Rules of the Competition

To be eligible to enter InnoPitch 2016 you must be:

  • EITHER an Early-stage Entrepreneur, i.e. those who have set-up their own company / organisation within the period of the last 18 months (maximum);
  • OR an intrapreneur, or student (current or recently graduated) with a demonstrable real idea;
  • AND a resident of the European Union (see section on Eligibility for details);
  • AND under 35 years of age prior to 31st September 2016.

For the 6 best pitches

These 6 teams will be in the running for the European Young Innovator of the Year 2016, which will allow them to:

  • Present their ideas to Europe’s political and business leaders;
  • Showcase their ideas to all the Unconvention audience who number more than 400 hand-picked physical participants and in excess of 550,000 unique online participants across Europe and the USA;
  • Receive in-depth feedback and advice from Europe’s leading seed and venture capital investors and experts;
  • Paid accommodation in Brussels for the duration of the Unconvention for up to two co-founders / team members and covering travel expenses;
  • Two FREE VIP Unconvention passes;
  • FREE promotion on EYIF website, social media and email newsletters for up to three months after the InnoPitch;
  • Get invited to the next EYIF’s InnoTour US, a tour across the US innovation centers in Summer 2017, the exact date to be determined. The participants will be offered accommodation and domestic flights during the entire tour. The participant is responsible for their travel into the US.

For the top 12 finalists

InnoPitch 2016 takes the top 12 finalists and puts them through an intense mentoring workshop with the Europe’s top mentors and investors.

The InnoPitch Competition for the European Young Innovator of 2016 will run from the 1st September to 31st December 2016. If you want to apply, submit a video of maximum three minutes explaining how your project answers to as many questions listed below as possible, together with the pitch presentation you would like to present in front of the jury.

Make sure your Power Point Presentation does not exceed the 10 minutes where you convince the jury of your idea (normally no more than 10 content slides). During the pitch, your microphone will be cut off after 10 minutes. Your presentation will be followed by a 5 minutes session of questions and answers.

The 12 finalists and 6 winners will be announced in the first week of January 2017. Pitch rendezvous is the EYIF Unconvention on the 23 January 2017. If your pitch is selected as one of the 6 Best pitches competing for the award, you will be allowed to update the pitch presentation submitted as part of this stage of InnoPitch, before you actually pitch it live to the jury.

  • What is your business idea going to improve or what is the problem that it is offering a solution to?
  • What makes your business proposition unique and what is the key asset you hold (know-how, expertise, etc.), which could hardly be copied by your competitors?
  • Are you looking for funding? If yes, how much and how would you use it?
  • Does your business respond to global needs? Can you export it/ scale-up to international markets?
  • How would your future business answer to some of the most critical difficulties that Europe is facing at the moment (ex: job creation, help reach environmental targets, etc.)?
  1. Register for the competition now by completing the Application Form.
  2. Upload links to your video and Power Point presentation.
  3. You may submit your application multiple times until the final deadline of 31st December 2016 at 23.30 CET. The last submission before this deadline will be taken as the final submission. There is no entry fee.
  4. The winners will be notified by e-mail from 5th January to 12th January 2017.
  5. Travel Costs to and from Brussels will be reimbursed to the Finalists up to the amount of 300 EUR/team (upon receiving the receipts). Double/ twin bedroom in a local hotel (for the night of 23rd and 24th January) will be provided for the 6 Teams.
  1. All applications from registered applicants will be screened for compliance with eligibility requirements listed above.
  2. Eligibility check by EYIF to verify compliance with the rules and to disqualify entries that are judged to be frivolous or deceitful, or which contain profanity, obscenity, incitement to violence or hatred, or other form of impropriety.
  3. Eligible applications will be evaluated by a review committee formed by EYIF staff and board members who will establish a shortlist of top candidates.
  1. Creative, well-structured and convincing video message (10 points)
  2. Creative, well-structured and convincing power-point presentation (10 points)
    Number of questions convincingly answered (up to 10 points per question – 50 max)
  3. Proof of good knowledge of how the market specific to his/her business functions (10 points)
  4. Clear concept of impact: how his/her future product/service will benefit society/Europe (10 points)

Based on the results of points 2 and 3 above, the review committee will designate the finalists, and alternates. The selection by EYIF of the eligible candidates, winners and of the actual participants of the InnoPitch Competition for the European Young Innovator of the Year 2016 will be final and not subject to appeal.

Still have some questions? E-mail us! 

Candidates must satisfy the following criteria in order to be eligible for the competition:

  1. Residence: The competition is open to citizens and permanent residents of member states of the European Union, Full-Time students resident in the European Union member states and those who have completed their studies within the last two years and are still resident in the European Union.
  2.  Age: under 35 years old on the date of 31st December 2016
  3. Language: fluent or near-fluent English (spoken and written)

InnoPitch Winner: EuroComply

InnoPitch Finalists

Jury Members

Bart Becks is the founder of, the platform to finance and stimulate creativity and entrepreneurs. Bart has previous experience as CEO of Belgacom Skynet, Senior Vice President of SBS Europe (acquired by ProSiebenSat1) and chairman of iMinds, the Belgian research and incubation centre.

Bart has experience as an advisor and board member in technology and media companies, as well as in startups such as Showpad, Storify, Mobile Vikings, Netlog, and others.

Carol Lee is a partner in PwC’s Technology Media Telecom Deals practice.  She’s passionate about connecting with her clients to share her expertise and insights around how to create value, support value, and project value. Carol’s experience spans nearly 20 years in M&A in the Silicon Valley where her clients have included global technology giants as well as early unicorns. Now based in London, Carol focuses on inbound and outbound deal flow into the UK tech sectors.  She leads Emerging Company Advisory, PwC’s buyside and sellside services focusing on technology and technology-enabled startups.

RemautWouter Remaut is the new CEO of Co.Station, one of the most active promoters of startups in Belgium! He is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Co.Station sites in Brussels and Gent, as well as the possible expansion of Co.Station as the main platform for the growth of technological scale-ups in Belgium.Co.Station’s ambition is to become the leader in the scaling of technology companies in Belgium by creating a bridge between “scale-ups” and “corporates” and providing these ecosystems with the tools to innovate and grow. In this way, Co.Station will promote entrepreneurship in Belgium and create added value for companies and “scale-ups”.

Moments and testimonials from previous InnoPitch editions

innopitch“For us, at Foxcademy, Innopitch was the first international competition we participated and that gave us a better sense of perspective. Facing head to head with other really strong startups in the pitching competition was challenging as well as listening to the mega panel discussions was very educating and inspiring. The key takeaway I would bring out is the networking – especially during after hours, in the evenings.” declares Sebastian Pikand, Co-Founder of Foxacademy, InnoPitch 2015 Finalist


C.-Holloman“It’s been helpful to show to all our stockholders (employees, investors, and clients) that we are being recognised for our innovation and market disruption outside our home market. This was the first time I got a chance to meet with people from all of them at the same place. It’s great to get ‘out of your bubble’ to refresh your perspective and consider the markets beyond.” says Christer Holloman, Founder of Invoice House, InnoPitch 2014 Finalist