13 January / The recruitment process has just started for the next edition of the acceleration program organized by MIT Enterprise Forum CEE, which aims to identify and support the most innovative startups from Central and Eastern Europe. Selected international startups can also obtain funding via the Poland Prize. The program represents a unique opportunity for startups to not only gain knowledge and funds for further development, but also international contacts and the opportunity to establish cooperation with reputable companies.
The goal of MIT EF CEE’s program is to find startups with solutions that will answer the needs of our dynamically changing world. “Nowadays, when both the world and new technologies develop at such a dizzying pace, we need solutions that meet emerging problems. Our program focuses on Central and Eastern Europe, but we also try to reach out to Western Europe and beyond, as we see a huge potential of young companies in these markets” said Łukasz Owczarek, Head of Growth at MIT EF CEE.
This current edition is aimed at technology startups operating in the areas of, among others, health, new energy, industry 4.0, finance and insurance (fintech and insurtech), sustainable development, marketing (martech), smart city and retail (retail and autonomous store).
Affiliated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology - the American cradle of innovative entrepreneurship - the MIT Enterprise Forum CEE acceleration program gives startups the opportunity to build recognition and credibility on foreign markets. Participation allows startups to develop their innovative solutions under the supervision of experienced entrepreneurs, while also providing a unique chance to establish new business contacts and partners. This, combined with the close cooperation with industry leaders - who in turn are seeking innovative solutions for their own sectors - enables startups to accelerate by gaining a strong market advantage.
In the Spring 2022 edition, startups further have the chance for both pilot and commercial implementations in the program’s partner companies, which this year include the likes of Adamed, MCX, Żabka, ANWIL SA, Pekao SA and PZU. In addition to networking, mentoring and pilot opportunities from these aforementioned partners, foreign startups from outside Poland have the chance to receive up to EUR 60 000 in non-equity funding under the Poland Prize.
Applications must be submitted by February 28, 2022, via the website www.mitefcee.org. Selected startups will be announced in early June.
Since the initiative first launched, over 2,000 applications have been received from 30 countries, with as many as 200 companies benefitting from the program’s acceleration. Some of the most recognizable startups to take part in previous editions include Telemedico, Hashiona, Genomtec, Zowie, StethoMe, Lerta, Plantalux, WorkAI, PlanetHeroes and Symmetrical AI.
The winners of the most recent program, the 2021 autumn edition, were announced on January 12. Prizes were awarded to 5 startups. Wynajem.pl won the Alumni Award for its comprehensive, integrated marketplace system. Mobilis Robotics won 100,000 PLN under the CVC Young Innovator Award for its intelligent sound signaling devices for helping deaf and blind people in the city. Omniaz won both the public audience award, as well as an appreciation in the Boston Bootcamp category, for its image recognition & AR metaverse retail solution. Wingo and its energy-saving tables also received a Boston Bootcamp award, as did Ender Turing for its sales-supporting AI. “ You will certainly be hearing more about them in the news, so don’t wait to submit your startup to us. Maybe your idea will help us change the world!” adds Łukasz Owczarek.
The main partners of the new spring edition of the MIT Enterprise Forum CEE acceleration program are Adamed, MCX and Żabka. Alongside them are a number of supporting partners: ANWIL SA, HubHub, Pekao SA and PZU.
The Poland Prize by MIT EF CEE is implemented under Measure 2.5 of the Intelligent Development Operational Program financed by the European Regional Development Fund.