Headstart funding programme: Fast-track to market

7 February 2023

Who can apply?

Start-ups and SMEs from all over Europe, with regional selection.

Application deadline:

30 March 2020

About: The EIT Health Headstart Programme accelerates the market launch of selected healthcare start-ups through grants as well as support with networking and developing a project plan. The maximum funding granted is €50,000.
Who can apply? Start-ups and SMEs from all over Europe, with regional selection.

Read more: Headstart programme

Apply: eithealth.optimytool.com/en

About EIT Health’s Headstart programme:

  • Supports applicants in the next steps in reaching the market and shortening time-to-market
  • Verifies the need and benefit of the product/service for users/customers/payers/partners
  • Increases the possibility of attracting further private investment

Is it for me?

A company must be incorporated/registered to apply. The EIT Health Headstart Funding Programme is suitable for micro and small enterprises (according to the EU SME definition) spin-offs, and start-ups that have a well-developed prototype and are ready to launch a product. In rare circumstances, not-yet-incorporated companies may apply, however they must be incorporated upon selection. Ideal applicants have an estimated company valuation of less than €1 million. Applicants above this valuation are more suitable for SCALE! programmes.


  • The project or product must be within the scope of the main challenges in EIT Health: Healthy Living, Active Ageing, and Improved Healthcare.
  • The applicant(s) or company must own or have rights to the intellectual property that is the basis for the project or product (if applicable).
  • The project or product has to be at least at technical readiness level (TRL) 4.
  • Companies that apply for this funding should be seeking to develop projects that fit the overall EIT Health objectives of healthy living, active ageing and improved health care.

In addition they should be geared toward EIT Health’s Focus Areas:

  • Towards holistic care pathways
  • Creating the enabling environment for healthcare transformation
  • Harnessing the power of real-world data (RWD)
  • Bringing care home
  • From the workplace to the health place: employer leadership in improving health
  • Fostering healthy lives by introducing behavioural change.


EIT Health Optimy platform


Christos Vaitsis

Harsha Madapura