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Innovative Startups step 2 spring 2021

Companies that have further need for financing after Innovative Startups step 1, finalized a project in step 1, and sent in the final report, can apply for funding in step 2. In step 2 we can contribute up to 90 % of the project budget, up to a maximum of 900,000 SEK.

The offer in brief

What can you apply for?

Sequential financing to continue to develop the solution or business from your step 1- project

Who can apply?

This offer targets only the newly started small companies that have reported for their step 1- project. The formal requirements of step 1 still apply.

How much can you apply for?

The maximum grant from Vinnova is SEK 900,000. In this call, we finance a maximum of 90 percent of eligible costs. Thus, you must account for at least 10 percent of the costs yourselves.

Important dates

  • The call in detail

    • The renewal of markets, industries and societies is driven and developed through competing innovative ideas and initiatives from companies, innovators and entrepreneurs. The development takes place under uncertainty about what will succeed and only a few will be successful. The uncertainty and risks that entrepreneurs, innovators and start-ups take by daring to test new technologies, business models and products / services in new innovative ways constitute important engines in the renewal of markets, industries and societies. Even if the projects would not lead to the results hoped for, the individuals' lessons are valuable as these individuals often start new innovative projects project. Programmet Innovativa Startups is one of several initiatives within the framework of Vinnova's activities that, among other things, intend to contribute to a more experimental economy.

      In the Innovativa Startups program, Vinnova wants to support young, innovative, sustainable and equal companies that, with the help of our funding, validate, verify and develop their business and the solution the business is based on. The goal is to create conditions for companies to develop their operations in phases where other funding is difficult to obtain.

      In the short term, through this call for proposals within Innovativa Startups, we want to contribute to:

      • Increased ability of young companies to build businesses by interacting with the market, verifying and validating offers and business models
      • increased awareness among young companies to work with sustainability and gender equality as competitive factors in their business

      In the long term, through this call for proposals, we want to contribute to:

      • more companies that have developed their business acumen, grow and are profitable in international competition
      • more companies whose innovation contributes to creating value for the customer, society and the environment
      • a sustainable and equal business that strengthens Sweden's competitiveness through innovations that contribute to the sustainability goals in Agenda 2030
    • This offer is only for companies that have been granted funding in Innovativa Startups step 1 and submitted a final report for that project. You can not apply for step 2 if you have received funding in step 2 before.

      We target start-up Swedish companies that want to contribute to sustainable growth in a global market and whose activities are based on innovative products or services and are scalable. The company's activities must be able to contribute to the UN's sustainability goals according to Agenda 2030.

      Formal eligibility requirements for applicant companies regarding age, size, company form, etc., are reported under the section Formal eligibility requirements for the proposal to be assessed. The company must meet all eligibility requirements to be eligible for assessment and granting of funding.

    • We want you, based on the results from the stage 1 project, to take the next important step in the development of the business and thereby reduce risks and increase the attractiveness of the company and the business towards financiers, customers and partners.

      Your proposal should therefore clearly state the status of the business and the company after the step 1 project and what you consider to be the next value-creating step (eg upscaling, testing of important hypotheses about the business, approaching your paying customer or attracting financier), and what opportunities opens for your business development given that the step-2 project succeeds.

    • On sustainability

      Sustainability is about environmental, economic and social aspects and their impact on society and the environment. Simply described, a sustainable business model must ensure that the positive effects in the model exceed the possible negative effects on society and / or the environment.

      Positive effects> negative effects

      Your service or product is likely to have both negative and positive effects on society and the environment. Think for yourself what effects will be created through the use of your product or service. Which stakeholders will be affected either positively and / or negatively by the effects?

      For example, suppose your company runs a process for efficient resource use in engineering companies. In a larger perspective, you contribute to reduced deforestation due to the need for less paper and thus a smaller amount of raw material is required in production. At the same time, it may be that in your process by-products arise that have harmful effects on the environment. Can the positive effects created by your business outweigh the negative effects?

      Does your business concept contribute to the Agenda 2030 goals?

      Innovations are crucial to achieving the UN's sustainability goals in Agenda 2030. The more innovations based on sustainable business ideas, the greater the chance that we will jointly come closer to the goal for Agenda 2030. Think about what effects your business idea will create. Can the positive effects contribute to one or more of the Agenda 2030 goals?

      The 17 global goals are integrated. If the business idea contributes to one of the goals, one or more other objective or sub-goals are often affected. As the company's business model develops, you need to be able to follow up the effects and clearly demonstrate that your business idea leads to the expected effects.

      Gender equality

      Gender equality is a prerequisite for sustainable growth and is found in Agenda 2030, as an objective in itself but also as a perspective that should permeate the work with all objective. The call must therefore contribute to a gender-equal development of society linked to two main perspectives.

      One aspect is that both women and men receive the grant in an equal way, participate in and have an influence over the project. Another important aspect is about analyzing and deciding whether there are gender equality aspects (gender and / or gender) that are relevant within the solution's problem area and utilization. A tip is to read more about what our work for gender equality innovation means for you who are applying for funding from us.

    • How much funding can you apply for?

      Vinnova's funding of the project can amount to a maximum of SEK 900,000. In this call for proposals, Vinnova finances a maximum of 90 percent of the eligible costs, ie you must bear at least 10 percent of the costs yourself.

      What can Vinnova's funding be used for?

      Vinnova's funding may be used for a follow-up project to the Stage 1 project to develop the business and take the company to the next level, more closely paying customers or other funding.

      Please note that funding cannot be given for the same activities that you have received funding for in the step 1 project.

      Eligible costs

      Vinnova's funding is provided through funding. Funding for organizations that conduct financial activities is covered by rules on state support. The rules govern, among other things, which types of costs are eligible and what proportion of them may be covered by funding.

      You may, for example, use the following type of grant for:

      • staff costs (employees of the company) and costs for external consultants and licenses
      • depreciation costs for instruments, equipment and buildings that are relevant to the project during the project period
      • costs for materials, travel expenses and the like

      Note that beneficiary may make a surcharge for actual indirect costs, however, not exceeding 30 percent of their eligible personnel costs.

      Prerequisites for a cost to be eligible is that it must, among other things:

      • be factual and verifiable
      • have been obtained from the applicant company
      • have arisen during the project period
      • must be determined in accordance with the company's usual accounting principles and good accounting practice
      • be reasonable and have arisen solely for the implementation of the project
      • be in accordance with the applicant company's internal policies and guidelines, in particular with regard to environmental and climate impact

      Read more about which costs are considered eligible and how you calculate eligible costs.

      Note that unpaid working time (also called pro-bono) is not an eligible cost and thus not allowed as co-financing. All salaries must be paid and booked, ie be actual and auditable, just like other costs in order for them to be eligible.

    • How do we rate?

      Applications that meet all formal eligibility requirements are reviewed by at least three specially appointed evaluator appointed by Vinnova.

      project The projects that are ranked highest by the evaluators are called for an interview at Vinnova. The interviews will be conducted digitally via Microsoft Teams 3-12 May 2021.

      We do not accept additions to applications afterwards, unless we have requested them ourselves.

      Before a possible interview, we will take a credit report on the applicant company, including any partner and affiliated companies.

      What do we assess?

      Proposal is assessed on the basis of the assessment criteria below in order to distinguish which project have the greatest potential and are in need of consequential financing in terms of the development that has taken place and the needs that have arisen through the Stage 1 project.

      Note that the question of gender and / or gender perspective, which is at the beginning of the application template, is also included as part of our assessment.

      • to what extent the proposal shows that the company has taken into account concrete lessons, insights and transfer through the stage 1 project
      • to what extent the proposal shows that the company has credibly justified the business challenges that remain in the development project (validate, verify and develop the deal / solution) to take the company to the next level, and why additional funding from Vinnova is needed for the project to be implemented
      • to what extent the proposal shows that the business idea or solution after completed step 1 can still be motivated to be innovative and significantly better than existing business / solutions in the area
      • to what extent the proposal shows that the business idea and the solution meet a need or a demand in the market
      • to what extent the proposal shows that the business idea has a scalable business model
      • to what extent the proposal clearly shows that the company has intangible assets that give them an edge over its competitors
      • to what extent the proposal clearly shows whether the budget, plan and approach to the implementation of the project are credible and relevant in relation to the project's objective, such as schedule, activities and whether staff costs are reasonable (not too high or too low)
      • to what extent the proposal shows that the company plans to involve customers, users, financiers and potential partners in the work of developing and validating offer and business model
      • to what extent the proposal shows a credibility in the company's plan for continued funding and commercialization
      • to what extent the proposal shows that the company has access to the competence, experience, partners and the network needed to develop the business concept and the solution to a successful business
      • to what extent proposal shows the team's potential, level of ambition and ability to develop the business concept and solution in relation to the set project goals
      • to what extent the proposal shows that the company contributes positively to the UN's sustainability goals in Agenda 2030
      • to what extent the proposal shows that the company strives to increase its positive effects and minimize its negative effects from a sustainability perspective
      Gender equality
      • to what extent the proposal shows that the company has argued for the relevance of gender and / or gender perspective linked to the company's area of activity and / or solution
      • to what extent the proposal credibly and convincingly demonstrates an awareness of gender equality within the team and in the distribution of key positions within the company
    • In order for a proposal to be assessed and approved, the company must meet all of the following formal eligibility requirements. The requirements must be met both by the application deadline of 16 March 2021 and the decision date of 10 June 2021.

      The formal requirements are based on the state aid rules for funding start-ups and the EU definition of small and medium-sized enterprises. Vinnova's eligibility requirements are somewhat narrower than these rules for us in this call for proposals to reach our intended target group. All categories of small businesses are eligible to apply, provided that any partner and affiliated companies together with the applicant company meet the personnel and turnover requirements.

      Read more about the EU definition of small and medium-sized enterprises and what partner and affiliate companies mean.

      The ownership picture of the applicant company must be stated in proposal, including whether the applicant company is covered by the exemption rule and, if so, which / which owner it is. The exception rule is described in the EU SME definition on page 17.

      Read more about the state aid rules for funding start-ups under Article 22.

      It is your responsibility to ensure that the information you provide in your proposal is correct. This means that you bear the risk in the event of a review and decision on recovery. Please note that on request you must be able to present documentation that proves that the following is correct on the dates specified in the call text and in connection with any revision.

      We will only assess applications that meet the following formal eligibility requirements:

      • Applicant company is a Swedish registered limited company that conducts activities in Sweden. In this case, Swedish limited companies also include foreign limited companies that have a Swedish branch registered with the Swedish Companies Registration Office. The project will be run by the Swedish branch, which will also bear the costs.
      • Applicant companies have a maximum of 49 employees, please note that this includes any partner and affiliate companies
      • Applicant company is younger than five years at the time of the decision 10 June 2021, ie registered no earlier than 10 June 2016. If the company is a newly acquired warehouse company, the age of the company is calculated from when the company was registered with the Swedish Companies Registration Office. The Swedish Companies Registration Office's registration date applies.
      • Applicant companies are not listed
      • Applicant company has not taken over another company's activities
      • Applicant companies have not distributed profits
      • Applicant companies have not been formed by a merger (unless all the companies that were concentrated are younger than five years at the time of the decision 10 June 2021)
      • Applicant companies have a net turnover or balance sheet total of less than SEK 2 million in the most recent financial statements (financial year 2020). If a financial statement has not yet been prepared, you may estimate the values for the financial year 2020. Please note that this includes any partner and affiliated companies.
      • Applicant companies have the same organization number in step 2 as in step 1
      • Applicant companies have not submitted more than one proposal in this call for proposals
      • Applicant companies have not been granted funding in the Innovativa Startups Step 2 program before
      • Applicant companies have no ongoing project or proposal for preparation within the program Innovativa Startups or Innovation projects in companies
      • Applicant companies must have completed and finalized the step 1 project at the latest when closing this call for proposals. Please note that the final report does not have to be approved by Vinnova
      • All mandatory appendices are attached to proposal

      In addition, the project manager for the project must be employed in or signatory for the applicant company during the project period.

      Mandatory attachments
      • documents corresponding to registration certificates for foreign companies, for example if the applicant company has a foreign owner or subsidiary (in the cases where it is relevant)
      • table of staff budget (see template on the call website)
      Voluntary Appendix
      • an attachment of a maximum of two pages, for example illustrations or explanatory diagrams

      Please note that no attachments other than those requested may be attached to proposal.

    • About our decisions

      Granted funding is paid with the support of EU Commission Regulation No. 651/2014, Article 22, support for start-ups.

      Funding may be granted on a de minimis basis, ie "minor support ", in accordance with EU Commission Regulation 1407/2013.

      The basis for support is stated in the decision and also governs which costs are eligible.

      Our decision to grant or reject a proposal is not subject to appeal.

      Term for approved projects project

      Companies that are granted funding must comply with Vinnova's general terms and conditions that apply at the decision date. The general terms and conditions contain, among other things, rules on conditions for payment, follow-up, reporting and utilization of results. Scientific publication of results must take place with open access in accordance with Vinnova's instructions.

      We may make recurring follow-ups of effects from, for example, market introductions and follow-on investments for up to ten years after the project has ended.

      If you do not follow Vinnova's term, you may be liable for repayment. This also applies if you provide incorrect information, have been granted funding incorrectly or with an excessive amount.

    • Date
      11 Jan 2021

    How to apply

    To apply for funding, you need to log in and complete an application form in our eServices portal. The application form contains questions about your project, the participants taking part in the project and your budget. 

    Download document templates for your attachments

    Plesae download the templates for the documents you need to attach to your application such as a CV or project description.

    Please allow enough time

    Please keep in mind that it takes time to complete an application. Filling in the templates can take several days, since they're based on analyses you need to do. Therefore, start the application well in advance. You can start filling in your details, then save and continue at a later time.

    When you've completed your application, please mark it as done ("klar"). You can unlock and make changes to your application at any time until the call closes. If you unlock your application, you must mark it as done ("klarmarkera") if you want the application registered when the call closes. 

    What happens after the call has closed?

    Once your application has been registered, we'll send a confirmation email to the person responsible for the user account, as well as to the project manager and the company signer. Please note that this may take a few hours after the call has closed.

    After the closing date, you can't register any new information. You may only add information to your application if we ask for it.

    Who can read your application?

    Applications submitted to us become official documents. However, we don't disclose information about business operations, inventions or research results if it can be assumed that someone will suffer economic damage if we do.

    This means that we must disclose the documents if someone requests them. However, we can black out information if we believe it could cause economic harm if disclosed.

    How we handle official documents and privacy

    Any questions?

    If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

    Fund­ed pro­jects

    Reference number 2020-04040

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