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Success stories: EC investment brings hope to entrepreneurs

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There is a reason COSME (Competitiveness of Enterprises and SMEs) is designed like its predecessor, the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP). After all, the CIP made €550 million of guarantees available to financial intermediaries, freeing up loans and financing for SMEs throughout the EU. As illustrated by these success stories, the CIP helped European SMEs realise their innovative ideas, and COSME will do the same.

Health

For 30 years, Dutch company BYEME has been researching and developing a breakthrough medical device which offers the most advanced cardiovascular monitoring capabilities in an easily accessible, non-invasive and reliable way.

With a simple finger cuff, this device measures patients’ blood pressure and cardiac output continuously, providing detailed life-saving data and enabling clinicians to predict and proactively address the early signs of hemodynamic instability in critical situations. With CIP funding, the company founder and CEO were able to obtain necessary clearance and hire new staff members to commercialise and distribute the device.

Their device is now being used in emergency and intermediate care units, as well as operating and recovering rooms, with plans to expand usage to other application.

Company: BMEYE B.V., Amsterdam

Type of business: Cardiovascular monitoring devices

EU-supported investment through 360 Capital Partners: 2 million

Energy

Named as one of the most innovative European companies in 2010, the home energy saving firm PassivSystems was fully developed and entered the market thanks to the support of WHEB Ventures, a clean technology venture firm supported by the CIP.

‘It (the technology) is now available to a large number of new customers which we would not have been able to reach otherwise,’ says one of the founders of UK-based PassivSystems.

The intuitive product consists of a touch screen controller and a smart hub which is connected to an in-home broadband connection, allowing users to access the service manually or via mobile apps. The system can learn how consumers live, analyse the thermal properties of their homes and monitor performance levels of their heating and water systems. It then adjusts heating and water levels according to need, thus avoiding waste and unnecessary energy consumption and allowing consumers to live more economically.

Company: PassivSystems, Berkshire UK

Type of business: Home energy management products

EU-supported investment through WHEB Ventures

Hospitality

Always wanting to own his own business, one European entrepreneur found his calling after a move from the Netherlands to the French countryside further fuelled his passion for food and ambition to open a restaurant.

He received a €149 000 loan from the financial intermediary SIAGI, which was backed by the European Interoperability Framework (EIF) under the CIP, enabling him to turn a rural farmhouse in Vaucluse into a fast-growing restaurant, which now employs five people with another two soon to join the  team.

‘I’d dreamt of opening my own restaurant and this funding has given me the opportunity to do so,’ he said.

Company: Le Grand Pré, Roaix

Type of business: Restaurant

EU-guaranteed loan from SIAGI: €149 000

Industry

An Austrian entrepreneur launched Lasertechnik, which specialises in repair welding for tools and mould construction, in 1999. After initially providing one-to-one welding services to local customers in Vienna, Austria, she realised market demand was shifting towards serial welding.

Responding to client needs, in July 2009 the company used a €30 000 loan from the Austrian financial intermediary AWS (Austria Wirtschaftsservice), which had signed a deal with the CIP, to purchase a new ‘high-tech’ machine to help them start serial welding.

‘Thanks to this loan, I could finally buy the tools I needed to grow my business,’ the owner said.

Company: Lasertechnik GmbH, Vienna

Type of business: Welding company

EU-guaranteed loan from AWS: €30 000

Contact

More information available online at:

http://bit.ly/v6pfBq

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