The Next Step Challenge is an accelerator and tutoring-based competition definitely worth succeeding in; not only do participants get a five month paid-for accommodation in the startup buzzy city of Esbjerg, Denmark, an intensive business development program access worth more than €100,000, but also a chance to win quite the eyebrow-lifting main prize of €250,000 - an entrepreneur prize considered to be the biggest in Europe and the US.
The competition is aimed to startup companies working with next-gen energy and digital products and services.
From the original 130 companies, eight startups reached the final of the Next Step Challenge competition this year with their own unique business idea. The winner, Serbian company Teleskin, was presented with the €250,000 prize in Europe by HRH Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark.
Teleskin combines digital technology and medical knowledge into a solution that allows users to take photos of their moles and skin lesions. The images are then sent to a physician who does the evaluation through Teleskin app and digital platform. The user gets an answer within 24 hours as to whether the moles or skin lesions are benign or not.
The competition goes as follows: participating companies get five months of housing in the Next Step City of Esbjerg, Denmark and their business idea has to be based in the field of digitization, intelligent energy and telemedicine. The Next Step City will work as a testing ground for the future product’s technology, target customer mapping any any other factor with impacts on the quality of the final product. Participants also get a loadfull of mentoring from international experts in the respective fields and the possibility working intensively with a personal coach.
Other benefits of being housed in the Next Step City include the advantage of the region's fast fiber network, and the fact that South Jutland is one of the regions in Europe with the largest coverage of fiber broadband in general.
Of course the final carrot to catch is the quarter of a million grand prize.
The participating companies were (listed in their respective categories):
E- Health: Teleskin (Serbia)
Smart Energy: Aquicore (USA) and Innogie (Denmark)
Digitalization: Kappo (Chile), Glamping Hub (USA), Hello World Mobile (Denmark), Lendino (Denmark), Tutee (Denmark).
the Next Step Challenge partners include prominent corporations such as SE, one of Denmark’s largest providers of electricity; Esbjerg Business Development Center; The Region of Southern Denmark and Accelerate, Scandinavia’s leading accelerator.
If you’re interested in participating in the next Next Step Challenge batch, follow this link for full details of application requirements!