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Germany, Education, 2017

Cross-KIC EIT RIS Business Planning Bootcamp in Tartu/Estonia Successfully Completed

9th July 2019

EIT Health, EIT RawMaterials and EIT Food transferring business skills to innovative entrepreneurs from Central and Eastern Europe.

Successful completion of the first cross-KIC RIS Business Planning Bootcamp.

A promising kick-off in Estonia: 34 start-up entrepreneurs from 13 European countries participated the 7 and 8 July in an intense two-day business planning bootcamp hosted by the University of Tartu. Under the framework of the European Institute’s of Innovation and Technology (EIT) Regional Innovation Scheme (EIT RIS), entrepreneurs with promising business ideas related to the different societal challenge addressed by the EIT, mainly coming from the Central and Eastern European region, had the opportunity to acquire fundamental business plan writing skills. Having been organized by EIT’s Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KIC) on Health and RawMaterials, complemented by EIT Food, the Tartu bootcamp in fact was a dedicated cross KIC collaboration – even more being executed with a special focus on participants from countries within the EIT RIS.

Based on the strengths of their business ideas, their impact to the sectors and their growth potential, 16 participants with topics related to EIT Health, 14 related to EIT RawMaterials and 4 to EIT Food had been selected and given the opportunity to acquire the skills to refine their idea and ultimately develop a business plan. Lecturer Dr. Rita Klapper, teaching entrepreneurship at the Leuphana University in Germany, said: “The training focused on the components of a business case and general business case writing skills as well as the process of writing a business case”.

The bootcamp participants also learned how to get started on building a business, e.g. how to build a team, deal with business processes and organizational design. A group dinner at the end of the first training day offered them further opportunity for networking and sharing experiences. Participants successfully completing the bootcamp were granted a €1 000 scholarship to help them put their vision into practice.

Participants were eligible predominantly, but by no means exclusively from countries included in the EIT Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS) which is destined to boost innovation abilities in Central, Eastern and South European Countries. Nora Groth, Business Developer within EIT RawMaterials, made the following statement on behalf of the organizers: “The idea is to provide a unique cross-industry environment and ultimately create ‘innovation awareness’ both in and towards those countries by including them into the regular activity focus of our KICs”. In addition to that, Judit Hegedüs, InnoSTARS Project Manager within EIT Health said: “This is particularly relevant for the Central and South Eastern countries, where we want to create respective impact on innovativeness by trying to demonstrate the advantages of joint discussions with colleagues from other industries and countries”.

The innovative setting of cross-KIC bootcamps first realized in Tartu is also meant to transfer knowledge from other European countries to EIT RIS regions and to make participants from non-RIS countries aware about the innovation possibilities in EIT RIS countries, she added. The scheme obviously works thanks to the wide-spun EIT network: both the lecturer’s University of Manchester and the hosting University of Tartu are part of the EIT community. Merike Leego, project manager at the Estonia Genome Center/University of Tartu explained: “This was a great opportunity for our University in particular and for Estonia in general to open the possibility to participate in EIT activities, training and education not only to idea holders and start-ups from Baltic ecosystems, but to bring them together with various pendants from other European countries here in Tartu in order to make them become aware about the innovation climate we offer”.

Background Information:

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is a European initiative bringing together leading universities, research and companies in order to spur innovation and entrepreneurship across Europe. Founded in 2008 and based in Budapest, Hungary, the EIT has created Europe’s largest innovation ecosystem with around 1000 excellent partners from business, research and education, organized in six innovation communities spanning over 30 innovation hubs across Europe. More than 50% of partners are from business (industry, SMEs and start-ups), while there is a strong presence of higher education institutions, research centres as well as cities, regions or NGOs, thus creating a unique environment for entrepreneurs and innovators to inspire each other, work together, learn, innovate and prosper.

The strategies set by EIT are put into practice by currently six Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KIC) focusing on:

  • Climate change (EIT Climate)
  • Information and communication technologies (EIT Digital)
  • Sustainable energy (EIT InnoEnergy)
  • Healthy living and active ageing (EIT Health)
  • Sustainable raw material strategies (EIT RawMaterials) and
  • Food innovation and production (EIT Food).

KIC activities cover the entire innovation chain from training and education, research-to-market up to starting new companies and training a new generation of entrepreneurs.

For further information on EIT Health click here

If interested to learn more on EIT Raw Materials click here

Within the framework of the EIT Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS) the Innovation Communities engage and work with organizations, researchers, students and entrepreneurs from European countries and regions that do not directly benefit from the EIT Community activities and that particularly belong to the groups of so-called ‘modest and moderate’ innovators. For further information click here

For further enquiries please contact:

Nora Groth, Business Developer @ EIT RawMaterials: Nora.Groth@eitrawmaterials.eu

Judit Hegedüs, InnoSTARS Project Manager @ EIT Health: Judit.Hegedus@eithealth.eu

Laura Supjeva, Strategy, Impact and Monitoring Officer @ EIT: EITRIS@eit.europa.eu

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