EIT Climate-KIC offers up to 500, 000 euro funding for startups and small and medium companies affected by the Covid-19 crisis. Renato Galli, the Entrepreneurship co-lead Europe at EIT Climate-KIC, explains who can apply for support.
EIT Climate-KIC launches an extra call for innovative startups and SMES affected by the Covid-19 crisis. The companies may obtain a grant of up to 500,000 euro
Applicants can be active in various sectors but they must have significantly positive impact on climate.
Companies must have a sound business model, a good scaling strategy and a good team.
InnovateCEE: What is the EIT Climate COVID-19 Venture Financing Support?
Renato Galli: This initiative is part of the EIT Crisis Response Initiative, and part of the larger EU collective efforts to tackle the COVID-19 crisis. We’re really looking for innovative climate positive ventures whose business have been affected by COVID-19. We want to support them to keep focusing on their climate-positive businesses to help rebuild the EU’s economy into a more sustainable future.
What kind support can you offer?
We will offer a financial support package to selected ventures for a period of 6 months and up to 500,000 EUR. The funding will be structured as a non-priced grant agreement that can be converted into equity.
Specifically, what kind of companies may apply for support and what does it mean “affected by Covid-19”?
This call specifically targets climate relevant startups, scale-ups and SME’s whose businesses are at risk due to the pandemic crisis. There are few ways how you can get affected by Covid19. The most prominent one, that we heard from startups, is lack of venture support financing. Another examples are the lack of revenue and revenue creation, withdrawal of existing customers and the non acquisition of new customers which startups struggle with.
The first requirement that the startup needs to look at before applying is that the company has been incorporated within the last 10 years and it falls under the European Commission’s definition of a small and medium company. Secondly we are particularly keen on receiving innovations that pose a significantly positive impact on climate. Very much related to that, the COVID-19 crisis has shown the importance of investing in resilient business models.
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What do you mean by “positive impact on climate”? Are you looking for companies from specific sectors?
I think it’s a bit of a mix. You can ‘t name it down to a specific industry. We are looking for start-ups that contribute to the foundation of a green, circular economy and in all hot spots where sustainable businesses can make a meaningful contribution to society, such as the built environment, the renewable energy sector, sustainable mobility, etc. We’re also interested in ventures that help cities become carbon neutral initiatives that make the global financial system resilient to future global risks.
Startups are eligible to apply. It could be an early stage startup or you are looking for more established startups?
It could be both , a very early stage venture or later stage venture. But when the company applies for this call they are offered support for 6 months. So probably the company should not be at the earliest stage, because it must be sure it can invest financial support within a given period of time.
What are you looking at when you select companies that will get funding?
We are looking for startups that support a just and people-centred low carbon transition towards zero carbon economy. Of course, there has to be a sound business model, a good scaling strategy and team that can deliver on its promises.
We are building from our 10 year track record of supporting startups to develop innovations. Therefore we are expecting this call will also show how our startups community is ready to trigger larger systems transformations in multiple value chains.
Do you have any tips for successful application?
Enter your questions as precisely as possible. Show us that you understand your business and market you targeting. And most importantly: convince us that you have the right team to tackle one of the big climate challenges.
Renato Galli is the Entrepreneurship co-lead Europe at EIT Climate-KIC. He has experience as a start-ups manager and co-founder.