FIWARE Open API Platform Makes 80 Million EUR Available to Startups

Open API Platform FIWARE is inviting applications from businesses, small enterprise and startups to participate in a range of accelerator programs aimed at creating a new wave of innovative tech for agriculture, smart cities, e-health, manufacturing and the Internet of Things. FIWARE is a European Commission-funded initiative under the Future Internet program.

FIWARE offers a platform that includes a set of open APIs and "generic enablers" (tools) to help businesses, makers, developers and entrepreneurs use open source technologies to create viable, sustainable and scalable digital services. A FILAB initiative has also been established as a learning hub for anyone wanting to make use of the platform.

According to coordinator and chief architect Juanjo Hierro, FIWARE has grown considerably over the past 18 months, and a recent round of startup weekends has aimed to help bring more businesses and entrepreneurs into the fold. Events have been held across Europe offering a boot camp-like initiation into understanding FIWARE's APIs, followed by discussions on how to use the platform to create the next generation of IoT applications and products across a range of industries. Meanwhile, global interest in the possibilities of the platform has also been growing, with a Mexican node of FIWARE expected to be announced shortly.

The European Commission has funded a number of accelerator programs to make money available to startups and established businesses that want to build products on the FIWARE platform. Altogether, €80 million ($102.4 million) in funding is available. Accelerators are focusing on specific domain areas, such as smart cities, transport, manufacturing and logistics, and e-health. Accelerator leaders in each domain area are then administering a series of open calls to invite businesses and startups to submit ideas for sustainable, innovative new products and services that make use of the FIWARE API platform.

Accelerator Opportunities Open Now

The accelerator program is open to applications from businesses and startup teams across Europe. The open programs include the following:

Domain: Smart cities
Accelerator program: CEED Tech
Deadline: Dec. 15
Criteria: European startups, SMEs and newly formed teams
What is being funded: Products solving problems using FIWARE platform for data, cloud services, analytics, transactional technologies, Fintech and e-commerce, B2B technologies, location-based services and security projects.
What successful applicants receive: For 10% equity in the company, startups receive between €30,000 and €250,000, and mentorship from the network of five startup accelerators that make up CEED Tech.

Domain: E-health
Accelerator program: Finodex
Deadline: Dec. 19
Criteria: European SMEs and teams of up to four people
What is being funded: Projects that combine using the FIWARE platform and open data to solve social challenges in the areas of the environment, health, transport, finance and civic engagement.
What successful applicants receive: In addition to up to €170,000 per team, successful applicants receive a tailor-made training program, access to a network of FIWARE specialists and industry expertise, and facilitated access to private investors for ongoing funding.

Domain: Agrifood
Accelerator program: Smart Agrifood
Deadline: Nov. 15
Criteria: European SMEs and Web entrepreneurs
What is being funded: Projects that can address challenges in large-scale arable farming, horticulture or livestock farming by creating smart solutions for specific farm operations.
What successful applicants receive: Up to €100,000 to build and trial a prototype solution and, where successful, to develop up the potential business plan. In addition, the accelerator program provides mentorship and connection to an extensive network of industry expertise.

Domain: Social and learning
Accelerator program: IMPACT
Deadline: Nov. 7
Criteria: European SMEs and Web entrepreneurs that have a mobile focus
What is being funded: Businesses working on mobile technology projects in areas such as app development, media, peripheral advertising, connected TV, security and infrastructure.
What successful applicants receive: Up to €100,000. In addition, applicants will also receive training via the "world's first Internet-only business school," cooridnated by Buongiorno SpA.

A full list of open and upcoming accelerator initiatives is continually updated on the FIWARE website.

Be sure to read the next Funding article: Traction API Identifies Investment-Worthy Companies