Category: News

Deep Tech Scaleups: Apply Now to the EIT Digital Challenge 2020

STARTUP3 encourages European fast-growing startups in digital technologies to take part in the 2020 edition of the flagship competition to win international growth support!

Brussels, 23 April 2020 – The EIT Digital Challenge, the competition for European digital deep tech companies, is now accepting applications. Fast-growing startups with existing customers – so-called scale-ups – are invited to apply in one of the following five thematic areas: Digital Tech, Digital Cities, Digital Industry, Digital Wellbeing and Digital Finance. The best five companies will receive prizes totalling €350,000 in cash and in kind. The application deadline is 7 June 2020.

“Among all applicants to the competition, we will select 20 companies and invite them to an exclusive event in November where they will pitch to a jury of high-profile corporates and investors,” says Dolf Wittkamper, Head of the EIT Digital Accelerator. “A total of 5 winners will be announced during this event, one Challenge winner and four 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’ scale-ups, broadly defined as technology companies with a differentiating product offering, leveraging sophisticated technology which is often protected or hard to reproduce. “To overcome the current crisis, we need the imagination and the execution of the best entrepreneurs out there. With the EIT Digital Challenge, we are determined to identify the best European deep tech entrepreneurs and support them in building major companies that will tackle the world’s major challenges,” EIT Digital’s Chief Innovation Officer, Chahab Nastar, says.

Being awarded by the EIT Digital Challenge represents a significant milestone for scaleups willing to grow and expand internationally. “Winning the EIT Digital Challenge helped us seize a couple of major deals for which we were waiting for the clients’ final decisions. In less than 6 months, EIT Digital has already proved to provide us huge media coverage, some welcome financial support as well as numerous sales opportunities in Europe for which we are very grateful”- says Lucas Le Bell, CEO and Co-Founder of CerbAir, who was awarded in 2019 and joined the EIT Digital Accelerator shortly after. The EIT Digital Accelerator consists of a pan-European team of business developers and fundraising experts operating from 17 cities across Europe, along with a hub in Silicon Valley. Since 2012, the EIT Digital Accelerator has supported over 300 fast-growing startups to sign up customers and raise capital. In 2019, the EIT Digital Accelerator was ranked among the World’s Top 5 Public Business Accelerators by UBI Global, and one of the top Accelerator brands in Europe, according to a survey by the European Startup Initiative.

Application criteria

To apply for the EIT Digital Challenge, companies must fulfil the following criteria: they must be based in one of the member states of the European Union, United Kingdom, or in one of the Horizon 2020 associated countries, they have to be in the growth stage (to be proven by showing annual revenue of over €300,000 or at least €2m in total funding), and they should be in their first ten years of existence. Since its launch in 2014, the competition has attracted more than 2000 entries from all over Europe. Most of the winning scaleups have gone on to become internationally successful companies. Now it’s your turn!

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STARTUP3 Open Call Statistics

The STARTUP3 Open Call is now officially closed! In the past two months, the resilience and the spirit of innovation have prevailed, and we are proud to announce that 250 applications from 36 countries have arrived.

You have had 2 months to shoot a 2-minute video and you did it, we thank you for believing in your idea, engaging your creativity and trusting us with recognizing your potential!

STARTUP3 Open Call attracted applicants from 36 different countries, including 23 out of 27 countries of the European Union (EU) and most of the eligible countries outside the EU. Out of all Horizon 2020 Eligible Countries and Territories, only 7 of them are marked as “white spots” – Croatia, Faroe Islands, Iceland, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro and Slovakia – and given this wide geographical spread, we are thrilled to note the great potential for cross-border deep-tech development. The highest numbers of applications are coming from Serbia, Greece, France and Italy, while the number of covered countries showcases the impact created outside of the consortium-based countries and relevance and importance of the project’s offerings to the whole European ecosystem.

The STARTUP3 has adopted a sector-agnostic approach, calling for the deep-tech startups and SMEs which dare to branch out of their comfort zone and impact areas intertwined with many aspects of our daily lives. There are at least* 17 industries covered by the applicants and this success is yours as much as ours, as we pave the way for better tomorrow together and discover how deep technology can be a solid base and support where an unexpected turn of events is no crisis, but rather the opportunity to showcase its versatility and various fields of application.

*those where industries that participants have marked. 87 participants have marked “other” implying that the scope of coverage is even wider than showcased.

  • Aeronautics
  • Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
  • Automotive
  • Biotechnology
  • Construction
  • Defence Industries
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Food and Drink
  • Healthcare
  • Maritime
  • Medical Devices
  • Other Industries
  • Postal Services
  • Raw Materials, Metals, Minerals and Forest-based
  • Social Economy
  • Space
  • Textiles
  • Tourism
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STARTUP3 at The Global Hack: An international digital movement against COVID-19

The Global Hack aims to partner people from around the world with one another to exchange ideas, know-how and best practices to come up with creative and nimble solutions. Through bringing together world-class mentors and talented teams, solutions can be built for a better tomorrow. 

The communities of innovation, research and knowledge are currently focusing on finding solutions to the current global pandemic crisis. As one of the partners of the STARTUP3 Accelerator Programme, The National Documentation Center (EKT), with specialized staff in the fields of digital health, emerging technologies and innovation, participates in important schemes and initiatives that activate knowledge and innovation communities across the connected world against COVID-19 and strongly supports the movement Global Hack.

Global Hack is an international initiative aimed at developing new digital applications and methodologies that respond to the effects of the pandemic. It is organized by Accelerate Estonia, Garage48, Guaana with the support of Devpost. Through the online meeting of experts of recognized prestige and talented teams, original solutions for a better future.

Its aim is the connection and collaboration of people globally, so that they will be able to exchange ideas, know-how, best practices to deal with emerging crises, throughout new creative solutions for the benefit of the society.

Global Hack will take place exclusively online from 9 to 12 of April 2020. In this new call, everyone is welcome to participate.

Applications are submitted on the website of Guaana. In addition, on Reddit anyone who wishes to can post ideas in order to find collaborations and the hackathon guidelines.

See more information about Global Hack here.

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Webinar: STARTUP3 Ecosystem Discovery Mission

Due to the current health context, STARTUP3 has decided to maintain its Ecosytem Discovery Mission which should have been hosted in Sophia-Antipolis on March 26 and 27, turning it into a webinar.

STARTUP3 Project has decided to face the current crisis prompting new opportunities, of which the possibilty to give this event a broader European dimension as it is now accessible by anyone in Europe!

If you are an innovative startup willing to accelerate your business and looking for collaboration opportunities with big players or if you are a cluster interested in deep tech innovation and digital technologies, if you are seeking for cross-border and cross-sectoral innovation opportunities for your startups members, if you want to give them an occasion to apply and follow a tailor-made acceleration programme from home, you might want to join STARTUP3 Discovery Mission Webinar!

The STARTUP3 partners (business accelerators, clusters, DIH) will present you their deep tech ecosytems, will give you more details about the STARTUP3 acceleration programme, and big players of SCS Cluster’s ecosytem, (Symag, Amadeus, INRIA,) will present among others their innovation challenges.

Each session will be interspersed with 10-minutes questions-answers sessions to allow you to interact with the speakers.

Registration Form

Webinar Agenda

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STARTUP3: Two Sides of the Same Coin: Crisis and Opportunity

The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word 'crisis' – one brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger –but recognise the opportunity.

Currently, the whole world is facing a crisis caused by Coronavirus (COVID-19). Many people have been personally affected by it and many are in quarantine in order to contribute to a halt of its spreading. We salute the medical workers and those that put the safety of others first, and we divert from regular means to promote an Open Call for the STARTUP3.

Nevertheless, we aim to disrupt the state of crisis and market barriers which are now shifting, we will maintain active and encourage deep-tech startups to apply to our call – now more than ever. Not only markets but standards and lifestyles are reconfiguring, showing the gaps amidst which the opportunities for improvement lie. People are rediscovering true values, and innovation and communication are the keys to overcoming the current state of events and what might come out of it.

Innovation, creativity and strive to make changes do not know limitations, they thrive under them. STARTUP3 is encouraging your online applications, videos made from the safety of your own home – because we believe in your idea. This is the time to separate from the culture that rewards hitting goals for the sake of performance metrics, time to reinvent or enhance yourself and your team and to map out action steps towards the goal you want to reach.
We look forward to your applications and challenge you to get creative in these newly created conditions!

Author: Tajana Medaković

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STARTUP3 Kick-Off Meeting Novi Sad

The STARTUP3 Kick-Off Meeting took place on the 16th and 17th of January in Novi Sad, Serbia, where seven partners from five European countries gathered to discuss in person the project’s objectives, and future work and expected plans.

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In order to come a step closer to the STARTUP3 Project, the InoSens team is organising an Informative presentation and a panel discussion called „TECH DEEP DIVE: STARTUP YOUR IDEA“. It will be held in premises of the Business Incubator Novi Sad on the 16th of January at 18:00 CET and it is organised for you – startups, SMEs, young entrepreneurs, and researchers!

STARTUP3 business and growth programme aims to build an ecosystem where cluster SMEs, technology SMEs, market-oriented researchers, deep-tech ventures, individual innovators/researchers with innovative ideas will be given an opportunity to bring their idea into an industry. The target audience will be guided by experts from digital clusters and Digital Innovation Hubs who will support them and connect them with big players, as well as select the most promising ones.

What can you expect during the panel discussion?

In addition to introducing the accelerator programme, you will have a chance to hear more about the local startup ecosystem, opportunities, and challenges that will be positioned ahead of it in the future. We are continuing to develop, acquire knowledge from the bigger companies and always innovate.

In that manner, we are going to talk with diverse people from different branches. You will have a chance to hear about the entrepreneurial ecosystem from more angles from the Project Coordinator, representative of Pole SCS, Guillaume Roux, Dušan Vukanović from ICT Hub Belgrade, Zoja Kukić from „Digital Serbia“ Initiative and Jean-Luc Fretard from Hola – UP, partner on the STARTUP3 Project.

Furthermore, the STARTUP3 business and growth programme will be based on a 3‐stage process:  BEST POTENTIALS > MENTORING: IDEATION2PRODUCT > PRODUCT2MARKET.

During the first phase, STARTUP3 will support innovators to challenge their concepts and ideas, identify market problems, estimate the MVP and overall product effort, as well as also to identify their competitors from the deep-tech sphere.

In the second phase teams will be prepared to enter the last stage – Product2Market by submitting a valid and strong Executive Summary and through soft skills necessary for a successful business meeting.

And finally, the best 5 projects will have a chance for building solid partnerships and detecting real investment opportunities in the STARTUP3 business and growth programme.

Maybe you are interested in the business part of developing your idea, or you are a tech diver and you need help in this sphere of the business. Come and hear what we have to bring to you, check what can you benefit from the acceleration in STARTUP3. The only thing you have to do is to register yourself and you will be a step closer to the achievement of your fairytale dream!

Open Call will launch in February, so stay tuned, follow us on the website and social media channels and become one of the BIG FIVE!

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Panel discussion “TECH DEEP DIVE: STARTUP your IDEA” which will be held at Business Incubator Novi Sad on the 16th of January 2020, will host mindful panelists who will explain in more detail the concept of the STARTUP3 project and what can be gained by participating in it.

Are you interested to join us? Click on the button below and register yourself so you can hear from our successful panelists all about the project and startup/SME community in Serbia!

For the beginning, we are presenting to you our panel discussion participants, and, of course, our panel moderator.

The moderator of the panel will be Ivana Sabo, community manager in Business Incubator. Her passion for work and the community in Business Incubator are telling more than anything else about her excellence and dedication. She is skilled in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), PHP, WordPress, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Event Management. She is a strong media and communication professional with a Bachelor with Honours in Political Science and International Affairs focused in International Politics from Faculty of Political Science, University of Belgrade.

The first panelist is Jean-Luc Fretard from HOLA-UP, one of the partners on the project. Jean-Luc is an innovator with 25 years of experience in creating, developing and managing digital solutions and businesses. Years spent as Director of Innovation, Managing Director, and Board Member of various companies and organizations, large and small, have earned him unshakable confidence in the power of collective intelligence as well as great acuteness in what hampers creation and innovation. In 2018, he co-founded the Startup Studio HOLA-UP, as CEO with extraordinary people. Jean-Luc will present a unique methodology that will be used during the STARTUP3 project.

Dušan Vukanović is an innovation consultant, entrepreneur, and lecturer. He has more than 15 years of experience in implementing various consulting projects in areas of human resources management, organizational development, strategic communications, and innovation. In ICT Hub, a leading organization in the area of corporate innovation, which he joined in 2015, Dušan is in charge of designing and delivering programs that support the most successful companies in Serbia and the region on their innovation journeys.

The next one is our special lady, Zoja Kukić. Zoja is the Startup Ecosystem Programme Director for the Digital Serbia Initiative and the co-founder of Startit. She is working together with entrepreneurs, investors, startup support organizations and corporations in order to create the right environment for Serbian startups to grow. Zoja obtained a Bachelor’s and Masters’s degree at the Faculty of Economics, University of Belgrade and is active in women-empowerment activities in the tech and business sector.

And finally, the last, but not least, Guillaume Roux, representative of Pole SCS, coordinator of the STARTUP3 Project. Guillaume Roux has been in charge of the International Affairs and European Innovation projects at SCS since 2013. He has over ten years’ experience in the management of European innovation projects and is responsible for this activity at SCS, for the cluster and its members. Since 2018, he has been the coordinator of the IoT4Industry project, a 5 million H2020 cascade funding project for the integration of IoT technologies (including Big Data, AI, Digital Security) in machines, industrial processes and factories in Europe. He has a good overview of Industry 4.0 technologies and use cases in Europe, and is well connected to the different actors of its value chain (R&D centers, large companies, SMEs, clusters, Digital Innovation Hubs…).

We hope that you will enjoy during the panel, as much as we are excited about starting the new project that will help the startup/SME community around Europe! And don’t forget to register! 😊

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Are you a startup, SME, researcher or innovator and you want to develop your idea within big European companies? If you want that in one place, in one project, the new one called STARTUP3 starts in January 2020 and you can be part of it! The project and its benefits will be presented in the premises of the Business Incubator Novi Sad on the 16th of January.

A panel discussion called “TECH DEEP DIVE: STARTUP YOUR IDEA” will be organised as part of the event. Participants of the panel will be representatives of the STARTUP3 Project, European Commission, ICT Hub from Belgrade, as well as representatives of the Corporate Community involved in the project. The moderator of the panel will be Ivana Sabo, from the Business Incubator Novi Sad.

Sound interesting?

In addition to introducing the accelerator programme, you will have a chance to hear more about the local startup ecosystem, opportunities and challenges that lie ahead of it in the future. We are continuing to develop, acquire knowledge from bigger companies and always innovate.

Be present, discover something new and join us in the panel discussion, it will be remarkable. The theme that we will be discussing is opportunities for developing startups and SMEs within EU projects, how to use it in the best way as well as how to cooperate with big companies.

Get ready with your questions and see you in Business Incubator on the 16th of January at 18:00 CET!


18:00 – Welcome Speech & Introduction

18:05 – What is the STARTUP3 Project?

18:15 – Panel discussion, theme “TECH DEEP DIVE: STARTUP YOUR IDEA”

19:30 – 20:00 – Networking & cocktails

Please register yourself or your company, so you can get information on time!


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