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Better access to capital, lower barriers to success

The Commission has some funding opportunities and has helped create networks within the European technology ecosystem to promote growth and share best practice.

Startup Europe is working in various activities to support web and ICT entrepreneurs to "start in Europe and stay in Europe".

If it is the first time you deal with EU programmes, please read first the Q&A.

Current list of activities related to money include funding and networking opportunities:

1. Funding opportunities

There is almost €850 mio available for ecosystems builders as well as funding opportunities to startups & SMEs:
  • The Horizon FET Open call €150 Mio (2014/15). to supporting a large set of early stage, high risk visionary science and technology collaborative research projects . Deadline: 30 Sept 2014, budget €77 m; 2 other calls in 2015.
  • The SME Instrument €500 Mio (2014/15). It is a new scheme introduced under Horizon 2020. It covers all areas: ICT, nano, bio, etc. It provides grants to help small businesses develop their ideas, build and develop prototypes, get their products validated, provide demonstrations for potential customers, and help them to commercialise their products. Within ICT, the instrument focuses on Open Disruptive Innovation: new products or services that have the potential to significantly change or replace existing markets. Deadline: 18 June 2014 (there are many deadlines during the year, see more).
  • COSME is the EU programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) running from 2014 to 2020 with a planned budget of €2.3bn.
  • Eurostars Eurostars is a programme that supports research-performing small and medium enterprises, which develop innovative products, processes and services, to gain competitive advantage. Budget of €1.14bn up to 2020.
  • Access to Debt and Equity Financing. Discover where and how the EU can help your company to access finance for further business development. For more information, please see the Work Programme part Access to Risk Finance.

2. Netwoking opportunities.

We have launched several activities to help you to get the right connections within the EU ecosystem (accelerators, corporates, coworking, crowdfunding platforms, investors and startups), more specifically:

  • The Startup Europe Partnership (SEP) helps startups to get access to corporates, and viceversa. Corporates are interested in investments, acquisition, acquihiring or buying more from smaller players. SEP builds bridges between Europe's startup, corporate, education institutions and investment communities to help EU startups raise funds and beat barriers to reach maturity as global champions.
  • The Web Investors Forum helps investors by sharing best practices, identifying barriers at EU level and giving a voice to investors in front of the EU institutions.
  • The Crowdfunding Network helps corwdfunding platforms by sharing best practices, identifying barriers at EU level and giving a voice to crowd funding platforms in front of the EU institutions. Over 22 crowdfunding platforms are part of the network.
  • The Coworking Assembly provides information about coworking spaces, founded by groups of like-minded people who wanted to build a space that combines the best elements of a coffee shop and a workspace.
  • The Accelerator Assembly initiates and facilitates the creation of a European network of web business accelerators in order to increase awareness of the existing accelerator programs in Europe and of their benefits among web entrepreneurs. Over 200 accelerators across Europe joined the initiative.

In your development phase you might also consider the following opportunities for getting financial related support:

  • Enterprise Europe Network helps small business to make the most of the European marketplace. Working through local business organisations, they can help develop business in new markets, source or license new technologies, and access EU finance and EU funding.
  • Small Business Portal (DG ENTR): Access to finance is vital in order to start or expand a business, and the EU provides finance for small firms in different forms - grants, loans, and in some cases, guarantees. In addition, the EU funds specific projects. EU funding can be divided into two categories: direct funding through grants, and indirect funding through national and local intermediaries.