Europe’s startups and SMEs active in agriculture, ICT, as well as emerging industries (eco-industries, mobile services, and personalized health) will receive a major boost with the announcement of a new, €1.2 million accelerator fund. KATANA follows on from the success of other EU funded projects such as FRACTALS, and promises to find and support the highest potential ideas and turn them into market-ready products or services.
The Open Call 1 was formally announced in Novi Sad at the KATANA Info Day on November 16, an information and awareness event that gathered around 200 startups, SMEs, as well existing and prospective entrepreneurs interested in the development of innovative applications in agriculture and the food sector.
The Info Day highlighted the purpose of the KATANA accelerator, its links with previous and future EU funded programs, and how to apply. It included a mixture of presentations and networking opportunities, and was particularly interesting to regional market players looking for support to bring their ideas, concepts, or prototypes to the market.
KATANA: the bridge between FRACTALS and BioSense accelerator
At the beginning of his speech, dr Vladimir Crnojevic, director of the BioSense Institute, mentioned several success stories from the FRACTALS project, including investments and access to accelerators, as well as contracts with major clients and broad internationalization of innovative application solutions for the agricultural sector. Moreover, dr Crnojevic hailed KATANA as a bridge between FRACTALS and BioSense accelerator. The announcement of the Open Call 1 comes in a week the BioSense Institute, among 200 institutions, scored first in a highly competitive call, and this will allow it to evolve to European Centre of Excellence.
KATANA: supporting innovative cross-border and cross-sector cooperation between startups and SMEs in agriculture sector
“With simple and transparent application process, and KATANA aims to be accessible and inclusive,”
Mr Grigoris Chatzikostas said explaining that KATANA will spark innovative cross-border and cross-sector cooperation between startups and SMEs in agriculture sector and will provide not only financial means, but also coaching services, and trainings.
“In Europe, SMEs dominate the sector,” pointed out Mr Chatzikostas adding that market players need to interact more in order to respond to rapidly changing market dynamics. “It’s time to go out and talk to the market,” concluded Mr Chatzikostas adding that a two minute application video serves as an excellent starting point.
How to create a winning KATANA video pitch?
“The goal of a successful application video is two-fold: sell yourselves, and show the founder chemistry,”
dr Radisic said adding that applicants should particularly focus on explaining their previous experience and current activities, as well as their understanding of the dynamics of the value chain. To fulfil the final evaluation criteria, applicants must clearly illustrate their vision for the sector/industry. Further, Mr Radisic explained the novel system of evaluations, a peer-to-peer (p2p) platform through which applicants will evaluate other teams and their pitches. In this way, innovative market players will identify those most promising among them.
The Open Call 1 starts on December 1st.
For more information visit www.katanaproject.eu.