From 2018 onwards, proposals addressed to the phase 2 of SME Instrument have to go through a new step, a face to face interview in front of a panel of investors in Brussels. This change is the biggest modification that this programme has suffered within its 4 years of existence.
In February two of our clients were called to pitch their project and we supported them during this process. Based on the experience we had in the first call, the procedure is as follows: Top ranked proposals are called to the interview approximately 10 days in advance and need to submit the presentation that will be shown during the presentation within few days. Candidates have to pitch their projects in 10 minutes and then there are 20 minutes of questions and answers. Times is strictly measured, and no extension is allowed. In this first round, in February 2018, most frequent questions were around the team, the internationalisation strategy and the business model. Most of the presenters were CEOs and CTOs.
The panel is composed by 15% business angels, 20% entrepreneurs, 20% venture capitalists, experts from larger corporates, innovation hubs and accelerators – and surprisingly by a majority of women. Investors names are public are published in this list – link –
For this year the interview dates are the following:
• interview week for 1st cut-off date: February 12-16;
• interview week for 2nd cut-off date: April 16-20;
• interview week for 3rd cut-off date: June 25-29;
• interview week for 4th cut-off date: November 12-16.
Now time to wait for the results!!