startups from all over the EU and H2020 Associated Countries have been selected to a 6-month immersive acceleration programme. From those, 5 have made it to the Pilot stage of the programme and were given the chance to test, validate and implement their blockchain-based solutions by partnering with end-user SMEs, willing to adopt their technology.

Whether you are an investor looking for your next blockchain investment, another DLT/blockchain startup looking to partner or an end-user SME wanting to implement such solutions to grow their business, check out BlockStart’s top 5 startups that are leading innovations in their area:

ComeTogether (Greece) was established in 2018. It gives control of the entire lifecycle to event organizers, with the power of blockchain. It has also developed BackTogether (Covid-19 passports), a health component integrated into ComeTogether, enabling safe restart of events.

IBISA (Luxembourg) was established in 2019. It developed Minorka, a solution that helps SMEs benefiting from the value of Earth Observation satellite data for their businesses, namely independent farmers & agri-cooperatives (risk management, smart farming, revenue forecast, etc.), food related SMEs (supply chain risks, revenue forecast) and financial services (loss/fraud detection and credit scoring).

Knowtary (Portugal) was established in 2020. It aims to create digital identities and registrations for properties or goods and integrates them with company registries and notary services so that transactions are secure, traceable, indisputable, and reliable.

LoanXChain (Italy) was established in 2017. It is the first digital secondary loan marketplace, where resources smoothly flow from savers and investors to families and corporates thanks to revamped lending capability.

Motoblockchain (Spain) was established in 2018. With Motoblockchain, the motorcycle owner can manually save all motorcycle information and the motorcycle itself can upload information recorded by Motoblockchain sensors. All the information is collected into the motorcycle’s digital identity, guaranteed by the blockchain.

Exciting times are ahead of us! By creating trust in data in ways that were not possible before, blockchain technologies have the potential to revolutionize how we share information and carry out online transactions. For this reason, BlockStart is proud to present the above mentioned startups and the work that they have been carrying out in the scope of the programme for the past 6 months.

Follow BlockStart on Social Media –  Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to keep track of everything that is going on, or subscribe to our Newsletter.

More information:

Coordinator: João Fernandes

Contact press: Nadine Teles

Website: blockstart.eu

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Apply Now: Scale-up Champions Investment Readiness Programme

Unlock the power of connecting and networking with the Scale-up Champions Investment Readiness Programme!

Scale-up Champions has opened a new call to join its Investment Readiness Programme, an initiative seeking to boost the deep-tech tech startup ecosystem by connecting startups with mentors, investors and corporates across Europe. Applications are open until 13 September for startups working in deep-tech that want to accelerate their growth, as well as for investors, business angels, venture capitalists and mentors that would like to broaden their connections and market insights.

This is the third and last edition of the programme, which has already built a network of global changemakers, including over 100 top-notch investors, venture capitalists and business angels.

Participants will enjoy a series of personalised mentoring sessions, training activities and networking events during which startups and investors will have the chance to meet one-on-one, creating new business and market opportunities and increasing and accelerating the deal flow.

If this sounds of interest, don’t miss this one-off chance and send your application for the last Investment Readiness Programme.

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Apply Now: X-Europe Call for FinTech Startups

X-Europe is looking for the 25 best solutions in FinTech!

● Training, matchmaking and promotion services are offered to the open call winners;
● Applications are open until 10th September at 5 PM CEST!

X-Europe has opened its sixth and last open call and is looking for promising European deep-tech startups in the FinTech sector to provide top-notch training, mentoring services and guiding partnerships with investors, corporations, and ecosystem builders.

Designed by five key players in the startup community: F6S, TNW, Design Terminal, Growth Tribe, and TechChill, the EU-funded programme has previously promoted cohorts in HealthTech, Agritech, Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning, Smart Cities & Sustainability and SpaceTech helping cutting-edge startups grow and bring their technologies to the market.

X-Europe has triggered our first collaboration talks with a big corporation, has helped us define our product messaging and conversion goals with our mentor Tess, and has helped us train our marketing and sales team with growth hacking mentality

Markku Palipea

CEO @ Neurisium
Markku Palipea photo

Aside from group online workshops on investment, startup readiness and business development and growth hacking training with the Growth Tribe Academy, the selected startups are assigned to a mentor and also gain exposure at the TechChill Conference (February 2022 in Riga), participation in the Acceleration week by Design Terminal and access to TechChill and TNW community incubators.

As we have refined our message with X-Europe, we have also been moving various companies through our sales pipeline. We look forward to beginning more partnerships throughout this year and to further developing our model into more languages

David Finch

CEO @ Deepnews.ai
David Finch photo

Focusing on three key regions: the Baltics, the Visegrad region, and Western Europe, X-Europe entered its last cohort with more than 1500 people engaged, between startups, ecosystem builders and companies, such as Vodafone, Egis, and SAP, contributing to building bridges in the startup ecosystem.

The remote acceleration programme of Cohort 6 – FinTech will run from October 2021 until February 2022, and applications are open from 12th July to 10th September at 5 PM CEST. Winners will get:

  • Free entry and showcasing at TechChill Conference, February 2022

  • Matchmaking opportunities with investors

  • The possibility to build partnerships with corporations (your idea might be the right solution to their business challenges)

  • Online training sessions, including market-leading courses from Growth Tribe and other workshops

  • A dedicated coach and one-on-one mentoring sessions

  • Talent matchmaking support

  • Media exposure

  • Access to the Acceleration week by Design Terminal and TechChill’s and TNW’s community incubators in Riga and Amsterdam

All services are free of charge, thanks to Startup Europe. Apply before 10th September at 5 PM! CEST:

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Fresh captures from the STARTUP3 Accelerator

Congrats to the Top5-cohort who completed the STARTUP3 acceleration programme! 

After 1 year and 3 phases of acceleration services, the STARTUP3 Business & Growth Programme ended on 30 June 2021. The mentoring programme is now over, yet that does not mean the end of the matchmaking activities. The STARTUP3 Consortium keeps supporting its startups in their B2B and fundraising activities until the end of the project in December 2021.

Throwback on the STARTUP3 acceleration programme

Sifting through the 250 applications from 36 countries covering 17 industries has only been the start to the programme which selected 5 cutting-edge projects figuring among the best startups in Europe. Shaping the programme through the COVID-19 pandemic, the ever-changing needs of participating innovators and their startups, showcasing resilience and embracing more-than-ever-unpredictable market needs has been challenging, and we are proud of the results and the amazing progress achieved by the supported startups.

In the 3-phase process, 25 startups have been competing to advance from the first (“Best potentials”) to the second (“Ideation2Product” – top 10) and third (“Product2Market”- top 5 startups) phase, based on their respective pitches. Our deep-tech Best potentials involve cutting edge technologies such as Robotics, IoT, AI, Cybersecurity, VR, Biotech and Earth Observation and play in diverse industries, such as Agritech, Greentech, Medtech, Smart City as well as Industry 4.0, Retail and Cosmetics.

Efficient matchmaking thanks to the STARTUP3 networking tools and individualised mentoring

The corporates, investors and startups are brought together not only through pitch stops, events, and workshops but also through the Founder Studio and the Cooperation Platforms. The supported founders use the Founder Studio online platform to publish and improve their projects using different technical and business guidelines, contents, and mentorship as well as to communicate with corporates and investors. In addition, startups have at their disposal the Cooperation Platform – a one-stop-shop to grasp digital opportunities and become more competitive. It is a multi-partner cooperation platform (RTOs, universities, industry associations, chambers of commerce, incubator/ accelerators, regional development agencies, governments).

During the whole acceleration programme, the finalist startups benefited from 18 collective pieces of training, 7 individual workshops and coaching, 7 monthly mentorship meetings, and 5 pitch events. Besides, more than 40 B2B connection meetings have been operated by the STARTUP3 mentors with corporations, potential clients and partners, and advising experts. The Programme also allowed cross-border startups collaboration, generating partnerships of startups with common interests, like our space startups Detektia (Spain) and Latitudo40 (Italy).

Thank you to helpful supporting experts of the STARTUP3 ecosystem

Each phase implied its own set of challenges and accompanying tailored training and mentoring sessions aimed at assessing the needs and challenges each startup faces, crafting the strategies and concrete next steps towards their growth – financially, legally, marketing and business-wise. In this regard, the STARTUP3 Consortium relies on the pool of supporting experts – of targeted markets, technologies, business – from, RTOs, Business Angels, Consultancy firms, and public institutions and EC initiatives.

Major Highlights

Moreover, through the events organised under STARTUP3 in the form of Ecosystem Discovery Missions, Pitch Stops, training and webinars, the innovators had the chance to pitch and get introduced to relevant experts, big players, and potential investors, considering their geographical distribution, facilitating quality networking, and raising the potential for new business deals and ventures.  

Innovators participated in pitch battles before VCs and BAs such as Ernests Stals and Patrick Kedziora, got coached by pitching experts such as Gleb Maltsev and competed for prizes in the form of tickets to world-renowned deep-tech events (Global Hack, TechChill, Hello Tomorrow Global Summit) and other benefits within the programme.

What now?

Matchmaking. With the end of the acceleration programme, the innovators’ journey has just begun, and STARTUP3 remains a cheerleader and matchmaker between startups, corporates and investors. With the consortium member’s expertise, STARTUP3 continues as a reliable support to provide startups with potential matches and new acceleration and funding opportunities.

B2B events. Thus, through collaboration with deep-tech events, the project will provide physical B2B opportunities by bringing its Top5 startups to the upcoming Hello Tomorrow Global Summit.  The Top5was selected to attended Investor Day, one day dedicated to investors-meeting for high-level startups. The Consortium is elaborating on other surprises in the meantime and wishes to organise a final physical event in Autumn if the global context allows it.

Access to the STARTUP3 tools. The supporting tools developed – the STARTUP3 Cooperation Platform and the Founder Studio Platform – remain available for matchmaking purposes until the end of the year.

Startups’ success stories. Moreover, STARTUP3 takes an all-encompassing approach in dissemination and communication activities for the greatest impact and promotion. Such an approach implies regular tracking and publication of our startups’ results and success stories and the development of activities such as podcasts and other audio-visual materials to be disseminated via various platforms. Lastly, in order to achieve true impact and sustainability, STARTUP3 is committed to growing beyond the initial lines of projects. By regularly assessing the success of our innovators and collecting feedback through carefully tailored surveys, the project consortium will form and present the assessment of the accelerator impact at the end of the programme along with its plans for sustainability and pathways for future collaboration.

As taught by the pitch professionals: It is the story that is at the core of all activities and successes. We continue to share the stories of our best innovators as it is our own!

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Apply Now: Scaleup4Europe Smart Region Open Call

You are a Scale-up in the smart region industry and want to be part of Scaleup4Europe? The 2nd open call for Smart Region is open – APPLY NOW!

The general goal of Scaleup4Europe is to establish sustainable support structures that connect four partnering startup ecosystems and their deep-tech member communities in an innovative way that creates a lasting and larger regional scaleup support system. To increase the efficiency of the scaling support, the project’s Scaleup Labs focus on four specific industry verticals that benefit significantly from deep tech innovations: Smart Region, Health Sciences, Agile Manufacturing and AgTech.

The 2nd Open Call dedicated to Smart Region solutions is open and Scaleup4Europe is looking for Scale-ups in the following focus areas:

(Regional or local) geo-data platforms, data catalogues and data analytics services, which serve as a source of knowledge and information for various stakeholders and use cases.

Providing age-appropriate living conditions through intelligent, flexibly designed living space, e.g. through special building technology (“Smart Home”) and age-appropriate assistance systems (Ambient Assisted Living AAL), possibility of care in one’s own rooms.

Systematic networking of those involved in planning and construction via suitable management systems (BIM). Creation of digital twins of buildings and neighbourhoods. Using building simulations to optimise new construction or refurbishment measures.

Intelligent systems for collecting and processing generation, distribution and consumption data. Optimisation of energy management through smart technologies in neighbourhoods and regions. Intelligent coordination between energy production and consumption across sectors (sector coupling). Development and implementation of smart energy solutions in residential, commercial or public buildings.

Digital solutions e.g. for air and noise measurement as well as water quality by using smart sensor technology. Optimisation of regional flows of recyclable materials, intelligent waste disposal in the region and recycling measures.

About the programme:

  • 3-month program incl. individualized support for Scale-ups in the Smart Region sector

  • Direct access to decision-makers in some of the largest Central Europe Top 500 companies

  • Mentorship by a group of Germany‘s and Europe‘s most successful entrepreneurs

  • Getting in touch with potential customers, investors and industry experts

  • Free Office Space in the brand-new Munich Urban Colab.

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Apply Now: AI4Copernicus 1st Open Calls

AI4Copernicus is looking for AI Solutions based on AI technologies and Earth Observation Data, utilising AI4EU, AI4Copernicus services and DIAS Services across 4 Industrial Domains: Health, Security, Energy & Agriculture!

AI4Copernicus aims to bridge Artificial Intelligence (AI) with Earth Observation (EO) world by making the AI4EU AI-on-demand platform the platform of choice for users of Copernicus data along the value chain (scientists, SMEs, non-tech sector).

A series of 4 open calls will be implemented, leading to 8 small-scale experiments (smaller, single-beneficiary experimental projects targeting technology-advanced users) and 9 use-cases (larger-budget projects, involving at least one non-technology user). The open calls will necessitate the utilisation of DIAS platforms, Copernicus data, the AI4EU platform and the services and resources that will be provided by the AI4Copernicus project.

AI4Copernicus will run four different rounds of open calls addressed to different target groups and collect various use cases and small scales experiments across diverse thematic areas and social causes.
Selected beneficiaries (SMEs, Start-Ups, companies, and citizens), will enter the support programme and receive:

  • funding (depending to the type of the call) to implement their project for a period of 16 months
  • AI4Copernicus resources & tools
  • Technical mentoring from an expert in the field of their project’s domain
  • Business & Sustainability Mentoring
  • Certification: AI4Copernicus Trustmark
  • Visibility through AI4Copernicus digital channels and events as AI4Copernicus Ambassadors
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Apply Now: The New European Bauhaus Acceleration Pilot Call

Are you a digital tech company developing innovative solutions that make Europe more sustainable and inclusive, improving citizens’ quality of life?

As part of the New European Bauhaus initiative, EIT Digital is looking to identify the most promising high-impact ventures in order to support their business growth and help them become international game-changers.   

The best 4 companies will receive a full year of tailored international growth support by the EIT Digital Accelerator worth €48,000 to scale up their business and boost social and economic impact for the European community.

What you will get & Who can apply

The best 4 companies will receive a full year of tailored international growth support from the EIT Digital Accelerator worth €48,000 to scale up their business.

Who can apply? Fast-growing European ‘deep tech’ startups in the growth stage (scaleups) with a differentiating product offering that leverages sophisticated, hard-to-reproduce digital technologies.

Building on the three main dimensions of the New European Bauhaus sustainability, inclusiveness and quality of experience, EIT Digital is calling for companies developing digital deep tech solutions applicable to the following domains (the list is not exclusive):

  • Digital Industry
  • Digital Cities
  • Digital Wellbeing
  • Digital Tec
  • Digital Finance

Background Information

Fostering the NEB’s mission, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) together with its thematic pan-European Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) have initiated the Cross-KIC NEB, which aims at bridging the gap between science & technology and arts & culture, under the scope of sustainability, business promotion through startups, and citizen education and engagement. 

One of the main focuses of the Cross-KIC NEB is the identification and support of the most promising NEB related ventures developing high-impact solutions for sustainable living and improved quality of life. In 2021, several different calls will be issued by the Cross-KIC partners with the aim to provide selected companies with acceleration services to grow their business and become international game-changers. 

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Apply Now: European Commission Launches Women TechEU

The European Commission launched Women TechEU – a new EU scheme supporting deep-tech start-ups led by women and helping them grow into tomorrow’s deep tech champions!

This scheme comes under the new Horizon Europe innovation ecosystems programme, reinforced by the European Innovation Council (EICs).

Data shows that only 15% of innovative start-ups are founded or co-founded by women, and a mere 6% have all-women founding teams. These women-led businesses raise less venture capital than their male-only counterparts, including at the vital early-stage investments and the amounts that they raise tend to be lower. Across Europe, only around 5% of venture capital goes to mixed teams and only 2% to all-female teams.

Through Women TechEU, we want to increase the number of women-led start-ups and create a fairer and more prosperous European deep-tech ecosystem. We believe that today’s support to deep-tech female founders will increase their chances of success and boost the overall European innovation ecosystem by drawing in more female talent.

Mariya Gabriel

Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth
Mariya Gabriel photo

Women TechEU addresses this innovation gender gap by supporting women-led deep tech start-ups at the early, riskiest stage. The scheme will offer financial support to women-led startups with grants of €75 000 and first-class coaching and mentoring through the EIC’s Women Leadership Programme. The EIC’s main Accelerator programme also targets women-led start-ups, but the new Women TechEU scheme provides support at the earlier, formative stage of companies in order to increase the number of women launching their own start-ups.

Up to 50 promising deep tech start-ups from EU Member States and Associated Countries will be funded under the first Women TechEU pilot call. Applicants must have founded or co-founded an early stage deep tech startup, and hold a top management position (CEO, CTO or equivalent) in the company. The company must be registered and established in an EU Member State or Associated Country for at least six months at the time of the submission. The call for proposals closes at 17:00 (Brussels time, CET) on 10 November 2021.

Women TechEU is part of a series of measures to boost female innovators. Earlier this month, the European Commission announced that it received the record number of applications for the EU Prize for Women Innovators, a testament to the need for initiatives like these celebrating and supporting women innovators and entrepreneurs.

Background information

The opportunities created by novel technologies and disruptive innovations promise to deliver the fair and sustainable recovery Europe needs. However, if half the population is overlooked as a source of innovation and creative talent, Europe could miss out on these opportunities.

Deep tech accounts for over a quarter of Europe’s startup ecosystem, with European deep tech companies now valued at a combined €700 billion and counting. However, women remain largely underrepresented across this industry.

Founded on innovation in engineering and advances in science, deep tech startups tend to have longer R&D cycles, and often take more time and capital to build than other startups. Most could fail in their first years if they do not receive the right support and investment early on. Women in deep tech often face the additional hurdle of gender bias and stereotypes, particularly prevalent in sectors like technology.

Achieving a Union of Equality that promotes gender equality in all spheres of life, is one of the major priorities of the European Commission. The Commission is working with Member States and Associated Countries to promote women in leadership and close the gender gap in technology and innovation.

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