Application deadline 1 August 2024 - EUR 155,000 in prizes for the best innovation start-ups in Lombardy

There is time until 1 August 2024 to apply for the XXII edition of Startcup Lombardia, the competition promoted by Regione Lombardia – Direzione Generale Sviluppo Economico and MUSA – Multilayered Urban Sustainability Action, in collaboration with Lombardy’s Universities and University Incubators.

Launched in 2003 by the Politecnico di Milano, the Startcup has become a pillar of Lombardy’s innovation ecosystem, awarding grants worth over €1.1 million since 2016 thanks to regional support. Startcup Lombardia is not just a competition, but part of a broader project aimed at supporting innovation in the region. This year, two key events will be held alongside the competition: Startcup 4 engines of Europe and the Matching Day – linked to the 0100 Conference – which aim to create connections between startups and venture capital funds. These events will take place on 28 and 29 October at Palazzo Lombardia.

The competition is open to aspiring entrepreneurs, teams and established companies. For the 2024 edition, the total prize money has been increased to €155,000, to be awarded to the best projects in four categories: ICT & Services, Industrial Technologies, Life Science & MedTech and CleanTech & Energy. Each category will have a winner who will receive 25 thousand euros. In addition to the category prizes, there will be Special Awards for Sustainability – Climate Change and Social Impact, each worth 25 thousand euros. This year, an additional 5 thousand euro will be awarded for projects dedicated to safety at work, highlighting the focus of the Lombardy Region on this crucial issue.

Seven Special Mentions will be awarded, including one for Female Entrepreneurship, for the best startup with at least 50% of the founders being women. In addition, up to four Special Mentions ‘Startcup 4 engines of Europe’ will be awarded in cooperation with the regions Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Baden-Wurttemberg and Catalonia, with a total prize of EUR 10,000.

Applications for Startcup Lombardy, as mentioned, must be submitted by 1 August 2024. The first evaluation phase will end on 18 September, followed by the semifinal on 25 September, where the 12 best projects will be selected to access the Acceleration Days. The final will be held on 23 October, with the winners gaining access to the National Innovation Award in December in Rome.