EU4TECH PoC WB will support 40+ of the most promising early stage ‘PoC’ projects from the region through six main support services, delivered as a blend of mentoring and workshops.
Our timeline of activities is below: (All dates are subject to change linked to COVID-19. Please check the website regularly and sign up for automatic email updates):
- May: Road show across the region
- June: call for proposals opens
- July: proposal assessment, notification of results and development of individual action plans.
- July – December: Mentoring, workshops and implementation of your action plan.
- December: Project review and completion. (In special circumstances some projects can be transferred across for further support in 2021 e.g. to help them commence IP protection or seek follow on funding).
- January 18 – February 28: Promotion and call for proposals
- March: Proposal assessment
- April: Notification of results and development of individual action plans.
- May: October: Mentoring, workshops and implementation of your action plan.
The six services are outlined below. More information about the project delivery and the application process can be found under our Frequently Asked Questions and on the project proposal page.
1. Technology development and prototyping for commercial demonstration
Many PoC projects need to produce a demonstrator or working prototype in order to gain market feedback and prove some market ‘traction’. This can be critical for securing further financial support.
We can help you to design and build a prototype, demonstrator or Minimum Viable Product (MVP) using our network of prototyping centres in the region and in the EU. We will introduce you to the topic through a workshop and then the Prototyping Mentor will ensure that you get access to a suitable centre where the prototype can be built at no cost to you. We will try and find a centre close to you but if this is not possible we will find specialised facilities within our network of partners in the region and EU. We will ensure that you receive all the information you need from the prototyping centre to take the demonstrator to the next stage.
From July 2020 we will be carrying out a survey in to hardware and software prototyping resources, facilities and expertise from across the region. You can find more information and the link to the online survey here.
2. Entrepreneurship support and mentoring
Many inspired technologists do not yet have the tool kit or access to the experience needed to help turn them in to successful entrepreneurs. EU4TECH PoC WB will link you to a mentor who will help guild both you and your technology towards the market. We will offer workshops where you can work with others who are tacking the same challenges, guided by experienced mentors. You will also be allocated a country mentor as well as time with specialised mentors who will work with you on specific issues, identified in your own action plan e.g. market research and IP strategy.
3. Intellectual property management
Early stage technology development projects need to find a way to secure a competitive advantage for themselves as they move towards the ‘shark-pool’ of the open market. If they cannot prove that they own their technology and that they have a way to control its exploitation then they will struggle to attract further investment and interest from technology adopters.
Our IP experts will help you to develop a strong IP strategy that addresses issues like ownership and exploitation and that ensure that you can control who benefits from the new products and services as they enter the market. We can use project resources to start you on the road to a patent or trademark application and to ensure that you have Freedom to Operate.
4. Market analysis
Information about the market is critical when you are developing a new product or service and constucting a robust business model but access to high quality information can be hard to get.
Through the project we have access to very high quality market analysis reports. Your mentor will work with you to analyze and interpret this information before you adopt a Lean Approach of validating your idea directly with the most promising market segments and identified early adopters.
5. Business plan and business model
While technology that has been validated in the lab (TRL4) is an important step forward you will need a robust business model if you are to see your idea reach and survive in the market.
Using workshops and direct support our mentors will add to your tool-kit with the most up-date approaches to the ‘Lean’ approach. The result will be a robust lean and business model canvas that you can use as a stepping stone to the next stage of the technology development and funding support.
6. Follow-on funding support
Securing suitable funding to take your idea to the next level is critical. This might mean a national grant, the support of an Accelerator or Business Angel, use of crowdfunding or talking to a bank about a specialist loan.
We will work with you as your PoC project develops to help you identify what sort of funding will be needed and what is the best approach for you. We have access to the largest Business Angel networks in Europe as well as to facilities where you can plan and film a crowdfunding campaign. Our mentors and experts can help prepare you to ‘pitch’ and advise on how to approach an ‘Investor Memorandum of Understanding’ or support you to prepare an application for a grant.
Want to know more? Think you are ready to apply with your PoC project?
Consult the Call for Projects section of our site and take a look at the FAQs and the application forms. Register for regular updates.