The European Innovation Council has released the final results of the first 2023 EIC Accelerator full application cut-off, and if you have been tracking the programme's progress, this article provides a detailed recap of the most important updates and an in-depth analysis of the data.
Out of 476 applications received for January’s Accelerator Open Call, only 32 companies were chosen to receive a total of €196 million in funding through grants and equity investments from the EIC Fund, with a success rate of 6.7%. Furthermore, the selection process was highly competitive, with 159 companies interviewed by experienced investors and entrepreneurs, resulting in a success rate of 20%.
The EIC will grant a total of €196 million, combining grants and equity investments, with 53% of the companies receiving blended finance, remaining as the most awarded funding type since the inception of the programme in 2021. Compared to 2022 cut-offs, grant-first recommendations increased from a 30% average to 38%, while the grant-only option decreased from a 14% average to 9%. The Netherlands is the country that received the highest percentage of the blended finance option and grant-first option, with 12.5% and 9.3%, respectively. France, Germany, and the United Kingdom are the only countries awarded with grant-only options.
Breaking down awarded companies: country and industry trends revealed
The proposals awarded were submitted by companies from 14 countries, with the Netherlands leading the way with 22% of the awards. Sweden, Denmark, and Ireland follow closely with 9%, while Bulgaria, Finland, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain have 6%. Israel, Latvia (winner for the first time since the implementation of Horizon Europe), Poland, and the United Kingdom have 3%. 94% of the recommended funding is being allocated to EU member states, out of which 17% is specifically designated for widening country applicants.
The top three sectors to receive funding were MedTech representing 38% of the awards (12),followed by Manufacturing with 19% of the awards (6) and Pharmaceutical with 16% of the awards (5).
Key findings on the characteristics of successful companies, distribution of grants and women-led SMEs
When analysing the characteristics of the winning companies, 41% of these companies (13) were established over a decade ago, while 44% (14) were founded within the 5-10 year range. Thus, a staggering 84% of successful companies have been in existence for at least five years. Moreover, the majority of companies (63%) have more than 10 employees, whereas only a small percentage (6%) have between 0 and 5 employees.
Among the winners, 38% had already secured a total of 1-5M, 13% less than 1M and another 13% between 10-50M. Furthermore, 84% of the funded companies are generating revenue.
There has been a rise in the number of women-led SMEs, with 40% of the winning companies having a female CEO, CTO or CSO.
Updates on EIC Accelerator: timeline and future developments
Over the next two to three months, the awarded companies will start receiving their grant financing. The EIC jury has also positively assessed 126 applications during the remote evaluation stage, which did not succeed in securing funding. These applicants will be awarded a Seal of Excellence to help them find alternative funding sources.
On March 22nd a new cut-off closed with 551 full proposals received by EIC Accelerator, which are currently being evaluated by independent experts. The most promising companies will be invited to present to a jury of investors and business experts in May, with the final selection decisions expected in the second half of June.
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