2024 EIT Jumpstarter cohort selected

These weeks mark the beginning of the Online Bootcamps of the EIT Jumpstarter programme. A significant step for the selected 186 teams of in total 341 founders from across Europe who seek to validate their innovative ideas. The digital classroom will soon be buzzing with activity as these diverse teams embark on their startup journeys.

The appetite for the pre-acceleration offered by the EIT Jumpstarter was again huge. Only this year, 600 teams comprised of 1015 people applied to eight thematic cohorts: food, health, sustainable energy, manufacturing, New European Bauhaus, raw materials, Rebuild Ukraine and urban mobility.

Piotr Bourlange

“Every year, hundreds of researchers and students apply to the programme to validate their scientific ideas in a market-friendly environment. The EIT Jumpstarter gives this opportunity, especially since it targets non-Western European countries, which are often underrepresented in the global startup accelerators,”– emphasised Piotr Boulange, international startup expert who leads the EIT Jumpstarter.

“Our focus on idea-holders and very early-stage startups sets EIT Jumpstarter apart from many other programmes. It provides support from the first steps, ensuring that scientific and research ideas have the opportunity to grow and develop,”  he added.

EIT Jumpstarter offers access to EU resources and business networks through its extensive EIT communities and partnerships. This network provides participants with crucial connections and opportunities to enhance their startup journey.

Diverse participation reflects Europe’s rich offering

The programme’s applications reflects Europe’s diversity and the dynamism of the EIT Community with 62 different nations represented. These included every eligible country for the EIT Jumpstarter, showing the broad interest and engagement for the programme. The majority of the ideas came from Ukraine (104), Türkiye (64), Portugal (35), Poland (34), and Croatia (31)1.

Almost 10% of the applicants were from the Western Balkans, way more than their share of the total eligible population would suggest – this highlights the EIT Community’s strategic efforts in these regions. The establishment of an EIT Community RIS Hub in North Macedonia in the summer of 2023 has borne fruit, with thirteen teams from the country applying of which 8 were selected.

As a key aspect of the programme’s internationalisation effort, each team must include at least one person from an eligible country, although teams can also have members from non-eligible countries. This cross-national collaboration is crucial, as research indicates that startups with diverse national backgrounds tend to be more successful. A study by McKinsey & Company2 found that companies with higher ethnic and cultural diversity are 33% more likely to outperform their peers in profitability.

The most popular categories are healthcare, food and New European Bauhaus

The EIT Jumpstarter programme saw the highest number of applications in the health category, with 154 submissions in total. This was followed by the food category, which received 118 applications, and the New European Bauhaus category with 75 applications. The New European Bauhaus initiative, launched by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in 2021, aims to blend art, culture, social inclusion, science, and technology to create sustainable and inclusive living spaces across Europe. Furthermore, this edition of the EIT Jumpstarter programme has achieved the best gender ratio so far, with 43% of female applicants.

Most of the ideas submitted are in the early stages of development, with only 10% of the successful applications having verified prototypes. This stage is crucial as teams will now focus on validating the best business models for their innovative ideas. The courses will cover essential topics, including market segmentation, customer value proposition, financials, investment basics, legal foundations, and intellectual property basics, all framed within the lean startup methodology adapted from Silicon Valley to the European context.

The EIT Jumpstarter programme continues to be a beacon for aspiring entrepreneurs across Europe, providing them with the tools, knowledge, and network necessary to launch successful startups. As the Online Bootcamps commence, the diverse and dynamic cohort of participants will bring fresh, innovative ideas to life, furthering the EIT Community’s mission of fostering entrepreneurship and innovation across the continent.

Seven startups were selected for the Post-Jumpstarter 2024

This year, alumni of previous editions of the EIT Jumpstarter had a chance to apply for additional business development modules at Post-Jumpstarter. With only seven seats in the programme, the organisers aim to provide a tailor-made curation and improve access to the EIT Community accelerators, corporate and VC world and other Horizon Europe acceleration schemes.

The seven selected teams hail from Croatia, Poland, Serbia, Czechia, Latvia, Ukraine, and Spain. Their technological readiness levels (TRLs) varied, with the most common stages being TRL 7 (System prototype demonstration in an operational environment) and TRL 6 (Technology demonstrated in a relevant environment), along with some at TRL 4 (Technology validated in the lab).

The selected teams in alphabetical order:

  • Bio Ice Cream Dots, EIT Food category, representing Poland
  • Lightly, EIT Health category, representing Czechia
  • NADES Design, EIT Food category, representing Croatia
  • Neo Pill, EIT Health category, representing Serbia
  • PrintyMed, EIT Health category, representing Latvia
  • RECHARGE, EIT Urban Mobility category, representing Spain
  • Solar Optic, Rebuild Ukraine category, representing Ukraine

Throughout the year, the three best teams will approach the Grand Final, which this year will take place in Budapest on 28 November 2024.