Venture Award

Showcasing innovative start-ups

The EIT Venture Award was launched in 2012, and its purpose is to put successful entrepreneurial start-ups in the spotlight that have been supported by the Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) via a dedicated business creation or business development process. The award aims to provide nominated start-ups with the opportunity to showcase their business to the wider EU innovation community, access established management expertise, open up to new markets, and potentially raise venture capital financing.

Who can apply?

The award is open to start-ups working in any of the fields covered by the KICs (climate change mitigation and adaptation, next generation information society or sustainable energy).

In order to participate in the EIT Venture Award competition, ventures need to fulfill the following application criteria:

  • offers a product or service which is innovative and marketable, with a European perspective and the potential to expand globally
  • has obtained its first customer(s) or investor in case of long-term science-based projects;
  • is legally registered at the competent local registry/Chamber of Commerce;
  • is an innovative product or service backed by a team which convincingly demonstrates that it has the competence to successfully develop the product/service and bring it to the market.
  • comprises a team of a minimum of three Full Time Equivalents (FTEs);
  • has received business creation support by a KIC, i.e. the venture has gone through a structured business support process offered by one of the KICs
  • adds value to its KIC community, for instance by providing internships to students and contributes to the strengthening of entrepreneurial strategies, practices and culture of the KIC;

Before the EIT Awards ceremony, each KIC organises internal competitions for the start-ups they support and nominate the two ventures to compete for the EIT Venture Award, resulting in one overall EIT Award winner.

What do the EIT Award nominees have to do?

During the event, each EIT Venture Award nominee gives an investor pitch to the judges. They describe their idea/technology, highlight the benefits and outline their plans for the future. This is followed by a question and answer session.

What does the EIT Award winner get?
  • an increased European-wide promotion and the use of the “EIT Venture Award Winner” label in their profiling and/or marketing activities;
  • a tailor-made support package for their further business development