The activities of the 2017 Eureka Innovest programme are coming to an end and it is time to reflect back on the activities carried out during the year, as well as highlight the experience and journey of three of the top entrepreneurs supported by the programme.
Organised by EBN Member EUREKA in cooperation with EBN, European Business Angels Network (EBAN) and Tech Tour, the objective of the E!nnovest programme is to boost the investment awareness and business readiness of innovative SMEs. This is meant to be achieved through a tailor-made process which:
- Increases companies’ business and investment readiness through live webinars, regional coaching academies and individual one2one mentoring held by experienced coaches.
- Maximises companies’ exposure to active international Venture Capitalists and Business Angels in the ICT, Life Sciences and Clean Technologies sectors.
- Matches investment ready companies with internationally active investors and technology experts.
Javier Jiménez from New Born Solutions confirms that most of his expectations from the programme were met. That is to access, relate and contribute to a network of key stakeholders in the healthcare sector. More precisely, to reach BA and corporates that could help the company access the market, industrialise their technology and achieve greater impact overall.
New Born Solutions leads the design, development and commercialisation of high-value need-driven medical solutions through the identification of unmet needs to have high impact in the improvement of patient care globally. They’ve specifically created the first non-invasive screening device for infant meningitis. They mostly appreciated the one-to-one meetings that the programme offers and which could be pre-arranged through the website. It was very effective given that it provided them the possibility to have very directed conversations with expert individuals that can really provide help and guidance. Having really benefitted from the pitch preparation sessions, New Born Solutions, today, has proved the feasibility of the technology in infant patients with meningitis. They’ve graduated from the Philips Healthworks programme in Fertility, Pregnancy and Parenting, and are currently developing a functional prototype to accomplish a clinical study. They are working on a second investment round to fund the industrialisation of the product and the CE marking. Javier Jiménez, claims New Born Solutions “is the company that will enable quick, easy and cost-effective detection of infant meningitis and E!nnovest can definitely help us getting there”.
Boomerang, a Slovenian company that came first at the Barcelona Venture Forum, developed the first free lottery app, where users have the chance of getting money by playing games, watching ads, inviting friends, solving polls and doing other fun activities. The most valuable asset for them was definitely the pitching academy and the great and extremely kind support of the organising teams throughout all times. The programme helped Nika Kristina, the founder and CEO of Boomerang, to perfect her pitch deck, allowing her to improve her self confidence in pitching. Definitely an asset given the numerous pitches she did in the coming months.
“Mostly, it helped me with my self-confidence being the only woman pitching on most of the events. Tech events and women are not a fit on first sight, which is clearly visible when you look around the room. At my first bigger international pitch at Innovest in Barcelona, as the only woman and the youngest pitcher, I was so nervous I already congratulated myself for not tripping on the way to the stage. Men have louder voices, stronger presence, and age implies experience, which give you credibility. I had none of that, and I was very well aware of that. But giving my best turned out as a good decision, because we won. It meant a great deal to me, it still does.”
Sensing & Control Systems S.L. is a technology based company specialised in bringing solutions related to remote control monitoring and real-time tracking of goods and people to market. They mostly appreciated the application process supported by the organisation, where the team had the opportunity to think deeply on the message they wanted to communicate to the different audiences. Moreover, undergoing other challenges set by the programme they were able to restructure their strategy for a successful entry into the target market.
They have developed enControl™, a Smart Home solution with features for end-users and for service providers (telco, utilities and retailers). They’ve expanded their sales in several countries and they’ve recently signed a contract with one of the main retailers in Europe with more than 100 big stores, having a huge potential that motivate them to invest in growing the company at the short term, mainly in HR, Operations, support, logistics and sales and marketing.
Narcís Avellana, one co-founder, accounts that they have “successfully developed from a local Spanish security hardware distributor up to become a respected Smart Home player accumulating business from all across the world, and earning our clients’ trust along the way. To meet the challenges ahead and fulfill all our client’s expectations, we have organised the company’s strategic initiatives embracing sustainable business practices, focusing on enhancing customer experience, effective operational and people development.”
Following the awareness dissemination events, mentoring and pitch presentation coaching, the top entrepreneurs were selected and invited to attend investment forums where they could access vast networks of investors in their same sectors. It has been an intense but exciting year.
Applications for the 2018 round will open during the first quarter of the year, and activities will be improved according to the participant’s feedback loop system. Stay tuned!
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