The entrepreneurs, who have brilliantly completed their participation in the pilot edition of the programme Fit4Start, have been congratulated by Francine Closener, Secretary of State of the Economy, at a ceremony on 3 March 2016. Out of 100 applications, 5 promising start-ups have been selected to participate in the next edition and will benefit from a range of coaching sessions held by 'Lean Start-up' experts, as well as from a significant financial boost. Furthermore, Francine Closener has also announced that an additional financial envelope of 100,000 EUR will be set free for the Fit4 Start graduates who manage to raise private funds.
The satisfaction of the involved project holders in the pilot phase of the programme Fit for Start has confirmed the necessity to continue the initiative. 'The first call for project launched last January has largely retained the attention, because 100 files have been sent to us", witnesses Antoine Hron, Fit4Start programme Manager at Luxinnovation. Remarkable figures for a first edition. With 80% coming from the Greater Region – the rest comes from more or less far away geographical horizons, like England, Switzerland, Turkey, India... – the project holders have all proved the innovative potential of their ideas by constituting high quality files. 'More than the number of applications received, it's the quality of projects that has really blown us away. We were not aware of this sleeping potential and this has strengthened us in the idea that Luxembourg has a real power of attraction when it comes to start-ups', witnesses Antoine Hron.
The best among them, 20 in total, have been invited to 'pitch' last February in front of a jury made of experienced entrepreneurs and financial experts: Marco Houwen, Managing Partner at BHS service, Nicolas Henckes, Secretary General of the UEL, Robert Glaesener, CEO of Trendiction, Jérôme Wittamer, Founding Partner of Expon capital city, as well as Nicolas Buck, CEO of Seqvoia.
5 projects have excelled at these presentations, which has given them the opportunity to be retained for the next edition of the programme, namely:
- Connected Rope
- Visual Scaffolding
Additional financial envelope
These 5 projects, among which there are two companies that have already been and three that are about to be created, will fully enter into this adventure of 4 months. So it is a real challenge that is offered to them, hoping that they will follow the course mapped out by Houser and Sport50, the 2 projects crowned by the former edition and congratulated by Francine Closener, Secretary of State of the Economy.
The newly selected, for their part, will start their 16 weeks long coaching programme at the end of March and will receive an envelope of 50,000 EUR, subsidised by the Ministry of Economy. Proof of the will of the Ministry of Economy to improve the starting conditions of innovative start-ups and in particular of those having successfully finished the very selective programme, Francine Closener announced that the initial amount of aid will be raised by additional 100,000 EUR for each certified start-up being able to raise at least 50,000 EUR of private funds. Launching their activities under the best auspices!
About the Fit for Start programme
The Fit4Start programme supports start-ups in their initial phase by offering them financing and coaching adapted to the needs of early-stage enterprises created less than 12 months ago and composed of at least two people.
- All the business projects in the ICT field which have innovative aspects are eligible for participation.
- The holders of international projects are also invited to participate, provided that they are willing to create a company in Luxembourg in case their project is selected.
- Fit4Start is a Luxinnovation initiative in collaboration with the Ministry of Economy and in partnership with the national incubator Technoport.
(Source: Luxinnovation press release)