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Deep Tech scaleups: apply now to the EIT Digital Challenge 2020

European fast-growing startups in digital technologies are invited to take part in the 2020 edition of the flagship competition to win international growth support

Brussels, 23 April 2020 - The EIT Digital Challenge, the competition for European digital deep tech companies, is now accepting applications. Fast-growing startups with existing customers – so called scaleups – are invited to apply in one of the following five thematic areas: Digital Tech, Digital Cities, Digital Industry, Digital Wellbeing and Digital Finance. The best five companies will receive prizes totaling €350,000 in cash and in kind. The application deadline is 7 June 2020.

“Among all applicants to the competition, we will select 20 companies and invite them to an exclusive event in November where they will pitch to a jury of high-profile corporates and investors,” says Dolf Wittkamper, Head of the EIT Digital Accelerator. “A total of 5 winners will be announced during this event, one Challenge winner and four runners-up; they all will receive a full year of tailored support from the EIT Digital Accelerator, valued at €50,000. On top of that, the Challenge winner will receive a cash prize of €100,000.”

The competition is focusing on ‘deep tech’ scaleups, broadly defined as technology companies with a differentiating product offering, leveraging sophisticated technology which is often protected or hard to reproduce.

“To overcome the current crisis, we need the imagination and the execution of the best entrepreneurs out there. With the EIT Digital Challenge, we are determined to identify the best European deep tech entrepreneurs and support them in building major companies that will tackle the world’s major challenges,” EIT Digital’s Chief Innovation Officer, Chahab Nastar, says.

Being awarded by the EIT Digital Challenge represents a significant milestone for scaleups willing to grow and expand internationally.

“Winning the EIT Digital Challenge helped us seize a couple of major deals for which we were waiting for the clients' final decisions. In less than 6 months, EIT Digital has already proved to provide us huge media coverage, some welcome financial support as well as numerous sales opportunities in Europe for which we are very grateful”- says Lucas Le Bell, CEO and Co-Founder of CerbAir, who was awarded in 2019 and joined the EIT Digital Accelerator shortly after.

The EIT Digital Accelerator consists of a pan-European team of business developers and fundraising experts operating from 17 cities across Europe, along with a hub in Silicon Valley. Since 2012, the EIT Digital Accelerator has supported over 300 fast-growing startups to sign up customers and raise capital. In 2019, the EIT Digital Accelerator was ranked among the World’s Top 5 Public Business Accelerators by UBI Global, and one of the top Accelerator brands in Europe, according to a survey by the European Startup Initiative.

Application criteria

To apply for the EIT Digital Challenge, companies must fulfil the following criteria: they must be based in one of the member states of the European Union, United Kingdom, or in one of the Horizon 2020 associated countries, they have to be in the growth stage (to be proven by showing annual revenue of over €300,000 or at least €2m in total funding), and they should be in their first ten years of existence.

Since its launch in 2014, the competition has attracted more than 2000 entries from all over Europe. Most of the winning scaleups have gone on to become internationally successful companies. Now it’s your turn!

The deadline for applications is 7 June 2020. For further information and to apply, please visit

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