According to the experts who take a picture of the whole year, the world was challenged by geopolitical turbulences hence sparking high hopes on the innovators. We saw a boom in AI-driven solutions, urgency for defense innovation and need for new ways to make green energy solutions live and scalable. With the focus on making scaling as fluent as possible for deep-tech startups, the EU has expanded its range of initiatives to support founders. Here, at Scale-up Champions community, we had an extensive set of live and hybrid tours and other activities to discover new markets. The programmes are in the post-project mode but the support continues. Let’s take a short review on what really matters for the founders.
Diving into new markets
The year was kicked-off by organizing local and global Demo Days for Investment Readiness programme’s participants. In spring season 40+ startups from 4 countries explored Estonia, Poland, Spain and Lithuania in live tours, also one online series of sessions with the Silicon Valley entrepreneurs' community, true experts in transforming startups into global players.
This March in Barcelona, Spain, La Salle Technova Barcelona innovation community was the first ones inviting startups to get to know the deep-tech landscape, especially developing Industry 4.0 innovation. At the international Advanced Factories expo and congress, deep-tech communities met to discover new prospects and how to overcome current challenges, brought on the surface by Pandemics, digitalization rush and logistics disbalances.
In the beginning of May, Scale-up Champions teams and partners Skylab Ignite joined 15 rising startups in celebrating their success in Copenhagen, Denmark. Estonian startup Up Catalyst, a company developing a method to produce sustainable carbon nanomaterials and graphite from CO2, received the special prize on the Pitch scene.
Poland's deep-tech sector is attractive for scaleups due to tech talents, cutting-edge R&D landscape, and funding options. The week in the middle of May at Poznan science and technology park was all about it. The Park has attracted key corporations and investors to share their knowledge on starting innovative businesses in Poland. In addition, one of the biggest events in the CEE region took place: the Impact22 congress was a place to meet potential business partners.
The end of May finalized these Market Discovery Tours. Organized by Tallinn Tehnopol, the final tour has invited to visit the flagship tech and startup conference in the region – Latitude59. Founders had a chance to meet the latest unicorn - fintech company Glia, also had a meetup with Starship Technologies, a pioneering company in the logistics robots.
Recognized scaleups secure investment and new contracts
The year was successful for the most ambitious startups. Some of them are worth emphasising there. Scale-up Champions Investment Readiness alumni an Estonian startup Ender Turing this spring has attracted 200k euros of VC investment from EstBAN (Estonian Business Angels Network) and plans an expansion worldwide.
KrattWorks, an Estonian deep-tech startup has signed a contract worth 15 million euros with Estonian Centre for Defence Investment to supply aerial target drones to Estonian Defence Forces for the next 7 years. Another Scale-up Champions alumni, TechNovator was awarded as the Start-up Exporter of the Year during Go Global Award 2022 in Tallinn.
Awarded innovation-support cases
Scale-up Champions deep-tech innovation support initiatives received pan-European recognition. In June our partners le Salle Technova Barcelona collected the award granted by the Association of Science and Technology Parks of Spain (APTE) for the best practice in Science and Technology Parks 2022 for the Scale-up Champions programmes. These practices were introduced as a new more sustainable way to deal with current innovation challenges.
Scale-up Champions team has introduced the startup-corporate collaboration approach towards a greener and more sustainable digitalization at the International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation (IASP) conference in Seville this September.
Innovation Manager at La Salle Technova, Carmen Adán, introduced the key insights of the paper “Supporting digital deep-tech startups by Scale-up Champions Pan-European Accelerator”. The paper was written together with Dr Anna Tórz, International Cooperation Officer at Poznan Science and Technology Park of Adam Mickiewicz University Foundation (PPNT).
New activities to come
As Scale-up Champions has entered the post-project phase, it continues to bring deep-tech communities together to exchange the expertise, R&D and mentoring practices. In November Tech-Park Kaunas (previously Kaunas STP) hosted the International Coaching Day’22 inspired by Scale-up Champions. Live sessions attracted more than 20 startuppers from Finland and Lithuania and took place in Kaunas, Lithuania. Innovation developers discussed digitalization challenges, the scaling process and scoring the best results in deep-tech sales among many more challenges the founders face in their everyday life.
Scale-up Champions share an extensive overview of high-quality resources available to founders, investors or corporates company looking at expanding your business into the Danish, Estonian, Lithuanian, Polish and Spanish ecosystems. Discover the support systems, innovation communities and VC funds, interested in promising tech. The Guide provides all the basic contextual information on scaling in 5 EU countries.
In addition, the Dealroom preparation zone is open for registered users. It helps startups prepare to meet the future investors. The zone contains a set of sharable folders that include all relevant documents you may need to define the business relations with investors, VCs, business angels.
As 2023 is continuing to be a great time for cutting-edge novelties, especially in the seach and development for sustainable technology and everything-AI, the need for deep-tech community support is emereging more than ever. Check out our partners events and initiatives for local and global communities here and stay tuned!