The EIC Accelerator data & stats for the last 3 years

The EIC Accelerator data & stats for the last 3 years

Welcome to Lira’s third EIC newsletter and the first of 2024! This newsletter’s goal is to keep you informed on the EIC Accelerator and hopefully provide insightful data and helpful tips from the foremost EIC experts.

 

Before starting off with the data and stats, let’s briefly remind you of the EIC Accelerator – EICA. It is the most coveted funding scheme under Horizon Europe, launched in its fully fledged form in 2021. It has a €675mn budget for 2024 and offers non-dilutive grant funding up to €2.5mn, and equity funding up to €15mn. The EICA targets deep-tech start-ups and scale-ups from EU Member States and Associate Countries. It is very popular among the best tech ecosystems in Europe and extremely competitive.

 

This newsletter is for all the deep-tech entrepreneurs, NCPs, tech accelerators/incubators, EU/Associate countries representatives, consultants and curious minds interested in keeping up-to-date with the most insightful data and news on the EICA. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the reading!

 

In this issue

We will present all the EICA cumulative data and stats from the first full-application (FA) cut-off of June 2021 to the June 2023 cut-off – 8 cut-offs in total. In this issue, a special section is dedicated to the performance of female-led companies.

 

The cumulative data so far

 

  • More than 6,000 FAs were submitted, averaging 840 per cut-off;
  • 23% or 1,520 were invited to the face-to-face (F2F) interview;
  • 521 were awarded funding which is 34% of the companies invited to the interview or 8% of the FAs submitted since June 2021.

Even if the average number of FAs per cut-off is greater than 800, we have noticed a decrease in the number of proposals sent in the last three cut-offs. We expect the number of FAs to decrease in the future due to the new “3-submissions max rule”, and see an increase in the FA > W success rate. Quality of the candidates and proposals will be key to succeed in getting funded.

 

The data in 2023 does not include the November cut-off. If we take the 1,083 FAs sent in November the total for 2023 would be 2,758 which represents a 13% decrease compared to 2022. We expect this trend to continue for two main reasons: 

 

  • Short Applications now require 3 full GOs out of 4 from the evaluators before being invited to submit a Full Application. This will decrease the number of companies that reach the Full Application stage;
  • The new “3-submissions max” rule will prevent companies from reapplying until the end of Horizon Europe. To clarify this point, if a company collects a total of three NO GOs at any stage of the process it cannot apply to the EIC Accelerator under Horizon Europe;

We encourage founders to consider the new requirements and rules before going through the process. This funding scheme is not for everyone. Working on quality and time is paramount. At the same time, if working with a consultant, make sure to avoid unscrupulous consulting firms providing the wrong advice on the EIC Accelerator. 

 

The data broken down by funding type

 

Being a funding scheme, the EIC Accelerator offered four funding types up until 2023:


1. Grant-only (GO) ==> for companies that require a grant and not equity to bring their technology from a TRL6 to a TRL8. Still they have to show how they will fund 30% of the project costs and grow the company afterwards;
2. Grant-first (GF) ==> for companies that require grant + equity from the EIC but might still have to reach a key milestone to further de-risk their technology before availing of the remaining funding and becoming investor-ready;
3. Blended-finance (BF) ==> for companies that require grant + equity from the EIC to cover all their capital needs while advancing/validating their technology and becoming more attractive for private investors;
4. Equity-only (EO) ==> for companies at TRL8 ready to scale-up and in need to raise equity from the EIC alongside private investors.

 

  • BF is the most popular choice being awarded €2.4bn in funding, which is almost 80% of the total. The BF companies were 289; 
  • 158 GF companies have received €380mn in funding; 
  • €122mn were allocated to 12 EO companies, while 62 GO requests received €133mn. 

Funding allocation for grant-first companies did not take into account the amount requested in equity. However, as we learnt from the official EIC 2024 Work Programme, €180mn will be allocated to GF beneficiaries. Besides, starting from this year GF will not be an available funding type anymore. 

 

Our famous country funding matrix

 

Every year we publish a report on the EIC Accelerator data & stats. The most popular infographic is the one called “country funding matrix”. In this matrix, one can find all the data on successful applicants broken down per country and funding type. The ranking is done on the number of awarded companies. Hence, one may see countries with a high number of companies funded but with less raised funding than others.

 

Ranking by country | # of selected companies

 

France is the undisputed leader in the EIC Accelerator with most successful applicants – 82 since the first cut-off in 2021. Germany and the Netherlands complete within the top 3. Worth noting the top 10 countries represent 80% of the overall winners.

 

Ranking by country | Funding awarded

 

France with more than €600mn in funding is still the leader among the participating countries in terms of amount raised. The Netherlands is second, while Germany competes in the top 3. Also in this case, the top 10 represents >80% of the awarded funding.

 

Ranking by country | Average funding per company

 

Latvia ranks first in the average amount raised per company category, and Cyprus second. However, they only have one winner. This is the same for Iceland being third but with just three winners. France, once again, is the real leader as it has 82 selected companies with the average amount raised per company at €7.5mn. Slightly below France there is Israel with €7.4mn.

 

Female-led successful companies

The EIC promotes the participation of female-led companies to this funding scheme. In this newsletter, our articles and reports, the definition of a female-led company differs from the one from the EC. In our case, the definition of a female-led company applies to companies with a female CEO.

 

  • 85 – 16% of the selected companies were led by a female CEO;
  • €480mn – 16% of the total funding went to those companies;
  • The average per company was €5.6mn, slightly below the €5.8mn total average.

 

  • Also in this ranking, France is leading with 16 successful companies representing 20% of the total French winners;
  • Spain is the country with the highest concentration of successful female-led companies being 35% of the total and raising 32% of the funding awarded in Spain;
  • Worth noticing countries like Denmark and Italy still do not have a successful EICA company led by a female CEO.

Conclusions

By the time you are reading this newsletter, you have probably attended the two events organised by the EIC. You might at this stage be aware of: 

  • A €675mn budget for 2024, a notable reduction compared to €1.1bn in 2023;
  • The new 3 out of 4 full GOs requirement on the short application to get invited to submit a full application;
  • The new “3-submissions-max” rule which will literally kick out applicants from the EIC Accelerator under Horizon Europe if they collect a total of 3 NO GOs at any stage of the application process. 

With a reduced budget and more stringent rules on the application and selection process, applicants should be aware that with a FA>W 8% success rate the EIC Accelerator is not for every company. First and foremost, one should analyse available data and stats on the most EICA funded industries/market segments to see the fit with the funding allocation’s trends. Secondly, find out the stage of development  – not only in terms of TRL of the successful companies. Thirdly, plan well in advance and work on quality without rushing the application. If considering working with consultants, assess if they adhere to the EIC Code of Conduct for consultants. I hope you have enjoyed reading this newsletter and found its content useful to navigate through the complexity of the EIC Accelerator journey.

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