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Join Ventures Thrive - the new venture builder for deeptech climate founders from CEE & Widening Countries

€1.5 Million for up to 32 startups

Scale your business and address the world’s most pressing people and planet-related problems with mentoring, corporate connections, fundraising, and more

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We focus on the following key industries to build collaboration between startups and large organisations

If your startup impacts these themes, opportunities and challenges we would like to hear from you.


Agriculture & Waste





Veterinary Medicine

Who can apply for Ventures Thrive?

We are committed to improving opportunities for deeptech founders who are addressing  some of the world’s most pressing problems.

Deeptech solutions

(BigData, AI, Blockchain, IoT, Bio-Tech) addressing pressing challenges in our focus areas

Minimum Marketable Product

Product/service and technology that has passed the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) stage (TRL-6, technology demonstrated in a relevant environment)

Widening Countries

Based in Central Eastern Europe or in the widening countries (see FAQ for full list of eligible countries)

Note: To be eligible, your company cannot be self-sustained with public funding only!

About the programme

Get funded and accelerate your business

During an 8-months programme working alongside top corporates, investors, institutions and mentors.

Each accepted startup is eligible for up to €100,000 in cash and services - Equity-free!

Make sure to read the Guidelines for Applications,  then create a Sploro account by clicking on the Apply now button and fill in the application form.

Phase 1: Apply

October 20, 2023

Application Open
Deeptech startup founders apply for the programme.

Make sure to read the full general rules Guidelines for Applications.

January 17, 2024

Application Close

Early March 2024

Evaluation Days
Startups are assessed on readiness and fit with the programme. Twelve teams will be selected for the programme.

Phase 2: Build

March 2024

Programme Starts
During the first month, the 20 selected startups will work with Ventures Thrive coaches to produce a Master Plan around their needs regarding Sales & BusDev., Product Development, and Fundraising from private & public sources. Each team will commit to a set of realistic KPIs to pursue during the Ventures Thrive programme.

Spring 2024

Pitch Contest
Teams will pitch to industry leaders and corporate partners. All companies reaching this stage qualify to receive a Venture Ticket of €5,000 equity-free, to cover travel & accommodation costs to attend the Selection Days. 10 startups will be selected to continue to the next phase.

Phase 3: Grow

April - October 2024

Growth Programme 
The 10 selected startups begin a 6-month growth programme including workshops, masterclasses, mentoring, and coaching around specific topics related to investment readiness. Startups that are working on specific Corporate Challenges will also work directly with the corporates.

Phase 4: Raise

October 2024

Demo Day
A day to celebrate startups’ achievements during the programme in front of hundreds of investors, corporates, mentors, and press attendees. Prizes will be awarded to the top three startups.

Why join the programme?

€1,500,000 million EQUITY-FREE

Once accepted on the programme, you are eligible to receive up to €100,000 equity-free funding (cash + services) subject to reaching programme milestones).

Global Network

Access to a global network of mentors, corporate partners, industry experts, and investors from 20+ countries.

Strategic Partnerships

Connections to the leading corporates in your industry for pilot projects, partnership opportunities, and as customers

Investor Access

Meet the most active VCs and Angel investors in your industry from around the world.


Legal, finance, go-to-market and assistance in identifying and applying for R&D grants to help mature your technology stack with non-dilutive funding

8-month programme

A once in a lifetime opportunity to join a specialised deeptech accelerator + venture builder, providing hands-on support and valuable introductions to scale your business.

Increased Visibility

Celebrate your achievements during the programme in front of 1000+ investors, corporates, mentors, fellow entrepreneurs, and press attendees.

Funding & Sales

Partner with leading companies to increase your product launch and sales capabilities. Build your network of investors, and explore public funding opportunities.



Decarbonizing small commercial buildings with AI



Transforming waste into resources with big data analytics and AI

Meet the startups

These are the 12 startups that have been funded by the first cohort of Ventures Thrive.



Improving operational and energy efficiency for wind turbines



Transforming agricultural waste into a biomaterial replacement for plastics



Producing healthy, delicious, plant-based seafood products



Helping companies cut carbon emissions and achieve sustainability



Optimized triage and patient monitoring in the ER

ARA Robotics


Autonomous mobile robots for commercial chores



Optimizing photovoltaic park performance and field operations



Data-driven energy intelligence solution



Upcycling agrifood side streams into highly nutritional ingredients

Digital Bites


VR-based product-validation for food manufacturers

Startup feedback

Here's what VT participants have to say about the programme.

"VT's management team & industry experts helped us refine our business model. The connections we’ve made opened doors for partnerships in our target markets."

Karel Kotoun

Co-Founder, Green0meter

"Securing funding through Ventures Thrive has been instrumental in driving our project forward, enabling us to scale our operations and invest in research and development."

Michael Cyrankiewicz

CEO, SeaSoil

"VT connected us with incredible mentors who have helped us prepare for our seed round investment and develop our business model, marketing strategy, and IP strategy."

Jon Goriup Dermastia

Co-Founder & CEO, VCG.AI

now open

Accelerate your deeptech startup with equity-free funding and specialised growth classes.

Make sure to read the Guidelines for Applications. You will find all the information you need to know before applying.

About Us

Ventures Thrive is

Ventures Thrive is one of the first pan-European deeptech venture builders committed to helping startups quickly scale their development. We are delivering on our mission by providing equity-free funding and a curated growth programme, which will connect startups with investors and corporations to test their solutions in real-world scenarios.

Funded by the European Innovation Council (EIC), the €1,500,000 grant will be deployed over two years to invest in up to 32 deeptech startups focused on addressing some of the world’s most pressing problems.

Founding Members

Wolves Summit is an integrated deal-flow and digital marketing platform for investors and tech companies.

Offering year-round engagement through digital events, corporate innovation challenges, and startup scaling activities. Every edition attracts a diverse audience of 2000+ investors, startups, and industry leaders.

Since 2015, Wolves Summit events facilitated over 35,000 meetings between 19,000+ participants. The summit has a network of 170+ community partners globally which includes accelerators and startup operators. In 2021 the company spun out a new startup division called WolvesX supporting large organisations such as LG Electronics, PwC, Garage+, Economic Development Board in Singapore, among others, addressing a wide range of corporate and government innovation challenges.

For more information please

ACCELER8 is a privately funded venture builder

working with deeptech companies and the scientific community during the past years, very oriented to commercialising science-based innovations.

ACCELER8 has established several companies, built R&D projects, and raised €50M+ of funding for these endeavours.

Over the years, A8 has worked with 100+ ERC/EIC researchers and high-tech startups.

For more information please

Anthology Ventures is an angel-powered venture studio, working in Southern, Central and Eastern European countries.

They specialize in fundraising and development for early-stage deeptech, spinoff, and consumer-oriented startups, in the Climate, Energy, Transport, Ag/biotech, Medtech, Proptech, and Edtech sectors.

AV also provides matchmaking, training and development for early Angel Investors, and partners in EU-funded consortia.

Anthology has worked with more than 150 startups since its founding in 2018.

For more information please

Programme Leadership

Antti Heikkilä, CEO Acceler8

Antti Heikkilä

CEO, Acceler8

Gergo Gulyas, Co-lead, Wolves X

Gergő Gulyás

Co-lead, Wolves X

Adriane Thrash, Anthology Ventures Managing Partner

Adriane Thrash

Managing Partner, Anthology Ventures

Maria Rodideal, Communications Manager

Maria Rodideal

Communications Manager

Frequestly Asked Questions

About Ventures Thrive

What is the purpose of the Ventures Thrive programme?

The purpose of Ventures Thrive is to reduce the existing hurdles deeptech companies face in trying to reach the market, with a combination of equity-free funding, a growth programme, access to specialised investors and a real connection with corporate partners to promote open innovation activities.

How does the programme work?

Ventures Thrive will host an 8-month programme in 2 different open calls, offering a total of €1.5M to 32 young companies. This equity-free funding will be combined with connections to top corporates, investors, institutions and mentors, helping increase the runway and capacity to grow.

There are 3 phases to qualify for the Ventures Thrive Acceleration Programme, aside from the Open Calls: 
Programme Starts - Phase 1 (Build)

During the first month, 12 selected startups will work with Ventures Thrive coaches to refine their Business Case taking into account a number of specific indicators such as product development and commercialisation, business development and strategic synergies with the programme’s corporate partners, and future fundraising plan. Each team will commit to a set of realistic KPIs to pursue during the Ventures Thrive programme.

After that, in the second month, they will pitch in front of industry leaders and corporate partners. All companies reaching this stage will be qualified to receive a Venture Ticket of €5,000 equity-free, to cover all your costs associated with pitching.

Programme Phase 2 (Grow)

Startups have already set specific milestones and KPIs to achieve during their 6-month growth programme. Each startup will receive individual mentoring, along with innovation strategy workshops and masterclasses, investment readiness programmes and matchmaking, building a business use case for addressing real-life corporate challenges, and access to industry events. 

Demo Day (Raise)

Startups will present their achievements during the programme and give a final pitch at Wolves Summit. Teams must be present to receive an award.

Only startups that reach at least 80% of their KPIs in phase 2 will be eligible for awards. Prizes will be awarded to the top three startups (€15,000, €10,000 and €5,000 respectively). This funding is in addition to money already received within the regular programme.

About the Programme

How much time will I need to dedicate to the effort?

The Ventures Thrive programme will take 8 months. It will be split into 3 different phases:

1. Build (phase 1) - 2 months

2. Grow (phase 2) - 5 months

3. Raise (phase 3) - 1 month

How and when can I apply?

The first call for applications is now open. You can apply by clicking on the button Apply now. It will take you to the Sploro platform where you must create an account, and then fill in the application form. Make sure to read the Guidelines for Applications. You will find all the information you need to know before applying.

Is the Venture Thrive programme equity-free?

Yes, Ventures Thrive is an equity-free programme.

What happens after I submit my application?

After you submit your application, it will pass a first screening test. After that, you will receive an email, describing the next steps.

Where does the programme take place? Do I need to relocate?

Ventures Thrive is a hybrid programme. You don’t need to relocate, however, there will be some events (Pitch Contest, Demo Day) that you’ll need to attend offline.

About Startup Eligibility Criteria

Which countries are eligible for the programme?

Companies established or operating in the Widening area, defined by the European Commission as:

EU member States: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Associated countries: Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Faroe Islands, North Macedonia, Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Tunisia, Turkey and Ukraine.

Outermost Regions (defined in Art. 349 TFEU): Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Réunion, Saint-Barthélemy, Saint-Martin, the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands.

What type of innovations are eligible?

Deeptech solutions leveraging BigData, AI, Blockchain, IoT, and Bio-Tech to address challenges, with promising solutions in the identified focus areas.

What stage of the company is the right fit?

Startups should have a working technology that has passed the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) stage (TRL-6 - technology demonstrated in a relevant environment). The startup should also be actively looking for private funding. It is also beneficial that the startup can generate sales.

What do you mean by an Acceleration Voucher?

Each selected startup will receive a 5000 voucher to be redeemed for focused mentoring, expert content & training, and investor feedback.

Founded by the European Union Logo Outline White

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

Ventures Thrive, project No 101073762 has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe framework programme, under the European Innovation Council’s StartUpEU initiative.

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