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InnoStars, RIS

InnoStars Awards celebrates its sixth edition

24th March 2022

The recently published interactive compendium highlights the most significant milestones of the EIT Health InnoStars Awards, a key acceleration programme for early-stage healthcare start-ups from CEE and Southern Europe.

In the world of science, we can agree that numbers often speak louder than words. This is also true in the case of the InnoStars Awards, which celebrates its sixth edition this year. More than 70 precisely selected start-ups have been trained to gather over 15 million EUR external investment in total between 2018-2021. Almost 70 per cent of those accelerated solutions have ultimately entered the market.

“Almost 70% of accelerated solutions in the InnoStars Awards programme have been launched on the market. This is a very good ratio, especially for early-stage healthcare startups that usually come to us with an MVP or prototype. InnoStars Awards gives a solid and practical business knowledge and networking opportunities to become an investable start-up – said Tamás Békási, RIS Business Creation Manager at EIT Health InnoStars.

InnoStars Awards has the primary focus on digital health, medtech, and biotech innovations coming from countries with moderate innovation capacity [1]. This year InnoStars Awards offers a new category responding to the Health Longevity Global Grand Challenge initiated by the U.S. National Academy of Medicine. Start-ups in this category join the worldwide movement to improve physical, mental, and social well-being for people as they age.

An international contest that opens new gates

The most significant number of supported teams up to now came from Hungary (18%), Portugal (16%), Italy (13%), and Poland (12%). For many, InnoStars Awards was the first acceleration pit stop that has boosted their business, enabling them to gather investors and win pan-European competitions.

“A big difference between InnoStars Awards and other accelerators is that EIT Health has a vision of nurturing entrepreneurship. Throughout the programme young talents can find everything they need for every level of maturity. It brings them from scratch to series A and beyond” – details Alessandro Monterosso, Co-Founder and CEO of Patchai, a start-up that offers intelligent digital health solutions to engage and empower patients in clinical research and care pathways.

The Italian start-up was a finalist of the 2019 edition of InnoStars Awards, which helped him leverage his project and get the laurels in the EIT Health Catapult.

Every second accelerated solution in InnoStars Awards has represented the medtech sector, trying to address the entire patient journey – from diagnosis to recovery and experiment with at-home care. The Covid-19 pandemic as well has significantly accelerated medical technologies. In 2021 there was a record number of applications – 4 times more as for the first edition.

The seventh edition of the InnoStars Awards is open for applications until the 27 of March. At the end of May, 20 teams with the most promising innovations will start a four-month series of training and bootcamps. After submitting their business plan in autumn, the top ten will get the opportunity to pitch at the—Grand Final in November. The winner will be awarded 25,000 EUR, the runner-up 15,000 EUR, while the third place is worth 10,000 EUR. For more information about the programme go to: eithealth.eu

[1] European Innovation Scoreboard, 2021

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