CALL FOR APPLICATIONS
FOR
INNOW MATCHMAKING ACCELERATION PROGRAMME

Innovations are changing energy sector. Large companies increasingly acknowledge the fact that cleantech start-ups and small companies can change the market due to their innovation potential. There are immense opportunities for cooperation between start-ups, SMEs and large companies that could result in mutual synergies and an increased number of innovative solutions and products.

This call objective is to offer SME and start-ups in the field of green technology the opportunity to work with a large company from Central Europe region, and thus accelerating their business growth, in the form of MATCHMAKING ACCELERATION PROGRAMME.

One of the following LARGE COMPANIES CAN BE YOUR COOPERATION PARTNER:

  • ZSE (Slovakia), a provider of electricity distribution in the Western Slovakia to more than 1 Million supply points and supplier of electricity and gas to households and companies. The company provides additional services and complete solutions to energy customers aimed at using renewable energy sources and technologies for intelligent households. ZSE Group has been part of the German energy Group E.ON since 2002.
  • BPT d.o.o. (Slovenia), established in 1885 as a textile factory, is currently running four hydropower plants, and also deals with real estate and is keen to expand their innovation portfolio.
  • Tungsram Group (Hungary), with main activities in manufacturing, a company with 125 yrs tradition in manufacturing and innovation. They are interested in extending their product portfolio.
  • Tauron Polska Energia (Poland), the mother company in the TAURON Group, whose core activities include hard coal mining, generation, distribution and supply of electricity and heat. It is one of the largest business entities in Poland, with approximately PLN 16 billion equity and about 25.000 employees. The TAURON Group supplies approximately 49.7 TWh of electricity to over 5.6 million customers per year which makes it the largest distributor of electricity in Poland. It is also the second largest electricity generator and supplier in Poland and the largest supplier of heat in Upper Silesia.
  • HEP ESCO d.o.o. (Croatia) is specialized for financing and implementation of energy efficiency and renewable energy sources and energy management projects.

You can also apply without specifying the company you want to work with. In this case, the InNow consortium will decide on the best fit (Please find more about the Large Companies in the annex 1 to this call).

To be considered eligible entity for the programme, you must state in the application form:

(1)  that you are a start-up – meaning a company or project undertaken by an entrepreneur to seek, develop, and validate a scalable economic model of an innovative idea;

or an SME - according to the EU definition (if you are not sure, check HERE);

(2) that you are or will be active in one or more regions of the eligible programme area: Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. Applicants from: Austria, Czech Republic, Germany and Italy may also apply, but priority will be given to the first pool of countries. Please note that only some areas of Germany and Italy are eligible. Check Interreg Central Europe website for details.

(3) that you want to work in at least one of the following GreenTech fields:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Sustainable use of resources
  • Environmental protection activities
  • Recycling
  • Reuse/ Circular economy
  • Smart and efficient buildings & cities
  • Renewable energies
  • Smart electric grid
  • Green transport & mobility
  • Green Chemistry
  • Other fields, related to Cleantech and or sustainability, energy efficiency and renewable energy
  • Other fields presented by the Large companies as special challenges.

Your applications will be evaluated according to the following evaluation criteria:

  • Clear definition of the problem that you (want to) address.
  • Clear connection to the problem(s) of any of the Large Companies presented in the Open Call
  • Market need for the product / service established and demonstrated by support of external sources.
  • Size and skills of the team appropriate for the problem they want to address 
  • Scalability of the product

Three evaluators will be scoring your applications, awarding you a score on a scale from 0 to 5 on each criterion.

For your application to be admissible, all applications for participation in the pilot programme must be received in the written form in the electronic format. You can submit your application HERE either in English or in the local language. Deadline for the applications is February 15, 2021, 23:59 CET.

Information on the outcome of evaluation will be communicated to the applicants after the evaluation process. The evaluation process will take place in maximum 10 working days from the deadline for submission. Information of the applicants about the evaluation outcomes will be given maximum 5 working days after evaluation closure.

If you are experiencing any difficulties with the form, please contact info@abc-accelerator.com


InNow (Innovate Now! Innovation Support Framework for fostering the collaboration of startups, SMEs and large companies on clean-tech projects) is a project founded by the European Union in Interreg Central Europe Programme and it aims at cooperation between start-ups, SMEs and large companies that could result in mutual synergies and an increased number of innovative solutions and products.

To learn more about the project VISIT WEBSITE

ANNEX 1: LARGE COMPANIES PARTICIPATING IN THE CALL

ZSE (Slovakia), a provider of electricity distribution in the Western Slovakia to more than 1 Million supply points and supplier of electricity and gas to households and companies. The company provides additional services and complete solutions to energy customers aimed at using renewable energy sources and technologies for intelligent households. ZSE Group has been part of the German energy Group E.ON since 2002.

They are looking for new technology and innovation and want to engage their employees more with start-ups and technology trends. Their main challenge, as a company, where you as a start-up can help, is new business models and opportunities, gradual transition towards higher energy efficiency and renewables. ZSE are offering you: knowledge, long term partnership, possibility of piloting your project. They are also interested in purchasing your product.


BPT d.o.o. (Slovenia), established in 1885 as a textile factory, is currently running four hydropower plants, and also deals with real estate. Keen to expand their innovation portfolio, their main focus is energy, more specifically renewable energy, storage, and waste management. The main reason for participation in the project is to expand the dealflow, and also to learn and gain experience as mentors and investors to passionate entrepreneurs. 

They will commit at least 4 hours of work with you per week, divided between technical and business part, and they are offering knowledge, workspace, investment, and possibility to purchase your product.


Tungsram Group (Hungary), with main activities in manufacturing, a company with 125 yrs tradition in manufacturing and innovation. They are interested in extending their product portfolio.


Tauron Polska Energia (Poland), the mother company in the TAURON Group, whose core activities include hard coal mining, generation, distribution and supply of electricity and heat. It is one of the largest business entities in Poland, with approximately PLN 16 billion equity and about 25.000 employees. The TAURON Group supplies approximately 49.7 TWh of electricity to over 5.6 million customers per year which makes it the largest distributor of electricity in Poland. It is also the second largest electricity generator and supplier in Poland and the largest supplier of heat in Upper Silesia.

They are interested in four main strategic portfolios for technology development:

  • Smart grid services (improving the reliability, safety and quality of electricity and heat supply through the development of modern technologies in diagnostics, automation, and digitalization of management processes, as well as the development of new services in the area of intelligent buildings, smart cities or energy management services).
  • Low emission technologies of energy generation and mining in order to radically reduce the number of stored by-products of combustion and coal extraction, as well as substances emitted to the environment, including CO2. The results of the works will also form the basis for investment decisions in the large-scale production of electricity (and other products) with CO2 emissions at the lowest, economically the reasonable level and integration of blocks conventional with large-scale energy storage
  • Distributed energy (using dispersed energy solutions influencing the increase of energy efficiency and use of the potential of energy and waste fuels (the idea of circular economy))
  • Customers and their needs (cooperation with about 5.5 million customers is an opportunity to get to know their needs better and invite them to co-create offers based on energy and non-energy products and services).

They will be bringing to the table Workspace, Knowledge, Long term Partnership, Pilot Project, Technology, Investment. There are no special limitations if the idea is promising. However, the company expects that startup is sufficiently prepared for cooperation in terms of:

  • Idea maturity
  • Business maturity
  • Originality of the idea and patenting possibilities
  • Cost efficiency


HEP ESCO d.o.o.is a state owned company, the member of HEP group, Croatia that develops, implements and finances market-based energy efficiency projects.

HEP ESCO is interested in gaining new business ideas which can result in energy savings and new business models for implementing energy efficiency and renewable energy projects and they can offer Knowledge and Pilot Project.

HEP ESCO clients are customers of all forms of energy in the following areas: Buildings, Public lighting, Energy supply systems (cogeneration, district heating). In addition to clients from the above areas, domestic businesses, consulting and engineering firms, equipment manufacturers, installers, commercial banks and others are included in the projects by HEP ESCO. More details are available at THE WEB PAGE