The EIC Accelerator is open to new technologies and innovations that reach market maturity and promotes preparation for market entry. Companies applying for the EIC Accelerator have to prove themselves in three steps – and benefit from a grant of up to 2.5 million euros if the assessment is positive.
3 steps to apply for the EIC Accelerator
Step 1: Short application
The first step is to submit a project outline, a 10-page pitch deck and a 3-minute video. The project outline consists of multiple choice questions as well as open text fields, which are limited to 1,000 characters. To apply for the EIC Accelerator in the first step, the focus is on the following categories:
In the pitch deck, for example, charts, tables and graphs can be inserted to visually complement the project outline.
Finally, the video introduces the team members and illustrates the project idea, innovation and motivation behind it. It can be produced in the respective national language, but should have appropriate subtitles.
After submission, the first evaluation follows. Four experts assess the short application. The evaluation focuses primarily on the degree of innovation and disruption of the idea. Each individual expert then gives a “go” or “no-go”. At least two “Go’s” are needed to advance to the next round. The result and feedback reaches the applicant within about four weeks after submission.
If the assessment is positive, the full proposal follows in the second step. If the assessment is negative, the project outline may be resubmitted after prior revision. If the proposal is rejected again, there is a 12-month “rest period” during which applicants cannot make a new attempt.
Step 2: Full proposal
If applicants receive the “go” in Round 1, the full application follows. The programme sets the following priorities to apply for the EIC Accelerator:
TRL: Work packages are divided according to the different TRL groupings. Activities that go beyond TRL 9 are thus presented separately, as well as project management.
Milestones: Milestones should be used to map a clear implementation plan.
Need for support: It must be demonstrated that, for example, it would not be possible to invest in market entry without EU funding.
This also includes a (new) pitch deck to be used in case of the interview. It is possible to submit the full proposal at any time until the deadline. Subsequently, three experts evaluate the submission. If all experts give a “Go”, the invitation to the Pitch Interview is the next step. If applicants receive one or more “no-go’s”, full proposals can be resubmitted for the next round. As in step one, if a project is rejected twice, there is a 12-month break before either a new project outline or an improved full proposal can be submitted.
Step 3: Pitch interview
The pitch interviews will take place either in Brussels or online. For 2021, interviews are expected to be scheduled in September and December. The interview consists of:
- a 10-minute presentation, including a pitch deck
- a 30-minute question and answer session
Six jury members will evaluate the interview and the application in general based on the previous assessments. After about two to three weeks, the European Innovation Council announces the result.
If the application is rejected at this step, there are several options:
- After initial rejection, candidates can resubmit a full proposal at the deadlines.
- After initial rejection, there is also the option of preparing the full proposal directly for the next pitch date. (However, this procedure is only approved once per application).
- After two rejections, applicants can start again at step 1 after a 12-month rest period by submitting a revised project outline.
- Seal of Excellence: Small and medium-sized enterprises as well as start-ups have the opportunity to receive the “Seal of Excellence”. This is an award that certifies that the project meets two of the three evaluation criteria, but does not demonstrate a sufficient need for funding. Among other things, this gives applicants the opportunity to receive coaching from the Business Acceleration Service.
Apply for EIC Accelerator: Professional support
With consulting to success
If companies want to apply for the EIC Accelerator, we recommend professional project support. In any case, it makes sense to get experienced advisors at your side in order to leave the various application stages with a “GO” and receive the funding in the end. Advantages are:
Time saving: you save yourself the effort of preparing the application, applying and submitting it. We take care of that for you.
Expert knowledge: For more than 10 years, we have been moving confidently in the world of funding and can bring our experience to bear specifically in the application process.
Less risk: With our success-based fee model, we take the risk with you – if you win the bid, we receive our success fee. So we stand by your side and work towards the same goal.
Applying for EIC Accelerator: More Info
You can find out how an EIC Accelerator consultation works here. Contact us and we will be happy to arrange a non-binding consultation appointment with you.