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These are the 7 EU|BICs contending in the Excellence Awards Final

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EBN’s mission to identify, commemorate, share and showcase the most effective practices within the EU|BICs

The Final is here! After careful consideration from the Jury, these are the 7 finalists that will be ready for a showdown this June 13 on the stage of CIC Ouest in Nantes, the venue of EBN Congress. Our esteemed audience will have the final say on who takes the prize of two Techcamp tickets, plus the honour of having the Most Impactful Programme in Europe.

The Jury is formed by three experts with decades of experience in the areas of innovation and business support organizations. Samuel Bachelot, Development and Innovation Adviser, is the representative of Atlanpole, co-organisers of EBN Congress 2024. Former Representative of EU|BIC Associates at the EBN Board of Directors Monica Pesce, now consulting for EY, together with the Slovenian Stojan Gorup, who was the Director at Inkubator Sezana, finalise the line-up.

The European Business & Innovation Centre Network (EBN) is enjoying its 40-year anniversary. Since its inception, the EBN has been dedicated to supporting EU|BICs (European Business and Innovation Centres) across the continent. This 2024 the EU|BIC Excellence Awards have been established, aligned with the EBN’s mission to identify, commemorate, share and showcase the most effective practices within the EU|BIC community.

Without further ado, let’s introduce the seven EU|BIC finalists contending for the title of Most Impactful Programme in the EBN Excellence Awards 2024.

Laval Mayenne Technopole – Challenge Compétences

Organized since 2011, this program created by Laval Mayenne Technopole and Laval’s Ecole des Arts et Métiers enables companies in Mayenne to mobilize the skills and know-how of students from the department’s higher education establishments to generate new innovation projects. Over the course of a week, a team of 4 or 5 students visits the company, then takes part in a creativity session to generate new ideas based on their skills, and chooses with the company to develop an idea to the model stage. The only instruction given to the companies is that they must not submit a work topic to the students, but rather let their fresh eyes and skills generate new ideas. The challenge has a number of objectives, with the aim of bringing together students and companies from Mayenne to promote development and innovation: – Promote the skills available in MayenneRaise students’ awareness of creativity and innovationPromote Mayenne companies and their innovationsInitiate projects within Mayenne companies.

laya mayenne european business and innovation centre

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Bilisim Vadisi – Digiage

bilisim vadisi european business and innovation centre

DIGIAGE (Digital Game and Animation Center) program, which was designed to prevent inequality of opportunity in technology, to reach young talents in the digital gaming industry and to bring the discovered talent to a level that turns it into business, started its activities as a game cluster center in Bilisim Vadisi in 2019. Aiming to contribute to the game development ecosystem and enable young people to benefit more from the global digital economy, DIGIAGE organizes workshops, camps and trainings on a sector basis. It continues to organize two game development camps every year, summer and winter, since 2019. A total of 18000+ applications were made to these camps from 71 different cities and 30 different countries. 3200+ online and 1440+ physical people attended the camps. 250+ games developed. With the knowledge and experience it gained, DIGIAGE became the spin-off company of Bilisim Vadisi and started working as an incorporated company in January 2023. To entrepreneurs; it provides support on issues such as legal, accounting, team, training and investor negotiations, from company establishment to series A investment processes.

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CEIN – CEIN Health

cein european business and innovation centre

CEIN HEALTH is a regional annual based programme that offers an integrated itinerary to support, promote and accelerate innovative business projects and startups/scaleups in the health field in Navarra, setting up their business, their market launch and their commercial development with its first-class services and professionals. It acts in all the phases of the business creation process involving the main stakeholders of the ecosystem. CEIN HEALTH works mainly in 3 areas: MEDICAL DEVICES (MedTech), DIGITAL HEALTH (e-Health) and BIOTECH. It is aimed at entrepreneurs, startups/scaleups, health professionals and researchers with innovative ideas or projects related to the health sector that are located in Navarra. Its itinerary offers 7 services: o Project acceleration to help structure and launch health startups o Startup scaling to develop startups o Masterclass and trends o Health innovation Academy o International development and projection o Access and connections with Navarra Health Ecosystem o Business incubation center services.

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Lappeenranta & Kehy – South Karelia Growth Builders

The Southern Karelia Growth Builders is an eight-month initiative aimed at accelerating the growth of companies. It provides tailored support and tools to 10 SMEs in Southern Karelia, focusing on businesses employing 10-49 individuals. During the program, participants collaborate with experts to create a growth roadmap and receive support for its implementation. The program includes workshops and Growth Board meetings, fostering cross-pollination of ideas among growth-oriented companies. Encounters between like-minded companies and students can lead to new activities such as investments and job creation. The program operates ecosystemically, emphasizing networking impact. Additionally, portfolio entrepreneurship benefits both small businesses and those in the Mittelstand category, including large subcontractors and leading companies.

lappeenranta european business and innovation centre

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Inkubator Sezana – Kreative Startup Programme

inkubato sezana european business and innovation centre

The Creative Start-up program: Entrepreneurial School for People with Hearing Loss was established to enhance social inclusion for individuals with hearing loss in entrepreneurial skills. It aimed to provide practical knowledge in soft entrepreneurial skills, promote lifelong learning, and facilitate integration into the labor market. Key activities included developing a tailored curriculum, conducting creative thinking training, and implementing entrepreneurial ideas. Implemented by Incubator Sežana in 2022 and 2023, it’s the first school in Slovenia and Europe for varying degrees of hearing loss. Participants developed entrepreneurial ideas, learned company establishment, and utilized lean entrepreneurship tools for disabled individuals. Mentorship enabled Slovenian participants to embark on independent entrepreneurial journeys.

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A 4-week programme, organised in person at IPN in Coimbra. It’s designed for entrepreneurs, researchers, and startups aiming to validate early-stage technology-based business ideas or advanced services. Participants benefit from structured workshops, networking opportunities, and mentorship sessions led by experienced professionals. The programme covers four modules: Innovation and Business Models, Marketing for Startups, Business Planning and Funding, and Pitching Skills. By the end, participants are expected to have refined their business ideas, expanded their networks, and identified funding sources. The culmination of the programme is a Demo Day, where participants showcase their ideas to an audience of investment funds, companies, and relevant entities. The emphasis on practical skills, networking, and exposure to potential investors makes INEO START a valuable resource for those seeking to develop and grow their tech startups. IPN organizes INEO START since 2010, being the oldest acceleration programme in Portugal.

ipn european business and innovation centre

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Valmiera Development Agency – Zile

valmiera european business and innovation centre

The business support programme provides support – funding, advice, information, education, consultancy, expertise – to existing companies, start-ups, and freelancers to encourage innovations, development, export, the creation of new jobs, public and private partnerships, and social entrepreneurship. The gaps in the innovation support ecosystem and the need for more innovations and innovative companies in the region inspired Valmiera Development Agency to develop a business support programme ZILE with the local municipality and other stakeholders. The programme’s support has allowed its participants to develop. Two-thirds of the companies have increased turnover and profit. An increase in turnover means higher taxes paid, which brings more funds for development to the municipal budget. During the six-year period of the programme, 68 new jobs were created, which is an essential contribution for such a small support programme and a small municipality. Within the programme, enterprises have created 37 innovative products services or prototypes.

More about the EU|BIC — More about the programme

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