European Institute of Innovation and Technology reveals its most promising start-ups

Start-ups from across emerging Europe featured heavily in EIT Jumpstarter’s 2021 final, taking a number of top prizes.

EIT Jumpstarter, the pre-acceleration programme backed by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), has named the seven most promising start-ups in the field of health, food, raw materials, energy, urban mobility, manufacturing and New European Bauhaus.

A solution for paralysed patients to communicate independently (BirgerMind, EIT Health), an innovation that aggregates the battery capacity of parked electric vehicles to intelligently manage energy (Mjolnir Energy, EIT InnoEnergy) and a project that uses the larvae of flies to convert food waste into protein-rich animal food (BioConvert, New European Bauhaus) were among the winners.

The goal of the Jumpstarter programme is to help young innovators from central, eastern and southern Europe turn their scientific ideas and discoveries into successful businesses.

Winners were chosen in seven categories: health, food, raw materials, energy, urban mobility, manufacturing and New European Bauhaus (focused on sustainable and inclusive living spaces).

Other winners included a test that screens simultaneously 80 antibiotic residues (FlowForLife, EIT Food), a start-up that aims to become the leading supplier of the cleanest nanoparticles in the EU (Nano-Pure-Precision, EIT Raw Materials), an innovation that generates optimal robot programs automatically (RoboTwin, EIT Manufacturing) and a network of high-end (e-)bike parking facilities, with a focus on safety (T-Park, EIT Urban Mobility).

Record number of entries

“This has been a truly unique year in the life of EIT Jumpstarter: not only did we welcome participants from new regions but a new category, New European Bauhaus, was added to the programme. The fact that a record number of applications was received this year is proof that EIT Jumpstarter is a reference point for many. This gives us tremendous motivation to continue our work with even more impetus to boost innovation on Progressing European regions,” says Dora Marosvolgyi, cross-KIC strategic regional innovations director at EIT Health InnoStars.

“The EIT Jumpstarter programme gave us professional support in the development of our business plan in terms of pitching, better understanding our position on the market, and various aspects of our start-up journey to build innovative sustainable products and services,” adds Jaroslav Michalko of BioConvert, winner in the New European Bauhaus category.

“We see this win as a huge opportunity and proof that we are moving in the right direction. For us, this is just the beginning of our journey. There is a lot of work ahead of us.”

The full list of EIT Jumpstarter 2021 winners:

EIT Health

1st prize – BirgerMind (Latvia)
2nd prize – GOTEch Antimicrobial (Portugal)
3rd prize –Synflora (Spain)

EIT Food

1st prize – FlowForLife (Italy)
2nd prize – SAFE Pack (Portugal)
3rd prize – Alghètica (Italy)

EIT Raw Materials

1st prize – Nano-Pure-Precision (Czech Republic)
2nd prize – Smart Components (Latvia)
3rd prize – CynaraMulch (Portugal)

EIT InnoEnergy

1st prize – Mjolnir Energy (Spain)
2nd prize – CO2offset (Portugal)
3rd prize – Energy Shift (Cyprus)

EIT Manufacturing

1st prize – RoboTwin (Czechia)
2nd prize – (Turkey)
3rd prize – ElastoBrain (Italy)

EIT Urban Mobility

1st prize – T-Park (Spain)
2nd prize – NeWay (Serbia)
3rd prize – RoToLo (Malta)

New European Bauhaus

1st prize – BioConvert (Slovakia)
2nd prize – SUSTHEALTH (Italy)
3rd prize – Algreen (Poland)

Special Prize

X-KIC Prize – CynaraMulch (Portugal)

Shortly before the prize ceremony on December 1, Emerging Europe’s Andrew Wrobel spoke to Dóra Marosvölgyi, as well as Jakob Gajšek, chief executive of the University Incubator (LUI) at the University of Ljubljana and Joana Caldeira, CEO of start-up Fetalix, about how to take an idea to the next level by gaining a better understanding of commercialisation and technology transfer in the start-up world.

Since 2017, the EIT Jumpstarter programme has trained 570 start-ups. Just this year, the organisers received 548 applications, with start-ups 42 receiving the chance to pitch in front of a jury of experts and compete for the prizes – the best teams in each category won 10,000 euros, and access to the EIT Communities network.

This content has been produced in collaboration with an Emerging Europe partner organisation.