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The most interesting startup support programs financed by EU funds

Are you looking for funding to start or develop your business? Check how the European Funds can help you achieve your goals. Find the most interesting support instruments and discover the advantages of this method of funding for your startup. 

From this article you will learn about:

  • the advantages of EU support instruments;
  • the most interesting programs for startups.

EU programs, why is it worth to know more about them?

No matter if you’ve just started building your company and you are looking for a method of financing, or whether your business is big enough that you consider international expansion. the EU funds are one of the most frequently method of financing.  According to Polish Startups report prepared by Startup Poland, 40% of young innovative companies benefit from programs prepared by Polish Agency of Enterprise Development (PARP) and the National Center for Research and Development (NCBiR). These two institutions participate in distributing funds including long-term EU programs.

Grants, programs and contests are the chance for new entrepreneurs to develop their business and finance their company. Most frequently, the allocated funds are non-refundable and do not require giving shares (non-equity or equity free). Some of these instruments provide also a possibility to gain access to an institutional network of contacts and business relations.

Programs and funding sources which good to know

Starting Platforms

This incubation program was created for entrepreneurs making their first steps in business. The incubation refers to intense work on your company’s development. The first step is an interview of incubation’s manager with the startup’s representatives. This will allow identify the needs of a young enterprise. After the interview, you will receive an individual incubation plan with experts and special services matching the profile of your project. 
Starting platforms operate in 9 cities and are open to different branches. Check which branch fits your needs.

Currently, you can participate in the following platforms:

Financing amount: PLN 50 000 

Own contribution: no

End of applications: 31 December 2020

Erasmus for young entrepreneurs

If you think about building a startup which could operate abroad, you can benefit from a program thanks to which you build an international network and enrich your knowledge of a given foreign market by learning from entrepreneurs working directly in that country. You should remember that your stay in European partner country can last from 1 to 6 months. Your stay in USA, Singapore or Israel cannot exceed 3 months. 

Financing amount: up to EUR 6,600 in the form of every month financial support varying from EUR 530 to 1100 (depending on the chosen country)

Own contribution: no

End of applications: 31 January 2022

Internationalization of SME

If you want to enter a foreign market and you are looking for financing, which could help you internationalize your products and services, along with an opportunity to present your ideas to a broad and global audience, you should give a try this initiative. The support you receive can cover the costs of:

  • consulting services connected to designing and preparing implementation of your new business model;
  • services connected directly to the implementation of your new business model: costs of materials, training, translations, tests;
  • a participation in international exhibitions or commercial missions;
  • purchase of fixed assets excluding properties and intangible or legal assets connected to preparing internationalization of your enterprise. 

Financing amount: PLN 800 000 

Own contribution: at least 15%

End of applications: 3 October 2019

Innovation vouchers for the SME: first stage

As part of the program, you can finance a purchase of R&D services delivered by research units consisting of elaborating new or significantly upgraded product, service, technology or new design product.

Financing amount: PLN  340 000 

Own contribution: at least 15%

End of applications: 28 November 2019

Innovation vouchers for the SME: investment stage

Financing implementation of an innovative technological idea elaborated in the first stage of Innovation vouchers for the SME. The grant can cover the costs of:

  • purchase machines and devices necessary for the implementation of technological innovation prepared by a scientific unit;
  • purchase patents, licenses, know-how, and other intellectual property rights.

Financing amount: PLN  560 000 

Own contribution: min. 30%

End of applications: 7 January 2019

Design for entrepreneurs

The  initiative allows to finance a professional design process leading to implementation in your company a new, upgraded product or service and finance a necessary investment for its implementation. The financial aid can cover professional design services and realization of investment, including:

  • design and market environment audit services;
  • preparing a strategy of elaborating new design project;
  • services connected to prototyping and tests, excluding purchase of fixed and intangible assets;
  • consulting services regarding implementation of the new or upgraded product, excluding consulting services of continuous and temporary character as well as connected to regular operational costs of an entrepreneur i.e. tax consulting services and regular legal or marketing services;
  • purchase of fixed assets helping to implement new or upgraded product;
  • purchase of patents, licenses, know-how helping to implement the new or upgraded product.

Financing amount: PLN 1 125 000

Own contribution: min. 15%

End of applications: 31 May 2019

European funding initiatives are divided into 300 different support programs not only for startups and tech companies. Apart from non-repayable funding, you can also benefit from consulting advisory, training, and various loans. 

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