The Copernicus Masters competition presents big news for its current edition: the winners of each challenge1 aren't be the only participants to be awarded prizes and turn their ideas into successful applications. For the first time ever, the finalists are also greatly benefit from the participation in this competition, thanks to the new Copernicus Accelerator initiative, funded by the European Commission and organised by AZO.

This new programme will provide a customised business development scheme for the best 40 applicants of all seven Challenges of the Copernicus Masters 2016 - which must be either citizens of one of the Copernicus Participating Countries or have established their company in the territory of one of the Participating Countries - in order to let the most promising ideas achieve measurable results.

Those finalists are matched with mentors across Europe, with demonstrable experience and expertise. Our mentors who belong e.g. to the ESNC, the Copernicus Masters and the incubator network, are Earth observation experts and additionally possess profound knowledge in supplementary fields, such as ICT, mobile industry or the ones connected with the Copernicus Masters 2016 Challenges.

Through a dedicated coaching process worth EUR 5,000, mentors will help participants' promising ideas to turn into reality and successfully enter the market, achieving measurable results in one or more of the following objectives:
  • Integration into an incubator
  • Win over a first client
  • Raising equity funding - angel, seed or venture capital
  • Reaching profitability level with a first product
  • Development of a new product line
  • First access to a foreign market (internationalisation)
The Copernicus Accelerator is comprised of different phases for a total coaching support from six to eight months. Finalists have been selected in September 2016, while the formal start of the initiative will be made official during the Accelerator Bootcamp, that will take place at the Awards Ceremony of the Copernicus Masters on 25 October 2016 in Madrid, Spain. This event will also be an excellent occasion to join the international EO and GNSS community, meet investors and benefit from AZO's global network of innovation and expertise.

To top it off, there was a further valid reason to participate in the Copernicus Masters this year: being a finalist entailed the possibility to receive a high valuable coaching service, to participate free of charge in a one-of-a-kind networking event with investors and high-level professionals as well as to turn great ideas into groundbreaking applications!

1 Participants of the Copernicus Accelerator had to be either citizens of one of the Copernicus Participating countries or must have established their company in the territory of one of the participating countries.

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