Supernovas, the leading women entrepreneurship support programme of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union, is pleased to announce the exceptional start-ups selected for its highly anticipated Rocket Up programme in 2023.
Addressing the unique challenges faced by women-led start-ups, the 15-week comprehensive programme offers tailored support from mentors with expertise in market expansion and strategy development, individualised guidance from industry experts, and valuable introductions to stakeholders.
For European start-ups, international expansion is vital due to the continent's diverse countries. Yet, expanding internationally is not so easy, as it requires consideration of various regulations, languages, and cultures. Specially for women-led ventures, which are often held back by additional barriers. With the programme, start-ups will define a successful expansion strategy. The startups selected have showed a strong team, remarkable product innovation with a focus on sustainability, and the potential for international expansion.
Celeste Reglá, Rocket Up Programme Officer
The selected 10 start-ups for the Rocket Up programme are:
- Gaya Bike (France): French smart-electric bikes brand, dedicated to make urban families life brighter.
- ProperGate (Poland): Smart logistics platform for construction sites, streamlining operations, optimizing resources, and driving sustainability.
- BitaGreen (Belgium): For healthier and happier cities, BitaGreen helps risk managers identify best locations for investment in climate-proof urban nature
- GoJauntly (UK): Free, award-winning, community-based app which promotes walking for leisure, active travel and nature connection.
- Ani Biome (Croatia): BioAgeTech startup enabling vitality through a microbiome-centric approach and personalised fermentation-derived metabolites
- Fermata (Cyprus): Computer vision solutions for the agricultural industry to reduce crop losses and significantly decrease the need for pesticide usage
- Corbiota (Germany): developing new and natural productivity-enhancing solutions for industrial animal health and welfare transferring complex microbiota to young animals
- SCALED (UK): Patented, nature-inspired, material innovation company developing flexible body armor, used in sports protection and medical orthotics
- Li-tech (Norway): Cutting-edge technology to detect and remove flammable batteries from the waste stream to create safe and green waste management
- Resourcly (Germany): B2B industrial inventory sharing platform to connect manufacturers and partners to stabilize supply chains, reuse resources and improve working capital.
Last year's edition of the Rocket Up programme was a resounding success, with all start-ups devising strategies to go abroad. Despite the financial crisis, at least 70% established fruitful relationships in their target markets and many successfully raised new financial rounds due to their international expansion efforts. Most start-ups maintained their collaboration with the EIT by becoming equity portfolio companies or participating in follow-on programmes, further fuelling their growth and impact on the innovation ecosystem.
A recent Supernovas studies identified that more than 600 European scale-ups are founded by women, representing around 8% of scale-ups in Europe. Women-led start-ups face unique challenges, including limited access to funding and networks compared to their counterparts. Recognising these challenges, the Rocket Up programme offers a comprehensive 15-week initiative tailored to provide a roadmap for success. All the start-ups participating in Rocket Up are committed to the goals of EIT Urban Mobility, EIT Food, or EIT Manufacturing.
Participants will engage in insightful group sessions with mentors possessing exceptional expertise in market expansion and strategy development. Additionally, each start-up will receive personalised support from hand-picked business and industry experts and gain in-person introductions to potential stakeholders. This holistic approach will empower the participants to expand internationally with a structured and validated entry strategy. Furthermore, the Rocket Up programme provides access to the extensive resources of the EIT Community and facilitates the creation of a female-founders network.
Supernovas, an EIT Community initiative, focuses on improving gender balance in entrepreneurship and innovation. The programme works with start-ups founded by women who want to promote their arrival in new markets and boost their sales (Rocket Up) or seeks to train and incorporate women with high scientific and technological knowledge in venture capital funds and continue to support their professional growth (Women 2 Invest), among others. A new feature this year is its Investment Forums, where investors seeking to increase the presence of startups led by women in their investment portfolios will find startups looking for funding and with a women or mixed entrepreneurial team at the helm.