Deadline: July 31, 2016 | Apply here    
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Eligibility: innovative digital technology startups incorporated in one of the 28 member states of the European Union who are ready to scale their business, have an existing customer base and can prove market traction

Prize: up to €50,000 in cash, access to a European innovation network, investors introductions and more
Location: Brussels, Belgium

Ready to scale your business?

Are you a fast-growing Europe-based technology startup ready to scale? Does your product or service fit into the categories of industry, cities, wellbeing, infrastructure or finance? Does your startup already have market traction, customers, and revenue? Do you need support in international customer acquisition and fundraising?

Then the EIT Digital Challenge is the right opportunity for your startup!

EIT Digital Challenge 2016: scale up your business

Participate in the EIT Digital Challenge and win up to €50,000 in cash, access to EIT Digital’s pan-European innovation network, as well as the chance to join the EIT Digital Accelerator for a full year. EIT Digital will support you to get international customers and raise Series A funding (EUR 1-10 million) to expand and internationalize your business.

Join the elite of startups in one of the following 5 categories:

  • Digital Industry
  • Digital Cities
  • Digital Wellbeing
  • Digital Infrastructure
  • Digital Finance

The 15 most innovative European startups in these fields will be selected and they will have the opportunity to accelerate their growth globally.


To be eligible for the contest, you have to meet the following criteria:

  • Startup incorporated in one of the 28 member states of the European Union
  • Evidence of market traction, customers, and revenue
  • Growing at a double-digit pace or faster
  • Ready to scale internationally

To win the EIT Digital Challenge, you will have to compete against the best digital startups from all across Europe.

These are the 3 steps to succeed at EIT Digital Challenge:

  1. Submit a description of your startup on the online platform.
    You will have to provide information about your company and team, your innovative technology, your business model, your target market as well as your financial estimates.
  2. The 8-10 best startups in each category will be invited to personally convince an expert jury during a 5-minute pitch. 
    Travel costs will be covered for all finalist startups.
  3. Congratulations, you made it!
    You are one out of 15 startups that will receive an exclusive prize package to boost your business: Access to a unique ecosystem of more than 130 partners, internationalization support, an exclusive two-day event, complimentary publicity and greater visibility and the chance to join the EIT Digital Accelerator.

On top of this, the best startup per category gets an additional cash prize of 50,000 euros.


All submissions will be evaluated by thematic experts and experienced business developers from the EIT Digital’s pan-European network.

The jury will examine the market and internationalization potential of your product or service as well as the quality of your core team. They will also take into account the fit of your product or service to their listed categories and the impact their support could have on your business.

In order to apply, your startup has to be incorporated in one of the 28 member states of the European Union and fulfill the eligibility criteria.

In addition, you must pitch your startup. The pitch and submissions will have to be done in English. Please read the Contest Conditions here.


The winners will receive a prize package that offers everything they need to take their businesses to the next level:

Ignition Days – Kick-start your growth:
The best 3 teams per category will be invited to an exclusive 2-day event in Berlin. The winners will work directly with business developers and gain access to finance experts to develop their growth strategy and identify potential leads. In addition, they will get the chance to pitch in front of selected investors and partners during a networking event. The Ignition Days will take place in December 2016 in Berlin.

Access to the EIT Digital’s pan-European innovation network:
With more than 130 partners, EIT Digital brings together Europe’s leading corporations, SMEs, startups, universities and research institutes in the field of digital technologies. The EIT Digital Challenge is your entrance ticket into this unique ecosystem.

Free publicity and greater visibility:
EIT Digital will make sure to communicate your success and share your story through their powerful network channels to spread the word about your business all across Europe.

Prize money and travel expenses:
In each of the 5 categories, there will be an award for the best team with a prize of €50,000. Furthermore, EIT Digital will cover travel costs for the final events and the Ignition Days.

Chance to join the EIT Digital Accelerator for a full year:
With a dedicated team of experienced business developers and finance experts, operating from major cities all across Europe as well as a hub in San Francisco, they will support you to scale your business on an international level. All winners will have the chance to join the EIT Digital Accelerator for a duration of up to 12 months.

About EIT Digital

EIT Digital is a leading European digital innovation and entrepreneurial education organisation driving Europe’s digital transformation.

EIT Digital delivers breakthrough digital innovations to the market and breeds entrepreneurial talent for economic growth and improved quality of life in Europe. It does this by mobilising a pan-European ecosystem of over 130 top European corporations, SMEs, start-ups, universities and research institutes.

EIT Digital is focused on entrepreneurship. It stands out from other accelerating institutions by integrating education, research and business by bringing together students, researchers, engineers, business developers and entrepreneurs. EIT Digital leverages its pan-European network of co-location centres in Berlin, Eindhoven, Helsinki, London, Paris, Stockholm, Trento, as well as in Budapest and Madrid and a hub in Silicon Valley.

EIT Digital invests in strategic areas to accelerate the market uptake of research-based digital technologies focusing on Europe’s most pressing societal areas:
Digital Industry, Digital Cities, Digital Wellbeing, and Digital Infrastructure.

EIT Digital grooms top-level entrepreneurial digital talent focused on innovation through a blended Education Strategy that includes a Master School, Doctoral School and Professional School.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact them at

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