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Great results from Bootcamp in Budapest

EIT RawMaterials Food Health bootcamp

Transfer of business skills to innovative entrepreneurs from Central and Eastern Europe successfully organised by EIT Health, EIT RawMaterials and EIT Food.

13 countries, 48 participants and an equal number of innovative business ideas – the second interdisciplinary business planning bootcamp under the framework of the EIT Regional Innovation Scheme (EIT RIS) met even greater resonance among young start-up entrepreneurs predominantly coming from the Central and Eastern European Region. Held in Hungary’s capital Budapest, city of residence of the EIT, an intense two-day training session conveyed fundamental business plan writing skills to participants holding business ideas applying to various societal challenges addressed by the EIT.

As the promising kick-off bootcamp in Tartu/Estonia earlier in July, the Budapest bootcamp had been organised by the EIT’s Innovation Communities on Health and RawMaterials, complemented by EIT Food, thus continuing a successfully started cross Innovation Community collaboration focused on participants from countries within the EIT RIS. The event was hosted by General Electric (GE), industrial partner of EIT Health.

The cross Innovation Community Business Planning Bootcamp concept  is filling a remarkable gap. Although all participants had a business idea they wanted to refine and ultimately transform into a concrete business case, 25 topics being related to EIT Health and 21 to EIT RawMaterials, only 8 out of 48 participants had enjoyed business education before.

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Guided by experienced lecturers – Dr Catherine Bounsaythip, Business Developer at EIT RawMaterials, and Dr Arnold Fehér, Biotech/Life Sciences Strategy & Business Development Consultant specialised in convincing consulting, the young entrepreneurs learned how to develop a business case and were trained hands-on in developing a business model, financial plan and how to present their ideas to future investors.

The toolkit acquired in the bootcamp will now enable them to write and submit their business plans to the respective KICs. Depending on the relevance of the ideas and the quality of their forthcoming business plans the KICs will follow up and further support selected participants or teams. A networking event at the end of the first bootcamp day gave the participants additional opportunity for sharing experiences.

'This was a whole new experience for me, not only to work with so many young and highly committed entrepreneurs from so many different countries, but also to see how fruitful this interdisciplinary approach was. I am sure that this is also felt by the participants', said Catherine Bounsaythip.

Participants were eligible mainly, but not exclusively from countries included in the EIT RIS which is destined to boost innovation abilities in Central, Eastern and South European Countries. The innovative setting of cross Innovation Community bootcamps first realised in Tartu and Budapest is also meant to transfer knowledge from other European countries to EIT RIS regions and to make participants from non-RIS countries aware about the innovation possibilities in EIT RIS countries.

Péter Nagy, InnoStars Project Manager within EIT Health, summed the bootcamp up positively: 'I am particularly pleased that we were able to set a new success in EIT RIS activities in Budapest with this second joint bootcamp of our three KICs. Based on this positive experience, we will certainly continue and continue to improve such joint activities.'

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