Deadline: 19 February 2014.

Dear (potential) entrepreneurs in the robotics field,

We cordially invite you to participate to the workshop on “Entrepreneurship” at the European

Robotics Forum in Rovereto, Italy on 12-14 March 2014.

Entrepreneurship Workshop

The Entrepreneurship workshop provides the ability for small innovative companies to pitch their ideas for the next big thing in robotics to a panel of technology investment experts. As well as the chance to win a cash prize, entrants stand the chance to gain valuable skills in how to pitch an investment idea together with the potential to gain interest in their company from the investment community.

Entrepreneurs with developed business plans can enter to pitch their ideas and have their flight, accommodation and ERF attendance fees paid for one person. Applications are required by 19th February 2014.

Time of workshop:  (Exact schedule to be adjusted)

The workshop will take place over three sessions on Wednesday 12th March. The first speed dating session will be between 09:00 and 10:30, the second coaching session will be between 11:00 and 12:30 and the third judging session will be between 14:30 and 16:30. The first two sessions will be closed sessions for the entrants only, while the last session will be open to all members of the ERF. The entrepreneurship event will be rounded off with a public round table discussion between 16:30 and 18:30.


Jon Agirre Ibarbia, Tecnalia,

Renaud Champion, Robolution Capital,

Geoff Pegman, R U Robots,

Motivation and objective:

The objective of the workshop is to encourage the wider of acceptance of entrepreneurship in your robotics researchers by providing Entrepreneurial coaching to several teams who themselves have ideas for developing robotics products or services.


Three sessions are proposed. The first is a “speed dating” session at which all the entrants are invited to individually pitch their ideas to the panel of investment judges. This session will result in five entrepreneurs going forward to the next session. The second session is a coaching session in which the selected entrants are given coaching by experienced financiers and entrepreneurs in how to most effectively pitch their ideas to potential finance providers. In the final session, each potential entrepreneur will make a public presentation of their idea in front of a panel of private finance providers. The panel will then consider the presentations and declare a winner of the ERF Entrepreneurship award.

Agenda of the workshop:

The speed dating will involve each entrant pitching their existing business in a 5 minute slot followed by questions from the panel. For the five selected entrants coaching sessions will cover aspects of making a business case with the last part being about making convincing presentations. Each team will be provided with one dedicated coach (or the coaches may rotate but there will always be one coach per team). The presentation session will see each team presenting for 5-10 minutes before being questioned by the panel.


The coaches are in process of being identified but will consist of respected members of the investment community and / or well established entrepreneurs.

How can participants contribute to, and prepare for, the workshop?

The participants are expected to have already developed an idea for a product or service and done some background work in researching the marketplace in which it could be exploited. Entries are expected to be individuals but, exceptionally, could be small teams. However, only one person will be subsidised to join the event.

Interested participants must submit an application with the following format by 19th February 2014 to the following email address:


Entrepreneurship Workshop at ERF2014 – Application Form

Contact details :

First name :

Surname :

Job title :

Company/ affiliation :

Address :

Postal Code :

City :

Country :

Email :

Abstract text of your idea (approx. 2500 characters ) :

• Which problem are you addressing with your idea? (the market for your solution)

• Why that problem is important? (size of the market)

• Which is your solution? How does it work? How does it solves the problem?

• Which are the existing solutions? (the competence) and how do you compare them to your solution? (comparison / benchmarking with the competence)

• At which level of development is your technology? Which are the next steps? Which could be the cost (time and €) to fulfil those steps?


The number of entrants will be restricted to a maximum of 10. If we receive more applications, the organiser team supported by some coaches will select the most promising or innovative ideas based on the application.

Successful applicants will be notified by 21st February 2014.

In order to address the confidentiality issues the workshop will adopt the following guidelines:

1. The first and second sessions will be closed sessions.

2. The third session will be open to registered attendees of the European Robotics Forum

3. It is suggested that presentations be kept to information you are happy to be in the public domain

4. If there is any information that you feel is essential to your presentation but you do not want to be fully public then this can be discussed with the judging panel during the first session.

Further information:

In order to promote the participation of entrants from different European countries, accepted entrants will be entitled to the cost of flight tickets and accommodation covered for one person until a maximum of 500 euros. The ERF registration fee for one person will be covered by euRobotics aisbl.

Planned follow-up:

A certificate and a cash gift will be awarded to the winning team. There will also be a press release prepared about the event, the winning team and their proposed product / service.


This event is sponsored by the European Commission DG CONNECT through the RockEU CA project, TECNALIA Research & Innovation, Robolution Capital and euRobotics aisbl.

Download the pdf version here