Articles for the EIC Accelerator

The EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity) has opened its doors to Step 1 submissions in early April 2021. After a long wait, the first evaluation results have been published on May 12th 2021 after more than one month of evaluations. While no notifications ...
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On May 5th 2021, it has been announced that all submissions for Step 1 of the EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity) application process are closed until June 22nd. This has come as a surprise to many since the call was supposed to be ...
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The EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity) has recently introduced a novel Step 1 to the application process. This is presenting a new challenge to professional writers, consultancies and freelancers but it is also an interesting new way of displaying an innovation project (read: ...
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The EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity) has recently introduced a new type of pitch deck for Step 1 of the evaluation process. This can be viewed as a 'real-only deck' or a 'read deck' since it will not be used for the Step ...
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The EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity) has recently introduced pitch videos into the evaluation process which presents a new challenge for professional grant writers, freelancers and consultancies (read: New Application Process). While there are no official guidelines or templates for the process of ...
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In 2021, the EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity) has been re-launched into its most sophisticated iteration yet. With a new AI Tool, a semi-automated evaluation process and a clear focus on disruptive projects, it has now opened its doors for Small- and Medium-Sized ...
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With the 2021's EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity) program being adopted shortly, many startups and Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) are eagerly waiting for the call to open (read: EIC Accelerator Introduction). Most consultancies and professional writers have likely already gathered significant information ...
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The EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity) is a competitive funding program by the European Commission (EC) and has always been heavily affected by European Union (EU) policies. Examples for this are the requirements to meet sustainability targets, address societal challenges and other recent ...
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Update 1: The EIC Accelerator Work Programme 2021 was published on March 17th 2021. Update 2: The EIC has presented the latest news in a YouTube leak which reveals information not found in the published Work Programme. The EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity ...
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This article is a continuation of Part 1 and describes a perspective as to how startups and Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) should view grant applications. Since especially the EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) is highly competitive and templates can be difficult ...
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Public grants are a popular avenue for Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) and startups since they often provide a simple application process to receive substantial financial support. One of the distinct benefits of grant funding is its often strong policy-focus while commercial and financial factors of the business tend to ...
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The EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) is a competitive funding program supported by a variety of consultancies and professional writers in the EU. Due to the high EU budgets and demand from Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) and startups, there are diverse ...
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The EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) is undergoing a transformation in 2021 (read: Proposed Evaluation). The former 2-step process (application and pitch interview) which has been active for almost 4 years is gaining a third step (video pitch and mini-application) which can ...
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The EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) is an innovation funding program that provides up to €17.5M to startups and Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME). It is very attractive for eligible companies since it allows single-applicants to directly apply online and participate in ...
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In order to apply to the EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing), many startups and Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) are looking for expert consultancies or professional writers to facilitate the ever more complex evaluation process (read: Proposed 2021 Application Process). Navigating the ...
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This article is a continuation of Part 1 and presents a proposed workflow for the creation of a pitch video for the EIC Accelerator blended financing program (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2 - grant and equity financing). Due to the new process under Horizon Europe (2021-2027), the pitch video will ...
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In 2021, the new EIC Accelerator blended financing program (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2 - grant and equity financing) will include a more sophisticated 3-step evaluation process which includes a pitch video (read: Proposed 2021 EIC Accelerator Process). This will likely place an additional burden on Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises ...
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In 2021, the EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) will include a video pitch as a new proposal document which is expected to place an additional burden on applying startups and Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME). While tips on choosing an appropriate video ...
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The EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) is a highly competitive program that is slowly evolving into a fully fletched startup financing initiative (read: EIC Accelerator Introduction). Unfortunately, the latest developments regarding its equity financing have led to confusion and criticism as it ...
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The EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) will be reinstated in 2021 under Horizon Europe (2021-2027) with an updated evaluation process (read: Proposed 2021 Process). This will likely present new challenges to the evaluation procedure as lead by European Agency for SME's (EASME) ...
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The EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) is seeking excellent and high-impact startups or Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) which have reached a certain Technology Readiness Level (TRL - read: How the EIC Funds TRL's). As part of the profile, such companies have ...
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Writing an EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) application can be difficult for startups and Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) (read: Writing Internally). This can be due to a variety of factors such as a lack of grant writing experience, an absent business ...
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The United Kingdom (UK) has officially left the European Union (EU) in February 2020 but their future relationship concerning EU funding programs has been a mystery thus far. Under Horizon 2020, the UK was largely able to participate in funding programs as could all EU-27 and third-country applicants with some ...
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This article is a continuation of Part 1 and suggests a process for the creation of pitch videos as they are part of the EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) in 2021 under Horizon Europe (2021-2027) (read: Proposed 2021 Process). The official template ...
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In 2021, the EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) requires the upload of a pitch video which can present new challenges to prospect applicants (read: Proposed 2021 Template). While startups and Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) can find information on the creation of ...
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Under Horizon Europe (2021-2027), the EIC Accelerator blended financing program (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) will reprise its use of pitch interviews after they have been successfully applied in previous years. In these interviews, startups and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) are questioned in accordance to ...
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This article is a continuation of Part 2 and describes a list of considerations to be made by startups and Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) that seek to raise grant financing from the European Union (EU). One of these options is the EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase ...
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This article is a continuation of Part 1 and describes a list of considerations to be made by startups and Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) that seek to raise grant financing from the European Union (EU). One of these options is the EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase ...
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The EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) program is an interesting opportunity for startups and Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) but it might not be suitable for all applicants (read: Introduction). There are a variety of considerations to be made in advance which ...
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Project management is a central part of every Research and Development (R&D) project but it is especially important when considering the strict budgeting and tracking under the EIC Accelerator blended financing program (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing). Managing a specific project, a task and performance indicators ...
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This article is a continuation of Part 1 and presents a collection of areas that the EIC Accelerator might evolve towards in the future. The EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) is a constantly evolving and growing funding arm of the European Innovation ...
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The EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) program, as it has been published in 2019, is quickly becoming a popular target for scale-ups and Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) that seek public or private financing to complete their technological developments (read: Technology Readiness ...
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This article is a continuation of Part 1 and presents a guide for practising the EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) pitch interview by the European Commission (EC) and European Innovation Council (EIC). Resources regarding the general questioning of the pitch and why ...
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The pitch interviews for the EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) have been introduced quite recently but they are expected to remain a pillar of the evaluation process moving forward (read: Pitch vs. Proposal). With the jury consisting of mostly Venture Capitalists (VC) ...
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The EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) by the European Innovation Council (EIC) and European Commission (EC) is a great way for non-bankable and disruptive startups to obtain government funding but the 3-stage application process is highly competitive. With the final stage of ...
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Assessing a company for an EIC Accelerator blended financing application (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) can be a challenge since it requires a comprehensive investigation of multiple variables (read: Assessing a Project). Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) would often like to receive such an assessment in ...
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This article is a continuation of Part 1 and presents an exploration of criteria that could lead to the immediate dismissals of projects applying to the EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) by the European Innovation Council (EIC) and the European Commission (EC) ...
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Many startups or Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) are interested in applying to the EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) due to its single-beneficiary funding scheme. Before contacting a professional writer or consultant, it is often useful to first investigate which companies are ...
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Information for readers: The following is a description of a proposed evaluation process but it does not, in any way, reflect the current way EIC Accelerator applications are evaluated. For this, please read this article. This article is a continuation of Part 3 which is preceded by Part 1 and ...
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Information for readers: The following is a description of a proposed evaluation process but it does not, in any way, reflect the current way EIC Accelerator applications are evaluated. For this, please read this article. This article is a continuation of Part 2 (see also: Part 4 & Part 1) ...
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Information for readers: The following is a description of a proposed evaluation process but it does not, in any way, reflect the current way EIC Accelerator applications are evaluated. For this, please read this article. This article is a continuation of Part 1 and is followed by Part 3 and ...
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Information for readers: The following is a description of a proposed evaluation process but it does not, in any way, reflect the current way EIC Accelerator applications are evaluated. For this, please read this article. The European Commission (EC) and the European Innovation Council (EIC) have always aimed at optimizing ...
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The European Commission (EC) and the European Innovation Council (EIC) are planning major changes to the EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) application process whereas the introduction of video pitches is expected (read: EIC 2021). These can present a new challenge for prospect ...
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Attention: A new article is available detailing the changes for the 2021 EIC Accelerator Work Program. The EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) will be reinstated in 2021 with a higher budget, a new structure and a different evaluation process. For startups and ...
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The European Innovation Council (EIC) has published The Deep Tech Europe Report: key numbers from the EIC performance (PDF) which summarizes key impact figures and statistics with respect to the EIC Accelerators performance. The EIC Accelerator blended financing program (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) has been ...
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The EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) is an interesting opportunity for startups or Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) to gain government funding for innovation activities. When working with a consultancy or professional grant writer, the process is simplified significantly but, when applying ...
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This article is a continuation of Part 1 which can be found under the provided link. The Evaluation Summary Report (ESR) provides the EIC Accelerator blended financing applicant (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) with feedback regarding the proposal quality. While separating and grading the central sections of ...
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The Evaluation Summary Report (ESR) provides the EIC Accelerator blended financing applicant (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) with feedback regarding the proposal quality. While separating and grading the central sections of Impact, Excellence and Implementation, it gives additional scores on selected subcriteria (read: Using the ESR). A ...
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Part 1 and Part 2 of this article can be found under the provided links. The following article as a continuation of the visual guide (i.e. Part 3) for the preparation of an EIC Accelerator blended financing proposal (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) which can ...
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Part 1 of this article can be found under the provided link. The following article as a continuation of the visual guide (i.e. Part 2) for the preparation of an EIC Accelerator blended financing proposal (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) which can be used by startups ...
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The EIC Accelerator grant and equity financing (formerly SME instrument Phase 2, with blended finance option) provides a springboard for startups and Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) who are developing a disruptive innovation and seek additional financial support to complete their R&D from the prototype stage to a complete, commercial ...
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Part 1 of this article can be found under the provided link. 4. Image Guide for Selected Sections Whatever type of EIC Accelerator (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2 - grant, equity and blended finance) project it is, in almost all cases, it is useful to create or re-create certain images ...
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The EIC Accelerator grant or blended finance program (incl. equity option, formerly SME Instrument Phase 2) is a highly competitive funding scheme by the European Union and the European Innovation Council (EIC). While the formatting and proposal design should not be the first thing to focus on, without it, the ...
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Part 1 (Innovation) and Part 2 (Traction) of this article can be found under the provided links. 3. Team After a professional grant writer or consultant has successfully assessed the innovativeness and traction of a project, an in-depth look at the team should follow to cover the most important bases ...
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Part 1 (Innovation) of this article can be found under the provided link. 2. Traction The suitability of a project for an EIC Accelerator grant or blended financing application (SME Instrument Phase 2, with equity option) can be difficult to assess even for professional writers or high-level consultants. For this ...
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When developing a project for an EIC Accelerator grant or equity application (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2), it is often useful for professional writers and consultants to look at certain key areas in order to obtain a fast overview of the project's quality. There are many sub-criteria to be analyzed ...
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The European Commission (EC) and the European Innovation Council (EIC) in particular have a variety of keywords (or buzzwords) that are often asked for in the official EIC Accelerator grant proposal template (SME Instrument Phase 2). Such keywords are not required to be part of a good business model but, ...
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The EIC Accelerator Grant financing (SME Instrument Phase 2) is an interesting opportunity for both early-stage startups and established Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) that aim to further develop an innovative product. Many prospect applicants ask themselves if they should write an application on their own or if they should ...
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One of the core sections of an EIC Accelerator application (SME Instrument Phase 2), taken from the official grant proposal template, is the commercial strategy. Such a strategy might seem very straight forward in many cases but, in order to fully advertise the impact and scalability of a project, great ...
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Every once in a while, a company is reaching out to us with a rejected EIC Accelerator grant (SME Instrument Phase 2) application which they have prepared themselves but were unsuccessful with. Very rarely, such self-prepared applications are professionally written and reach a high score (i.e. above 13 out of ...
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The Europen Commission has long implemented policies and targets to increase gender equality across all industries and government institutions. While the EIC Accelerator (formerly the SME Instrument Phase 2) has been largely free from any interventions of such policies, there are a variety of factors that have been part of ...
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The EIC Accelerator (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2) is a highly competitive grant (as well as equity) financing program by the European Commission (EC) and the European Innovation Council (EIC). Many startups and Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME), in their journey of seeking financing sources, discover this opportunity since it ...
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The introduction is an important aspect of an EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument Phase 2) application and, even though it is not specifically mentioned in the template, it sets up much of the perceived project impact (see EIC Accelerator Writing: Providing the Missing Link). In general, the introduction should be as ...
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The European Commission has a variety of channels where updates and news are published. For the EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument Phase 2), there is not a single, centralized source of information but a variety of fragmented channels which should be scanned periodically in order to remain up-to-date on recent developments ...
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EIC Accelerator grant (SME Instrument Phase 2) evaluators are instructed to ignore certain content such as text which is placed in the wrong section or any information in Document 2 which has been placed to circumvent the page limit of Document 1. For information on the required documents, view: Writing an ...
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The acronym of the EIC Accelerator grant (SME Instrument Phase 2 for European startups) can be viewed as an even more condensed version of the proposal which should give the reader a memorable indication of what the project is about. If the abstract (see: Abstract Guide) summarizes the proposal and ...
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The abstract for the EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument Phase 2) project will be the only part of the proposal that, if successful, is made public through the Community Research and Development Information Service (CORDIS) website. In general, it should contain a complete summary of the project, condensed into 2,000 characters, ...
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The title of the proposal can be viewed as the tag-line of the project. If the project's abstract is a condensed version of the entire proposal, then the title can be viewed as a condensed version of the abstract. Here, it should be explained what the unique product is and ...
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For part 1 & part 2 of the EIC Accelerator grant formatting tips, please read this & this article. Proposal Colour The EIC Accelerator grant (SME Instrument Phase 2) proposal colour should be pleasant, consistent and not distract from the written content. It is recommended to choose one main proposal ...
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For part 1 of the EIC Accelerator grant formatting tips, please read this article. Hyper-links, cross-references and bookmarks It is recommended for a professional writer or consultant to use hyperlinks (i.e. for footnotes and for in-text references such as company names), cross-references (i.e. to sections in the same document) and ...
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For the EIC Accelerator Grant (SME Instrument Phase 2), the design of the text, headers and pages are an important factor in making an overall positive impression on the evaluators of the proposal. As such, a clean and easy-to-read structure should always be prioritized over an overloaded block of text ...
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For Document 1 writing tips, please view: Writing an EIC Accelerator Application: Microsoft Word vs. Adobe InDesign (SME Instrument Writing) Illustrations & Graphics While writing a well-narrated EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument Phase 2) proposal is important, it cannot be overstated how essential clear and visually appealing graphics are for a ...
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The Work Programme for the EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument Phase 2) clearly defines the type of innovation that is eligible for the financing and, outside of general considerations, outlines the exact stages a technology has to be in. These stages are classified through Technology Readiness Levels (TRL - see this ...
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Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) are a useful way of classifying the current stage of an innovation or technology. They have originally been developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) many decades ago but have persisted as a popular tool used by institutions such as the European Commission (EC) ...
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The EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument) grant program follows a two-step evaluation process consisting of a written application (step 1) and an in-person interview (step 2). Each evaluation stage is equally important but, due to the differing mechanisms for scoring a respective project, the approach for preparing the individual parts of ...
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1. Pictograms Pictograms can be very helpful in designing concept graphics and in increasing the general appeal of figures and images. Since a single project might have very specific needs regarding the type and look of the desired illustrations, a large database of pictograms is highly beneficial. The Noun Project ...
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The introduction of an EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument Phase 2) application is one of the most important sections and it is one on which I spend a disproportionate amount of time on. Outside of researching and understanding a certain innovative technology, understanding the context of the innovation in terms of ...
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The applicant for the EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument Phase 2) financing is a registered company which will need to create an account on the EU’s Funding and Tenders Portal in order to receive a Participant Identification Code (PIC). Once registered, the company can apply for a variety of grants and ...
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While any type of industry or product is eligible for an EIC Accelerator application, the EU specifically seeks out innovative businesses that are providing high-risk and high-reward products or services. The evaluation criteria directly mention new market creation, market disruption as well as the establishment of new value-chains and, while ...
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To apply for the EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument Phase 2) financing, your project will need to be at the prototype level which is defined as TRL6 (i.e. proof-of-concept) according to the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) classifications which are ranging from TRL1 (i.e. basic research or idea stage) to TRL9 (i.e ...
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Next to outlining the innovative nature of a project, being able to demonstrate customer interest (i.e. traction) is a key factor for the success of an EIC Accelerator application. Like most other recommendations, this criteria is not an official requirement to be eligible for the financing but the evaluation checklist ...
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The grant and the equity contribution for the EIC Accelerator are sourced from different funds (i.e. the EC and the EIC, respectively) which means that the budget is also separated into two components. The grant will need to be defined in a budget table in Part A of the administrative ...
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Preparing a great EIC Accelerator application always includes the consideration of the EU policies and targets which are directly supported by the project but this strategy goes both ways. While the EIC Accelerator is open to innovations of all industries, any project that is directly going against EU policies will ...
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There are a great number of different business models available to choose from (i.e. marketplaces, product sales, SaaS, B2B, B2C, B2B2C, etc.) and the EU even lists business model innovations as a viable project type which can receive innovation financing. Still, some business models are better than others but it ...
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The EIC Accelerator application consists of the following major parts:
  • Document 1 (Main proposal as PDF - 30 pages1 ≤ 10MB)
  • Document 2 (Annexes as PDF - unlimited pages ≤ 10MB)
  • Document 3 (Financial documents as PDF & XLS/ODS ≤ 10MB)
  • Document 4 (Pitch deck as PDF - unlimited ...
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Writing a successful EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument) application is always challenging due to the competitive nature of the grant and the 2 step evaluation process (i.e. written application and in-person interview). Success Rates Typical success rates range between 2% and 5% depending on the individual budget and the number of ...
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It has today been announced that the budget for the March 20th cut-off for the EIC Accelerator has been increased retrospectively. This has been decided due to the record number of applications received (almost 4,000 instead of the usual ~1,900) and the EU's push towards applicants to present COVID-19 related ...
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Due to the record number of applications for the EIC Accelerator's  March 2020 deadline (almost 3,968 applications instead of the regular ~1,900), the interview week for step 2 of the evaluation process has been postponed from the initial May 4-8th to May 11-20th. This will lead to an overlap ...
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There has been an update on April 3rd (here) for the EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument) template which now gives applicants the opportunity to receive inquiries from potential investors, provided a Seal of Excellence (score of 13/15) has been received. In Annex 3 of the proposal, every applicant now has the ...
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The new proposal template for the EIC Accelerators Green Deal deadline on May 19th has recently been released and this article summarises the major changes.
    • New Form Fields: The first change is found in the application forms under "Call Specific Questions" where it is now required to provide ...
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Every great grant application starts with a great project. It must be able to check all the necessary boxes from the innovation, the team, the commercialisation strategy over to the market impact but it is very common to forget how most of these factors are not directly evaluated by the ...
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Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions regarding the equity financing option of the EU's start-up grant (SME Instrument, EIC Accelerator). The EIC Accelerator offers the application for either a pure grant or blended finance (a mix between a grant and equity-based financing). While the application and reviewing ...
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Here is some information on the new "Green Deal" deadline for the EIC Accelerator - the EU's innovation startup funding (up to €17.5m per project). One of the four cut-off dates in 2020 has been dedicated to innovations which are focusing on anything that can have a positive and quantifiable ...
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Here are some tips regarding applications for the EU's start-up grant (up to €2,500,000 via grant + €15,000,000 through equity financing). The central component for the grant application is the innovative nature of the project, meaning that it not only addresses customer needs and has a significant market impact but ...
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These tips are not only useful for European startups, professional writers, consultants and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) but are generally recommended when writing a business plan or investor documents.

Deadlines: Post-Horizon 2020, the EIC Accelerator accepts Step 1 submissions now while the deadlines for the full applications (Step 2) will be on January 12th 2022, April 6th 2022, June 15th 2022 and October 5th 2022 under Horizon Europe. The Step 1 applications must be submitted weeks in advance of Step 2. The next EIC Accelerator cut-off for Step 2 (full proposal) can be found here. After Brexit, UK companies can still apply to the EIC Accelerator under Horizon Europe albeit with non-dilutive grant applications only - thereby excluding equity-financing.

Contact: You can reach out to us via this contact form to work with a professional consultant.

EU, UK & US Startups: Alternative financing options for EU, UK and US innovation startups are the EIC Pathfinder (combining Future and Emerging Technologies - FET Open & FET Proactive) with €4M per project, Thematic Priorities, European Innovation Partnerships (EIP), Innovate UK with £3M (for UK-companies only) as well as the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants with $1M (for US-companies only).

Any more questions? View the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section.

Want to see all articles? They can be found here.

For Updates: Join this Newsletter!



by Stephan Segler, PhD
Professional Grant Consultant at Segler Consulting

General information on the EIC Accelerator template, professional grant writing and how to prepare a successful application can be found in the following articles:

Delays: Updates on the EIC Accelerators Step 1 Results, Step 3 Interview Dates and More (SME Instrument)

The EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity) has opened its doors to Step 1 ...
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Last-Minute Restrictions of EIC Accelerator Step 1 Submissions

On May 5th 2021, it has been announced that all submissions for Step 1 of the EIC Accelerator blended financing ...
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Balancing Content for the EIC Accelerators Step 1 Video, Deck and Proposal (SME Instrument)

The EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity) has recently introduced a novel Step 1 ...
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The New EIC Accelerators Read Deck (SME Instrument)

The EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity) has recently introduced a new type of ...
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Lessons from the EIC Accelerators Pitch Video Shooting (SME Instrument)

The EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity) has recently introduced pitch videos into the ...
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Glitches on the EIC Accelerator’s AI Platform and Changes to the Work Programme (SME Instrument)

In 2021, the EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity) has been re-launched into its ...
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Insights from the EU Science & Innovation YouTube Leak (EIC Accelerator, SME Instrument) 

With the 2021's EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity) program being adopted shortly, many ...
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Gender Equality Targets in the Age of Gender Identification (EIC Accelerator)

The EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity) is a competitive funding program by the ...
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The 2021 EIC Accelerator Work Programme and Newest Updates (SME Instrument Phase 2)

Update 1: The EIC Accelerator Work Programme 2021 was published on March 17th 2021. Update 2: The EIC has presented ...
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Why it’s Important to Have a Diverse Grant Strategy (EIC Accelerator, SME Instrument) – Part 2

This article is a continuation of Part 1 and describes a perspective as to how startups and Small- and Medium-Sized ...
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Why it’s Important to Have a Diverse Grant Strategy (EIC Accelerator, SME Instrument) – Part 1

Public grants are a popular avenue for Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) and startups since they often provide a simple ...
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Freelancers: The Other Side of the Consulting Industry (EIC Accelerator, SME Instrument)

The EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) is a competitive funding program supported ...
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Investigating EIC Accelerator Success Rates for Each Stage (SME Instrument)

The EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) is undergoing a transformation in 2021 ...
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EIC Accelerator Success Rates and Feasibility Studies (SME Instrument)

The EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) is a competitive program targeted at ...
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The Reliance of EU Startups on Consultancies for the EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument)

The EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) is an innovation funding program that ...
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The EIC Accelerator Grant Consulting Industry (SME Instrument)

In order to apply to the EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing), many ...
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How a Consultant can Produce an EIC Accelerator Pitch Video Remotely (SME Instrument) – Part 2

This article is a continuation of Part 1 and presents a proposed workflow for the creation of a pitch video ...
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How a Consultant can Produce an EIC Accelerator Pitch Video Remotely (SME Instrument) – Part 1

In 2021, the new EIC Accelerator blended financing program (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2 - grant and equity financing) will ...
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Helpful Resources for an EIC Accelerator Pitch Video (SME Instrument)

In 2021, the EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) will include a video ...
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An Inside Look into the EIC Accelerator Fund and its Equity Financing (SME Instrument)

The EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) is a highly competitive program that ...
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Why It Could Be Beneficial to Apply Early to the 2021 EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument)

The EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) will be reinstated in 2021 under ...
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Burnrate, Runway and Cashflow for Startups (EIC Accelerator, SME Instrument)

The EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) is seeking excellent and high-impact startups ...
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Tips to Quickly Improve Grant Writing (EIC Accelerator, SME Instrument)

Writing an EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) application can be difficult for ...
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The UK’s Participation in the EIC Accelerator under Horizon Europe after 2021 (SME Instrument)

The United Kingdom (UK) has officially left the European Union (EU) in February 2020 but their future relationship concerning EU ...
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How to Script an EIC Accelerator Pitch Video (SME Instrument) – Part 2

This article is a continuation of Part 1 and suggests a process for the creation of pitch videos as they ...
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How to Script an EIC Accelerator Pitch Video (SME Instrument) – Part 1

In 2021, the EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) requires the upload of ...
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Structuring an EIC Accelerator Pitch Deck for the Jury Interview (SME Instrument)

Under Horizon Europe (2021-2027), the EIC Accelerator blended financing program (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) will ...
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How to Select an EU Grant Financing Program such as the EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument) – Part 3

This article is a continuation of Part 2 and describes a list of considerations to be made by startups and ...
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How to Select an EU Grant Financing Program such as the EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument) – Part 2

This article is a continuation of Part 1 and describes a list of considerations to be made by startups and ...
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How to Select an EU Grant Financing Program such as the EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument) – Part 1

The EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) program is an interesting opportunity for ...
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Project Management and the EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument Phase 2)

Project management is a central part of every Research and Development (R&D) project but it is especially important when considering ...
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How the Future of the EIC Accelerator Could Look Like (SME Instrument) – Part 2

This article is a continuation of Part 1 and presents a collection of areas that the EIC Accelerator might evolve ...
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How the Future of the EIC Accelerator Could Look Like (SME Instrument) – Part 1

The EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) program, as it has been published ...
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How to Prepare for an EIC Accelerator Pitch Interview (SME Instrument Phase 2) – Part 2

This article is a continuation of Part 1 and presents a guide for practising the EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly ...
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How to Prepare for an EIC Accelerator Pitch Interview (SME Instrument Phase 2) – Part 1

The pitch interviews for the EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) have been ...
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What to Expect in an EIC Accelerator Interview (SME Instrument Phase 2)

The EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) by the European Innovation Council (EIC) ...
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Why it is So Difficult to Assess an EIC Accelerator Project (SME Instrument Phase 2)

Assessing a company for an EIC Accelerator blended financing application (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) can ...
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Which Companies Should Not Apply to the EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument) – Part 2

This article is a continuation of Part 1 and presents an exploration of criteria that could lead to the immediate ...
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Which Companies Should Not Apply to the EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument) – Part 1

Many startups or Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) are interested in applying to the EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME ...
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How the EIC Can Incentivise Shorter and Clearer Applications for the EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument Phase 2) – Part 4

Information for readers: The following is a description of a proposed evaluation process but it does not, in any way, ...
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How the EIC Can Incentivise Shorter and Clearer Applications for the EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument Phase 2) – Part 3

Information for readers: The following is a description of a proposed evaluation process but it does not, in any way, ...
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How the EIC Can Incentivise Shorter and Clearer Applications for the EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument Phase 2) – Part 2

Information for readers: The following is a description of a proposed evaluation process but it does not, in any way, ...
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How the EIC Can Incentivise Shorter and Clearer Applications for the EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument Phase 2) – Part 1

Information for readers: The following is a description of a proposed evaluation process but it does not, in any way, ...
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How to Create Pitch Videos for the EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument Phase 2)

The European Commission (EC) and the European Innovation Council (EIC) are planning major changes to the EIC Accelerator blended financing ...
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Proposed Application Process for the EIC Accelerator 2021 (SME Instrument Phase 2)

Attention: A new article is available detailing the changes for the 2021 EIC Accelerator Work Program. The EIC Accelerator blended ...
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Work Packages for the EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument Phase 2)

Work packages are an integral part of EIC Accelerator applications (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2) and are the key to ...
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Key Takeaways from the EIC Accelerator Deep Tech Report (SME Instrument Phase 2)

The European Innovation Council (EIC) has published The Deep Tech Europe Report: key numbers from the EIC performance (PDF) which ...
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Where can EIC Accelerator Results be found? (SME Instrument Phase 2)

The EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity financing) is an interesting opportunity for startups ...
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How to Interpret the Evaluation Summary Report (ESR) of an EIC Accelerator Application (SME Instrument) – Part 2

This article is a continuation of Part 1 which can be found under the provided link. The Evaluation Summary Report ...
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How to Interpret the Evaluation Summary Report (ESR) of an EIC Accelerator Application (SME Instrument) – Part 1

The Evaluation Summary Report (ESR) provides the EIC Accelerator blended financing applicant (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity ...
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Visual Representation of an EIC Accelerator Proposal Narrative (SME Instrument Phase 2) – Part 3

Part 1 and Part 2 of this article can be found under the provided links. The following article as a ...
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Visual Representation of an EIC Accelerator Proposal Narrative (SME Instrument Phase 2) – Part 2

Part 1 of this article can be found under the provided link. The following article as a continuation of the ...
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Visual Representation of an EIC Accelerator Proposal Narrative (SME Instrument Phase 2) – Part 1

The EIC Accelerator grant and equity financing (formerly SME instrument Phase 2, with blended finance option) provides a springboard for ...
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Designing Images for an EIC Accelerator Application (SME Instrument Phase 2) – Part 2

Part 1 of this article can be found under the provided link. 4. Image Guide for Selected Sections Whatever type ...
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Designing Images for an EIC Accelerator Application (SME Instrument Phase 2) – Part 1

The EIC Accelerator grant or blended finance program (incl. equity option, formerly SME Instrument Phase 2) is a highly competitive ...
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Assessing an EIC Accelerator Applicant for Innovation, Traction and the Team (SME Instrument) – Part 3

Part 1 (Innovation) and Part 2 (Traction) of this article can be found under the provided links. 3. Team After ...
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Assessing an EIC Accelerator Applicant for Innovation, Traction and the Team (SME Instrument) – Part 2

Part 1 (Innovation) of this article can be found under the provided link. 2. Traction The suitability of a project ...
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Assessing an EIC Accelerator Applicant for Innovation, Traction and the Team (SME Instrument) – Part 1

When developing a project for an EIC Accelerator grant or equity application (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2), it is often ...
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Specific Buzzwords to be used in EIC Accelerator Applications (SME Instrument Phase 2)

The European Commission (EC) and the European Innovation Council (EIC) in particular have a variety of keywords (or buzzwords) that ...
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Should a Company Hire a Professional Consultant or Write an EIC Accelerator Grant Application Internally? (SME Instrument Phase 2)

The EIC Accelerator Grant financing (SME Instrument Phase 2) is an interesting opportunity for both early-stage startups and established Small ...
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Developing a Commercial Strategy for the EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument Phase 2)

One of the core sections of an EIC Accelerator application (SME Instrument Phase 2), taken from the official grant proposal ...
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The Biggest Mistakes When Applying to the EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument Phase 2)

Every once in a while, a company is reaching out to us with a rejected EIC Accelerator grant (SME Instrument ...
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Why It’s Great to be a Female Entrepreneur in the EU (EIC Accelerator)

The Europen Commission has long implemented policies and targets to increase gender equality across all industries and government institutions. While ...
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The Financing Timeline For EIC Accelerator Applicants (SME Instrument Phase 2)

The EIC Accelerator (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2) is a highly competitive grant (as well as equity) financing program by ...
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Identifying a Broad Vision for an EIC Accelerator Project (SME Instrument Phase 2)

The introduction is an important aspect of an EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument Phase 2) application and, even though it is ...
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Finding Updates and News for the EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument Phase 2)

The European Commission has a variety of channels where updates and news are published. For the EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument ...
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Deviations from the EIC Accelerator Grant Proposal Template (SME Instrument Phase 2)

EIC Accelerator grant (SME Instrument Phase 2) evaluators are instructed to ignore certain content such as text which is placed ...
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Choosing an Acronym for the EIC Accelerator Grant (SME Instrument Phase 2)

The acronym of the EIC Accelerator grant (SME Instrument Phase 2 for European startups) can be viewed as an even ...
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Writing the Abstract for the EIC Accelerator Grant (SME Instrument Phase 2)

The abstract for the EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument Phase 2) project will be the only part of the proposal that, ...
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Choosing a Project Title for the EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument Phase 2)

The title of the proposal can be viewed as the tag-line of the project. If the project's abstract is a ...
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Document Formatting Tips for the EIC Accelerator Grant pt.3 (SME Instrument Phase 2)

For part 1 & part 2 of the EIC Accelerator grant formatting tips, please read this & this article. Proposal ...
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Document Formatting Tips for the EIC Accelerator Grant pt.2 (SME Instrument Phase 2)

For part 1 of the EIC Accelerator grant formatting tips, please read this article. Hyper-links, cross-references and bookmarks It is ...
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Document Formatting Tips for the EIC Accelerator Grant pt.1 (SME Instrument Phase 2)

For the EIC Accelerator Grant (SME Instrument Phase 2), the design of the text, headers and pages are an important ...
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EIC Accelerator: Software Choices for the Annexes (SME Instrument Phase 2)

For Document 1 writing tips, please view: Writing an EIC Accelerator Application: Microsoft Word vs. Adobe InDesign (SME Instrument Writing) ...
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How the EIC Accelerator Funds Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) (SME Instrument)

The Work Programme for the EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument Phase 2) clearly defines the type of innovation that is eligible ...
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Technology Readiness Levels and the EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument)

Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) are a useful way of classifying the current stage of an innovation or technology. They have ...
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EIC Accelerator Interviews: Pitch Deck vs. Proposal Documents (SME Instrument)

The EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument) grant program follows a two-step evaluation process consisting of a written application (step 1) and ...
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EIC Accelerator Proposal Design: Helpful Resources and Graphics (SME Instrument)

1. Pictograms Pictograms can be very helpful in designing concept graphics and in increasing the general appeal of figures and ...
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EIC Accelerator Writing: Providing the Missing Link (SME Instrument Phase 2)

The introduction of an EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument Phase 2) application is one of the most important sections and it ...
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Pre-Requisites for an EIC Accelerator Application (SME Instrument Phase 2)

The applicant for the EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument Phase 2) financing is a registered company which will need to create ...
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Choosing a Good Project for the EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument Phase 2)

While any type of industry or product is eligible for an EIC Accelerator application, the EU specifically seeks out innovative ...
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Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) for the EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument)

To apply for the EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument Phase 2) financing, your project will need to be at the prototype ...
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Presenting Customer Interest for a Successful EIC Accelerator Application (SME Instrument Phase 2)

Next to outlining the innovative nature of a project, being able to demonstrate customer interest (i.e. traction) is a key ...
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The EIC Accelerator Budget: Grant vs. Blended Finance (Equity, SME Instrument)

The grant and the equity contribution for the EIC Accelerator are sourced from different funds (i.e. the EC and the ...
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EIC Accelerator Applications and EU Policies or Targets (SME Instrument Phase 2)

Preparing a great EIC Accelerator application always includes the consideration of the EU policies and targets which are directly supported ...
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Business Models for EIC Accelerator Applications (SME Instrument)

There are a great number of different business models available to choose from (i.e. marketplaces, product sales, SaaS, B2B, B2C, ...
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Writing an EIC Accelerator Application: Microsoft Word vs. Adobe InDesign (SME Instrument Writing)

The EIC Accelerator application consists of the following major parts: Document 1 (Main proposal as PDF - 30 pages1 ≤ ...
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EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument Phase 2) – Introduction and Blended Finance

Writing a successful EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument) application is always challenging due to the competitive nature of the grant and ...
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EIC Accelerator Budget Retrospectively Increased By €150m due to COVID-19

It has today been announced that the budget for the March 20th cut-off for the EIC Accelerator has been increased ...
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EIC Accelerator Interviewees from March Deadline Unable to Apply for May Cut-Off

Due to the record number of applications for the EIC Accelerator's  March 2020 deadline (almost 3,968 applications instead of the ...
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Update: Proposal Template for the EIC Accelerator Green Deal Deadline (SME Instrument May 2020)

There has been an update on April 3rd (here) for the EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument) template which now gives applicants ...
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EIC Accelerator: New Proposal Template from March 20th (2020)

The new proposal template for the EIC Accelerators Green Deal deadline on May 19th has recently been released and this ...
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Using the Evaluation Summary Report (ESR) to Improve Grant Proposal Writing (EIC Accelerator)

Every great grant application starts with a great project. It must be able to check all the necessary boxes from ...
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The EIC Accelerator: Grant vs. Blended Financing (Equity)

Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions regarding the equity financing option of the EU's start-up grant (SME ...
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The European Green Deal – A Dedicated Cut-Off for the EIC Accelerator

Here is some information on the new "Green Deal" deadline for the EIC Accelerator - the EU's innovation startup funding ...
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The Difference Between Innovation and Features (EIC Accelerator)

Here are some tips regarding applications for the EU's start-up grant (up to €2,500,000 via grant + €15,000,000 through equity ...
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Changes in the EIC Accelerator during 2019

Since 2019 has come to an end, here is a summary of the main changes that have occurred regarding the ...
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SME Instrument Grant Writing Tips (EIC Accelerator)

I frequently get asked about the application process for the SME Instrument Funding by the EU, so here is a ...
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SME Instrument Phase 1 vs. Phase 2 (EIC Accelerator) Part 2

Here is some additional information regarding the EU's Startup Funding (The SME Instrument) that I frequently get questions about: Since ...
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The Two Most Important Features for an SME Instrument Project (EIC Accelerator)

Here is some information on the EUs startup grant to help you find out if you can apply. I am ...
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SME Instrument Phase 1 vs. Phase 2 (EIC Accelerator)

Since Phase 1 (€50,000) of the EUs start-up grant will be discontinued after September 2019 but Phase 2 (€2,500,000) will ...
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How To Identify a High Quality SME Instrument Project (EIC Accelerator)

If you are considering to apply for the start-up grant by the EU, here is the most important information on ...
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What Types of Companies Have Received Funding?

In 2018, the EC has published an annual report which contained some helpful statistics. It actually answers quite a few ...
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SME Instrument 2018 Changes

Before 2018, there were pre-defined industries (13 in total) which could apply to the SME Instrument. Starting February 2018, the ...
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Directly Applying for Phase 2

I am talking to a lot of startups regarding EU funding and I frequently get asked if it is possible ...
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What Does “Prototype Stage” Mean?

If you already have a prototype (an App or a physical product) then it is important to have some quantifiable feedback ...
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What Makes a Good Project?

I am talking to a lot of startups who are at different stages in their development. When first discussing a project, ...
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When Is the Grant Paid in Phase 1?

From submission to approval of the project, it can take 4-6 weeks followed by another 4 weeks for the signing ...
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Technical Writing Tips

When you write your proposal, you must make sure that your technology is well explained and that your explanation is ...
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Do You Need Additional Investors?

Phase 1 is funded as a flat fee of €50,000 for the purpose of performing a feasibility study. Phase 2, ...
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What Projects Does the EU Like Most?

The EU is not a private investor. Next to a great business proposition, the EU also cares about long term social, ...
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What is the Timeline for the Application?

Since I am frequently asked about the specific timeline and duration for the EU's SME Instrument funding, here is a ...
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Professional Grant Proposal Writing

Why hire a professional grant proposal writer? The EC has published templates for grant proposals but they are very general ...
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What is Phase 1 for and What Comes Next?

The purpose of Horizon 2020s SME Instrument Schemes Phase 1 is a feasibility study for the project (lasting around 6 months ...
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What Is the H2020 SME Instrument Phase 1 Funding?

The SME Instrument is a €3 billion funding scheme that is part of the largest EU research and innovation programme ...
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The Success Rate For Receiving Government Funding

This version considers the SME Instrument 2016-2017. Once the 2018 topics are released, it will be updated. A list of ...
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What Information Is Needed to Write A Proposal?

Before we begin our first video call, irrespective of a contract being signed or not, both parties will sign a Non-Disclosure ...
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How To Improve Your Chances of Getting Funded

To find out if your project is suitable for funding, please read What Types of Industries Receive Funding?. Three of ...
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Can My Company Receive Funding from the EU?

To see if the project is eligible for funding in one of the 13 topics, please read What Types of Industries ...
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What Types of Industries Receive Funding?

The detailed topic descriptions can be found here. When you are unsure if a specific topic applies to your project, ...
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My Proposal Has a High Score But Was Rejected, What Now?

The Score All proposals above a threshold of 13 receive the "Seal of Excellence" and are eligible for funding. Unfortunately, the ...
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Professional Grant Proposal Writing for the EIC Accelerator and Horizon Europe Programs (SME Instrument)