The MITA Innovation Hub (MIH) incubator, run by the Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA), has opened its applications for the second edition of the MITA YouStartIT Validator, a training programme for early-stage tech startups. Applications opened on Monday 18th May and will close on Thursday 18th June 23.59 CET. It is a revamped edition with a special focus on tackling the Covid-19 aftermath.
Indeed the pandemic has not prevented MITA from going ahead with its startup programmes. So after an initial delay, its programmes are being re-engineered to be delivered completely online to ensure social distancing and the safety and well-being of all participants: the tech startup founders.
Face-to-face sessions will be replaced by online interactive sessions with the help of video conferencing. Newly acquired tools will help the startups’ progress through the programme material and training in a smart and seamless way. MITA’s Emerging Technologies Lab will also be made available for any startup founders that require it.
The main purpose of the Validator of course has not changed. Startup founders participating in this programme will be validating their startup idea to understand whether their project is viable and worth pursuing. Jarek Bialek, the entrepreneur-in-residence responsible for the programme content, commented “The content is designed to help the startups clearly frame the problem they wish to solve, prove that there is a potential market for their tech solution, understand who their competitors are and learn if their business model can sustain a company in the future”.
Covid-19 has increased demand for the digitisation of the “new normal” and the fast-tracking of innovations and business continuity solutions in sectors such as healthcare, transport, retail, commerce, catering, enterprise tech and real estate, amongst many others.
So for this edition of the YouStartIT Validator, MITA is primarily looking for startup founders with innovative ideas needed to the “new normal” resulting from the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. These could be solutions that aid business continuity in industries like healthcare, transport, retail, catering, real estate and many others. The MIH will accept a maximum of 10 startup founders for this programme. Up to four of the best projects will be selected to participate in the next YouStartIT Accelerator and receive a grant of up to €30,000 to continue growing and move to the next stage of funding.
Like the startups it supports, the MIH is always eager and ready to adapt to new changes in the environment in order to keep developing and growing the Maltese startup eco-system.