Twelfth Fit4Start Event, 16 December 2021.; Credit: Luxinnovation/ Marie De Decker

On Thursday 16 December 2021, twenty start-ups were selected for the twelfth edition of the Luxembourg's flagship Fit4Start Acceleration Programme.

A total of 214 applications from 42 countries were evaluated. The pitching sessions were held online between 13 September and 4 October 2021. For this edition, an additional category, focused on HPC and data analytics, has been added to the three traditional verticals (ICT, HealthTech and Space), for which three start-ups have been selected, among the twenty.

The twenty start-ups selected in the four categories will benefit from the specialised coaching as well as €50,000 of funding from the Ministry of the Economy each, with the possibility of receiving an additional €100,000 if they successfully complete the programme and manage to raise some private capital. Additionally, the three start-ups selected in the new track will benefit from a special programme, including access to computing and data analytics capacities of the national supercomputer MeluXina.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) as the main represented technology and a direct access to MeluXina

As with previous editions, one third of the applications came from Luxembourg and the rest being equally divided between EU and non-EU start-ups.

This call-for-applications showed a clear trend for AI related solutions and 30% of the applications used this technology, following by Internet of Things (11%) and machine learning (11%).

 "The new track attracted twenty applications, which means that there is a real interest for this kind of offer from start-ups. It links directly Fit4Start to MeluXina, which is a highly strategic initiative of the Government meant, among others, to build a competitive ecosystem for ambitious start-ups" noted Stefan Berend, Head of Start-up Acceleration at Luxinnovation.

Minister of the Economy Franz Fayot added: "The Fit4Start acceleration programme is a powerful facilitator providing entrepreneurs with attractive pre-seed funding. In addition, the new HPC and data analytics track offers a unique opportunity to benefit from the real added value that we can offer in Luxembourg in terms of technology and expertise in the field of supercomputing and I hope that this will lead to the development of innovative solutions."

The programme will kick off in early January 2022 and will last 6 months, with coaching sessions taking place both physically and online depending on the pandemic situation.

Initiated in 2015 by the Ministry of the Economy, Fit4Start is managed by Luxinnovation in collaboration with Technoport, the Luxembourg City Incubator and the Luxembourg Space Agency.