Startup contest Idea Challenge kicks off
European open innovation organisation EIT ICT Labs calls for high-growth European startups active in digital technologies to apply for the 2015 edition of its Idea Challenge contest. Aalto University is one of EIT ICT Labs core partners in Finland and operates the Finnish unit from Aalto's Otaniemi campus.
The call for application is open from May 6 till July 6. Laureates win up to 40,000 Euro and benefit from the pan-European Business Development Accelerator of EIT ICT Labs to become European success stories.
Startups can submit their application in one of the eight topics detailed below. In each topic, finalists will compete for significant benefits: prize money of up to 40,000 Euro; free co-working space and business acceleration in Europe and beyond. Prize money in each of the eight topics is: 40,000 Euro for the winner, 25,000 Euro for second place and 15,000 Euro for third place. This yields a significant global financial support of 640,000 Euro by EIT ICT Labs.
The contest focuses on eight strategically-chosen topics that EIT ICT Labs has carefully selected and is very active in, both in terms of technical expertise and business network:
• Health & Wellbeing
• Smart Spaces
• Cyber-Physical Systems
• Future Cloud
• Cyber Security and Privacy
• Internet of Things
• Urban Life and Mobility
• Smart Energy Systems
Ten finalists will pitch in front of a jury in each if the eight topic finals, taking place in Autumn 2015. The topic final for smart spaces will be organized in Helsinki.
Last year’s contest
In 2014, more than 1,500 teams registered for the Idea Challenge contest. 790 entrepreneurs from all across Europe submitted ideas. 24 startups convinced the juries of industry experts, investors and researchers in eight finals. Among them were the three startups below.
• Tinnitracks: Winner in the category “Health & Wellbeing”. Winner of the official startup competition of SXSW technology conference in the field of Digital Health and Life Science. In April 2015, the product was launched in the Netherlands successfilly, supported by EIT ICT Labs.
• Konux: Winner in the category “Cyber Physical Systems”. Konux has been awarded $100,000 by Founder.org and raised more than US$ 1 million from US investors with the support of EIT ICT Labs. (www.konux.de)
• Undagrid: Winner in the category “Internet of Things”. Dutch “Startup of the Year“. In February 2015, Undagrid rolled-out its’ track-and-trace-solution at Charles de Gaulle Airport Paris. (www.undagrid.com)
Must-have eligibility rules for startups are: maximum five years of existence; less than one million Euro of external funding received, incorporated in EU28. Additionally startups need to meet at least one of the following criteria: existing customers/a public beta, revenue of min 12k Euro or seed investments of min 100k Euro.
About EIT ICT Labs
EIT ICT Labs (www.eitictlabs.eu) is a leading European open innovation organisation. EIT ICT Labs builds on an excellent partnership of top European corporations, universities, research institutes and start-ups, and brings together entrepreneurs in digital innovation and education. The EIT ICT Labs Co-Location Centers bring together students, researchers, engineers, entrepreneurs and business developers, making them vibrant hot spots where talents, ideas, technologies and investments cross-pollinate to succeed in the market through the creation of high-growth companies, large-scale technology transfers and stimulation of disruptive innovation. Aalto University is one of three core partners of the Finnish Co-Location Center.