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EIT Digital’s Idea Challenge (check this article for more information) is running a series of events to find some of Europe’s most innovative startups to join the organisation’s network of innovation, which includes world leading companies, investors, universities, and research organisations.
The organisation is holding eight events across eight European cities throughout October, November, and December for the opportunity to join this network of startups well as no-string-attached capital prizes, with each event tackling a different industry, from the cloud to cybersecurity and internet of things to health.
Awareness of and participation in the Idea Challenge has grown every year. Startups from 26 countries submitted their ideas to the contest and finalists from 17 countries were chosen in the end for the competitions, compared with 11 last year. 2015 also saw first time entries from the Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Latvia, Portugal, and Romania.
Startups come from a variety of backgrounds and are all tackling different industries and areas, whether it’s business to business, business to consumer, or something in between. The events are broken down into eight different categories: Future Cloud, Smart Energy Systems, Cyber Security & Privacy, Urban Life & Mobility, Health & Wellbeing, Smart Spaces, Internet of Things, and Cyber Physical Systems.
The first prize in each contest is €40,000 with second and third prizes of €25,000 and €15,000.
Berlin-based 3D printing company 3YOURMIND took home third prize in last year’s Cyber-Physical Systems category along with €15,000 in capital.
“We had a lot of really great networking opportunities as we met industry experts, representatives of established industry leaders, investors, business accelerators and even more entrepreneurs,” said Stephan Kühr, CEO of 3YOURMIND, which invested the €15,000 prize into further development.
“In the following months EIT Digital offered us coaching and mentoring support and sent us to conventions, conferences, trainings and investor pitches.”
The startup has since expanded from six employees to 28 and opened a new office in Wroclaw, Poland.
Check out this video report from 2014's Smart Spaces final:
The first 2015 Idea Challenge event takes place in Rennes on October 19 and 20 with the theme of Future Cloud, where eight startups will compete.
Some of the starts involved include:
Germany’s Re2you, which has created a cloud-based browser that works across multiple devices, from smartphone and wearables to your connected car. Re2you gathers your browsing data in real time and users can browse on one device, say their smartphone, and seamlessly switch over to a tablet or even their car’s browser without needing to reload the session.
Julie Desk, from France, is a startup that developed its own artificial intelligence-based scheduling assistant – Julie. The already commercialised product works side by side with businesses in scheduling meetings and computing your schedule to best organise things for the user.
Carbon Analytics, from the UK, has built a cloud-based environmental monitoring tool for businesses to assess their carbon footprint, through a dashboard that visualises things like your energy and water use.
These are just a couple of the startups that will be competing at Future Cloud and other events over the coming weeks.
In total, there are 76 startups in this year’s finals, which will all be competing to win the cash prizes that will fuel their companies’ efforts moving forward.
The forthcoming EIT Digital Idea Challenge events are as follows:
Future Cloud: Rennes, October 19 & 20 Smart Energy Systems: Berlin, November 4 Cyber Security & Privacy: Trento, November 19 Urban Life & Mobility: London, November 23 Health & Wellbeing: Eindhoven, November 25 Smart Spaces: Helsinki, December 1 Internet of Things: Stockholm, December 3 Cyber Physical Systems: Paris, December 4
Learn more about the EIT Digital Idea Challenge.
For an overview of all their upcoming events, click here.