Grow your deep tech startup internationally with EIT Digital Challenge

As the European deep tech ecosystem is growing and companies are actively creating novel ways to leverage new technologies, the investor activity has been on the rise with new deep tech and industry 4.0 focused VC funds entering the market to support the growth.

Often deep tech is associated with science and research for example hardware or medical industry, and we tend to forget that creating new digital solutions also requires a lot of research and software development. So it is crucial that we have players who support the digital side of deep tech, like EIT Digital, which provides a great platform for fast-growing startups with existing customers – so called scaleups – to help find more customers and investors, and get much needed media visibility in their EIT Digital Challenge.

“To overcome the current crisis, we need the imagination and the execution of the best entrepreneurs out there. With the EIT Digital Challenge, we are determined to identify the best European deep tech entrepreneurs and support them in building major companies that will tackle the world’s major challenges,” EIT Digital’s Chief Innovation Officer, Chahab Nastar, says. 

Scaleups are invited to apply in one of the following five thematic areas: Digital Tech, Digital Cities, Digital Industry, Digital Wellbeing and Digital Finance. The best five companies will receive prizes totaling €350,000 in cash and in kind. The application deadline is June 7th 2020.

Big, meaningful prizes

The best 5 companies will receive a full year of tailored international growth support by the EIT Digital Accelerator worth €50,000 to scale up their business. On top of that, the first place winner will receive a cash prize of €100,000.  The EIT Digital Accelerator helps these companies by bringing together the knowledge and network of experts from 17 cities in Europe as well as a hub in Silicon Valley.

As part of the prize package, winners get:

  • Market access & fundraising support
  • Access to Pan-European Innovation Network
  • International Visibility

Success awaits

Being awarded by the EIT Digital Challenge represents a significant milestone for scaleups willing to grow and expand internationally. 

Lucas Le Bell, CEO and Co-Founder of CerbAir, a drone detection and neutralization company, who was awarded in 2019 and joined the EIT Digital Accelerator shortly after – says. 

“Winning the EIT Digital Challenge helped us seize a couple of major deals for which we were waiting for the clients’ final decisions. In less than 6 months, EIT Digital has already proved to provide us huge media coverage, some welcome financial support as well as numerous sales opportunities in Europe for which we are very grateful”

Since its launch in 2014, the competition has attracted more than 2000 entries from all over Europe. Most of the winning scaleups have gone on to become internationally successful companies. Now it’s your turn! Apply by June 7th.

Thematic areas

The competition is focusing on ‘deep tech’ scaleups, broadly defined as technology companies with a differentiating product offering, leveraging sophisticated technology which is often protected or hard to reproduce. Here is a breakdown of the thematic areas and keywords:

Digital Tech

Inventing the digital future with core technologies providing secure, robust, responsive and intelligent communications and computation.

Keywords: Connectivity, Cyber Security and Privacy, Blockchain, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Digital ID Management, Cloud Computing, Machine Learning, Authentication, Biometrics, User Behaviour Analytics.

Digital Cities

Serving the cities with digital technologies addression urban mobility, citizen inclusiveness and engagement, and city safety.

Keywords: Smart City, Smart Mobility, Safety & Security, Urban Development, Autonomous Driving, Citizen Services, Citizen Participation, Environmental Management, Energy Management, Sustainability.

Digital Industry

The digital transformation of the industry, from production to logistics to retail.

Keywords: Smart Manufacturing, Predictive Maintenance, Industry 4.0, Energy Efficiency, Resource and Asset Management, Retail, Logistics, Customer Experience, Supply Chain Management, Image Recognition.

Digital Wellbeing

Safeguarding health for the youth, the working professional and the elderly by analysing sensor data.

Keywords: Wellbeing at Work, Self Monitoring, Prevention, Early Detection, Assisted Living, Occupational and Personal Health, Rehab, Mental and Physical Impairment Support, Coping with Chronic Diseases.

Digital Finance

The disruption of digital transactions and institutions with technologies that allow transparency, efficiency, security and trust.

Keywords: Banking, FinTech, Payments, Insurtech, Wealth/Asset Management, Cyber Security, Big Data, Mobile Banking.


So if you or one of your portfolio companies are in one of these categories, have revenues of €300k or €2M in funding plus max 10 years old, and would like to get a nice boost for your business, apply here by June 7th to grab this great opportunity! 
EIT Digital Challenge 2019 winners with Niclas Holmberg, Managing Director of Nasdaq in the Nordics