The recently launched SME Strategy for a sustainable and digital Europe (2020) recognise the startup ecosystem as a game-changer for the EU competitiveness. Startups are increasingly called to fulfil relevant gaps in the transport sector, making use of the inherent creativity and value proposition they bring to the market and the industry at large. However, some very innovative solutions fail to see the light of day due to lack of proper support and incentives, falling in the so-called Valley of Death.
To counteract this problem, HiReach has set up a cross-country, fairly long (8 months) and stepwise (3 phases) acceleration programme, to support and encourage a group of startups to develop new transport concepts and solutions that could meet concrete accessibility problems of vulnerable to exclusion user groups.
This report describes the goals, methodology, operation and results of the HiReach Startup Lab. It is based on the concrete experience in managing an acceleration programme on the specific topic of transport poverty. This acceleration programme, entailed a multiple phase approach, with different components of Acceleration and Incubation, intended to develop projects with real challenges in mind, to conduct proof of concept under real-life conditions. The different phases had served to filter the most appropriate projects aligned with the programme objectives, to develop and validate a Business Model Canvas. This programme raised a lot of interest among the creative ecosystem. In a nutshell, 65 ventures applied to the Startup Lab, 23 participated the first phase of the Bootcamp in Vienna, 10 evolved during the acceleration programme and 5 reached the final pilot and roll out phase.
Deliverable 4.3 provides insights and fundamental learnings from this enriching experience. Read the whole deliverable here.