On March 12, 2018 at the Kinepolis, Kirchberg in Luxembourg, Luxinnovation announced the Autumn 2017 Graduates from the Fit 4 Start programme – Ume solutions, VanHack and SEE MORE. Following ten hours of pitching, ten start-ups were selected to participate in the Spring 2018 edition of Fit 4 Start by a panel of judges.

Fit 4 Start is Luxinnovation’s flagship 16-week programme of coaching and weekly follow-up by “Lean Start-Up” experts. The graduation event hosted by Jean-Michel Ludwig, Director for Startup Support and SME Performance, Luxinnovation and Laurence Hulin, Start up Support Advisor was the biggest and brightest to date for Fit4Start. This is testament to the quality and success of the core ingredients of the programme: the selection process, coaching, financial support and international visibility.

The Autumn 2017 edition of Luxinnovation’s Fit 4 Start programme offered ICT start-ups four months of intensive, top-quality support that focused on issues that are crucial for success. Of the five participants, three graduated: ume solutions (know your fund distributer), Van Hack (connecting tech talent), and SEE MORE (augmented reality for painting on wall and more).  Big congratulations to you all! The Fit 4 Start team made a point to those start-ups that did not graduate that this is part of their journey and encouraged them to take up the challenge that has been set for them and continue on their path forward.

Inspiring Speakers

As the programme is supported by the Ministry of the Economy, Director ICT Coordination Michele Gallo spoke before the announcements and praised the success of the programme that is, “…fulfilling its role in opening access to finance”. He also spoke about the day’s pitches saying that, “The projects presented during this session were driven by two main elements: data & ambition, which are 2 characteristics shared by our country.”

Michele Gallo was followed by an outstanding keynote speaker: Piet Colruyt is one of four family directors of Korys, the family holding behind Colruyt Group, Belgium’s leading retailer. Greatly inspired by the book, “How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas,” by David Bornstein, he went on to create his own holding company Impact Capital. As one of the jury members, Genna Elvin, co-Founder of Tadaweb tweeted, “Great seeing the leaders of highly profitable, global businesses caring about #SocialChange and #impactinvesting,” as Piet offered inspiring success stories of social investing.

Ten-hour live pitch session

The large crowd in attendance at Kineopolis was also there to watch the most promising candidates for the Fit 4 Start Spring 2018 edition who pitched their business ideas and competed for a place on the programme. Luxinnovation’s Fit 4 Start Spring call drew a record number of applicants. 163 projects were submitted of which 39% came from Luxembourg and the rest came from abroad. Of these 29 pitched at this event and 10 start-ups have been selected. Congratulations to:

Get more details on each of the Fit 4 Start Laureates Spring 2018

Luxinnonvation would like to extend a big thank you to the Jury Members, Genna Elvin, Steve Udelson, Entrepreneur, CEO and President, Thierry Fromes, Chairman Advisory Board and Independent Director, Videntifier Technologies, Artem Yukin, President and CEO, Artec-3D and Nicolas Milerioux, Investment Manager, Enovos.

All in all the entire day was exhausting and exciting and everyone involved deserved the celebratory cocktail and networking afterwards. Now it is up to the new participants to confirm quickly and start the next stage of their business development journey in Luxembourg.