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Submission to the accelerator is electronic via InvestHorizon website. Applications are continuously open with several cut-offs for selection are at 24:00 Brussels time on: 31 January 2020; 20 May 2020; 30 July 2020; 2 November 2020; 31 January 2021 and 27 May 2021.
Yes, the InvestHorizon programme will run until the end of 2021 and is open for applications with the cut-off dates for selection.
Companies need to fill in the application form with information about the business, previous investment; provide a pitch deck and a letter of intent from a supporting investor (could also be: business angel; representative from a national or regional promotional bank (in case of institutional funding); prospective investor; investment advisor). The supporting investor needs to support the applying company by assessing of the company (SWOT analysis, after being accepted in the programme) and also participating in the Online Trust Groups.
After applications close, we’ll review applications for 2-3 weeks. We will notify the final group of companies being accepted within 4 weeks from the application closing date.
For each selected cohort the programme runs for 6 months (on average).
During the 6 months acceleration, companies will benefit from:
- open services (webinars and online courses on key topics);
- coaching and mentoring through Online Trust Groups (vide below);
- tailored investors contacts exchange and recommendations;
- bootcamp coaching on preparing and addressing key issues and challenges moving into scale up on leadership; business and investment (deal terms);
- pitching training;
- pitching opportunities (online and onsite) with active investors (Venture capital: corporates, business angels, Family offices)
You can find more information about the activities below and in InvestHorizon website.
The official language of the programme is English. All activities are run in English.
If you have already benefited from the services package assigned to your company, in principle you will not be able to attend other InvestHorizon activities, due to limited capacity. However, we may invite you for a specific activity after the 6 months period, should we have capacity to accommodate your company and whenever it makes sense for your business.
There is no participation fee and we don’t take any equity in your company. The participation is free (upon selection)! You need, however, to be committed and participate in the activities InvestHorizon recommends you. You have also to cover your own traveling costs for those activities that require traveling.
No, InvestHorizon provides no direct funding. However, if selected for the accelerator we will put you in contact and recommend you active investors that match your business proposition.
All EU member states, Horizon 2020 or EUREKA member countries are eligible to take part in the programme.
Companies that apply for the programme will need to:
- be based in an eligible country (see above);
- engaged in a field of deeptech;
- must have a raised a seed round of investment in the last 3 years of around EUR200K (or grant in excess of EUR 500K);
- looking for series A investment round of min EUR 2.5 million in the next 2-3 years
- commitment (if selected must take active part in the programme)
A field in deeptech entails any technology-based company with a long innovation cycle, having high go-to-market risks and costs, and requiring patient capital.
The supporting investor contacts should be the same of the investor signing the Letter of support. We need their contacts so we can ask them to fill in the self-assessment and also for those activities that will require her/his participation.
No, the programme does not distinguish what was the source of seed money, except for own funding and bootstrapping. For instance, a crowd funding round of around EUR 200K+ will make a company eligible. It is important to have a member of the crowdfunding round or future investor who may be able to join the Trust Group.
Own investment by founder or bootstrapping is not considered as eligible investment for InvestHorizon Programme.
Each company application is considered individually by experienced reviewers. The eligibility criteria can be relatively flexible to variations in previous funding, provided there are other sources of investment/revenues (eg: sales).
Yes, provided it meets the criteria of around EUR 200K in the past three years.
The programme requests the participation of your investor in min 4 online meetings! These are very important for the success of your support funding road map. In particular, we ask their involvement in:
- Challenge preparation discussion meeting, where the investor, the CEO and the InvestHorizon coach will identify with you the key challenges of your business and agree on the action plan. (1 hour)
- Presenting challenge meeting: where you will present your challenge to your Trust Group and will receive observations and recommendations from peers and their investors. (1 hour)
- 2 Contact exchanges meetings: where you will request specific contacts and introductions, and provide to other peers requests too. If your investor cannot attend at least these 4 online meetings, then you need to find a replacing supporting investor that has the availability or you cannot participate in the programme.
Yes, you are if your funding from the EU SME Instrument is 500K+ Euro. As a proof for that investment you will need to provide the Grant Acceptance Letter. You will still need a supporting investor to participate in the Accelerator activities.
I. Management: covering the skills and experience of the CEO, main management team (CSO, CFO, COO, HR) and Management Board;
II. Product: development stage; customer value proposition and validation, IPR;
III. Market and Business: TAM, SAM and growth rate attractiveness; business model and distribution; go to market strategy:
IV. Competition: Competitive landscape and dynamics; competitive positioning and differentiation:
V. Investment: Cash Flow position until series A funding; financials soundness and attractiveness; amount sought and intended use.
VI. Communication: Application form profile and slide deck completeness and quality of the information; corporate and commercial communications Note that the more complete is your application (covering the above), the stronger your application. Provide the necessary data to support your claims.
Yes, it is. The supporting investor will participate in defining your main business challenge, will be a member of your Trust Group and will interact with the other participants to get you through to your best investment readiness level to raise your series A funding round. Support by an investor is also part of the commitment you take to participate in the Accelerator activities.
The companies that do not have a supporting investor to involve could involve the following representatives instead:
- a prospective investor (including business angels).
- a representative from a national or regional promotional bank (in case of institutional funding) who knows well your company and is actively involved in supporting you to find an investor.
- a business advisor with relevant investment background and experience.
The goal of the InvestHorizon is to help companies get Series A investment. If a company raises funding with other sources during InvestHorizon application, it can choose to drop out of the programme and make possible for other companies to join.
No, even though that would be the ideal situation. The best scenario for you is to have your seed investor supporting you all the way through in the process of fundraising and growing a company. If your current supporter is a National Funding Body (NFB) organisation, and in case of absence of an interested supporting investor, then we will accept a (NFB) representative that knows well your company and is actively involved in supporting you to find an investor. We assess this on a case by case.
There is no requirement for revenue. However, the online assessment form requires some information on the financial performance of the company.
Yes, until you submit your application you can always edit it. When you save your application, you will receive an access link by email. Make sure you keep it, so you can return to your application at a later moment.
Self-assessment (after selection)
If you have been selected to participate in the InvestHorizon accelerator, you and your supporting investor will receive a notification to complete a self-assessment. The Self-assessment is very important and will be used for allocating your company to the InvestHorizon services that are most suitable for you. It is the step toward tailoring the services in accordance to your real needs. Through it the key account coaches have a realistic view of the Investment Readiness Level of your company so you can take full advantage of the offered services. Both you and the investor will make a “self-assessment” of your company. The coaches will then use it as a basis for discussion with you and your investor, in order to identify the key challenges and agree on the services package. Make sure to fill it in with an honest and conscient attitude, so we can better identify your needs and suggest you value add services.
The self- assessment covers the same 6 criteria as used for selection: Management, Product, Market and Business; Competition; Investment and Communication. Each of these 6 criteria, covers 5 sub-criteria:
- 3 relating to Strengths and Weaknesses
- 2 relating to Opportunities and Threats.
The CORE IRL: Includes first 3 sub-criteria of the first 3 criteria (Management, Product and Business): These are the “must have” sub-criteria! A company in the accelerator must score above 50%.
The BASE IRL: Includes first 3 sub-criteria of each of the 6 selection criteria. This IRL gives you and the InvestHorizon team an indication on which type of services you should be receiving (Relations – higher BASE IRL vs Readiness – lower BASE IRL).
The FULL IRL includes all 5 sub-criteria of each of the 6 selection criteria. This IRL is where we will take your company to. After the programme, your FULL IRL should be > 90% and you are considered investment ready!
Participants in the programme will be informed in advance about the format of each event. There will be events such as the Trust Groups that will be strictly online. Other meet-ups with investors and corporate partners will take place both online and in person. The organizers will make sure that companies are informed about all aspects of the events. InvestHorizon will facilitate the interaction between companies and investors or corporate partners.
After selection (congratulations, by the way!) your company will be allocated to a Trust Group where you will receive online or face-to-face coaching based on your selection score with view to increase your Investment Readiness Level. You will be also referred to other Accelerator Activities to prepare you for getting your next investment round.
A carefully selected group of company 4-7 CEOs, their investors and distinguished coaches. All companies in a Trust Group operate in the same, or similar, sector and are at similar development stages - at seed level investment and are preparing series A round. The exchange is online peer to peer feedback from experience in a trust environment with support and expert input from fellow CEOs, supporting investors and investment specialized coaches.
Trust Groups are online or face-to face sessions in confidential non-judgmental environment (all participants sign Non-Disclosure Agreement prior to the sessions). You will be invited to accommodate 7 online sessions over 3 months in digestible chunks to best suit your busy schedule:
- 1 Introductory – how a Trust Group works and sessions’ basics (1 hour)
- 1 Preparatory – individual session to define your business and investment challenge with the support of 2 coaches and your investor (1 hour)
- 3 Coaching Challenges – peers, fellow CEOs’ investors and coaches provide feedback and advice on your very own challenge and exchange on the challenges of your peers (2,5 hours each)
- 2 Contact Exchanges – two Trust Groups combine to identify, recommend or introduce you to potential investors and corporate partners tailored to your needs.
You will have to be committed to Trust Group activities. During your application that was one of the eligibility criteria to be part of the selection. You will need to attend all Trust Group Sessions as well as to commit your time. Your supporting investor will also need to attend your Prep Session, your Challenge Session and a Contact Exchange Session.
The activities of the Trust Groups are designed to strengthen your business and investment proposition to prospective investors. You will have opportunities for personal introductions to potential investors and partners to accelerate your next investment round, as well as opportunity to meet face-to-face with the target investors at InvestHorizon pitches and e-pitches events.