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EIT Digital: fostering digital innovation and entrepreneurship in Europe

In the face of challenges like scaling innovative products, accessing global markets, and securing vital funding, choosing the right partners is essential. EIT Digital’s initiatives provide critical support through training, mentorship, funding and strategic business development, helping startups overcome these hurdles and thrive.


EIT Digital’s offering for companies in the New Nordics

EIT Digital is at the forefront of fostering digital innovation and entrepreneurship in Europe. Their comprehensive programs support entrepreneurs and startups at every stage of development, from the initial concept to market expansion. Here’s an overview of their key initiatives:

1. Speed Master: This program offers an intensive, hands-on course designed for early-stage startup founders to quickly develop and refine their entrepreneurial skills. Participants gain essential skills in validation, business modeling, fundraising, team development and pitching.

2. Venture Incubation Program: This initiative focuses on transforming innovative ideas into viable businesses. Startups receive support from ideation to securing their first customers. The program, which runs in 24 countries via incubation partners, offers up to €25 000 in funding, mentorship, networking opportunities, and access to EIT Digital’s vast network of partners.

3. Open Innovation Factory: Targeted at startups with some traction, this program helps scale existing solutions by providing resources and support for achieving significant revenue growth. This pan-European initiative connects startups, corporates and academia, with EIT Digital not only financially supporting the startups with up to €400 000, but offering mentoring, training and access to the ecosystem. Note: 2nd cut-off application deadline is Oct 21, 2024, 5pm CEST!

4. EIT Digital Champions: The EIT Digital Champions aims to identify the best European deep tech entrepreneurs and help them scale up internationally, supporting the European innovation ecosystem. Champions receive comprehensive, customized fundraising support and extensive publicity.

5. Growth Services: EIT Digital connects scaleups in their Series-A or -B stage with investors and financial institutions, facilitating access to funding necessary for growth and expansion. They provide guidance on funding strategies and help startups prepare for investment rounds.

6. US Landing Program: This 12-week custom program is for European entrepreneurs with ambitions to prepare their commercial expansion into the US market. This program is tailored to match the specific needs of each company through customized and hands-on support delivered by local experts in Silicon Valley.


Connecting Ecosystems in Europe

Beyond individual programs, EIT Digital collaborates with various partners to drive forward deep tech, digital innovation projects. These projects focus on critical areas like digital wellbeing, digital finance, digital industry, digital tech and digital cities, contributing to Europe’s digital competitiveness. As an example, early this year EIT Digital organized together with local partners such as Startup EstoniaTehnopol Science ParkTaltech, and Tartu University the DeepEST Forum 2024, a specialized deep tech event that recently concluded with resounding success. The event attracted a full house of participants, with over 220 attendees on-site and more than 300 joining online, underscoring the growing interest and engagement in deep tech innovations.


Open Innovation Factory 2024

Among all the programs, the Open Innovation Factory is by far the most popular and succesful initiative that really brings together key elements that are needed for business success.

EIT Digital’s Open Innovation Factory 2024 is tailored to propel early-stage deep tech startups towards success by addressing critical growth challenges. The program offers up to €400 000 in financial support, along with mentoring, coaching, and access to EIT Digital’s vast network of over 350 partners, including industry leaders, public sectors, investors, and academic institutions.

Focused on five key areas—Digital Tech, Digital Industry, Digital Cities, Digital Wellbeing, and Digital Finance—the Open Innovation Factory emphasizes the commercialization of innovative technologies. Startups receive tailored support to package their technology effectively, secure initial customers, and attract crucial investment.

One of the standout features of the program is its collaborative approach, fostering partnerships between startups and established corporations. This synergy not only drives innovation but also enhances the market readiness of participating startups. By leveraging these connections, startups can navigate market complexities, refine their business models, and accelerate their growth trajectories.

Moreover, the program’s comprehensive support framework includes strategic training, mentoring and coaching, helping startups to overcome technical and business challenges. The goal is to ensure that these startups are well-equipped to scale their solutions and achieve sustainable growth.

The Open Innovation Factory’s impact extends beyond individual startups, contributing to the broader digital transformation across Europe. By nurturing innovative solutions in key digital sectors, the program supports the development of a dynamic and competitive digital economy.

Through the Open Innovation Factory, EIT Digital aims to create a dynamic ecosystem where digital innovations can thrive and scale rapidly, contributing to Europe’s digital transformation and economic growth.

For more details, visit EIT Digital’s website

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