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Interesting patterns emerge among the health innovations of the 2021 EIT Jumpstarter

22nd June 2021

There is no better way to start the summer for an innovator than entering a Bootcamp. As the EIT Jumpstarter reached its second phase, 220 teams – including 31 health start-up projects – in seven different categories will have a chance to learn basic entrepreneurial skills.

In 2021, the EIT Jumpstarter has reached a milestone: not only  did a record number of applicants want to participate in the fifth edition of one of the most well-known pre-accelerator programme in Europe, but also with a new target scope this year  was possible to welcome the teams with representatives from countries and regions that did not participate in the programme before. A long list of participants includes 37 nationalities living in 30 countries.

“The record number of applications in 2021 is great feedback about this unique programme. It means that more and more innovators have trust in the EIT Jumpstarter as an effective European pre-accelerator. We are all excited to be part of this journey, year after year, and to give the teams feedback on various aspects of their business plans, general advice on how to start a business, and also provide them with valuable connections to industry partners” – said Dóra Marosvölgyi, EIT Jumpstarter Project Manager and Mentor.

In the health category, 31 teams got to the first training stage. Most of the solutions come from Latvia, followed by Italy and Portugal. Looking at the list we can see some interesting patterns: it seems that the pandemic has triggered innovators to come up with products and services that aim to improve the treatment of infected patients and the working conditions of healthcare professionals working in the frontline. Another branch of medicine that has kept the participants of EIT Jumpstarter busy is dermatology: from the detection of melanoma to acne treatment, there are several promising ideas in the contest. There are AI-based solutions, too, among the products and services that enter the bootcamps, which is a continuation of wider usage and development of AI in medical innovation. EIT Health’s joint report with McKinsey & Company, “Transforming healthcare with AI” highlighted many ways artificial intelligence could revolutionise healthcare.

The EIT Jumpstarter – which won the prestigious Emerging Europe Award in the Young Empowerment Initiative category in 2020 for its work increasing young people’s opportunities, awareness, self-confidence and engagement in society, and the best training initiative of 2019 by the European Association Awards – is a pan-European pre-accelerator initiative for early-stage innovators with a goal of turning innovative ideas into businesses. Teams, in general, need 1–5 years to fully commercialise their idea: the programme aims to help to identify their business model, to have a better understanding of the industry and their potential customers and plan the next steps of their journey.

EIT Jumpstarter is a cross-disciplinary programme that is coordinated by EIT Health InnoStars and involves six communities: EIT Health, EIT Food, EIT RawMaterials, EIT InnoEnergy, EIT Urban Mobility, and EIT Manufacturing. This year, a new category has been added to the programme. Therefore, as of 2021, EIT Jumpstarter accepts applications from the fields that the New European Bauhaus initiative covers.

What comes next?

The selected teams will participate at the Bootcamps, the groups will be mixed, so innovators from different categories will have a chance to work together and learn from each other, where they will develop their pitch deck and identify areas for further development. They will be receiving mentorship and training from leading experts from the EIT Community and Knowledge and Innovation Communities who will not only guide them to find the best fitting business model for their ideas but will help the teams validate these ideas. For the first time, EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office) will provide a session to the participants, since the management of intellectual property rights is a key issue for innovators, of whom only 30% stated they owned the IP rights to their idea.

Following the Bootcamps, the teams will present their business ideas at an online Pitch Day. The teams will have to answer the jury’s questions after which the best performing, most promising 120 teams will be selected and invited to attend the Local Joint Trainings. The Grand Final will be in November where the winner could win up to €10,000.

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