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European Union	European Regional	Development Fund

Confluence Challenge: driving innovation together

Open innovation program enabling startups and researchers to work together with corporate partners and co-develop innovative solutions to industry challenges.

Participants are supported through a two-month accelerator program and the best solutions share 35.000€ in prizes.

The program

Confluence Challenge is an open innovation program bringing together corporations looking for innovative solutions to industry challenges, with entrepreneurs and researchers working at the forefront of technology.

Τhe selected participants get:
• mentoring from the program’s industry partners
• training and seminars by experts
• one-to-one startup coaching
• the opportunity to work towards a challenge PoC/pilot
• a chance to win 35.000€ in award prizes

Meet the 2023 program winners!

The grand finale of the Confluence Challenge open innovation program was our Demo Day on December 4th 2023, at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

10 innovator teams were awarded, sharing over 35.000€ in prizes, while the Confluence Challenge industry partners signed eight Letters of Intent to move forward with implementing solutions.

Industry challenges

Read about the 10+1 challenges placed by the 2023 program's corporate partners: ALUMIL, ISOMAT and KLEEMANN.

Are you up for a challenge?

Are you a startup or research team? Are you looking to partner with established corporations and apply your know-how to create innovative industry solutions? Then this program is for you!



The teams that develop the most promising and impactful solutions addressing the program’s challenges are sharing 30.000€ in cash prizes and incubation services worth 5.000€


Confluence Excellence Award

For one team that excels across all evaluation criteria throughout the program.


Market Disruption Award

For one team with a solution demonstrating the highest potential for international market adoption.


Innovation for Society Award

For one team - Sponsored by the One Stop Liaison Office of the Region of Central Macedonia.


Technology Innovation Award

For one team - Sponsored by Thess INTEC — Thessaloniki Innovation & Technology Center.

5.000€ (in kind)

Incubation Services Award

For three teams - Office space and registered address. Sponsored by Alexander Innovation Zone.

2023 Schedule

From October to December 2023 we worked closely with the participating entrepreneurs and researchers to develop solutions with outstanding industry impact and global potential.

Info day

11 Sep

Application deadline

24 Sep

Shortlisted teams announced

29 Sep

Introductory bootcamp & participant selection

12-18 Oct

Start of 8-week acceleration program

18 Oct

Demo day and prizes

4 Dec

Program organizations


Industry partners

Special award sponsors

Program design & implementation


Frequently Asked Questions

No. Participation in the program is free of charge.

Participation is open to: a) incorporated companies (startups and SMEs), b) research institutions or universities c) teams of individuals (entrepreneurs or researchers) who have not yet incorporated a business

The bootcamp in October will be a hybrid event. The first and last days of the bootcamp will be held in Thessaloniki, Greece, but will be open to remote participation. The 2nd and 3rd day of the bootcamp will take place online.

For the teams to be selected after the bootcamp, the accelerator program sessions will be held online but will also include on-site visits to the premises of the industry partners. The Demo Day at the end of the acceleration program will be a hybrid event in Thessaloniki, Greece, that will also be accessible online.

The program encourages participation by teams across Europe. The training, mentoring and coaching sessions will be conducted in English.

You should be ready to invest about 30 hours from mid October 2023 until the end of November. The teams to be selected at the end of the Bootcamp in mid-October will follow an 8-week program that includes training, coaching and mentoring sessions every week.

Attendance to every training session is not mandatory but strongly recommended for teams looking to claim an award. A minimum level of participation in coaching and training sessions is a prerequisite for participating in the Demo Day at the end of the program.

Become an industry partner

Is your company looking for innovative solutions to key business challenges and ways to pursue new market opportunities? Are you open to co-develop ideas with the best and brightest startups and researchers?

Do you want to be involved in future Confluence Challenge programs?