On March 3, five promising startups were selected from among the 100 applications received for participation in the next edition of the Fit for Start program. The five startups will benefit from coaching provided by “Lean Start-up” experts and substantial financial support of €50,000. Francine Closener, Secretary of State of the Economy, congratulated the graduates of the pilot edition of the program and also announced that an additional financial injection of €100,000 will be made available for Fit for Start graduates who manage to raise private funds.
(Picture: Francine Closener and the graduates of the pilot edition of the Fit4Start program © MECO)
The Fit for Start program supports businesses at the startup phase by providing funding and coaching tailored to the needs of early-stage companies – those incorporated less than 12 months and founded by at least 2 people. Any startup project with innovative aspects in the ICT field is eligible for participation. International entrepreneurs can also participate as long as they are prepared to set up a company in Luxembourg in the event that they are admitted to the program. Fit for Start is an initiative by Luxinnovation, in collaboration with the Ministry of the Economy and in partnership with the national incubator, Technoport.
We were not aware that there was such latent potential, and this strengthens our belief that Luxembourg is well positioned to attract startups.
The success of the Fit for Start pilot edition was such that it called for an extension of the initiative. “The call for projects launched in January 2016 and attracted much interest, receiving 100 applications,” said Antoine Hron, Fit for Start Program Manager at Luxinnovation. A very respectable figure for the first edition following the pilot of the program. 80% of the applications stemmed from the Greater Region, while the rest originated from more distant locations. “In addition to the sheer number, the quality of the projects really amazed us. We were not aware that there was such latent potential, and this strengthens our belief that Luxembourg is well positioned to attract startups,” emphasized Hron.
The 20 most interesting candidates were invited to pitch their projects to a jury composed of seasoned entrepreneurs and financial experts. Five projects stood out during those presentations and were invited to be part of the next edition: Connected Rope, Evvos, Klap, Nomoko and Visual Scaffolding. (Read more: What do startups expect from this program?)
Francine Closener announced that the amount of aid already granted will be increased by an additional €100,000 to each graduated startup of the program that raises at least €50,000 of private funds.
The five startups – two of which have already been formally set up while the others are in the process of incorporation – will now be part of this four-month adventure. They will take up the challenge and follow in the footsteps of Houser and Sport50, the two startups that successfully completed the pilot edition. What do startups expect from this program?
The new participants will start their 16-week coaching program at the end of March and will receive a grant of €50,000 from the Ministry of the Economy. Underlining the commitment of the Ministry to further improve the startup conditions for young innovative companies, Closener announced that the amount of aid already granted will be increased by an additional €100,000 to each graduated startup of the program that raises at least €50,000 of private funds. A pretty good start, isn’t it?