The EIC Accelerator supports individual Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), in particular Startups and spinout companies to develop and scaleup game-changing innovations. In some cases small mid-caps (up to 500 employees) are supported. The EIC Accelerator provides substantial financial support with grant funding (non-dilutive) of up to €2.5 million for innovation development costs and investments (direct equity investments) of up to €15 million managed by the EIC Fund for scale up and other relevant costs. In addition, EIC selected companies receive coaching, mentoring, access to investors and corporates, and many other opportunities as part of the EIC community. The EIC welcomes applications from innovators in all EU Member States and countries associated to the Horizon Europe programme. It particularly welcomes applications from startups and SMEs with female CEOs. As a rule, the project duration in the EIC Accelerator should be 12 to 24 months.
Why should you apply?
The EIC Accelerator supports companies (principally start-ups and SMEs) to scale up high impact innovations with the potential to create new markets or disrupt existing ones. The EIC Accelerator provides a unique combination of funding from EUR 0.5 to EUR 17.5 million and Business Acceleration Services.
The EIC Accelerator focuses in particular on innovations building on scientific discovery or technological breakthroughs (‘deep tech’) and where significant funding is needed over a long timeframe before returns can be generated (‘patient capital’). Such innovations often struggle to attract financing because the risks and time period involved are too high. Funding and support from the EIC Accelerator is designed to enable such innovators to attract the full investment amounts needed for scale up in a shorter timeframe.
The EIC Accelerator is open to innovations in any field of technology or application. However, innovations that harm the environment or social welfare or that are designed primarily for military applications will not be supported. The fund supports the later stages of technology development as well as scale up, therefore, the technology component of your innovation must therefore have been tested and validated in a laboratory or other relevant environment (e.g. at least Technology Readiness Level 5/6 or higher). The EIC Accelerator looks to support companies where the EIC support will act as a catalyst to crowd in other investors necessary for the scale up of the innovation.
How do you apply?
The application process consists of a number of steps:
- Short applications which may be submitted at any time and which will be evaluated remotely by EIC expert evaluators on a first come, first served basis;
- If successful, you will be invited to prepare a full application, where you will have access to support through the EIC artificial intelligence-based IT platform and from EIC business coaches;
- Full applications will first be assessed remotely by EIC expert evaluators. If successful, you will be invited to a face to face interview with an EIC jury as the final step in the selection process.
- If selected for funding, you will be invited to negotiate an initial contract for the grant component and to start the due diligence for the investment component.