EASME

Spread the Word - SME Instrument Communication Toolkit

Spread the Word - SME Instrument Communication Toolkit

Congratulations! You have been selected under EIC SME Instrument as part of the community of tomorrow's innovation leaders. This toolkit aims to help you prepare your communication about the grant and the EIC SME Instrument in your PR activities, events and media relations. We invest highly in your success because we believe that market-creating innovation makes a difference in Europe and abroad. Likewise you are our vitrine to the world, so we count on you to make the most out of your communication efforts and brand the EIC SME Instrument programme. This way you help us get known and we in turn can help other companies get their brilliant ideas on the market.

Here are four simple things to keep in mind for co-branding:

  1. Mention the EIC SME Instrument to press/investors/business partners
  2. Display the EU emblem clearly on your website and communication material
  3. Sharing and amplifying: share your stories and connect with us on social media 
  4. Tips on how to convey your message

 

1. Mention the EIC SME Instrument

When you speak to the press, to investors, clients, or potential business partners, we would be grateful if you could mention that you have received funding from the EIC SME Instrument.

Three simple messages to convey:

The EIC SME Instrument is a public funding programme that funds risk innovation in small businesses. It funds market-creating innovation in disruptive small businesses that have significant growth potential and global ambitions. The EIC SME Instrument is part of Horizon 2020 – the EU's 80 billion € funding programme for Research and Innovation for 2014-2020.

Only the most innovative companies get selected. Until now, out of 30.000 applicants 2500 companies have been funded. This shows how intense the competition is under the programme and demonstrates the high quality of the proposals funded. 25% of the companies funded under the EIC SME Instrument are in the 10% fastest growing companies in Europe according to Venture Radar.

Companies receive up to € 2.5 million to bring their innovation to the market, free coaching and support in commercialisation – like facilitated access to overseas trade fairs.

In total the programme will invest € 3 billion in 7500 companies until 2020.

What have others said about us?

"The SME Instrument, has been incredibly helpful in developing Lingvist. It’s been a great success for us, because it has helped us to continue working towards our goal of empowering people to learn. Working on a game changing language learning platform requires strong support from both public and private partners and we are very happy to have had the SME Instrument as one of our supporters".
Mait Müntel, Lingvist, CEO.

"SME Instrument has helped mitigate the risks of undertaking wider and more ambitious development efforts, besides the obvious financial support SME Instrument serves as a certain seal of excellence for the company and potential partners.

Not counting the intense competition with other applicants, the SME Instrument application documents and all project related paperwork and payments, are considerably more streamlined than in the previous EU research and development framework programmes. The difficult part of the application process is crossing the t-s and dotting the i-s in the web user interface, SME Instrument is the closest public incentive to a private investment and despite the intense competition the effort of thinking plans through will not go to waste. If you want to succeed it´s best to treat it as a classical investor business plan and the rest will follow".
Taavi Madiberk, Skeleton technologies, CEO.

"The Horizon 2020 grant is both a great facilitator to achieve our goals and due to the strict selection process we have undergone, a strong endorsement of our company and technology".
Stefan Ovesen Banke, RSP Systems, founder and CTO.

If people have questions you can't answer or if you want background information or a quote from us, please direct them to EASME-COMMUNICATION@ec.europa.eu we'll take care of them.

2. Display EU support on your website and communication material.

An image is worth a thousand words – this is why we kindly ask you to display the EU emblem clearly on your website. You can find more information under art 38 of your grant agreement.

This is what it should look like:

/easme/en/files/euflagpng-0euflag.png

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No [number] 

Please use this and not the European Commission's emblem! Guidelines, downloads and allowed font sizes can be found here.

3. Sharing and amplifying: share your stories and connect with us on social media

We are eager to showcase your successes, during your mission and after. Have you attracted new investments? Are you launching a new product? Have you built a new factory or hiring new staff? We would love to hear from you whenever your project reaches a newsworthy milestone. We can help amplify your messages through our communication channels. Just send us an email to inform us about your news or with any material you may have (press releases, photos, videos, graphics etc.). And of course, you can always connect with us on social media: follow us on twitter @H2020SME. When you tweet about the event don't forget to tag us @H2020SME and use the hashtags #SMEInstrument #EU_EIC and #H2020

We also have a company page and a project showcase on LinkedIn. In addition we invite you to join us in the SME Instrument business community on LinkedIn.

4. How to convey the message

You've arrived this far so we have no doubt you are able to sell your idea! However, here are a few tips to make the perfect pitch, be it to an investor, the press, new clients or potential business partners.

 

The perfect pitch

  1. Engage with the audience as individuals: present yourself, use storytelling to help them link your project to reality; get their attention (what's the problem, how big is it, how can it be solved?)
  2. Be credible, use evidence: How can you solve the problem? What's your plan to do it? Will your project make money and how much? Who's your competition? Why does your team have the right know-how to solve the problem? Show that you know your business, your market, your technology, your competition and you have already thought about what could go wrong and how to avoid or solve it. Prove that you will be the right team to bring this idea to the market and make money out of it.
  3. Keep it short and simple, rehearse and prepare for Q&A: Keep your audience engaged with the audience as individuals: stop, ask questions, keep eye contact, note who's nodding who's resisting, be positive, clear and credible. Prepare for Q&A think of tricky questions and your answers in advance.
  4. Call to action: specify what do you want from them?

At the end of the pitch the audience needs to feel you've reached out to them: Ok I understand what you do, this looks interesting and professional, the team looks credible, I'm prepared to find out more and talk to them again if they call me, I might recommend them/write about them/invest in this idea.

If you are interested in more training read our article on pitching.

For more information on how to communicate about your project have a look at our #CommsWorkout webinar and FAQs.

Have a successful project!

Disclaimer: 
The content of this page is for information purposes only. The relevant legal instruments and the text of the call shall take precedence over the information contained in this page. The European Commission or EASME does not accept responsibility for any use made of the information contained therein.