Mercator Launch Innovation Competition

The Mercator Launch Innovation Competition Deadline is extended to Monday, 11th! Are you a researcher eager to innovate but unsure about the path ahead? Join the upcoming edition of the Innovation Competition and stand a chance to win €10,000!

The Innovation Competition (IC) by Mercator Launch is more than just a contest—it’s a training ground tailored for early-stage ideas that don’t need a finished product. This extension of the deadline to Monday, 11th is specifically designed to encourage researchers to apply even if their concepts aren’t perfected yet.

Wondering what the Innovation Competition entails? Check out the video below.

Call for Mercator Launch Innovation Competition & win €10.000

Why participate?

For over 80% of PhD candidates, a career in industry, founding their own company or working in the public sector beckons. The Innovation Competition, organized by Mercator Launch, is a program crafted precisely for researchers who wish to explore the commercial applications or services stemming from their research and technology. And here’s the key—your idea doesn’t need to be fully polished yet.

During thThroughout the program, you’ll gain vital skills:

  • Identifying the business potential of your ongoing research
  • Grasping the value creation process in the nascent stages
  • Examining your sector’s opportunities from various angles (customer, marketing, business)
  • Translating your research outcomes into valuable propositions for industrial partners
  • Developing entrepreneurial skills that pave the way for success

Upon completion, participants will submit a pitch deck and present their idea to an independent jury. The most promising idea will receive a €10,000 prize to further develop their innovation.

For who is it?

The Innovation Competition is open to all PhD candidates and postdocs at Radboud University and Radboud University Medical Center. It’s designed to accommodate researchers even in the early stages, where ideas might not yet be fully formed but hold significant promise.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • The submitted idea/product is new and not already part of a (planned) project.
  • The submitted idea/product is ‘owned’ by the applicant.
  • For PhD candidates and postdocs: the PI/group leader is informed about the application.
  • The money has to be spent for further development of the innovation and has to be spent before 31 December 2024.

What is the procedure?

  • An evaluation committee will be installed with representatives of Radboud Innovation / Valorisation Radboudumc.
  • This committee will select the 15 best ideas, who get to hand in their pitchdeck. To prepare the pitch deck, the applicants will be offered an expert training program of 4 days with Hans Westerhof known from EIT Jumpstarter and ClimateLaunchpad.
  • The evaluation committee will select no more than 6 finalists, who get to pitch their idea in front of an independent jury and their peers.
  • The winner will receive a cash prize of €10.000, business coaching, and a free working space at Mercator Launch for one year. The runner-up will receive a cash prize of €5.000. There is an additional Boost Award, which will be determined by Mercator Launch.

At the Grand Finale, researchers will pitch their business ideas to an expert jury. Alongside the main €10,000 prize, there are runner-up and public prizes of €5,000 each. This pre-seed capital will pave the way for researchers to bring their innovations closer to the market, backed by continued support from Mercator Launch.

Apply now or seek more information. Don’t miss this chance to explore your early-stage research ideas and shape them into impactful innovations!

Curious about the 2024 planning?

Check the planning out below:

Apply for the next edition of the Mercator Launch Innovation Competition

You can download the handbook and application form below: