On February 1, 2021, recruitment for the MIT Enterprise Forum CEE Spring 2021 startup acceleration program started. For innovative companies from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), it is a unique opportunity to establish cooperation with market leaders, gather invaluable knowledge and gain international contacts, as well as obtain funds for further development.
Key facts about MIT EF CEE Spring 2021:
- €22,000 from CVC Capital Partners for the startup with the biggest social impact
- Invitation to a week-long bootcamp in Boston for the top 5 startups
- Pilot or commercial implementations in partner companies (Adamed, Coca-Cola, MCX, ANWIL S.A.)
- Business workshops, plus access to an international network of mentors and partners
- Applications can be submitted from February 1 to March 28, 2021
- The program is affiliated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- This is the fifth edition of the program addressed at startups from CEE, which has so far accelerated over 170 companies
The current edition is aimed at science and technology companies operating in the areas of Health, New Energy, Industry 4.0, Fintech & Insurtech, Sustainability, Martech and Smart Cities.
Applications can be submitted until March 28, 2021 via the website at www.mitefcee.org. The recruitment results will be announced in June 2021.
BENEFITS FOR STARTUPS
The MIT EF CEE startup scaling program is affiliated with a prestigious research center and the American cradle of innovative entrepreneurship – the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). For young technology companies, the mere qualification for acceleration helps build recognition and credibility on foreign markets. And this is just the beginning of the adventure!
“The wide range of the program and the global ranking of partners give startups a unique opportunity to expand and gain international recognition.” says Łukasz Owczarek, Head of Acceleration at MIT Enterprise Forum CEE. “Participants will have access to numerous investors and advisers, as well as potential business partners from the USA and CEE. Market leaders and international institutions are waiting for the discovery of new “unicorns” and the implementation of their solutions.”
An important element of acceleration is connecting startups with industry leaders looking for innovative solutions in their sectors. In this edition, entrepreneurs will get a chance for pilot and commercial implementations in partner companies such as Adamed, Coca-Cola, MCX and ANWIL S.A. (ORLEN Group).
Entrepreneurs who successfully pass the recruitment process will work closely with international mentors on the development of their companies’ business models over several months. They will be helped by, among others, a series of workshops, during which they will learn and put into practice the principles of “Disciplined Entrepreneurship” by Prof. Bill Aulet, MIT. The innovators themselves will also acquire many valuable skills, such as the art of pitching to investors, the secrets of which Linda Plano, a long-time trainer at the MIT EF CEE, will introduce at the “Pitch Academy”. Her unique approach has helped entrepreneurs to raise over $1.3 billion.
TRIP TO BOSTON FOR THE BEST STARTUPS
The five top-rated startups will receive an invitation to the MIT Enterprise Forum CEE Bootcamp, an intensive training cycle, which will be held in Boston, USA. During the week-long trip, participants will have the opportunity to take part in a number of thematic workshops focused on international development, with particular emphasis on the American market.
The training visit to Boston also gives participants the opportunity to get to personally know one of the world’s largest innovation ecosystems and establish valuable business contacts.
THE FORGE OF INTERNATIONAL SUCCESS
There has never been a shortage of bold ideas and technological solutions among applicants. In all previous editions, MIT EF CEE received over 1,500 applications from 37 countries. Competition is invariably intense and the presented projects are very diverse – representing 26 industries in total – from biotechnology to materials engineering.
It is not easy to select the most promising projects. In all previous editions, alongside a detailed analysis of each application, it also required nearly 500 hours of interviews with their founders. Ultimately, 171 startups, 11% of the original total, were accepted for acceleration.
Among the winners of previous editions is XTPL, a supplier of ultra-precise printed nanomaterials, which, after acceleration, opened a company in the Silicon Valley, entered the Warsaw Stock Exchange, and obtained over €15 million in financing from private and public funds. The company is the holder of nearly 20 international patent applications.
Genomtec is also an alumnus of MIT EF CEE, which developed and introduced to the market ultra-rapid single and double gene tests for the SARS-CoV-2 virus using the RT-LAMP technique. The company has had a successful IPO, which raised over €1.7 million.
Plantalux, similarly, is another interesting example of a project that benefited from acceleration, dealing with advanced technology to support plant growth. Since participating in the bootcamp in Boston, which – as the founders emphasize – had a huge impact on their way of thinking about the business and strategy, the company has grown from a team of several people to almost 50 employees, dealing with implementations in both North and South America.
ADDITIONAL €22,000 FOR HIGH SOCIAL IMPACT SOLUTIONS
Once again, the formula of the MIT EF CEE acceleration program will be extended by the award of the CVC Young Innovator Awards, funded by CVC Capital Partners. It can be won by companies which, through innovation, solve significant social problems and, at the same time, are run by young entrepreneurs (under 30). €22,000 is waiting for the winner. The winners of previous editions of the awards include Hashiona and Genomtec.
For the sixth time, as part of the CVC Young Innovator Awards competition, we are looking for young and ambitious entrepreneurs who can challenge the status quo and create unique business models or innovative technologies, skillfully combining them with social sensitivity. Today, when the whole world is struggling with the coronavirus pandemic, more than ever, we need companies that have interesting ideas not only for dynamic growth, but also for addressing key social challenges so that they can positively change the lives of the communities in which they operate. By cooperating with the MIT Enterprise Forum CEE, we can support the most promising startups in Central and Eastern Europe, whose rapid development is crucial for the economy of the entire region. – says Krzysztof Krawczyk, Partner of CVC Capital Partners.
During the recruitment, accompanying events will also take place, including webinars with the representatives of corporate partners, alumni and external experts, as well as meetups with a special guest. For entrepreneurs interested in entering, it is a great opportunity to get to know the conditions of participation and the MIT EF CEE community better, and to get answers to bothering questions.
More information about the program, including a list of upcoming events and registration options, can be found at www.mitefcee.org.
The main partners of the Spring Edition 2021 of the acceleration program are:
- Adamed – a pharmaceutical and biotechnology company that was founded on the basis of Polish scientific thought and own patents.
- The Coca-Cola system companies in Poland – leader of the soft drinks market in Poland, owner and distributor of brands present in over 200 countries around the world.
- MCX – the core of a strong group of specialized companies that provide comprehensive solutions in the field of FinTech, renewable energy and the broadly understood area of Smart Cities.
The supporting Partners are ANWIL S.A., CVC Capital Partners, HubHub and Vetasi.