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"There are many acceleration programmes in Europe, but only a few show as much longevity as Fit 4 Start."
Those were the opening words of a blog post published last year, marking the 10-year anniversary of the Luxembourg-based acceleration programme.
And they're not not stopping there. Interested digital and space tech companies can now apply for the 11th edition of Fit 4 Start, until the 15 April deadline.
What's in it for the companies you ask? 20 weeks of high-level coaching and pre-seed funding/grants up to €150,000, that's what, and more.
Run by Luxinnovation with the support of Technoport and the Luxembourg-City Incubator, and initiated back in 2015 by the country's Ministry of the Economy, Fit 4 Start has seen more than 1,800 startups from 90+ countries apply for previous editions, graduating 56 from the 98 companies who made the primary cut.
If you're interested in applying (or know someone who is) for the next edition of the acceleration programme, take into account the criteria for entry: the company needs to be working on an 'innovation-oriented project', be younger than 5 years old, and have a team of at least 2 people of which 1 will need to dedicate full-time to the young company. Initially open only to ICT startups, Fit 4 Start now also targets companies active in the health tech and space tech sectors.
As for why Luxembourg may be an excellent place to start, particularly at a very early stage, the reasons are summarised here on the Startup Luxembourg website:
"Thanks to its central location in Europe and its multicultural population, Luxembourg can be leveraged by startups as an ideal test market to develop concepts and explore new products/services. The country’s well-known commercial and political neutrality helps to facilitate first-class international business relationships and facilitates access to global partners to grow."
>> Apply here