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H2020 SME Instrument: funding innovative startups

The H2020 SME Instrument gives funding to every kind of innovation possible. And the accent is on innovation.

If you`re an agri startup that wants funding to break through the market with the same products that everyone`s developing, you will NOT get funded. If, however, you`re building something no one has seen (it can be software, hardware, a new way of farming, a new business model etc.), you have a chance.

I`m saying “a chance” because the competition is high, really high.

So, as I said, the accent is on innovation. In order to have a winning proposal, you got to explain two main things: why it is commercially viable and what is innovative about your idea. It`s not enough to have a groundbreaking idea. You have to show that it will survive on the market, make a profit (eventually) and change the paradigm.

'This is gonna sound crazy, but I've got an idea.'
‘This is gonna sound crazy, but I’ve got an idea.’

Tell me: do you have an idea that you want to develop?

The SME Instrument offers three ways of supporting you:

  • Phase 1: 50,000 Euros lump sum for doing a feasibility study. The ideal setup would be to have a prototype ready and do the study based on information from the field. But it`s not mandatory.
  • Phase 2: funding between 500,000 and 2,500,000 Euros to develop the idea and get it market ready. At the end, you should launch it on the market.
  • Phase 3: there`s no funding here. Through this, the European Commission will support the commercialization of the product through measures like coaching (for having a marketable product and giving you access to networking opportunities).

Here`s the chance for agriculturalists (young and old) to show the world that agriculture is not outdated….and make some money out of it.

P.S.: Proposals can be submitted all year round, 4 cut-off deadlines existing. You can write the proposals yourself (Phase 1 – 10 pages maximum, Phase 2 – 30 pages maximum), but I think that you should leave it to the professionals. It will cost you, but you`ll recover the costs from the funding you`ll receive.

P.P.S.: I`m a pretty good consultant too. Get in touch for a discussion.