First EIC Accelerator 2023 cut-off – continued high demand for blended finance

The European Innovation Council received 476 complete applications from start-ups and SMEs for the EIC Accelerator by the cut-off date of 11 January.Demand for blended funding continues to be strong – 290 companies (61% of the total number of applicants) were in the market for a combination of grant funding and equity investment. There were 80 applications for grant funding only and 103 applications for grant funding first, with the possibility of equity investment at a later stage.

Companies with female CEOs accounted for 14% of the total applications. Most came from Israel with 65, Germany with 56, France with 40 and Italy with 33 and widening countries with 57 applications.

Independent experts are now evaluating the proposals. The successful companies will then be invited to pitch in front of a panel of investors and business experts in March, with a decision on the selection expected in April.

This was the first EIC Accelerator cut-off this year, which only covered the open call for proposals. In 2023, the Accelerator offers €1.13 billion of funding in grants up to €2.5m and equity investments from €0.5m to €15m.

Startups and SMEs can apply for EIC Accelerator funding anytime via the EIC platform by submitting a video pitch, slide deck and answering short questions about their innovation and team. They will receive feedback within 4 weeks. If selected, they will be able to submit a full application by one of the regular cut-off dates – 22 March, 7 June, 4 October 2023.