Ready, Steady, Go! – EIT Health Accelerator programmes are back in 2021

Last year was probably the most challenging year of the 21st century (so far) but 2021 has kicked in with full of hope. Healthcare systems and businesses around the world have been shaken by the pandemic but many promising ideas were born under these unprecedented circumstances. This year EIT Health will keep supporting entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs with funding, learning and networking opportunities.

COVID-19 has shown the world that investing in health is a must. We need thriving healthcare systems to overcome the blow caused by the pandemic and to get ready for future challenges. EIT Health is doing its share in achieving this goal. The Accelerator journey is back in 2021 with the same aim: to shorten the time-to market for life-changing products and services. This year we offer 14 Accelerator programmes for different maturity levels and start-up demands.

EIT Jumpstarter

Scientific innovators should be ready for the fifth edition of EIT Jumpstarter which is a pan-European pre-accelerator initiative for early-stage innovators. Last year the programme was held online due to the pandemic, but the unusual situation did not deter talented candidates from pitching their ideas: there was a total of 348 applications from which 120 were selected to participate in EIT Jumpstarter, which has a special focus on Central-Eastern and Southern European innovators. We hope to see an increase in applications this year. If you have a business idea and you specialise in healthcare, energy, raw materials, manufacturing, agri-food or urban mobility you might want to try your luck.

InnoStars Awards

The programme is aimed at healthcare starts-ups from countries with moderately developed innovation capacity. The goal is to arouse investors’ interest and help selected candidates get their ideas to the market as quickly as possible.  InnoStars Awards is quite a competitive and complex programme: there is a funded training process that lasts for four months during which participants not only learn from experts but can have invaluable feedback on their innovation through interviews with potential investors and customers. The cherry on top is that at the end of the programme candidates can compete for additional funding in a pitch contest.

Start-ups Meet Pharma

The fast development of vaccines against COVID-19 has shown the world the power of innovation in the pharmaceutical industry. It will be more than interesting to see what challenges matter the most to pharma companies in 2021: during the Start-ups Meet Pharma programme they work with start-ups whose ideas meet those challenges. Successful candidates will obtain development support from leading pharma companies – Pfizer, Bayer and Beiersdorf are among the long list of past sponsors –, get exclusive access to their sponsors and receive a training programme with tailor-made solutions.


If you are a health entrepreneur with a goal of growing your business beyond your borders EIT Health’s Bridgehead programme is for you. The initiative brings together innovators with the continent’s best incubators and accelerators. During the joint work you work out the details of how to access new markets, infrastructure and understand local regulatory systems.

European Health Catapult

Can you imagine your start-up showcased on the New York Nasdaq Tower? This exclusive experience is the privilege of the Audience Award Winner of the European Health Catapult. This unique recognition is far from the only benefit of the competition of biotech, medtech and digital health start-ups. This is also a training programme that showcases these companies to leading European experts and investors.

EIT Health has many more opportunities to offer to innovators and start-ups. For further programmes please check out the details under the Projects&Programmes menu at

EIT Health’s new InnoStarter website provides quick and accessible information to start-ups on EIT Health Accelerator programmes as well as being a rich source of news and information on related events. It also offers a smart search engine that enables you to find the most suitable programme for your business. Let 2021 be about boosting your idea and driving it to the market!