Selected teams passed the first validation of ideas
Unforeseen circumstances and the situation with the coronavirus slowed down but did not completely stop all activities. Although IPC Tehnopolis, Amplitudo, and the Science and Technology Park of Montenegro planned in detail the implementation of the first pre-acceleration program in Montenegro - BoostMeUp, some activities had to be implemented differently. However, this did not affect the dynamics of the planned activities, so Bootcamp within the program was organized online using the Zoom platform.
"BoostMeUp" is the first pre-acceleration program in Montenegro, which is reserved for innovators, development teams in the early stages of an entrepreneurial venture, as well as entrepreneurs who intend to bring new and innovative products or services to market.
47 teams with innovative ideas applied to participate in the program, of which 19 teams were selected to present their ideas at Bootcamp.
Due to the current situation caused by the virus corona, Bootcamp was held online thanks to the Zoom platform in the period from 13 to 16 April.
Within Bootcamp, the teams had the opportunity to present their ideas, answer questions and work with representatives of the consortium of project partners and international, regional and national mentors such as Tanja Senekovič - Slovenia, Petra Karanikić - Croatia, Vladimir Nedović - the Netherlands, Maja Miljević - Bosnia and Herzegovina, Djordje Ćelić - Serbia, Nenad Novović - Montenegro and Darko Ivanović - Montenegro. The BoostMeUp program also provided support for the BeSME project, through which key EU expert Phillipe Geffroy - France, as well as experts Alain Kagan, Arnaud Catinot, and Jean-Luc Scherer were included in the program.
Ideas and teams were evaluated on the basis of 5 criteria: area of activity and compliance with the priorities of the Smart Specialization Strategy, team, stage of the development - phase of the project, innovation, and competitive market solutions and pitch.
Of the 19 teams that participated, six ideas that were rated as the best in Bootcamp and with the greatest potential for growth and development were selected to be part of the four-month BoostMeUp pre-acceleration program under which they will receive financial support of EUR 4,500 per team, mentoring program in 7 modules, services of using the coworking space Code Hub Nikšić, FILA innovation laboratories, biotechnology laboratories, space for making rapid prototypes. Selected teams are Flourish, Seljak.me, Orhis, Zahn 265, Solar Villager, Sunrocket Solar Cooker.
In addition, five ideas, which in the opinion of the consortium of project partners and mentors were evaluated with the potential for further growth and development, were given the opportunity to be part of the four-month program and receive non-financial support. The teams that received this support are Partour, Innat, Light4Life, Smart Bike Parking System, Flat Wind Generator for Highways and Urban Areas.
A very important aspect of the evaluation was the compliance with the Smart Specialization Strategy, which enables the strengthening of the competitiveness of the economy by connecting its own forces in research and innovation with the needs and development possibilities of the economy. Achieving the main goal of S3, ie a modernized and competitive Montenegro is based on four key strategic priorities:
- Sustainable agriculture and food value chain,
- Energy and sustainable environment,
- Sustainable and health tourism,
- Information and communication technologies (ICT)
The selected teams that entered the next phase focused their area of activity towards ICT in combination with another area. Thus, in Sustainable Agriculture and Food and IT Value Chain, we have 3 teams, Energy and Sustainable Environment and IT - 2 teams, Sustainable and Health Tourism and IT - 1 team. Other teams are from the following areas: Traffic and IT - 2 team, Psychology and IT - 1 team, Creative industry and IT - 1 team and Sport and IT - 1 team.
As of Monday, May 11, all teams continue to further develop their ideas together with their mentors. The entire program continues to be implemented, in accordance with current events and recommendations that we will receive. The selected teams have a large number of workshops, training, consultations, and work on the development of ideas that will be organized online or in IPC Tehnopolis, until the very end of the program, which will be organized on 22. September 2020 within the Western Balkan Startup Forum 2020 organized by IPC Technopolis for the second time.
As part of this international event, a competition will be organized - Montenegro Pitching Contest where teams that have successfully completed the program will have the opportunity to present their innovative ideas and knowledge and skills acquired through work within the program to potential investors, business angels, representatives of national and international business communities and institutions from the country and the region.
Upon completion of the program, users will be provided with the support of the Business Incubator for further development of their ideas as part of this program, which includes the use of data center resources, industrial design laboratories, FILA innovation laboratories, and two biotechnology laboratories, as well as the use of coworking space and other infrastructures of IPC Tehnopolis, Science and Technology Park of Montenegro and the company Amplitudo.