11:48 | 06.10.22 | News | 5197

SmartGateVC and EFSE DF team up to launch a new model for financing R&D companies in Armenia

SmartGateVC is partnering with the European Fund for Southeast Europe Development Facility (EFSE DF) to implement a new financing model for early-stage startups and research and development (R&D) companies.

The model is the first of its kind in the market, aimed at fostering innovation and knowledge creation in Armenia.

The new financing model pioneers a recoverable grant system, whereby the recipients of the grants will have to return the grant amount when achieving certain solid milestones. This way the recovered amount will be used for similar grants in the future thus making the same money work for the start-up ecosystem in multiple cycles.

“We believe this pilot is going to be an excellent example of the public-private partnership as we leverage public funding (grants) to mobilize private investments through SmartGateVC for promising start-ups and R&D companies. Upon its successful completion, the program has the potential to facilitate the creation of a larger funding vehicle in order to build a solid tech company pipeline and enable investment de-risking in the region,” said Ashot Arzumanyan, Partner at SmartGateVC and Executive Director at Catalyst Foundation.

“We are excited about this new project with SmartGateVC as this will enable early-stage as well as R&D companies to tap into their entrepreneurial potential. Small businesses are the backbone of the Armenian economy, and that’s why it is important we create an ecosystem which encourages innovation and provide sustainable financing for these businesses to flourish,” said Thomas Reker, Chairperson of the EFSE Development Facility.

A total of four recoverable grants amounting to EUR100,000 in total will match with SmartGateVC’s investments of up to EUR 25,000 recoverable grants for early-stage start-ups and up to EUR 50,000 for R&D companies.

Additional EUR 100,000 funding is dedicated funding in the form of a zero interest VC-loan to support R&D outsourcing companies in their efforts to transform into product companies or generate technology-driven solutions as spin-off companies.

Interested R&D companies are welcome to apply by October 17 and the final selection will be made by a jury panel on in November. The application package is available here.

The grantees will be paired with mentors who will work with them to determine the areas in which they need assistance and develop unique mentoring plans. Setting goals and objectives will be the first step in working with mentors, followed by one-on-one meetings. Aside from having a dedicated mentor, the teams will be able to receive tailored support through individual consultations from external mentors and the SmartGateVC’s network.

SmartGateVC previously collaborated with the EFSE DF to launch the 2ndbatch of Hero House AI Incubator implemented in 2021, as well as the 5th batch of Armenia Startup Academy Pre-acceleration Program implemented in 2020.