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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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    • SME Week Newsletter 2019: Issue #8 December 10, 2019
      The SME Assembly 2019 might be over, but the conversation is still going! This year the SME Assembly 2019 was an important contribution to the upcoming SME Strategy from the European Commission. During the Assembly delegates experienced the enterprising nature of Finland with a visit to Team Finland, and an entrepreneur expo throughout the event. […]
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    • Skills for the industry of the future! December 5, 2019
      Can you imagine what the jobs will look like in the industry of the future? Innovation, digitalisation and technology are driving the industry towards more competitiveness and change. Workforce needs new skills, competencies and creativity. The project ‘Skills for Smart Industrial and Digital Transformation’, launched two years ago by the European Commission, has helped cities, […]
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    • Romanian Radu Dumitrescu wins SME Week Youth Essay Competition 2019 December 3, 2019
      Radu Dumitrescu, 24 year-old from Romania, was proclaimed a winner of this year’s SME Week Youth Essay Competition during the European Commission’s SME Assembly. Radu Dumitrescu is one of the Editors-in-Chief of The New Federalist web magazine. He has a Master’s in Comparative Politics and is interested in voter behaviour, European affairs, and corporate personhood. […]
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    • SME Assembly 2019 – Day 3 November 28, 2019
      The third and final day of the SME Assembly started with an overview and discussion on the future roles for regions and cities in promoting both entrepreneurship and SMEs. The session was opened by Kristin Schreiber, Director for SME Policy and Entrepreneurship, European Commission: “I believe we achieved a lot through the single market and […]
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    • SME Economic Performance Review November 27, 2019
      Every year the European Commission analyses how much progress the countries made in implementing the Small Business Act for Europe (SBA). The SME performance review is one of the main tools the European Commission uses to monitor and assess countries’ progress in implementing the Small Business Act (SBA) on a yearly basis. With an emphasis on the […]
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    • SME Assembly 2019 – Day 2 November 27, 2019
      Day 2 of the SME Assembly opened with inspiring and thought provoking speeches from keynote speakers Professor Daniel Isenberg, Alberto Onetti and Petri Peltonen. Professor Daniel Isenberg spoke of the need to change our beliefs surrounding entrepreneurship and the fundamental need to focus on scaling up and ban unicorns from public discourse so as to […]
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    • EEPA Class of 2019 November 27, 2019
      The European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2019 celebrated the best of the best in a ceremony on the 2nd day of the SME Assembly 2019. On 26 November 2019, six category winners were awarded with EEPA prizes, and an overall Grand Jury Prize winner was crowned as being the most outstanding project across the six categories […]
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    • SME Assembly 2019 – Day 1 November 26, 2019
      The SME Assembly 2019 is underway! Day 1 got the event off to a fantastic start and was full of events and experiences for this year’s delegates. Kicking things off was the SME Envoy meeting, which also featured discussions on the future of SME Policy, including presentations and speeches from Amazon and Sugartrends representatives. Whilst […]
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    • Meet SME Assembly 2019 speaker – Alberto Onetti November 19, 2019
      Today on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal we are excited to introduce another speaker for the SME Assembly 2019, Alberto Onetti! Alberto is the chairman of the Mind The Bridge foundation which works to bring startups and corporates together to enhance growth and foster innovation. He is also the co-founder of Funambol, a white-label cloud […]
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    • Meet the 2019 Schumpeter Lecturer – Mariana Mazzucato November 14, 2019
      The SME Assembly 2019 is getting closer and it is time to meet this year’s Schumpeter Lecturer, Mariana Mazzucato! Read on to find out who she is and about her extensive work around entrepreneurship. Who is Mariana Mazzucato? Mariana Mazzucato (PhD) is Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value at University College London (UCL), where […]
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