As the pilot edition is drawing to a close, the first open call for applications for the ‘Fit for Start’ programme was launched on 18 January 2016. Developed by Luxinnovation in cooperation with the Ministry of the Economy and the Technoport incubator, the programme offers ICT start-ups in Luxembourg 16 weeks of coaching by “Lean Start-Up” experts and a public grant of €50,000.
Targeting Luxembourg-based start-ups with innovative aspects
Business projects in the ICT field which have innovative aspects are eligible for participation. The companies must be in the process of being set up or have been incorporated less than a year ago, be based in Luxembourg and consist of a team of at least two people. International participants are welcome to apply, provided they are prepared to set up a company in Luxembourg in case they are selected for participation.
Applications for the spring 2016 edition of Fit for Start can be submitted online on www.fit4start.lu until 12 February. The best candidates will be invited to present their projects to a jury composed of experienced entrepreneurs who will select the five most promising start-ups. Interested parties who are unable to take part in this edition will have a new opportunity to join the programme in autumn this year.
Using the “Lean Start-Up” methodology that provides a structured approach for new companies to develop products and services faster, Fit for Start helps start-ups in the field of information and communication technologies (ICT) get on the right track for establishing a successful and sustainable business. Participating start-ups develop a prototype of their product, identify their first clients and invite them to test the product. The feedback from clients allows them to see whether they are on target or need to change direction – before investing too much money, time and effort. They are accompanied throughout this process by specialised coaches, selected by Luxinnovation.
Two partners for success
Luxinnovation is the national agency for innovation and research. It works closely with authorities, businesses and research centres in order to support research and innovation, promoting the Grand Duchy as a premium location for establishment, helping businesses and providing them with information, and consulting the Government in the field of research and innovation.
Technoport is an incubator with a mission: help indidividuals and small teams to validate and guide their ideas to success, by acting as an incubator for innovative and technology-oriented companies who want to establish themselves and are in need of support.
Luxembourg, an enabling environment for ICT
For some years now, all Luxembourg players in the ICT sector have been working together to improve the environment for businesses in this sector. Thus, the ICT sector accounted for 7% of GDP in Luxembourg in 2014, is a source of growth and job creation that does not stop at the borders but attracts companies and individuals from around the world.
The state-of-the-art IT infrastructures and redundant broadband connectivity makes Luxembourg also the place to locate data centres and IT functions. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) noted in 2014 that the Grand Duchy stood in 10th place in the list of the most advanced ICT economies (out of 166 countries), and was one of the countries with the lowest prices for ICT services. What is more, the Grand Duchy stands in first place worldwide for access to the new technologies.
Supported by the Ministry of Economy and actors like FEDIL, the ABBL, the clc, the University of Luxembourg and the National Research Fund and being able to benefit from the presence of incubators such as the Technoport or 1535°, the ICT sector in Luxembourg is resolutely looking towards a secure future.
(Source: press release of the Ministry of the Economy / Luxinnovation and Technoport)