Every start-up that needs funding and investment to develop its project has its best shot with the EIC Accelerator. This article shows how AFS consulting services help you craft a successful EIC Accelerator proposal.


So, let’s begin with a brief explanation about the EIC Accelerator.


What is the EIC accelerator?

The EIC Accelerator supports individual Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), in particular Startups and spinout companies to develop and scaleup game-changing innovations. In some cases small mid-caps (up to 500 employees) are supported.

[Source: https://eic.ec.europa.eu/eic-funding-opportunities/eic-accelerator_en]


The EIC Accelerator provides substantial financial support. Grant funding goes up to €2.5 million. Direct equity investments, in turn, go up to €15 million, being managed by the EIC Fund for scale-up and other relevant costs.

In addition, the companies that pass the EIC selection benefit from coaching, mentoring, access to investors and corporates. They also profit from many other opportunities, as a result of being part of the EIC Community.

The 155-page EIC Work Programme is available for download


Who can apply?

All companies based in one of the EU countries and in countries associated to the Horizon Europe Programme are eligible to apply. In particular, the EIC Accelerator encourages application from start-ups and SMEs with female CEOs.


How to apply?

Those who wish to apply for the EIC Accelerator can do so at any time through the EIC official platform.

However, in order to apply, each candidate must to present a video pitch and submit a slide deck. In addition, the applicant must respond to a short set of questions about the innovative idea and the team that is currently working on it.


How is the evaluation process?

Usually, the evaluation process takes around four weeks. The commission evaluates the proposal and decides that whether or not the application meets the criteria to access the funding. If it does, then the applicant needs to prepare a full application. The full application must be submitted to one of the cut-off dates for Accelerator Open or Accelerator Challenge funding. 

The full application is assessed by experts. If it once again meets the criteria once again, then the applicant is invited to the face-to-face interview with an EIC Jury. This is the final step in the selection process. 

The EIC Accelerator Open funding is direct to breakthrough innovations in any field of technology and application. The EIC Accelerator Challenge funding, in turn, targets breakthrough innovations with major impacts on Strategic Digital and Health technologies and Green Deal innovations for the economic recovery.



Applications that meet all the criteria at the remote evaluation stage and are assessed positively by the EIC jury but not recommended for funding, will be awarded a Seal of Excellence to help them secure funding from other sources. Companies with a Seal of Excellence can also get support from EIC Business Acceleration Services. To be eligible for a Seal of Excellence you must give consent to sharing some basic information about your application with other funding and support organizations.


Who are the experts that evaluate the projects? 

Independent evaluators with different profiles are in charge to review and evaluate each proposal. All of the evaluator are carefully chosen. The aim is to guarantee that each proposal is assigned to the right professional – i.e., with adequate knowledge, technology, and sector expertise as well as business and finance competences. 

In the first two stages of the selection process, experts lead the evaluation remotely. Later on in the process, EIC Jury Members assess the proposals in person.


Why are consulting services needed?

As you have learned from the paragraph above, preparing a satisfactory proposal is complicated. The first impression is vital and every candidate must possess a strong and convincing proposal to present. It is highly important to have a catchy video pitch and an exhaustive–yet short–slide deck. However, applicants also need to answer a set of questions to explain the project and the project team. 

Therefore, having a good idea is not enough to obtain the needed funds. With our consulting services, AFS consulting services can help you navigate through the whole process.

The first phase of the evaluation is only the beginning of the process. Every applicant will have to practice their skills. Therefore, it is fundamental to have professionals coaching your journey to obtain the funds. 

In order to pass the final evaluation, the candidate must carry out a brilliant interview. For so, practicing is also fundamental.


Why choosing AFS consulting services?

Again, let’s begin with the basics:

  • Andriotto Financial Services’ team is an official advisor of the European Commission for Horizon Europe.
  • AFS has a Centre of Excellence in Switzerland with some of the most skilled EU grant specialists, writing successful proposals and supporting clients during different implementation phases of projects.
  • AFS evaluates and selects the best projects and enterprises around Europe to receive public funding.
  • Our client portfolio includes some of the most important public institutions in Italy and in Europe.
  • Participating in Horizon Europe is an ambitious challenge. AFS has one of the highest success rates amongst our European competitors.


Here, you can learn more about AFS services.


How to know if the project is eligible for AFS consulting services?

First, you fill in a form with basic info about the company or the start-up idea. Next, our expert will send you feedback. If positive, then the company could be eligible for the funds. Thus, it can start a collaboration with AFS. 

AFS’ team is formed by professionals and experts that coach each candidate throughout the whole Horizon Europe application process. We help the applicant structure the project description, pitch, and video presentation.

Once we move onto phase two, AFS help the applicant with all the required elements. These include the registration of the company in the register of beneficiaries of the European Commission and the proposal presentation.

Throughout the whole journey, AFS provides full support, coaching, and interview simulations with our European consultants.

Moreover, Mauro Andriotto, AFS’ CEO of the company, has great experience with the European Commission. From 2020 to 2021, he was a Jury Member for the Horizon 2020 Programme. He also sits in different Advisory Boards around the world. In addition to being the author of scientific publications in finance and risk management, he is a former quantitative leader at EY for the South Europe area.

In addition to Mauro’s experience, AFS’ team is composed by a heterogeneous ensemble of highly qualified professionals with different experiences in several industries. We are a group of PhDs, MBAs, entrepreneurs, professors, bankers, engineers, big-4 consultants, executives, lawyers. AFS definitely has what it takes to grant you a top-of-the-line service.


You can find more info about the AFS team here.

Contact AFS!

Andriotto Financial Services