PowerUp! – the Next Edition of the European Competition for Start-ups
On 11 February, the application process for the fifth edition of PowerUp! begins. Participants have the chance to compete for a main prize of 50 000€ and the opportunity to develop their business on a global scale. The contest, organized by InnoEnergy, is the largest start-up competition in Central-Eastern Europe, including areas such as energy, mobility and smart technologies. The competition is open for innovators from 24 countries. The first-place winner of PowerUp! in 2018 was Zubax Robotics from Estonia, the second-place winner – WellParko from Lithuania.
Financial investment up to 150 000€
The competition not only offers a promising financial prize, but also the opportunity to join InnoEnergy’s prestigious business accelerator. The Highway® program, aims to develop start-up projects and adapt them to the European market. Those who join the program can expect support within a wide range of topics from legal and IP protection, to pitch deck design, to agile methodology, and more. Other benefits include accessing international clients, as well as financial investment up to 150 000€.
This edition there will be a new distinction within the competition for the “Clean Air Challenge”. This merit will be awarded to a start-up whose solution will contribute to the reduction of air pollution and smog. InnoEnergy is a key player in the Clean Air Challenge launched in October 2018 in Brussels.
The number of participants has doubled
With every edition of the competition, the number of participants has doubled. In the 2018 InnoEnergy received over 300 potential candidates, it is a fair estimate that the registration for the 2019 edition, which ends on 11 March, will end in further success. In the past two years, the applications have grown both in scale and in quality. Applications with ready-made prototype have dramatically increased from 28 prototypes in 2016 to 120 in 2018. The same increase can be seen in applications with a functioning product or service (from 19 to 93 respectively).
“The number of participants is growing every year, combined with the fact that the start-ups which apply increasingly have projects in their portfolio on an advanced stage of development, shows the increasing recognition and rising prestige of the competition. PowerUp! opens the door towards development for courageous innovators from Central-Eastern Europe and enables them to access our international network of business partners. Participants applying to this contest can also see those benefits” – explains Jakub Miler, CEO of InnoEnergy Central Europe.
Lithuanian and Estonian start-ups among the winners
The 2018 winner of PowerUp! was Zubax Robotics from Estonia, which presented a solution to drastically reduce energy consumption in future mobility solutions.
Lithuanians start-up WellParko has won the second place – it was the first Lithuanian award in this competition. WellParko presented their artificial intelligence algorithms that allow to get real-time information about available parking slots, thus helping to reduce the amount of traffic jams and CO2 emissions. A solution proposed by WellParko also lets to generate big data analytics, compare the data received from parking lots and provide information and locations of cars that haven’t paid for parking. They were awarded with the €10,000 prize.
PowerUp! is organized by Vilnius Tech Park – the official representative of InnoEnergy in Lithuania.
“I believe that innovations and start-ups, created by Lithuanians, can be successful and competitive businesses world-wide. We will pay attention to the projects in the areas of energy, mobility, clean air, heating, cleantech, and smart technologies while selecting the PowerUp! winner in Lithuania. We believe that Lithuanians will contribute to the strengthening of cleantech in Lithuania and our mission is to promote the new ideas and to help in turning them into products” – says Dr. Kestutis Morkunas, Head of EIT InnoEnergy HUB Lithuania.
Who can participate in PowerUp! competition?
Particularly desirable solutions – products or services – in the competition include projects in the areas of energy, mobility, clean air, heating, cleantech, and smart technologies. Start-ups that pass through the application stage will be invited to participate in bootcamps run by recognized European business mentors. These workshops will prepare participants for the national finals and the Grand Final, in which they will present their ideas to experts. The winner will be selected on 21 May in Krakow during Impact’19 – one of the most important economic events in Central and Eastern Europe.
Detailed conditions of participation, an application form, and all of the necessary information are available at www.powerup.innoenergy.com. The deadline for registration period is March 11th, 2019.