Find the right EU-funding!Transforming your start-up into an EU-Innovation Champion?
You are an innovative start-up in the deeptech sector and you want to move from the regional to the European level? You already get great support from your local incubator, but now you need to scale-up to play in the big league? Did you consider applying for EU funds? Do you even know that the EU provides funding and financing for start-ups? Let me share with you a few thoughts on how the EU can support you.
Written by Dr. Marie-Eve Reinert, Steinbeis Europa Zentrum
This week-end, I had the pleasure to learn more about two initiatives supporting start-ups. Friday, I visited SEMIA, the incubator based in the city of Strasbourg, which offers trainings and tailor-made support to start-up founders based in the East of France. Saturday, on the other side of the Rhine river, I participated in the “START” event organized by the Metropolregion Rhein Neckar (MRN) and addressing a wide range of topics of relevance for funders from IP protection to financing.
“EU-funding for my start-up. Really?”
On both sides of the Rhine, I was impressed by the efforts of SEMIA and MRN to support their local start-ups to acquire public or private national funds. However, I was very surprised of the lack of knowledge and interest in EU fundings. I have even to admit that my presentation at the START Event, on this very topic, only attracted a very scarce audience. This was neither due to late Saturday afternoon schedule, nor to my own presentation. Indeed, the few participants appreciated my informative speech. The problem is that most start-ups are not aware that the EU can help them to grow faster at an international level! And even if they heard about EU projects, they assume this is not for them. When I address this topic with founders, both in France and Germany, they look at me, astonished, and reply “EU funding for my start-up. Really?”.
Horizon Europe encourages your start-up to apply!
Sure, acquiring EU funding can be challenging! But the participation of start-ups in the Horizon Europe Program of the EU is welcomed, and even encouraged. Applying for a grant for research and development with high level EU partners is an excellent opportunity to further develop your proof of concept or to build and test your prototypes. Horizon Europe also includes instruments addressing specifically innovation. Here, single SMEs and start-ups can submit their own ideas and technologies in the scope of “open calls”. If you need funds to demonstrate your innovation under real conditions or investments for market entry, the European Innovation Council can offer solutions to grow fast!
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
The key is to identify the right EU funding scheme which exactly corresponds to the maturity of your innovation and to implement a strategic approach for applying at the right moment, under the right conditions! Are you interested to learn more about the EU funding and financing instruments for innovation and start-ups? If yes, send me your comments and questions and I will post more articles in the coming weeks about all aspects of applying for EU fundings for start-ups.
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Who wrote this article?
I’m a senior project manager at Steinbeis Europa Zentrum, one of the main German consultancies for technology transfer and innovation at EU level. I support SMEs & start-ups, big corporates and regional authorities with applying, financing, and implementing innovative projects, mostly in the hydrogen sector. My focus is on EU fundings, business modelling, and hydrogen projects.Zu allen Artikel