TL;DR;

SME funding with EIC Accelerator
Here at Nightingale HQ, we have put in for funding with the EIC Accelerator. In this article, we’ll tell you what the EIC Accelerator is and why it’s worth applying for.

The EIC Accelerator is a funding initiate provided jointly by the EU Commission (EC) and the European Innovation Council (EIC). It’s designed to provide small and medium-sized businesses of up to 500 employees who develop breakthrough innovation projects with high growth potential, with funding to develop and upscale innovative tech. Check out some pretty impressive previous funded projects here

There are two types of funding calls: EIC Accelerator Open for any breakthrough technologies and EIC Accelerator Challenge for breakthrough innovations with major impacts on strategic digital and health technologies as well as Green Deal innovations for the economic recovery.

What does it provide?

The EIC is part of Horizon Europe and has been equipped with a budget of €10 billion to spend on innovative tech for the period 2021-2027. It supports both SMEs and research teams.

Winners receive funding and support of up to €2.5 million for innovation and development and up to €15 million in equity investments for scale-ups and other relevant costs.

The Accelerator provides coaching, mentoring, and access to investors. The initiative also actively seeks applications from women-led teams, which we were particularly pleased with. We have written previously about the EU’s dismal track record to fund women-led tech companies and this accelerator actively seeks to redress this throught its application process.

How to apply

The good news is that applications are on a rolling basis and there is an upcoming deadline of 6 October 2021. Check out the application details here. It’s a two-stage application with Stage 1 needing to be submitted up to 80 days in advance. The first stage involves a video submission, a slide deck and you will need to respond to a short questionnaire. Applications are judged against the full criteria for EIC Accelerator funding and the final stage is a face-to-face interview with the judging panel.

All is not lost if you are not successful as you may still be awarded the seal of excellence. This will give you access to support from EIC Business Acceleration Services as well as help you secure funding from other sources. UK companies can still apply under Horizon Europe with non-dilutive grant applications only. This will exclude equity financing.

All in all, a pretty good initiative to apply to.

Further reading