The FICHe project is a three phase accelerator program that will challenge handpicked applicants to create the best business model, go-to-market strategy, proof of concept, investors pitch and tested prototype. To reach the next phase, applicants have to be among the top 50%, ending with the best 20 that will make it to the final phase.
FICHe Coordinator Satu Väinämö, University of Oulu, is satisfied with high quality of applications selected in the program. Väinämö: "It is great to see also small startup companies with a simply brilliant business ideas enter the FICHe progam. I hope that small companies would keep their eyes and ears open for this type of opportunities also in the future."
In the first stage, companies are working on a two-month period to refine their idea into a business model. Each of them will receive funding of EUR 15 000, as well as training in bootcamps, the first of which took place at the end of January in Oulu, Finland. The other two bootcamps are held in Murcia, Spain and in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
"The aim of the Bootcamp was to sharpen a business perspective of the companies. Real end-users from the PATIO-service, managed by CIE, participated in a user workshop where SMEs and startups interviewed them and got feedback to their ideas. This was a valuable opportunity for companies to get insight and ideas how to better meet the needs of end-users," says the leader of the first phase Mari Koskinen, Business Oulu.
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FICHe provides companies with the overall funding of EUR 6.24 million for developing eHealth applications and creating sustainable business models. Funding will be distributed through a three-step process. In the first stage, companies will receive 15 000 euro for business model development. In the next phase, 40 out of the 80 companies will receive 50 000 euro for proof-of-concept. The third phase entering 20 out of the 40 companies will receive additionally 152 000 euro for working prototype development. At best, companies are therefore offered up to 217 000 euros funding.
FICHe is co-funded under the European Union’s Programme for research, technological development and demonstration. Project partners are University of Oulu, Business Oulu, TIC BioMed, FFIS de la region de Murcia, TNO, Amsterdam Economic Board, Stichting zorgInc., Dutch eHealth Fund Management BV and Stichting Digitalezorg.nl.
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