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cee startup challenge by
25 October 2023·2 min read

Katarzyna Groszkowska

Editor, Vestbee

CEE Startup Challenge Opens Applications For Fundraising And Scaleups from CEE

Calling all aspiring startups and scaleups from Central and Eastern Europe! The CEE Startup Challenge, the biggest online competition in the region is now open for applications! 

The program is organized by Vestbee, the leading community-powered matchmaking platform for startups, VC funds, accelerators, and corporates. CEE Startup Challenge offers the chance to win more than just funding, it's a gateway to a wide network of industry experts, corporate partners, and VC funds including Next Road Ventures, EIT InnoEnergy, Uniqua Ventures, Molten, 500 VC, Flashpoint VC, 212, OTB, Warsaw Equity Group and more. Participants will also benefit from essential startup tools, and media exposure, making it the ultimate launchpad for their business.

VC Funds, startup credits and tools, fundraising support, and industry experts await participants. 

Selected startups and scaleups will be able to transform their business with fundraising support connecting them to leading investors. Their business ideas will be assessed by the experienced panel of judges from VC funds and corporates, including Next Road Ventures, EIT Inno Energy, Molten Ventures, 500 Emerging Europe, Warsaw Equity Group, QNBEYOND, Ventures, Flashpoint Venture Debt, Portfolion, OTB Ventures, ORBIT Capital, Elevator Ventures, Tilia Impact Ventures and more. The selected startups will also be invited to the biggest, invitation-only gathering of more than 250 VC fund managers - CEE VC Summit 2024. It’s the best place to be for startups wishing to establish themselves and gain connections and funding.

Shortlisted companies will also benefit from free credits and discounts on business services provided by the program's partners, which include  €100K in credits from OVHcloud, 90% off on HubSpot for Startups, €15K in Stripe Credits, $50K on the Mixpanel Growth Plan and more. 

Participants will also get a unique opportunity to use business tools from Zendesk, Notion,, TrustMate, Brand24 and Bouncer. Their startup will be also covered in the top media outlets including MamStartup and ItKey Media.

Which startups can apply?

CEE Startup Challenge is on the lookout for companies raising seed, pre-series A, and series A in the following verticals: 

  • SaaS & Marketplaces
  • AI / ML
  • Fintech & Insurtech
  • Cybersecurity
  • Defence and Govtech
  • Mobility, Industry 4.0 & Manufacturing
  • Environmental and Sustainable Solutions
  • Food and Agriculture
  • Healthcare & Wellbeing
  • Consumer Technology
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • and more

Don’t miss your chance to be a part of the CEE Startup Challenge and apply here by November 17th, 2023. 

For more information about the CEE Startup Challenge visit: 


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