Awards, Competitions, Funding Grants

EIT Digital Challenge

Are you building a product aimed at the Indian market? Have you considered pitching your product to consumers in Europe? Europe’s GDP for 2017 is estimated to touch $20.7 trillion (twice that of India). It’s per capita GDP (2016 figures) stands at US$ 39,000 in terms of PPP compared to US$ 1,700 per capita in India. This enormous difference in purchasing power makes Europeans customers much more valuable than their Asian counterparts.

Europe’s a population is digitally savvy which makes it easier to sell them products and services online. If you have a product launched, which is showing traction and are finding it difficult to raise funds in India, then you should evaluate fundraising in Europe.

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EIT Digital Accelerator

As a startup it would be difficult to navigate Europe’s complexities while working from India. Setting up base at a business accelerator is ideal as it allows a startup to find it’s moorings. One of the newest accelerators in Europe with a large footprint is EIT. Established officially in 2008, it has quickly risen to be ranked among the top European networks for entrepreneurial education and training.

The difference between EIT and other European Universities is that the former gives greater importance to co-operation and harnessing existing infrastructure to build new linkages and synergies. EIT does not operate out of a single campus but is built into existing university campuses. We recently covered the opening of their London Hub.

Today EIT has active partnerships with more than 130 of Europe’s top institutions, corporations and research hubs.This extensive infrastructure allows it to help startups accelerate their growth.

The startups housed at EIT have a focus on one of these five innovation areas:

  • Digital Industry
  • Digital Cities
  • Digital Well Being
  • Digital Infrastructure
  • Digital Finance
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Startups showcase their products at EIT’s hub in London.

Some of the benefits of joining EIT are as follows

Access To Markets: Europe has close to 650 million Internet users and there are an estimated 400 million active social media users as of 2016. The European Commission has also started an ambitious program to integrate the 28 national markets of Europe into a single digital market. You can take a look at the video below to understand more about the initiative:

Access To Finance: European governments have rolled out a host of initiatives to ensure that startups in the EU can compete with their counterparts in silicon valley. This includes cheap and easy access to seed capital through various government subsidies.

Pan-European Business Network : With alumni based all over Europe, EIT can help you connect to any experienced mentor across different fields. It also has a vibrant line up of global tech events that brings investors and entrepreneurs together.

Getting into the Accelerator

You must be a startup with a market ready product/ service which is getting traction.

You can apply via the EIT Digital Challenge which opens on the first of September this year and has a cash prize of € 50,000 (Rs 33 Lakh). If you missed the event you can apply throughout the year at by sending an email to accelerator (at the rate) EIT Digital has helped raise € 250 million for roughly 100 startups since 2009. EIT currently has a presence in 14 cities which includes London, Berlin, Budapest, Eindhoven, Paris, Stockholm, Madrid and Milan.

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The desk of a digital wellness startup at EIT’s demo day.

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