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Startify7 mentors digital start-ups in Brussels

Startify7-BootcampWinners

L-R: Arindam Ghosh, Thomas van den Boezem and Theodor Beutel from the Breathar team

Following a successful summer of digital academies around Europe, the Startify7 project gathered teams with potentially successful ideas in Brussels at the start of October.

The nine winning teams of young digital entrepreneurs from all three Startify7 academies – held in Sheffield, Trento and Munich/Nuremberg – participated in a three-day acceleration boot camp by fine-tuning their business models, setting up their start-up profiles and finally pitching to high profile investors at the event.

Supported by experts and mentors, the 45 selected participants followed an intensive programme enabling them to improve their business models and sharpen their business plans in order to become venture capitalist (VC) ready. They received advice from a former VC on funding, discussing everything from how to find the right investor to establishing a good term sheet. They also had targeted and professional mentoring to enhance their pitch decks and pitching abilities.

Each Startify7 academy focused on a different entrepreneurial subject. The Sheffield Digital Health Academy identified entrepreneurial solutions to healthcare challenges and supported participants in pursuing their own ideas. The three winning Sheffield teams came up with digital business ideas; one to support healthcare in rural Africa, a second which is an asthma detection aid, and finally a digital microscopic aid that one of the judges commented ‘could revolutionize healthcare’.

Dr Robert Wapshott, one of Startify7’s co-investigators who supported teams at the Brussels event, commented: “Sheffield teams were awarded first, second and fourth positions in Brussels – a fantastic result which reflects very well on the successes of the digital health academy. Breathar, the asthma detection aid, took top spot so the team has been awarded a presentation slot at the European Venture Summit in December.”

Startify7 is a Horizon 2020 project from the European Commission aimed at training young future ICT entrepreneurs in Europe. It organises seven thematically focused summer academies in seven different European cities that follow a lean-training structure and emphasise strong team-building as well as learning-by-doing processes. You can follow the progress of the teams at www.startify7.eu and @startify7.

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