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EIT Digital opens applications for this year's startup challenge with €750,000 in prizes

EIT Digital opens applications for this year's startup challenge with €750,000 in prizes

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Another year, another chance for good tech startups with customers and traction to become one of the winners of the EIT Digital Challenge. Europe's leading digital innovation and entrepreneurial education organisation EIT Digital has opened applications for this year's startup competition with €750,000 worth of cash and in-kind awards. The application will stay open until June 14th.  

This year marks the sixth edition of the challenge, which is aimed at scale-ups and startups working on deep-tech solutions. Same as last year, the competition is divided into five categories: Digital Tech, Digital Cities, Digital Industry, Digital Wellbeing and Digital Finance.

“Among all applicants to the competition, we will select 25 companies, that is five per category, and invite them to an exclusive event in Brussels where they will pitch to a jury of high-profile corporates and investors,” said Dolf Wittkamper, Head of the EIT Digital Accelerator. “A total of 10 winners will be announced during this event: in each category, the jury will pick the best two companies; both will receive a full year of tailored support from the EIT Digital Accelerator, valued at €50,000. In addition, the top winner in each category will receive a cash prize of €50,000.”

The EIT Digital Challenge is open for deep-tech startups up to 10 years old that already have customers and traction and work on a with a differentiating product offering that leverages sophisticated, hard-to-reproduce digital technologies. The applicants must be based in one of the member states of the European Union or countries associated with Horizon 2020 and be able to show an annual revenue of over €300,000 or at least €2 million in total funding.

What to expect

As is paying increased attention to the industry of health tech this month, we've caught up with one of the last year's winners of the EIT Digital Challenge in the Digital Wellbeing category. Vienna-founded Medicus AI, which won the second prize, is a startup that can visualise and help make sense of medical data like blood tests. The company claims that it can visualise the results of 90 percent of medical tests conducted in the world today.

Baher Al Hakim, CEO of Medicus AI

“It's a platform that converts medical reports into explanations, insights, and coaching,” said Baher Al Hakim, CEO of Medicus AI. “Health data and test results include a wealth of information that today is locked, no one has access to it. Our product makes the data talk. We help people make sense of the data, patients or physicians and experts.”

After coming second in their category in the last year's challenge, the startup was awarded a year of support from the EIT Digital Accelerator.

“Thanks to EIT Digital, we’ve met investors in France, Germany, London, and Helsinki,” Al Hakim said. “I've been very impressed by the level of support we've received so far, the team even helped us polish our investor presentation and other materials! We've been able to get in touch with about 70 new investors, and we’re having active discussions with more than a dozen of them. Also, EIT Digital helped us secure a meeting with the largest hospital group in Italy, and now we're finalising discussions for a big joint project. This happened really quickly.”

If your startup fits into one of this year's competition categories, this can be a great chance to secure funds and unparalleled support in growing business in Europe.

The deadline for applications is June 14 — apply today, and seize your chance to get a year's worth of support and funding to go with it!

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