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The EIT Digital Challenge returns this year and is seeking out Europe’s best new deep tech scaleups that are growing fast and have gained traction with customers.

The contest is split into five categories based on sector: Digital Industry, Digital Cities, Digital Wellbeing, Digital Infrastructure, and Digital Finance. EIT Digital will whittle down the applicants to find the two best scaleups in each category. They will receive a year’s worth of support from the EIT Digital Accelerator and one company in each category will be chosen for a €50,000 cash prize. Applications are open now until June 14.

The Digital Accelerator helps scaleups reach their next step in expanding to new markets and raising investment, with support and mentorship from 40 business developers and finance experts in Europe and Silicon Valley.

“In this fifth year of the contest, we’re offering our most comprehensive prize package ever, with a total value of €750,000, and admitting ten companies at once into our acceleration programme,” said Dolf Wittkamper, Head of the EIT Digital Accelerator.

Applicants must be based in the EU with annual revenue of more than €300,000 or at least €2 million in funding, and must be less than ten years old.


Deep tech is a wide ranging and burgeoning field that encompasses emerging technologies, like AI, machine learning, and IoT, that will have a profound effect on industry for years.

Deep tech startups face a lot of hurdles with product development and customer acquisition. This takes more time and resources than your typical scaleup and it can become much more expensive for founders to grow. The EIT Digital Accelerator helps scaleups to make sense of these challenges so they can find new customers and investors.

“Within the EIT Digital Accelerator, the winners will receive the specific support that they need to acquire European customers and raise capital,” said Chahab Nastar, Chief Innovation Officer of EIT Digital.

Previous winners in the contest include Cleverciti, which is developing a sensor-based system for finding parking spaces in cities, and ApiOmat, which has created a backend-as-a-service solution for integrating different IT systems.

“As a European deep tech entrepreneur, it’s hard to find tailored events and startup competitions where people understand your product, so we were delighted to find out about the EIT Digital Challenge,” said Marcel Etzel of previous winner ApiOmat. “Now it’s great to have the experts of the EIT Digital Accelerator support our international expansion.”

Applications for the EIT Digital Challenge are open until June 14.