29th November 2019
EIT Jumpstarter rewards best European early-stage innovators in health, food and raw materials sectors
The Grand Final took place in Riga, Latvia as the side event of Digital Freedom Festival 2019.
18 teams from 10 countries shared their innovative solutions in healthcare, food and raw materials sectors.
First place in the Health category was given to iLoF for a product that screens patients for Alzheimer’s clinical trials, using artificial intelligence and photonics to transform drug discovery using an inexpensive, portable device. 2BNanoFood, providing biodegradable solutions for the food industry, won first place in the Food category, while in Raw Materials first place was given to UP Catalyst, with its innovative solution for producing synthetic graphene. The EIT Jumpstarter is one of the best known European competitions for early-stage innovators, and was awarded the title ‘Best European Association Training Initiative’ in 2019. The programme has been developed by three collaborating organisations – EIT Health, EIT Raw Materials and EIT Food, which are supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union. This programme aims to reach out, identify and support the best ideas from students, PhDs, tech enthusiasts as well as researchers and professionals with a potential impact on the Healthcare, Food and Raw Materials value chain.
Overall in EIT Jumpstarter’s third consecutive year, 90 teams from 13 European countries went through two intensive periods: six business-planning bootcamps in the spring and further business skills training and mentoring sessions in the autumn. Only the six best teams in each category – Food, Health, and Raw Materials – from ten countries were selected to join the Grand Final, which for the first time was organised in Latvia. The best teams were awarded cash prizes totalling €70 000.
“EIT Jumpstarter a unique pan-European programme which identifies talents with the most promising innovative ideas, and provides them with comprehensive business skills mentoring and training support. According to our survey, 70% of programme attendees had had no previous business experience. We provided them with intensive training sessions run by best cross-industry mentors. As a result, they are ready to set up their own businesses and make headway. The funding they received is the icing on the cake” said Dora Marosvolgyi, EIT Jumpstarter Programme Manager.
Multinational innovators came to Riga
The finalists in the Health category came from Italy (three teams), Lithuania (two) and Portugal (one). In the Food category, two teams were from the Netherlands, with one from each of Spain, Romania, Portugal and Lithuania, whereas in the Raw Materials category, the finalists included two teams from Estonia, and one each from Germany, Italy, Denmark and Finland.
In total, nine winning teams were chosen. The three best ideas in each category won prizes of €10 000, €7000 and €5000 respectively. Additionally, other special prizes across all categories were awarded: Best Cross-thematic Business Idea went to Baltic Freva, the Audience Awards was given to Odd.Bot and Best RIS start-up went to ZeroSbatti, each prize to the value of €5000.
First place in the Health category was won by a team from Portugal with iLoF, a product that screens patients for Alzheimer’s clinical trials, using artificial intelligence and photonics to transform drug discovery using an inexpensive, portable device. “I could not be happier with this prize. We work closely with pharmaceutical companies, so the money will be used to fast track our product to the market and make sure our solution reaches patients as soon as possible”, said Luis Valente from ILoF.
Second place went to Ligence from Lithuania with a solution that uses Deep Learning to automate heart ultrasound examinations, resulting in a shorter procedure and higher patient admission rates. The third place was won by a team from Italy with iBioTHEx; they plan to develop a new anti-cachexia drug to be exploited by pharma companies in basic and drug development studies aimed against cachexia.
First place in the Food category was won by 2BNanoFood (Portugal) who will produce and commercialise custom-made solutions based on bio-based and biodegradable materials, aiming to replace synthetic materials in foods while maintaining their quality and safety. 2BNanoFood team commented, “We can name lots of benefits from the EIT Jumpstarter – we have celebrated several achievements, made so many contacts, all the mentoring that we have had during these months is invaluable, and of course the prize will help us move forward.”
Second place was awarded to RapidPricer B.V (the Netherlands) for a solution which helps retailers to increase margins and reduce waste by automating pricing and promotions in real time, unlike traditional consulting solutions. FiberBio (Romania) won third place with their fiber-rich products made of upcycled fruit, vegetable and seed pomace, which are currently discarded during juice and oil production.
In the Raw Materials category, the first place was given to UP Catalyst (Estonia) with their novel, inexpensive and sustainable technology for producing synthetic graphite, graphene and various catalysts out of secondary raw materials. Second place in this category was won by Nordic Carbon (Finland) with technology to produce value-added carbon materials with high porosity and activity for the fuel cell reaction; this also has significant potential for the electrodes of supercapacitors and batteries due to its high porosity. In third place was MiningSandboxAR (Estonia), which helps mining companies who want to get social licenses to operate and simplify mine planning and raise awareness of their mining operations. Ivar Krusenber from Estonia, top prize winner in the category of EIT Raw Materials, said, “We are very excited and happy about this prize. EIT Jumpstarter is a great programme with amazing mentors. For us, it’s a unique opportunity, because there are not many funding mechanisms which work with raw material. This prize will be the first investment into our small facility”.
In 2019, the EIT Jumpstarter programme was awarded and named ‘Best European Association Training Initiative’, thus it can be considered as the litmus test of trends and tendencies among young innovators. This year, the EIT Jumpstarter Programme was held for the third time. It was the first time the event had been held in Riga, and it was organised as a side event of the Digital Freedom Festival.
A full list of finalists can be seen here: https://eu.eventscloud.com/ehome/200196121/200483829/
Want to learn more about the programme? Please contact Dora Marosvolgyi.