EIT ICT Labs' European entrepreneurship competition is on

    Nordic and Baltic innovators, come forward and represent. The EIT ICT Labs have launched a pan-European entrepreneurship event called Idea Challenge and they are busy promoting it right now to draw in as many applicants as possible before the first stage closing deadline on the 20th April. Why’s it worth getting involved? Well there’s a €40,000 prize for successful participants, six months free office space, and mentoring from experts at the EIT ICT Labs Business Development Accelerator.

    The competition has been broken down into eight categories which will be represented by different events, one for each, in eight cities throughout Europe where EIT ICT Labs has a presence. Each event will be a mini final for a category after the deadline has closed and there has been time to sift through all the applications for the best ideas.

    “Great ideas put forward by great entrepreneurs drive economic growth and quality of life”, states Willem Jonker, CEO at EIT ICT Labs. “That is why we heavily invest in bringing these ideas and entrepreneurs to our ecosystem. Not only will our ecosystem benefit – we also have a lot to offer through our pan-European Business Development Acceleration that supports European startups and SMEs with global growth ambitions”.

    Applicants from all over Europe can submit their proposals online through the competition website from March 11th to April 20th for the topics Health & Wellbeing, Smart Spaces, Cyber-Physical Systems, and Future Cloud. While ideas that address Cyber Security and Privacy, Internet of Things, Urban Life and Mobility can be submitted from September 1st to September 30th.

    Now what you want to know is which city matches which subject, and on what date each final will take place don’t you? Well I’m well ahead of you buddy, prepare yourself for a list.

    • Eindhoven, The Netherlands – Health & Wellbeing – May 21st, 2014
    • Helsinki, Finland – Smart Spaces – June 3rd, 2014
    • Munich, Germany – Cyber-Phyical-Systems – June 3rd, 2014
    • Rennes, France – Future Cloud – June 23rd – 24th, 2014
    • Stockholm, Sweden – Internet of Things – October 14th, 2014
    • London, United Kingdom – Urban Life and Mobility – November 18th, 2014
    • Berlin, Germany – Smart Energy Systems – November 6th, 2014
    • Trento, Italy – Cyber Security & Privacy – November 13th, 2014

    The best teams will present their ideas in front of a jury of experts, and since this is Arctic Startup and we love the Nordics and Baltics, I’m going to highlight Helsinki for the Smart Spaces final on the 3rd June and Stockholm for the Internet of Things final on the 14th October.

    According to the conditions of Idea Challenge applying individuals must have the citizenship or a legal residence in a member country of the European Union. Legally incorporated startups must be incorporated in a member country of the European Union to be eligible.

    The rights to designs and creations from the teams will belong to their developers, which, you know is an important thing to note and remember. When you’re building the next Facebook, Skype or eBay you want to know that you still hold the rights to your vision when you submit it to a competition! So Nordic and Baltic innovators, get thinking, get submitting, we’ve got to show Europe we’re still at the top of the startup mountain.