One of the ultimate goals of the GO-SME project is to enhance the support given, at regional or national level, to highly innovative SMEs with international ambitions to reach to the next level, which in many cases, could be to apply to the EIC accelerator.
For this purpose, the International Evaluation Panel (IEP) was conducted. The goal of this exercise was to let the beneficiaries of the national schemes designed under the GO-SME project compete, compare, and rank among themselves, get feedback from experts and get experience from the pitch session similar to the EIC Accelerator Interview.
This panel took place during the 2nd Workshop from 8th to 10th November 2022 in Barcelona.
The IEP involved a total of 10 independent experts, selected by their individual merits, and which plenary meeting was chaired by CDTI, as task 3.3 leader. The experts had experience either from being EIC Accelerator's jury members or EIC Accelerator's coaches or evaluators.
The main objectives of the IEP were the following:
• Assess the candidate companies against the evaluation criteria defined for the IEP by the GO-SME project.
1. Excellent technology & IP.
2. Feasible business model.
3. Scale up potential & financial coherence.
4. Market Access & route to market.
5. High risk for private investment alone.
• Give direct feedback to the candidate companies along the defined evaluation criteria.
• Select the most promising candidates to receive tailor-made coaching support by IESE.
47 companies have been invited to take part in the International Evaluation Panel coming from 10 GO-SME project partners. These companies were selected because they were already funded nationally, fulfilled the criteria defined by Research Funding Organization that nominated them, and were willing to access the EIC accelerator in the short or mid-term.
The top-ranked ones were offered a tailor-made coaching plan to further refine the different dimensions of their business (conducted by IESE Business school).
At the end of these 3 days in Barcelona, 34 companies were offered coaching while 11 of them were not recommended for it. All of the companies were sent a written feedback form to complement the feedback they already had received from the expert directly.
All participants, GO-SME partners, companies, and panelists agreed that this exercise was very useful, beneficial, and worth finding a way to make sustainable.