1 Guide for applicants
The second round of call for applications to Micro-Grants will be open from December 1 (2015) until January 31 (2016). A set of events or services supporting entrepreneurs has been shortlisted for this round covering the timespan between late February 2016 and July 2016, but other events will be considered on application. Startup Europe’s Micro-grants are one of the services offered by the ePlus Ecosystem, as a way to support European startups business growth, and to foster relationships and networking for scaling up in Europe and beyond.
Startup Europe’s Micro-Grants have the form of financial support to sustain the participation of startups in relevant European events. Up to 1000€ per startup can be awarded to reimburse the expenses connected to the participation to events or services considered relevant within the ePlus goals. The specific objectives and conditions of access to Micro-Grants are described in the sections below.
1.1 Micro-Grant description
The Micro-Grants are intended to support the participation in relevant Startup Europe events, relevant workshops, and use of local services in European regions/ecosystems other than the candidate’s base location, contributing towards the promotion and networking at a European level of startups and entrepreneurs. In line with the aims of ePlus, Micro-Grants are particularly intended to foster cross-region cooperation among the three ecosystems of Lisbon, Nice, and Baden-Württemberg. For this reason, priority will be given to startups coming from these three ecosystems or exploring local services in our regions, as described in the criteria for evaluation section. This mechanism of awarding Micro-Grants will contribute to improve and complement the local service offer and to foster cross-region cooperation and cross-breeding some of the most successful services available, for the benefit of European startups, especially those coming from the ecosystems of Lisbon, Nice and BW.
In such intent, ePlus provides Micro-Grants of up to 1.000€ each, covering participation costs such as travel, accommodation, subsistence, and whenever justified also other operational expenses. The Micro-Grants attribution is based on periodic open calls which lists eligible events and workshops, and connect local services from the ePlus service offer. The list contains a set of events, workshops and other initiatives considered most relevant for startups’ participation in the pursuit of the ePlus project goals of exploring new entrepreneurship dynamics at a European level. Nevertheless, other event options will be considered and evaluated for eligibility on request and the website will support open discussion posts and contact forms for efficient communication and clarification of any doubt concerning the process.
1.1.1 Round 2 - December 2015
Within the second round, startups can apply for a Startup Europe Micro-Grant to sustain participation and travel costs for one of the following events.
Startup Europe Micro-Grants
Up to 1.000€ Micro-Grant
* Other events supporting the “scaling up” of start-ups will be considered on request
** Some events/services have an own selection process and can be attended exclusively by start-ups which have been selected. Before applying for the micro-grants start-ups have to verify the website of the event and the required condition for attendance. Micro-Grants for events that have an internal selection process will be granted just in case the start-up has been officially accepted by the event organizer.
1.1.2 Eligibility and admissibility conditions
Micro-Grants are available to all European startups, nonetheless priority is given to start-ups coming from the three ecosystems targeted by the ePlus project (Lisbon, Nice, Baden-Württemberg).The Terms and conditions are available here. The following general rules apply:
- A European startup may apply for a Micro-Grant to attend an event, workshop, or local service up to a grand total of 1.000€ per startup.
- Micro-Grants cannot be attributed retroactively.
- To be eligible for a Micro-Grant to attend a closed event, the applicant will be requested to provide proof of approval through the selection phase or formal invitation before being awarded with a Micro-Grant. On each call for applications, a small set of services or events is provided.
- During the evaluation, priority is given to the events taking place in the three ecosystem of Lisbon, Nice and Baden-Württemberg. Nonetheless, other events will be considered and evaluated individually (case-by-case) to ensure our support matches the startup development stage and provides relevant coverage.
- A selected candidate which ultimately will not use the awarded Micro-Grant has 5 working days, counting from the results announcement date, to inform the consortium. Failure to do so will result in exclusion from following calls/rounds for Micro-Grant attribution. The Micro-Grants are intended to support candidates travel expenses to participate in relevant Startup Europe events, workshops, conferences, and other local services.
- In justified cases, financial support also for other types of expenses (e.g. event attendance fees, production of dedicated flyers and hand-outs, or other materials supporting effective participation of a startup in an event/service) can be requested and will be considered by the evaluation panel for eligibility. However such exceptional costs may not exceed 15% of the total amount of a Micro-Grant.
1.1.3 Application Procedure
Interested startups must complete and submit an on-line Micro-Grant Application Form on f6s (under https://www.f6s.com/epluseurope). Micro-Grants are related to events or services to be received in the future and not retroactively. All applications have to be completed in English.
1.1.4 Criteria for Evaluation
The evaluation and approval of applications received will be made upon total discretion of the ePlus Consortium and will take into consideration:
- the relevance of the activity towards the applicant’s background;
- the added-value of the activity for his/her startup growth or development;
- the contribution of the activity for the ePlus goals (namely, fostering the exchange and the interconnection among the ecosystems of Lisbon, Nice and Baden-Württemberg)
In particular, the following selection criteria will be used by the evaluators (a maximum of 5 points can be assigned).
(the startup belongs to one of the three ePlus ecosystem)
( the startup is applying for a service of one of the three ePlus ecosystem)
Match of Startup/event (the event is relevant for the start-up; there is an added value in the participation)
Maturity stage of the start-up applying**
Extra Point Evaluator (Excellence: The startup is solving an interesting problem; or on technological breakthrough)
** Conception: Entrepreneurs (wantpreneurs) with a business idea, but still pivoting on the business model.Results will be communicated within ten working days from the date of closure of the Call for Applications.
Incubation: Entrepreneurs with a resilient business model and plan.
Acceleration: Startups that have secured a first financing round and/or first paying clients.
1.2 Payment Procedure
In order to receive the payment of the Micro-Grant, the Micro-Grant winner must submit by e-mail a Reimbursement Form and the terms & conditions signed, to the ePlus coordinator, describing the activity implemented and attaching the required documents for cost justification. Whenever applicable, also original documents are to be sent by post/courier.
Payments of Micro-Grants will be made by ePlus within 45 days from the date of reception of all documents required and only through a bank transfer to an account held by the applicant in their name. Proof of payment will be sent by e-mail to the applicant as soon as it is made.
No Micro-Grant payment will be processed, unless the required documents are provided (both online and by post – when applicable), as described next.
Required supporting documents:
- Travel tickets (or declaration with route if travelling by car) – Only economy class tickets are reimbursable;
- Hotel invoices – Only the room rates incl. Breakfast and city tax are eligible; all other costs i.e. Mini Bar are not reimbursable; Maximum daily allowance 92€ . Maximum accommodation allowance 100€ / night.
- Declaration of attendance in the event (mandatory) – self-declarations will not be accepted. Members shall try to obtain a declaration from the organisers of the event;
- Respective invoices and copies of produced materials in case any exceptional costs have been approved within the micro-grand award (up to 15% of its total amount).
1.3 Application Form Overview
The application must be submitted through the f6s platform and the link will be provided on December 1st. The required entry fields are presented below:
- Startup identification;
- Startup members identification (up to 3 team members);
- Startup description (short pitch);
- Description of the Event/Workshop/Service you intend to participate (name, location, participation date and duration);
- Relevance of the activity with your background and its added-value for your startup growth (max 100 words);
- Estimated participation cost;
- If the event has a participation curation or selection process, it is required to attach a proof of approval or a formal invitation for participation. If the selection process is not finished at the date of the application, this document will be requested by e-mail on a later stage.
1.4 Frequently Asked Questions
- May I submit more than one application to different events?
The application process is event based and the same startup may apply in the same call for several Micro-Grants referring to distinct events, workshops or services up to a grand total of 1.000€ per startup.
- May I request an additional Micro-Grant on a new round?
A candidate awarded a Micro-Grant in previous calls/rounds, may apply for other Micro-Grants up to a grand total of 1.000€ per startup (jointly for all calls), as stated above.
- What is a local service?
It is a service available in one of our 3 regions or provided by our pan-European VC partners.
- I have been awarded a Micro-Grant but I would like to attend a different event than the one I applied for. Would it be ok?
No, if the participation is no longer possible, inconvenient, or desired, then the allocated budget will be released for other applicants and/or new rounds.
- The evaluation criteria is still confusing. Does it mean that you prefer startups to apply to events that are closer to their original headquarters?
The “local” relates both to entrepreneurs and services from our member regions (BW, Lisbon, and Nice), and pan-European partners providing capital and mentoring services. Thus, we are promoting their relevance within the entrepreneurship scene in Europe.
- Does this mean that all startups applying from the CEE and Nordic region are automatically ineligible for this grant?
No, although we recommend that startups from other regions should preferably look at our local services or events for a higher score.
- Is there any other way that you decide the region fit or event fit?
Not at this moment, although it is foreseen that we will expand the initial network in the future.
- How is the maturity stage evaluation criterion calculated? What if the startup is beyond those stages?
The higher the proven maturity stage, the higher it ranks for this criterion. If a startup is currently beyond the presented stages, then it would still rank the maximum score as for the acceleration stage.
- How is the excellence point determined?
The startup must be focused on solving an interesting problem or on technological breakthrough.
- Is the contribution of the activity for the ePlus goals, including impact and visibility of outputs, still relevant?
Yes, it is relevant for our project to identify and shortlist events that are a good match according to our goals of supporting scaling up, and promote the opening of local services across regions. A startup may apply to a completely different event and it will be evaluated using the same standard criteria.