EIT Digital expands ARISE Europe programme to Poland and Czech Republic

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HardGamma Ventures (Warsaw) and JIC (Brno) are the latest innovation centres to join EIT Digital's ARISE Europe programme – expanding its reach to Poland and the Czech Republic.

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Working with HardGamma and JIC will allow us to identify the most promising digital startups in their regions and introduce them to a wider, pan European range of investment and market opportunities.

EIT Digital announces HardGamma Ventures and JIC as the latest innovation centres to join its growing ARISE Europe programme – expanding its reach to Poland and the Czech Republic.

ARISE Europe, EIT Digital’s implementation of the EIT Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS), is designed to stimulate regional growth in EU countries where EIT Digital is not present with one of its Node or Associate Partners. Its objective is to connect local and regional innovation centres and their ecosystems to EIT Digital's innovation and education ecosystem. The ARISE programme now includes innovation centers from Austria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Poland, Portugal and Slovenia.

By collaborating with EIT Digital, HardGamma Ventures (Warsaw) and JIC (Brno) are connected to a network of 130 partners representing global companies, leading research centres and top ranked universities. This cooperation promotes regional and national growth by linking local ecosystems to EIT Digital’s Innovation Activities, Business Communities, and Access to Market and Access to Finance Services; and it fosters entrepreneurial skill development by connecting local talents and educators to the EIT Digital Academy.

"We look forward working with these new innovation centres to extend the reach of our pan European programme of leading digital entrepreneurship, innovation and education activities. The CEE region is a particularly interesting focus for our expansion; Poland for example, has one of the fastest growing economies in Europe, a large student population and like the Czech Republic, an increasingly vibrant ecosystem of innovators and investors in the digital space," said Willem Jonker, CEO of EIT Digital.

"Following the ARISE Europe open call and selection process in July, the two most promising organizations were asked to join our programme. We are very happy to welcome HardGamma and JIC to ARISE Europe; both have great track records, and valuable experience and understanding of their local innovation and education ecosystems.” explains Fabio Pianesi, Research Director of EIT Digital. “HardGamma is the first venture ARISE Europe is cooperating with and a major player in Polish innovation landscape. JIC, in turn, is a hotbed for innovation leveraging a strong regional industrial base and superb IT talent base. Working with them will allow us to identify the most promising digital startups in the regions and introduce them to a wider, pan European range of investment and market opportunities.”

“We welcome this agreement with EIT Digital as it recognises HardGamma Ventures as a leader of local innovation in the Polish digital industry.” said Paweł Ciesielski, Managing Partner at HardGamma Ventures, on signing the agreement.

“We hope that EIT Digital’s expansion eastward will help HardGamma Ventures in delivering greater added-value to the startup and scale-up communities in the CEE region.” Ciesielski added.

“This is another step for Polish startups ecosystem towards strengthening our European and global recognition not only as a source of talented digital specialists but also companies aiming at disrupting international markets,” said Tomasz Kowalczyk, Growth and Innovation Designer at HardGamma Ventures, who will be leading the project in Poland.

“In recent years South Moravia has been attracting global technology companies which started to build their capacity and R&D centers here. Now it´s time for local promising SMEs to make a step abroad. With a help of EIT Digital, entering European market will be much easier for them, “ said Jiří Hudeček, CEO of JIC.

About EIT Digital
EIT Digital is a leading European digital innovation and entrepreneurial education organisation driving Europe’s digital transformation.

EIT Digital delivers breakthrough digital innovations to the market and breeds entrepreneurial talent for economic growth and improved quality of life in Europe. It does this by mobilising a pan-European ecosystem of over 130 top European corporations, SMEs, start-ups, universities and research institutes.

As a Knowledge and Innovation Community of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, EIT Digital is focused on entrepreneurship and is at the forefront of integrating education, research and business by bringing together students, researchers, engineers, business developers and entrepreneurs. This is done in our pan-European network of Co-Location Centres in Berlin, Eindhoven, Helsinki, London, Paris, Stockholm, Trento, as well as in Budapest and Madrid. We also have a hub in Silicon Valley.

EIT Digital invests in strategic areas to accelerate the market uptake of research-based digital technologies focusing on Europe’s strategic, societal challenges: Digital Industry, Digital Cities, Digital Wellbeing and Digital Infrastructure.

EIT Digital breeds T-shaped entrepreneurial digital talent focused on innovation through a blended Education Strategy that includes a Master School, Doctoral School and Professional School.

About HardGamma Ventures, Poland
HardGamma Ventures has been at the forefront of technology investments since its establishment in Warsaw, Poland, back in 2011. It proactively looks for and invest in startups within the software, hardware, IoT and mobile environments among other sectors. It invested in two editions of the Springboard accelerator (Springboard London and Springboard IoT), as well as in Techstars London. We also run our own accelerator, GammaRebels, which is one of the top 100 most influential accelerators globally. GammaRebels also operates a number of pre-acceleration programs.

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About JIC (South Moravian Innovation Centre)
Empowering people to create and grow businesses that change the world.
For over 12 years, JIC has been fostering a nurturing environment for innovative business in South Moravia and empowering people in creating and growing companies that change the world. JIC provides entrepreneurs with services – from the initial idea, through start-up, up to a fully developed business. JIC‘s activities contribute to improving the competitiveness of South Moravian businesses that offer qualified and stable job opportunities in the region then.

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Edna Ayme
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