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Cleantech startup? Where to look for EU grants and how to win a proposal (Sponsored)

Cleantech startups, otherwise known as greentech startups, are growing in popularity as we turn to focus more on our impact on the environment, in addition to monetary profit.

However for many cleantech startups, considering the current pandemic climate, looking for private funding may prove difficult. Luckily there are plenty of public funding opportunities available from large supranational bodies like the European Commission, which are certainly not being cancelled or postponed. To get your hands on this precious funding, you just need to know where to look and how to get through some of the necessary paperwork.

The largest funding programme for European startups

Horizon 2020 is one of the top places European cleantech startups look when seeking funding for their business. Within Horizon 2020, the EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument) has become the largest and most competitive funding scheme for innovative startups and small and medium-sized enterprises.

The EIC Accelerator awards high-risk, high potential, companies with grants up to €2.5 million and an optional equity investment up to €15 million. This unique blended finance formula is attracting a record number of applicants (over 4,000 at the last deadline of March 20 alone).

The one-off  “green deal” opportunity

The EIC Accelerator has a new call for May 19, and it’s focusing exclusively on greentech innovations only, investing a record budget of €300 million. This so-called “Green Deal” call will be the largest ever funding round under the EIC Accelerator.

Particularly in a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has left the European investing industry in uncharted territory, the Green Deal call represents the single largest funding opportunity in 2020 for many green tech startups looking for external capital. But how can companies apply for funding under the EIC Accelerator?

As for every Horizon 2020 scheme, the EIC Accelerator requires companies to submit a project proposal based on the call’s specific template. In the first evaluation round, proposals are graded remotely by independent experts. The top-scoring projects are then invited to pitch in front of the European Commission jury. On average, less than 10% of the projects make it to the second round, as competition is high and only perfect, well-crafted, proposals are considered for funding.

Where to look for Free EIC Accelerator templates

Horizon 2020 templates and unintelligible guidelines often make grant writing a daunting task for startups. It requires a coordinated effort between multiple team members, a deep understanding of the funding programme, and good business writing skills. It comes as no surprise that many startups rely on external consultants to prepare their application.

This is where Typewiser comes in. This Gran Canaria-based startup, founded in 2019, has developed a free software platform to democratise proposal writing services. Its easy-to-use SaaS platform lets any startup write expert-level EIC Accelerator proposals for free, with no need to hire expensive grant writing consultancies.

Typewiser is designed to make proposal writing easy with step-by-step guidelines, compelling tips, and examples devised by former EIC Accelerator evaluators. Saving time and emails, it lets all team members collaborate on one proposal online, and users can even personalize the document without wasting time formatting it via the neat graphical templates. It also offers Pro services, from proposal revision to submission management, available at a discounted rate.

Although we haven’t tried it Typewiser has already helped startups and SMEs from all over Europe secure €25 million in funding from the EIC Accelerator. Its team is ready to fuel the next wave of greentech innovations coming from Europe, so if you need help with your EIC Accelerator application, check out the Typewiser website.

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Thomas Ohr
Thomas Ohr
Thomas Ohr is the "Editor in Chief" of EU-Startups.com and started the blog in October 2010. He is excited about Europe's future, passionate about new business ideas and lives in Barcelona (Spain).

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