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MITA Innovation Hub announces next edition of YouStartIT accelerator. Foreign startups and Blockchain ideas most welcome.

Publication Date: Dec 11, 2017
The MITA Innovation HUB (MIH), an accelerator run by the Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA), announced that it has opened applications for local and international startups to join the third edition of its YouStartIT programme.

The YouStartIT accelerator targets startup projects at an early stage of development. “We expect the applying teams to bring in at least a well validated business idea” – says the MIH’s manager, Alex Borg. “Having accomplished any extra milestones, such as having developed a functional proof-of-concept or acquired the first test users, is of course appreciated”. Ideas based on emerging technologies and/or disruptive models such as Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things, but especially Blockchain - given Malta’s vision to become Blockchain country - will be preferred over business ideas based on Apps and eCommerce. Although these will not be excluded if the validation process is robust. “We’re actually working towards having an ad hoc Blockchain only call for startups sometime next year”, says Borg.

The five selected startups will be provided with a €22,000 ‘equity free’ grant. However, the MIH’s involvement is not limited only to just disbursing funds. Over the four-month long period of the programme, the startups will benefit from the support provided by industry experts and mentors. This will cover areas such as regulation and compliance, IT development, public speaking, branding, customer acquisition and channel activation, finance and fund-raising. It will be complemented by a free, 24x7 access to the MIH’s co-working space in SmartCity as well as technology perks from providers such Amazon Web Services, Microsoft’s BizSpark programme or Zendesk.

“Malta is a great place for tech entrepreneurs to start up, guaranteeing 300 days of sunshine a year, a booming economy, plenty of support for SMEs, high tech skills at competitive rates, and lots of startup events.  So we are more than open to international startups for the skills and talent they bring – everyone is invited!” adds Borg. “It’s important that the startups are ready to register their company or partnership in Malta upon being selected. Hence, startups from outside of the EU might need to invest more time and effort to check their residency requirements to be able to participate.”

The accelerator programme kicks off on 26th February 2018 and the application deadline is 28th of January. So hurry up and make sure you don’t miss this opportunity! You will find further details and the application link on https://mitainnovationhub.gov.mt/en/Pages/YouStartIT-3.aspx​