Frequently Asked Questions

Why challenge-based innovation?

The story of European innovation is increasingly a story of urban innovation hubs – cities constantly refining and developing their innovation fabric to both foster home-grown startups and attract others from across the continent.

In parallel, large companies are increasingly supporting startups, which provide them with new solutions and business opportunities.

Challenge-based innovation brings them together with other city and regional stakeholders to:
  • Put the city on the map by making it friendlier to startups - both local entrepreneurs, and innovators from across Europe
  • Solve local problems by supporting startups with potentially innovative solutions
  • Stimulate local, knowledge-intensive companies, and help them grow across Europe.

How does challenge-based innovation work?

Challenge-based innovation is a carefully designed, four-stage process:

  • Ecosystem profiling: the city and other stakeholders identify the city's Unique Service Proposition and map its Local Champions
  • Challenge definition: the city and stakeholders engage the local ecosystem to identify the key Challenges they want to tackle
  • Launch Challenges: roadshows and other communication activities, supported by a dedicated online platform, mobilise stakeholders around the Challenges, each led by a Challenge Owner
  • Implement Challenges: startups and entrepreneurs pitch their solutions to each Challenge. The best are selected for a tailored series of mentoring, online training and support to help them meet the city's Challenges.

The result: startups with innovative products and services, each precisely designed to meet the needs of a Challenge Owner, who becomes their first client. But they get a lot more than that.

Most cities, after all, face similar problems. Apart from helping local entrepreneurs solve one of their city's Challenges, each innovation programme accesses META's Europe-wide network of cities and investors. Startups are promoted to cities with similar problems, and investors interested in their solutions, across Europe.

What does META Innovation Platform offer?

In short, everything you need to implement a challenge-based innovation programme in your region or city. There are several components:

  • Your own website, at your address, with your design: you can use the system off-the-shelf, customise it yourself, or ask us to customise it for you
  • Access an existing community: although you get your own website, it will be part of the larger META Innovation Platform ecosystem, giving you access to its network of hundreds of Entrepreneurs, Challenge Owners, Mentors business angels, venture capitalists, crowdfunding experts and more
  • Services: META can help you at every stage, from designing your programme through to mentoring your startups and managing the website.

Contact us for more information.

Who are META, and where does this platform come from?

META combines venture capital fund management, entrepreneurial training and innovation consultancy into an integrated Platform for transforming knowledge into entrepreneur-driven growth. Learn more about what we do.

We developed the Innovation Platform by adapting the originally US challenge-based innovation process to a European setting, notably via the TWIST and Social Innovation research projects. The lessons learnt were then reflected into the META Innovation Platform.

I have a technical question

We have a dedicated technical support page for users accessing websites driven by the META Innovation Platform. For any questions regarding the website or services provided by the META Innovation Platform, please contact us..