MIT Enterprise Forum CEE is not slowing down. In April 2021, the recruitment for the spring edition of the acceleration program ended. The evaluation of the application is still ongoing, meanwhile, on May 10, recruitment for the autumn round starts. The goal of MIT EF CEE is to identify and support the development of the most innovative technology start-ups from Poland and Central and Eastern Europe. MIT EF CEE is a leader in acceleration in this part of Europe. It belongs to the global MIT Enterprise Forum network, affiliated with the world’s best technological university – Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Participation in the acceleration program is a unique opportunity for young entrepreneurs to gain invaluable knowledge, develop ideas under the supervision of experienced mentors, possibility of pilot implementation in a reputable partner company and establishing international contacts. 3 best start-ups will take part in a week-long online bootcamp organized with the participation of the Boston ecosystem, and the start-up offering the most innovative solution addressing social challenges will receive an additional prize of EUR 22 000 from CVC Capital Partners.
Observing the dynamic development of Genomtec or Hashiona – the winners of previous editions of the competition, confirms our belief that young entrepreneurs from Central and Eastern Europe are worth supporting. We want to support innovative ideas based on an interesting business model, at the same time responding to key social challenges. Areas of health, new energy or smart city, which we focus on in this autumn edition of the competition, are subject to constant, dynamic changes, generating a huge demand for innovative solutions. I am convinced that thanks to the cooperation with MIT Enterprise Forum CEE, we will support other young enterprises that will soon occupy an important place on the domestic and regional market – says Krzysztof Krawczyk, Partner of CVC Capital Partners.
The autumn round is the sixth edition of the program dedicated to start-ups from Poland and Central and Eastern Europe. The program is not losing popularity. Since the beginning of the initiative, MIT EF CEE has received more than 1,800 applications from 37 countries, and over 180 innovative companies have benefited from acceleration. Start-ups that took part in the program include, among others Telemedico, Hashiona, Genomtec. Each of these companies closed the financing round, acquiring significant funds for development. Genomtec also entered the NewConnect stock exchange.
“It is our mission to support the most promising technology start-ups in Central and Eastern Europe. We are pleased with the growing interest in the program both among participants and partners. – says Łukasz Owczarek, Head of Acceleration at MIT EF CEE – The fact that we receive more and more applications and new partners will appear in the autumn edition proves that there is both supply and demand for new technological solutions in the region. Observing how the effects of acceleration translate into the dynamic development of our “graduates”, we believe that it is worth continuing our mission.”
WHY IS IT WORTH?
First – knowledge. For several months of acceleration, start-ups will take part in trainings and workshops. They will learn the principles of “Disciplined Entrepreneurship” by Bill Aulet, prof. MIT, thanks to which they will be able to create / validate their business plan step by step. This is especially valuable for tech start-up founders with no or limited business experience. Under the supervision of Linda Plano, Ph.D., the participants will develop effective presentation skills, which will allow them to prepare for pitching in front of investors and potential business partners.
Second – mentoring. MIT EF CEE creates a wide network of experienced mentors from Poland and around the world. Each start-up can choose those mentors whose experience best suits their needs. Consultations with mentors are invaluable in the context of developing the participants’ business models.
Third – pilot. Program participants have the option of pilot or commercial implementation in a reputable partner company. Such experience allows them to validate the idea in practice and prepare for talks with potential business partners.
Fourth – networking. The acceleration program is an opportunity to establish international contacts not only with mentors. The program builds long-term relationships between participants from different countries. It is an invaluable source of peer-to-peer mentoring and sharing experiences on key challenges in the start-up life cycle (e.g. pilot, obtaining a financing round).
Fifth – Boston Bootcamp online. An invitation to the MIT Enterprise Forum CEE Bootcamp intensive training cycle is waiting for 3 program winners. It will be held with the involvement of representatives of the ecosystem in Boston (USA). The week-long bootcamp offers training courses, foreign mentors and the opportunity to present the idea to the American audience. Despite changing the formula to online, bootcamp is still an opportunity to broaden horizons, establish valuable international contacts and prepare for internationalization of the business.
“Experience shows that our acceleration program is tailored to the needs of start-ups. In each edition, we introduce new elements: mentors, training topics, tools – says Łukasz Owczarek, Head of Acceleration at MIT EF CEE – However, the general framework of the program guarantees that young entrepreneurs will find everything necessary for business development. We hope that the winners of the autumn edition will soon join the group of the Polish rising stars such as Genomtec, Hashiona and Telemedico.”
“AUTUMN 2021” EDITION
The call for applications for the autumn edition will start on May 10 and will last until June 27, 2021. Applications can be submitted at www.mitefcee.org . They will be subject to content-related evaluation. The next stage of recruitment will be interviews. The recruitment results will be announced on October 25, 2021.
In the autumn edition, MIT EF CEE is looking for start-ups in the following areas:
- New Energy,
- Industry 4.0,
- Fintech & Insurtech,
- Smart city.
- Reatial & Autonomous Store
It also allows start-ups offering solutions from other areas, provided that they are characterized by a high level of innovation and commercialization potential.
The Main Partners of the autumn edition of the acceleration program are Adamed, Coca-Cola HBC Poland and MCX.
The group of Supporting Partners from the spring edition: HubHub and Vetasi is joined by Żabka Polska, which is looking for technology start-ups in the area of an autonomous store, the use of artificial intelligence for sales prediction and supply management, and the JD Group with such areas of research as sustainability, advanced materials and technologies, new energy.
CVC Capital Partners remains the Supporting Partner and for the 7th time it will fund the CVC Young Innovator Awards in the amount of EUR 22 000. The award is intended for the best project that solves important social problems through innovation and is run by young entrepreneurs (under 30).