Some 500 people (selected start-ups, jury, investors and the public) were expected to attend this event, which would have both rewarded start-ups that had completed the 9th edition of the Fit 4 Start programme and marked the launch of the 10th edition.
The Fit 4 Start acceleration programme, launched by the Ministry of Economy and managed by Luxinnovation in collaboration with Technoport and the Luxembourg City Incubator, was initially dedicated to start-ups in the information and communication technology sector. It has since been opened to start-ups in the space and health technologies sectors.
“A significant number of participants should have come from all over the world, including from so-called ‘risk’ areas. It was unreasonable to keep this event as it is, for obvious public health reasons“, explains Sasha Baillie, CEO of Luxinnovation.
However, the cancellation of the public ceremony does not in any way mean the cancellation of this programme. “Nor was there any question of penalising entrepreneurs and young companies who have already invested a lot of energy in the preparation for this presentation session“, says Sasha Baillie.
The 77 start-ups selected among the 362 that submitted an application will be contacted individually and “visio-pitch” sessions will be organised in the presence of the jury members.
“For some of the selected start-ups, this pitch is really a crucial step in their development. By offering them the opportunity to present themselves, we are looking after both their economic and human interests,” says Stefan Berend, Head of Start-up Acceleration at Luxinnovation and coordinator of the Fit 4 Start programme.
At the end of the call for projects, which lasted five weeks between December 2019 and January 2020, no less than 362 start-ups from 56 countries had applied. An initial pre-selection process resulted in the selection of 59 ICT start-ups and 18 Space start-ups. They will now present themselves by videoconference before the members of the jury who will ultimately select 10 ICT and 5 Space technologies.
These 15 start-ups, incorporated in Luxembourg, will receive funding of 50,000 euros and will follow, for four months, intensive and personalised coaching by being hosted in one of the two partner incubators, Technoport or the Luxembourg City Incubator.