The concept remains the same. A start-up’s selection, four months of coaching and a grant of up to 150,000 euros. However, in view of the growing success of its acceleration programme, Luxinnovation decided to open a “Health-tech” vertical for the 7th edition, which will culminate on 28 March with Graduation Day.
Moreover, the result is more than surprising for a first attempt. “The five selected start-ups were fairly heterogeneous in terms of product, focus, experience and expectations,” says Kevin Hollevoet, Senior R&D Manager for the Belgium consulting firm 2 Bridge and coach of the health technologies vertical for Fit 4 Start. “But all of them had a passion for innovation and ambition to learn.”
“Comparing their situation at the start of and at the end of the programme, considerable progress has been made,” adds Ingrid Maes, Co-founder of the consultancy firm Inovigate and also a member of the jury. “This is reflected in their business plan, but most visibly in their pitch and the way in which they look at their businesses.”
Next edition in 2019
A total of 40 start-ups from the health technologies sector submitted their applications for the 7th edition of Fit 4 Start, including 12 from Luxembourg. The rest of the applications came mainly from Europe, but project leaders from India, Uganda and the United States also tried their luck.
A great success highlighted by Françoise Liners, in charge of the health technologies department at the Ministry of Economy.
A selection that is growing in strength
The five start-ups in the health technology sector should not overshadow the ICT projects selected, since the quality of the latter was also very high. Nearly 200 projects were received. A large and high quality line-up that pleased the other jury in charge of choosing the top ten ICT candidates.
“Compared to previous years, there has been undeniable progress in the quality of the applications received,” confirms Assaf Topaz, professional investor and who was on the Fit 4 Start jury for the second time. “Entrepreneurs were more aware of the importance of refining their business plans as well as the concept of their offer. All were very open to the comments of the jurors and the progress made was significant.”
An evening not to be missed
The traditional Graduation Day, during which the fifteen start-ups selected for this 7th edition will graduate, will take place on 28 March at Kinepolis in Kirchberg. This day will also be the day of the 50 start-ups pre-selected for Fit 4 Start #8 comprising a pre-selection based on more than 220 applications from 44 different countries. The pitching sessions organised all day long look exciting. Entrance is free, and participants only need to register on the Luxinnovation website. So don’t hesitate. The ten selected projects will be announced in the evening.