In its first year of activity the ACE Acceleration Programme powered by EBN, has already provided intensive one-to-one support to 80+ ICT start-ups and SMEs across Europe ensuring they rapidly gain entry and grow into international markets. You can read about some of these companies and their stories here. Due to its initial success, ACE is now launching a second call for applications aiming at selecting the next TOP 50 highly innovative ICT start-ups and SMEs in Europe.
Launched in September 2013 and funded by the Seventh Framework Programme of the EU, ACE is a two-year project coordinated by EBN and involving 12 European countries and 15 partners (leading incubators, clusters, living labs and accelerators) including 10 EBN Members. ACE is part of a series of EU funded ICT and Future Internet projects that make up the EBN portfolio. These projects are part of EBN’s strive for economic growth through digital and innovation driven entrepreneurship. They are delivered by our certified Members to their companies at the local level.
The request for companies is that they demonstrate to have a highly innovative solution and a strong support team. Then, as an ACE selected company, they will be assigned an experienced mentor in their own (or nearest ACE partner) country to help them through the process. The assigned mentor will then analyse the company’s strengths and weaknesses, develop an individual internationalisation action plan and put a support team and package of services in place for them, with support from ACE partners in other markets. To note: ACE is strongly encouraging applications from outside the partner countries in order to enlarge the ACE network!
The selected start-ups will benefit from targeted coaching and tailored advice with a specially assigned experienced mentor from an EBN member. They can also profit from living lab validation, office space abroad, pitching events, investment readiness training, access to EU funding, business development support and hands-on assistance in finding partners and clients in their target market.
As a EU|BIC we’re sure your companies have what it takes to accelerate internationally, so the chances are they’re already potential applicants for the ACE Acceleration programme. The process to apply is simple: they log on to the ACE website, follow the F6S link and fill in the application. The call is open until 25th January 2015 and awards the Top 50 companies a chance to accelerate and test their business in a foreign market with the support of at least two Members.
In 2014 EBN held a major ACE Summit in Brussels, bringing together the first round 80+ ACE selected companies with investors and mentors. Next March we’ll do it again joining the new TOP 50 and the previous ones as well! If you have any further questions about the application procedure you can contact one of our local ACE Partners in 12 different countries or just drop us a question @EU_ACE on Twitter.
Note to mentors and investors
If you are interested in joining the ACE support network please contact Margaret Mulligan (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further information.
Note to EBN Members
If you are interested in joining the ACE Network and help us expand our scope of support outside our partner countries, please contact Margaret Mulligan (email@example.com) for further information.
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