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Start Up Festival Malta Energizes Local Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Start Up Festival Malta Energizes Local Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

  • 1800 registered attendees
  • 500 productive meetings in the Dealroom area
  • €200,000 in service package won by Pitch Black winners
  • 55 exhibitors
  • 300 international participants


The Start-Up Festival Malta concluded with resounding success, showcasing the dynamism and innovation of the Malta start up ecosystem. The event, which took place at the MFCC on the 5th and 6th of October, exceeded expectations, with 55 stands, over 1800 registered attendees, over 500 productive meetings in the Dealroom area, and more than 400 engaged spectators during the thrilling Pitch Black competition.

This year’s Start-Up Festival was a testament to the strength and growth of the local start-up community. Attendees were treated to a diverse array of start-up exhibits, each showcasing cutting-edge technologies, disruptive business models, and ground breaking solutions. The festival provided a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs, investors, and enthusiasts to come together and explore the latest trends and innovations in various industries.

The heart of the festival was the Dealroom area, where over 500 meetings took place between start-ups and potential investors and partners. Entrepreneurs had the chance to pitch their ideas, seek funding, and build valuable relationships with industry leaders.

One of the highlights of the event was the Pitch Black competition, where more than 400 eager listeners gathered to witness start-ups present their pitches in a fast-paced and high-stakes environment. The judges as well as the audience faced the challenging task of selecting the winners from a pool of exceptionally talented participants.


Kurt Farrugia, CEO of Malta Enterprise explained that, “Pitch Black stands as a remarkable success story, showcasing the innovation of our entrepreneurs. This first edition has exceeded our expectations, with more than 40 applicants, out of which 25 female-led startups and hundreds of attendees actively listening in to the pitches. We congratulate the winners, and look forward to working closely with them in the coming weeks.”

Dr Keith M Azzopardi – Co-founder and CEO of Smart Materials Limited, who won the first edition of Pitch Black explained that “We are deeply honoured to have been recognized at the Pitch Black contest. Our heartfelt thanks go to Startup Festival Malta and Malta Enterprise for this incredible platform. At Smart Materials, our core vision is to revolutionize the materials industry with sustainable, innovative solutions that not only enhance product quality but also prioritize environmental responsibility. Winning this contest reaffirms our commitment to this mission and propels us further towards making a lasting impact. Thank you for believing in our vision.”

Natallia Miranchuk, founder and CEO of Soula who won the award for Best Female Led Startup award with her solution providing ethical AI in maternity: “It was indeed special to compete in the first ever Pitch Black competition at the Startup Festival Malta. We are honoured to win the Best Female led startup award – we also received a huge amount of productive feedback. Thank you, Malta, for your warm heart and beautiful festival! It was my first time on the Island but for sure not the last – especially now that the price service package gives us the opportunity to work with so many Maltese companies.”


Moreover, the festival boasted an impressive lineup of international speakers, including Emmy Award winner Mohsen Mousavi and accomplished international serial entrepreneur and investor Rina Onur. These distinguished speakers shared their expertise, experiences, and valuable insights with attendees, further enriching the festival’s program and offering a global perspective on entrepreneurship and innovation.

The festival’s success would not have been possible without the support of its sponsors, their dedication to fostering entrepreneurship and innovation was evident throughout the event.

The Pitch Black competition was organised in collaboration with AIM and supported by Atlas Insurance, Melita Business, De Marco and Associates, Trident Park, RSM, Castille Resources, Moneybase, Steve’s and Co, Plug n Play, Andaria, Founders Taboo, Residency Malta Agency and EU Startups Summit.

Startup Festival Malta was supported by Melita Business, Enemed, Circular Economy Malta, Residency Malta Agency, Malta Film Commission, Bank of Valletta, ERA, Wasteserve, Air Malta, WSC and MCST.


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