75 SMEs and start-ups receive € 278 million under EIC Accelerator pilot
The European Commission has announced that seventy-five start-ups and SMEs have been selected in the largest funding round so far under the pilot phase of the European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator. As a major novelty, 39 of these companies are set to receive both a grant and a direct equity investment, the first time that this “blended finance” has been offered. The EC points out that this allows a much higher level of funding (up to €17.5 million per company) to accelerate the growth of European companies with ground-breaking innovations. The Commission has also signed an agreement with the European Investment Bank Group to set up a dedicated EIC Fund to manage the equity investment.
The start-ups and SMEs selected for funding are located in 15 Member States and five associated countries, with France and Israel hosting the maximum number of blended finance projects (six each) and with Switzerland and Germany hosting the maximum number of grant-only projects (9 and 6 respectively). As well as the financial support, the start-ups and SMEs will have access to coaching, networking and business acceleration services to help them build their businesses.
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