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Tag ‘Promoting SMEs’

EIT Health’s Product/Market Fit open to e-health companies looking to expand

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With a good idea, some investment and hard work, start-ups in the health and life sciences fields can get started in their local market. But if these firms are going to achieve meaningful growth, and if their innovations are going to benefit a wider audience, they will have to go abroad – which means understanding new regulations, a different culture and an unknown set of market realities.

This is where Product/Market Fit comes in. An EIT Health Accelerator programme, Product/Market Fit helps start-ups that have already established themselves in one market and are ready to expand beyond their borders. The support this programme offers has an estimated market value of EUR 25 000, but the opportunities it provides can be worth much more than that.

“Based on our experience in the Accelerator, grownup start-ups start needing support with going to other markets,” according to Katrien Van Gucht, a Co-Coordinator of the EIT Health Accelerator Strategy and  Digital Health Program Manager at EIT Health partner IMEC. “We wanted to get in that sweet spot, right when they are ready to expand,’ said Johnny Waterschoot, who project manages European open calls for IMEC. “We are looking for companies that are ready to go beyond their borders, but lack the necessary funding to do just that. This programme will help them decide what markets to address next.”

According to Van Gucht, companies that are mature enough to qualify for this programme have typically raised about EUR 500 000 in investment and generally consist of two or three people. She said the companies obtain great value from the market testing that the programme can do. “The trial and error ratio of going out and seeing for themselves if they can make it in another market, we reduce this a great deal for them. They will see if they still need some work before they start growing in that market. Or the outcome could be that this market is not for them.”

If the entrepreneurs have the passion and drive to expand, the Product/Market Fit programme can provide them with many of the other tools they need.

Interested in finding out how to apply? Read more about the process here.

For more information: https://eit.europa.eu

Secret of Success – Renata Kišek (Rettro d.o.o.)

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Renata Kisek - Rettro d.o.o.We originally set up RETTRO to provide complex IT services to large companies. With the help of ESF and JAPTI research funding, we have since diversified into developing web-based products and services applicable for mobile devices. RETTRO’s latest product is a mobile application called Notifly. Notifly is a revolutionary new system of conveying content through sound code, undetectable by a human ear. FLY messages are broadcast by TV and radio stations, event and concert managers, organisations, restaurants, shops etc. to consumers who want additional information related to the programme they are watching; the shows they are attending; the shops they are visiting. Looking ahead, the challenges for RETTRO are to continue to create new innovative products and access new markets.

Start ups and small firms in general would most benefit from a tax regime that encourages investment in R&D and from more flexible employment rules.

“Entrepreneurs are important to society because we create jobs, develop the economy, bring new ideas, discover new businesses and boost the local community.”

Hero(es): Honest and fair people

Start up capital: Savings and ESF/JAPTI investment

Growth rate p.a: 33%

Can you code? Yes

Employees: 11

Education / Training: Mathematics

Product / Service: Marketing/retail applications

 

Secret of Success – Andrej Glézl (Datamolino)

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Andrej Glezl - Datamolino s.r.o.I started Datamolino because I wanted small businesses to have the same access to technology as large ones. Datamolino is a platform for accountants, that processes invoices and receipts sent in any format and exports the extracted data into any accounting software thereby saving time and money. The growth potential for our platform is huge with some 16 billion ‘unstructured’ invoices in Europe alone. We benefited hugely from being part of Telefonica’s Wayra acceleration programme that helped us get to market quickly and gave us access to a large customer base.

That ecosystem of entrepreneurs, a skilled workforce and investors are essential to the growth of the economy and government needs to ensure that all the conditions are in place for such ecosystems to thrive.

“Entrepreneurs are important to society because we drive innovation, creating products that add value through material benefits, savings or unique experiences.”

Hero(es): Nelson Mandela

Start up capital: Investors and acceleration programme (Wayra)

Mentor(s): Yes

Can you code? No

Employees: 19

Education / Training: Lawyer

Product / Service: Accountancy software

Secret of Success – Anna Gullstrand (Fröjd)

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Anna Gullstrand - Froejd InteractiveI set up Fröjd because I felt strongly that there was a better way of conducting business – a way that would benefit both clients and employees. Fröjd creates e-commerce solutions, websites, campaign sites and mobile applications that support our customers in achieving their objectives. Our vision is to be “The Web Agency of the Future”, an ongoing challenge that means we must stay curious, alert and ahead of market trends. This gives us valuable insights and new business areas to explore, and keeps us on our toes. I believe I am an entrepreneur at heart, regardless of what the digital era has given us, but I believe the dynamics of the industry have helped me grow faster.

My shopping list for further improvements in enterprise promotion would be: subsidise broadband and computers to minimise socio-economic gaps; add programming to the school curriculum; establish more accelerator programmes; and free Wi-Fi in public areas.

“Entrepreneurs like me are important to society because we are driven by change and progress, to find solutions to everyday problems and long-term challenges.”

Hero(es): Astrid Lindgren

Mentor(s): No

Can you code? No

Employees: 14

Education / Training: Digital communications

Product / Service: Digital communications

 

Secret of Success – Nebojsa Matic (MikroElektronika)

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Nebojsa Matic - MikroElektronicaI founded MikroElecktronica ten years ago because I wanted to provide software and hardware tools that would save engineers time. We offer entire development tool chains for all major microcontroller architectures that are easy to use and offer complete solutions, unlike many other products on the market today. Even though electronics predated the internet, it would have been much harder for me to set up and grow MikroElektronika without it. In fact, I believe that starting and growing a business takes just 5% of the effort required before the web and digital technologies were available.

Entrepreneurs like me should be left alone by government to get on with what we are good at.

“Entrepreneurs are important to society because we prove that it can be done.”

Start up capital: Savings

Growth rate p.a: 30%

Mentor(s): No but wish I had

Can you code? Yes

Employees: 60

Education / Training: Electronics

Product / Service: Engineering hardware and software

Secret of Success – Patryk Strzelewicz (Game Technologies)

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Patryk Strzelewicz - Game Technologies

At Game Technologies, we strive to invent and create products that do not exist in the market. In the last few years, we have achieved this twice. Our lead product is the most technologically advanced game controller in the world called DICE+. The dice is used to play interactive board games on a tablet or computer. The dice itself is a tiny device (only 25 grams in weight) packed with 60 individual components, all of which are produced in the European Union. We are one of a few hundred companies that will receive an R&D grant this year from the EU.

If I were Minister for SMEs and start ups, I would consistently promote the gaming industry, especially at international trade fairs.

“Entrepreneurs are important to society because we create the most jobs, design numerous innovative products and inspire new businesses to develop more companies.”

Hero(es):  My father

Start up capital: Own and private investor

Mentor(s): Yes

Can you code? No

Employees: 120

Education / Training: Engineering

Product / Service: Gaming

Co-ordinator Catch Up

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Each country participates in European SME Week in a way relevant to its own small and medium-sized enterprise community, so we interviewed Helena Moura, National Coordinator for Portugal, to find out more.

Helena-Moura-Portugal

How does the Week work in Portugal? Which organisations are involved?

Since 2009, IAPMEI, the Portuguese Agency for SME and Innovation has run SME Week in Portugal. The organisation has helped different organisations work together to execute and promote all aspects of SME Week.

How do you promote European SME Week?

  • We do a range of different things to promote SME Week in Portugal:
  • IAPMEI included information about SME Week in the Enterprise Europe Network in Portugal newsletter and the Enterprise Europe Network reaching 28,000 subscribers.
  • We announced SME Week at various conferences, seminars, meetings and sent personalised emails to a huge number of stakeholders.
  • We also have a permanent info desk where people can find out more about SME Week

What did you learn from last year’s events?

In order to get the best results, we regularly carry out interim assessments to make sure that we are always learning, so we can improve throughout the process.

And finally, what impact does European SME Week have in Portugal?

SME Week plays a crucial role in the work we do to promote SMEs in Portugal. It encourages key stakeholders and entrepreneurs to engage with and support SMEs. Portugal is one of the most active countries in promoting entrepreneurship and small business.

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    • INNOSUP funded open call DIGI-B-CUBE – SMEs against COVID-19 July 9, 2020
      The original article can be found on the EASME website. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of our lives and presented new challenges across different sectors. One sector in particular that has had to endure, react and innovate is healthcare, and healthcare systems in particular have been under significant strain. In response to this […]
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    • Acts of solidarity – How a Belgian seamstress supported the medical sector and general public July 2, 2020
      We are back with part two of the first of our ‘COVID Stories’ which look at how companies and people have been affected by the current pandemic and how they have adapted to their new business environments. In this interview Catherine Lorent, a Belgian micro SME owner who has used her sewing business to aid […]
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    • SME Week Newsletter 2020: Issue #4 June 30, 2020
      Welcome to the June edition of the SME Week Newsletter. Over the past months, Promoting Enterprise has been working to bring you the latest COVID related policy updates, exciting developments from the EEPA 2020 competition and news from the world of SMEs. In this issue, we wanted to bring you something more and share stories, […]
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    • EEPA 2020 – Running a national competition with German coordinator Juliane Kummer June 26, 2020
      Today on Promoting Enterprise we are delighted to introduce one of the key players in the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA), a national coordinator! National coordinators are responsible for promoting and driving applications for the national EEPA competitions. They offer assistance to applicants, ensure that they understand what is expected of them and reach out […]
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    • Call for applications – Science is Wonderful! 2020 June 23, 2020
      Science is Wonderful! brings the world of science, research and innovation to the public. This year, the exhibition will take place fully online from 22 to 24 September as part of the second edition of the European Research and Innovation Days. Through an array of digital activities, researchers will interact with children, students and citizens,explain […]
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    • Acts of solidarity – How a Belgian seamstress started making masks June 18, 2020
      Today on Promoting Enterprise we are bringing you the first of our ‘COVID Stories’ which will look at how companies and people have been affected by the current pandemic and how they are adapting to their new business environments. Our first story focuses on Catherine Lorent, a Belgian micro SME owner who has used her […]
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    • European Commission consults Member States on proposal to expand State aid Temporary Framework June 16, 2020
      The original press release is available in the Commission Press Corner. On Friday 12 June, the European Commission sent Member States for consultation and comment a draft proposal to further extend the scope of the State aid Temporary Framework adopted on 19 March 2020 to support the economy in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. […]
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    • EEPA 2020 – Germany selects their national winners! June 11, 2020
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    • Coronavirus: EU grants €314 million to innovative companies to combat the virus and support recovery June 9, 2020
      The original press release is available in the Commission Press Corner. The European Commission has awarded nearly €166 million, via the European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator Pilot, to 36 companies to combat the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, over €148 million will be granted to another 36 companies to contribute to the recovery plan for Europe, […]
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    • What is the impact of winning an EEPA? June 4, 2020
      There is still time to submit an application for this year’s European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) and get involved in this celebration of enterprise! Check your national deadline here. The EEPA reward those who promote entrepreneurship and small business at the national, regional and local level through a variety of initiatives spanning six individual categories. Winning […]
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