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Last chance for mobility startups and SMEs to get up to €60k equity-free funding with IMPACT Connected Car

Last chance for mobility startups and SMEs to get up to €60k equity-free funding with IMPACT Connected Car

ICCar also offers an acceleration and coaching programme with top mentors

There are exactly 10 days left to apply for the second and last IMPACT Connected Car (ICCar) open call -deadline October 18th. ICCar is looking for smart mobility and connected car startups and SMEs to accelerate them and offer them up to €60k equity-free funding.

In order to offer support to the applicants, ICCar project manager, David Seoane, answered in real-time last week the doubts and questions coming from the applicants in ICCar Community. If you missed it and are interested in applying to ICCar 2nd open call, have a look at this summary:

What is the background of IMPACT Connected Car evaluators?

Every proposal will be assessed by 3 evaluators, and when assigning your application(s), we try to get as much balance as possible. We have mainly two profiles: technical experts from the automotive industry (some coming from corporates) and business experts (this includes CFO or CEO profiles as well as mid-level managers, mainly coming from accelerators, most of them from automotive space). This means you have to get ready to a varied audience. Maybe when filling in the "team" sections I would adapt my pitch to business (normally these type of evaluators focus more on that) and when filling in technical parts (like i.e. technology map), I would try to be more technical. Concerning level of detail, what each section will allow you -on the average of 1500 characters, take this into account. You have to focus a lot.

Could we ask a corporate to become a coach?

You cannot directly ask a corporate to become a coach. Coaches are already the ones participating in the consortium. However, if you enter the programme we are open to discuss this and try to find the most suitable match for all parties. If you want access to corporates outside the consortium, the business mentors are usually well connected, and we can ask our network if you have a particular interest in one specific corporate.

Is there a review process in place?

When trying to fill in the team section 1500 characters is not enough if you have a large team. Review as such (i.e. redress) is not foreseen except a very exceptional case, like i.e. identifying a conflict of interest with some evaluator(s). But we take care of that and they have to sign contracts and non-conflict of interest, NDA, etc…, with us. I know that 1500 characters limit might be a problem, but we want you to focus on the message(s). When coming up to the team, you can provide links to LinkedIn profiles of team members.

Do you accept an application outside Eurozone? Do we need to start a company in Europe?

You can see a detailed list of eligible countries in Section 2.2 of GfA. It includes a long list of countries outside EU that are eligible. If you are not in that list, you are not eligible, bt there is an exception (i.e. countries that are not in the list but that we send to evaluation):

  • Countries with jointly agreed co-funding mechanism covering most or all thematic areas: China, Hong Kong & Macao, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Taiwan.
  • Countries with jointly agreed co-funding mechanism covering selected thematic areas: Australia, India, Japan.
  • Countries with co-funding by a region: Brazil, Canada. Countries without jointly agreed co-funding mechanism: New Zealand, USA.

These countries will be accepted to evaluation, but if they are selected, we will ask you to open a branch within the listed countries! Extra info here.

In the business – projection section, what do you mean by “Metrics”?

Metrics means the KPIs, measure of your business projections in the coming days.

Are there any restrictions when it comes to the changes in the company ownership structure which is taking part in the program?

There is no restrictions except the fact of eventually changing your status from SME to a big company, and this should be analysed case by case. This is the basic eligible criteria, being an SME according to EU definition.

In the question "Have you signed an agreement with a corporate or commercial partner?", which kind of agreement do you refer? Which kind of partner do you understand by “corporate”?

Speaking about agreements, this means any type of contract -or equivalent document, like NDA. If this agreement is a letter of intent to sign the contract, we can consider as such, but please specify in the comments. Corporates mean any OEM or Car Manufacturer (PSA, FERROVIAL, AUDI, BMW, GESTAMP, SEAT, etc…, some names as example), and remind that PSA and FERROVIAL are partners.

Do we need to have a prototype? What to show in the video if we don't have any prototype?

We expect to receive applications being at least in TRL7 or over, and yes, this means a prototype. But this is not an eligibility criteria, i.e. it means that you can apply but maybe you will have less chances, you never know! Concerning the video, it is aimed at knowing how you pitch. This can be an opportunity to explain this issue with the prototype in your case too.

Is this for one candidate from each company or can it be + 1? Or CEO founders only?

Only one application per company is accepted. Multiple submission is forbidden, although the system allows you to create several applications. That’s why we recommend to delete the applications that you do not want to submit before the deadline. It will make the process smoother for us (we will not have to check) and quicker for your too.

How many projects will be presented and how many will be granted? When should we expect any result?

Concerning results, we expect similar numbers in terms of submitted applications than 1st open call (200), and we will announce the beneficiaries about a month and a half after the open call deadline (October 18th). From that, around 50% will pass to external evaluation (just estimation). Then, we will select 40 to go to Disruptive Bootcamp, that will take place by mid February. You can see the estimated schedule in section 12 of GfA.

Concerning the funding, is it a lump sum or by stages?

Both. If you pass each stage, you will receive a part of the lump sum (3k+7k+50k). You can see the details of funding in section "8.1. Rules for the payment of the grant" of the GfA (page 25). It is a table summarizing all and specifying stages and payments.

In regards to the staged payments (3k + 7k + 50k) where and in what countries will we have to attend meetings / offices etc / & for how long ? Costs = travel / flights / hotel / ?

The compulsory bootcamps (but please bear in mind that costs are covered by the lump sum mainly) are in Poland (Disruptive), Madrid (Digital), TBC (Technical), and Czech Rep (Funding). The costs are a lump sum, no worries what you spend them on, we are not asking for reporting, but obviously relate to the activities, i.e. if you go to Disruptive Bootcamp as a lump sum will cover all travel related expenses.

So until you receive the lump sum at the very end of the process we need to be able to sustain the costs ourselves until the very end?

Not exactly. For example for the Disruptive Bootcamp we pay you €3k to attend, but you will normally spend less. Anway, we will pay some days after your participation. For 2nd stage (2 months) yes, you cover your costs, but if you do it well, we will pay you some days after, €7k. For last stage (4-5 months) we will pay you at the end the €50k.

How do you offer the acceleration, coaching and internationalisation services? Individually?

Coaching and acceleration is individual, with the exception of bootcamps where training sessions are for the whole cohort of beneficiaries at that concrete stage. You will have assigned an individual Business Coach (provided by ISDI, among its impressive network of mentors), and an individual Technical Coach (MOV´EO, CTAG, etc...). This is during stage 2. During Stage 3, additionally, you will have a corporate coach (from PSA, FERROVIAL, FIA or FIWARE), and a funding coaching service provided by FBOX.

David, can you tell us a little of previous successes that Impact has had, in terms of the companies who made it through the previous process? What stage were the successful companies when they started, and what stage are they at now?

Results for ICCar take time, but we can see a progress, of course, with agreements and conversation with big corporates (at this stage I cannot disclose). What I can say is that they are gaining a lot of visibility now. You can see Chargetrip, Spark Horizon, Carfit, Parkbob, Xapix (sorry if I forget some) within MONDIAL TECH finalists these days.

On top of that, the IMPACT Accelerator methodology has given great results in the past. Here a slide:

Moreover, one of our well know beneficiaries, SITUM, that participated in former IMPACT editions and actually beneficiary of 1st open call in ICCAR, is doing great and Amadeus Ventures has invested on them.