Smart Start

Smart Start program supports highly promising teams in their efforts to validate their business ideas and demonstrate the future usefulness of their technology through the development of a first prototype or a minimum viable product.

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Smart Start

The goal of the Smart Start program is to support highly promising teams in their efforts to validate their business ideas and demonstrate future usefulness of their technology through development of a first prototype or a minimum viable product (MVP).
The program Awardees will receive financial and mentorship support that will help them execute the first phase of market research, engage in product development, establish business model and begin preparation for the next phase of fundraising. Furthermore, if and where is applicable, the Innovation Fund (the IF) will organize a series of specifically targeted workshops that will help Awardees to better organize their operations and start-on their startups on the right foot.

Amount of financing
• The financing awarded by the Innovation Fund (IF) can be up to RSD 3.600.000,00 (approximately EUR 30.000,00) per project, covering a maximum of 90% of total project budget (excluding mentorship support) per project. 
• The minimum of 10%  of the total project budget (excluding mentorship support) is to be secured by the Applicant from any private source, but it needs to be secured in cash. No in-kind co-financing will be accepted.
• All Awardees will receive up to RSD 600.000,00 (approximately EUR 5.000,00) of the additional funds that are to be allocated for the mentorship support.

Eligible Applicants for this program are:
• Teams comprised of 2 to 5 members, with at least 51% of team that are residents of the Republic of Serbia 
or
• Privately owned micro companies (in the form of limited liability company), incorporated in Serbia for no longer than 2 years at the time of Application submission, majority owned (51% or more) by residents of the Republic of Serbia with up to 10 employees.

In cases where the Application is submitted by a team, if financing is approved, the Applicants will be required to establish a company in accordance with the Serbian Company Law. The newly established company must be 100% owned by the proposed team member(s). The percentage of ownership among team members is subject to their internal agreement, but at least 51% of ownership must be allocated among team members that reside in Serbia.

Applicants that meet any of the following criteria are NOT eligible to apply or be financed:
• Have received EUR 25.000,00 оr more from the Innovation Fund;
• Applicant or its affiliated entity had revenues greater than or equal to EUR 100.000,00 in any year from the moment of its incorporation;
• Are partially or fully owned by another private or public sector (state owned) company or entity with an exception of micro private structured company;
• Any of the founders are majority owners or are in control of other small, medium or large company in Serbia or abroad with an exception of micro private structured company. 
• Any of the proposed team members has 50% or more ownership in a company that is implementing a project financed under the IF’s grant or support programs at the time of Application submission.

Submission of the Application to the Smart Start Program will deem Applicants ineligible to apply for the other IF programs (with exclusion of Innovation vouchers) and vice versa as long as their Applications are under evaluation. 

Duration of the projects: up to 6 months

Industry/sector: Smart Start Program is open to Applications coming from all sectors of the economy and all fields of science and technology, with an emphasis on the areas defined in the Smart Specialization Strategy of Serbia.

Required documentation: The complete set of the necessary documentation is available on the Innovation Fund's website at the following link: http://www.inovacionifond.rs/en/programs/smart-start/documentation

Applications must be submitted through the Innovation Fund online application portal and in English.

Public call: Open from December 15th, 2021 till February 22, 2022 (by 3 PM)

Contact: smartstart@inovacionifond.rs