This page provides a summary of startup funding opportunities, consulting partners to access funding, and investment funding in the EU.
The EIC Accelerator (previously known as the SME Instrument) provides funding opportunities and acceleration services to startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The EIC Accelerator focusses on high-potential businesses with marketable products and services, a strong business plan and ambitions to scale up. Participants have the opportunity to receive up to €2.5 million in grants and €15 million in blended finance, while the acceleration services offered include business coaching and mentoring, as well as opportunities to connect with international corporates, investors and other entrepreneurs.More details here
EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities
The Knowledge and Innovation Communities, led by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), bring together businesses, research centres and universities to collaborate in an environment that allows creative ideas and innovations to flourish.More details here
Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs
Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is an exchange programme that gives aspiring entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn from experienced business people in one of the programme’s participating countries. During the exchange, the young entrepreneur will stay with someone experienced in running a small business and learn key skills such as sales, marketing, accounting, customer relations and business financing. The travel and subsistence costs of the participants are funded through a grant. More details here
Calls for Third Parties
Public funding to assist beneficiaries, such as start-ups, scale-ups, SME and/or mid-caps, in the uptake or development of digital innovations. More details here
Eurostars, a joint programme between EUREKA and the European Commission, provides funding to small- and medium-sized enterprises involved in research and development. Its particular focus is on supporting SMEs in the development of rapidly marketable, innovative products, processes and services that help improve the daily life of people around the world. In order to receive funding for their project, startups and SMEs must complete an online application.More details here
CONSULTING PARTNERS TO HELP YOU ACCESS EU FUNDING
Accessing funding is never easy, but here are some organisations who can offer a helping hand with some guidance and support. Don’t hesitate to consult some of these networks to get you started on your way to scaling up your business.
The National Contact Points
Horizon 2020 is the biggest ever EU Research and Innovation programme with nearly €80 billion in funding available over 7 years. It aims to take great ideas from the lab to the market and create sustainable growth and jobs in the meantime. The National Contact Points are a network to provide country-specific guidance and information on participation in Horizon 2020. More details here
The European Enterprise Network
The Enterprise Europe Network offers advice and support on a range of topics including accessing funding and finance for startups. It also offers a database of partners – manufacturers, distributers, co-developers and suppliers – which it connects with startups and SMEs to help them grow their business abroad. More details here
Europe Direct answers your questions about the EU, and is run by the European Commission. They answer any question from the public about the European Union, via phone or email and their staff includes native speakers of all the EU's 24 official languages. If you have any questions about funding and you want to find out more about how you can access funding, contact Europe Direct now. More details here
Another option for growing your business is accessing funding from Investment Funds. Here are some specific programmes which are allocating funds to European startups and SMEs.
Digital Innovation and Scale-up Initiative - DISC
The Digital Innovation and Scale-up Initiative (DISC) focuses on supporting strategic future-oriented digital innovations and deep technology that are capital intensive, risky by nature and require longer-term financing (patient capital). In particular, the initiative will focus on the early stage and the scale-up of innovative startups and deep tech SMEs in the Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe (CESEE) region. DISC is aiming to help startups and SMEs in three ways: closing the investment gap with an Investment Facility, closing the knowledge gap with an Investment Support Programme and closing the capacity gap with the One-stop Shop for Technical Assistance.More details here
Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain Investment Fund
The new Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain Investment Fund was launched earlier this year and will finance the development of highly innovative artificial intelligence and blockchain companies as part of a wider move to create a dynamic EU-wide innovation ecosystem. The first phase of the AI and blockchain fund will make available €100 million in 2020 to support companies working in this sector. The aim of the fund is to narrow the investment gap that exists between the US and Asia and Europe, and support the development of innovation in AI and Blockchain. More details here