Romanian start-ups can apply until April 19th for the current edition of PowerUp!, a competition from 24 countries in Central and Eastern Europe. Because of the great interest and demand for the competition, its organizer EIT InnoEnergy has increased the main prize from €20,000 to €30,000!
Romanian start-ups with solutions covering the energy and cleantech sector, but solutions in areas such as mobility, cybersecurity, smart city and technologies limiting the emission of harmful dust particles into the atmosphere can enter the competition. Up to now, over 20 Romanian start -ups applied to the competition.
In addition to the main prize of €30,000, there are also financial prizes for both second and third places (€10,000 and €5,000). The authors of the most interesting projects will be invited to the prestigious EIT InnoEnergy Highway® accelerator, offering financing of up to €150,000.
As Jakub Miler, the CEO of EIT InnoEnergy Central Europe, explains, participation in the competition gives the best participants the opportunity to take advantage of EIT InnoEnergy’s unique know-how:
– We are different from other companies investing in start-ups. We not only finance, but also support the projects until they are commercialized. We offer services related to, for example, team building, training, coaching, mentoring. In addition, we facilitate access to external financing institutions, we help in cooperation with venture capital networks, we also develop the product itself – we cooperate with research institutes and universities, therefore we are able to invite engineers and from various fields to cooperate.
Andreea Breaz, programs coordinator, SprintPoint, the local hub representing PowerUp!, adds:
– It is the second year when Romania enters the competition and I am optimistic regarding the local start-ups to represent Romania in this program targeting innovators, even if it is quite a niched field. We have an effervescent ecosystem, with more and more financing and acceleration resources, which generates an increasing number of valuable solutions, including the areas targeted by PowerUp!. Therefore, I warmly invite to apply any start-up seeking opportunities to grow, especially because this year, the sectors in which InnoEnergy is interested to invest became broader and include new areas such as: cybersecurity, smart city and mobility solutions.
Michał Kraszewski, Business Creation Manager, EIT InnoEnergy, emphasizes that PowerUp! is also an opportunity to contribute to the improvement of the environment and its protection. The winners of previous editions of the competition have been given just such a chance, successfully developing and commercializing their solutions:
– An example is the Bin-e developed by the Polish team – a smart waste bin which recognizes and sorts municipal waste by itself. To date, the start-up has sold over 100 devices and has recently received a subsidy of almost €500,000!
In May, participants of PowerUp! will take part in Bootcamps and Country Finals. Winners will be invited to Prague for the final Bootcamps with European mentors and the Grand Final, which will take place on 19th June.
To participate in the competition, you must have a prototype, the team and fill in the form at: www.powerup.innoenergy.com