EIT RIS International Accelerator Bootcamp in Frankfurt

On 5 and 6 October 2017, start-ups from Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia came together to learn from experts about sustainable business modelling and how to expand their businesses. The innovators are two months into the EIT Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS) Accelerator programme. They came to Frankfurt on the invitation of Provadis School of International Management and Technology to connect and work with each other during the Bootcamp.

Around 60 startups from nine different European countries were selected to join the competitive Climate-KIC EIT RIS Accelerator Programme in June 2017. The programme encompasses a joint curriculum with a focus on sustainable business, national and international bootcamps, and provides businesses with coaching and mentoring.

The first day was all about connecting with each other and working together. ‘Open Innovation’ specialist Andy Zynga, founder and former CEO of NineSigma, set the scene with an inspiring keynote speech on why openness and cooperation are key to start-ups. In small breakout groups, the start-ups then started to explore synergies amongst their companies. After a tour through Höchst’s impressive industrial park, the start-ups had the opportunity over dinner to ask international experts questions relevant to their industries, including the Head of Innovation at Deutsche Bahn and the Co-Head of the Frankfurt School – UNEP Collaboration Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance.

On the second day, Annika Förster from German Trade & Invest – the economic development agency of the Federal Republic of Germany —was grilled by the teams with many questions regarding how to go about expanding into the German market. The teams then focused on sustainable business modelling for the rest of the day.

The start-ups will meet shortly in Portugal where they will come together for the programme’s second international bootcamp at the beginning of November. Hosted by BGI (Building Global Innovators), a deep technology accelerator, they will focus on getting investment-ready and bringing in clients. 

A matchmaking site has been set up to connect all participating teams to investors and other interested parties. The event is aimed to bring them closer together, following in the footsteps of previous years’ programme participants, including; for example, Sympower from Estonia which has recently raised €1m from angel investors and investment fund Enfuro Ventures.