The EIC Accelerator supports the most innovative startups and SMEs in Europe. Who and what is funded? How to apply for the funding? Inform now!

With the EIC Accelerator, the EU supports the most innovative and ambitious startups and SMEs in implementing market-changing innovations. Get an overview of the funding programme now!

The EIC Accelerator is a unique funding programme of the European Commission, which has enjoyed increasing popularity for years. This is mainly due to the fact that the EIC Accelerator starts where other funding programmes end.

The EIC Accelerator focuses on startups and young, innovative SMEs that already have a working demonstrator or beta version of a disruptive innovation. The funding is used to further develop, optimize, scale and launch this on the market. In this regard, it is irrelevant in which industry or technology the innovation is located. The programme is completely open-topic and seeks the most ambitious, fastest-growing and sustainable solutions for the future.


The EIC Accelerator bridges the "valley of death" in the innovation process and ensures a positive cash flow

Who is funded?

In contrast to many other European funding programmes, only solo projects are supported in the EIC Accelerator. The business concept and the marketing strategy of your company are clearly in focus. It does not matter whether you are a freshly founded start-up or an innovative SME. All companies with up to 250 employees are eligible for funding. Cooperation with other companies, universities or research institutions is also possible through subcontracts.

What is funded?

Not only the general conditions but also the funding is unique: from personnel costs to material expenses to costs for travel, approvals and marketing materials - the EIC Accelerator funds almost all project costs with a funding rate of 70% and up to a maximum funding amount of 2.5 million euros.

In addition to these non-repayable grants, the EIC Accelerator also offers equity capital to accelerate the company's market access and growth. Depending on the valuation of the company and its needs, the equity can amount to as much as 15 million euros. A company can thus receive up to 17.5 million euros in total support.

How does the application process work?

The EIC Accelerator is very attractive, and funding is thus in high demand. Therefore, only the SMEs and start-ups with the best business concepts and management teams are able to fully convince the evaluators. To identify these "European champions", the European Commission uses a three-stage application process. First, interested companies apply with a short concept note, a pitch deck and a video pitch. This gives the evaluators a preliminary impression of the opportunities, the team, and the risks of the project.

In the second step, the companies then submit a detailed proposal. This resembles a comprehensive business plan and provides in-depth information about the innovation, the business model, the people behind the idea and the planned project activities. If the proposal is also convincing, the European Commission invites the most promising applicants to an interview. At this appointment, the final task is to impress the jury in a presentation and a subsequent question and answer session. Companies that have mastered all three stages will then belong to Europe's "Champions League" and can look forward to extensive funding and financing as well as further support from the EU's Business Acceleration Services.

Who can support me with the application?

Do you have an idea and wonder whether it is suitable for the EIC Accelerator? Or do you already have a specific project and would like to start the application process right away? Feel free to contact us. EurA has been involved in the programme since its launch in 2014 and, with over 200 applications, is the market leader in the EIC Accelerator and one of the largest consulting firms in Germany.

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Author: Stefan Durm

Stefan Durm

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Stefan Durm

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I have been successfully involved in international projects for about 10 years. I have designed and coordinated international research consortia as well as (co-)developed and successfully implemented more than 50 business plans for highly innovative deep-tech start-ups. To keep sharpening my knowledge, I am a founding member of the European Association of Innovation Consultants (EAIC) and represent EurA there.This makes me a very good first point of contact for questions about international funding projects.

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