Revolutioning Finance for Innovation: Exploring Equity Solutions with the European Investment Fund

Date: 09.11.2023

Central Europe has long been a hotbed of creativity and potential, yet innovation has often been hindered by the scarcity of funding schemes tailored to market-driven research and entrepreneurial growth. In a landscape where complexity often dissuades finance providers and policymakers from introducing much-needed schemes, a wind of change is sweeping through the region. The FI4NN project is at the forefront, championing the co-design of financial instruments that invigorate research and innovation.

The Exchange of Experiences in Prague: A Confluence of Insights

Amidst this transformation, a pivotal moment was the Exchange of Experiences (EOE), between the FI4INN project partners, held in Prague. This gathering was a convergence of visionaries and practitioners committed to rewriting the script of financial innovation in Central Europe. Among the esteemed speakers, the Mandate Manager at the European Investment Fund (EIF), Michal Košina, delivered an address that would leave a lasting imprint.

EIF Mandate:

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is an integral part of the European Investment Bank Group, and its role extends far beyond traditional financial institutions. At the core of the EIF’s mission is the belief that innovative ventures, irrespective of their size or location, deserve every opportunity to thrive. This mission mirrors the aspirations of the FI4NN project, empowering regions to take control of their financial destinies.

Equity Solutions & Deployment Process

Michal Košina’s presentation at the FI4INN event in Prague unraveled the EIF’s distinctive approach to equity solutions. Equity, within the realm of business finance, represents a stake in the ownership of a company, enabling investors to share in its success. Quasi-equity, a term often less familiar but equally significant, encompasses financial instruments that blend characteristics of both debt and equity, making them a versatile tool for financing innovative projects.

The EIF’s approach to equity solutions is grounded in a rigorous, scientific methodology. It entails a meticulous analysis of the unique needs of SMEs and start-ups, a profound understanding of market dynamics, and an unswerving dedication to nurturing innovation. What sets the EIF’s equity solutions apart is their bespoke nature, finely tailored to address the specific challenges and opportunities presented by Central European regions.

Equity solutions, as endorsed by the EIF, are not abstract concepts but rather dynamic instruments that propel economic growth. The EIF’s deployment process is the crux of this transformation since it involves the allocation of vital funds to support promising businesses and innovative projects. The EIF also collaborates closely with financial intermediaries, such as venture capital funds, to direct investments to businesses on the precipice of exponential growth. This process is emblematic of the EIF’s commitment to mitigating risk for both investors and entrepreneurs, fostering an environment conducive to innovation.

Paving the Path to Innovation

In the realm of innovation, there is a unique breed of pioneers, those who dare to redefine the status quo, creating a brighter future where opportunities are boundless. The event in Prague was a testament to this spirit, an occasion that brought together minds determined to foster innovation in Central Europe.

As we explored Michal Košina’s profound insights into Equity and Quasi-Equity financing and unraveled the European Investment Fund’s (EIF) mandate, it became evident that the power to drive innovation lies not just in vision but in execution. EIF’s commitment to bridging the financing gap and fueling the dreams of aspiring entrepreneurs is a beacon of hope in a region where such support has often been scarce.

The EIF’s scientific approach to equity solutions, its precision in developing financial instruments, and its unwavering dedication to nurturing innovation serve as an inspiration. The EIF’s deployment process is more than the allocation of funds; it’s the realization of dreams, the transformation of ideas into reality, and the empowerment of SMEs and start-ups.For instance, the RRF Czech Republic Fund of Funds and the Croatian Venture Capital Initiative (ESIF Croatia) are prime examples of equity financial instruments that the EIF actively supports. These initiatives play a crucial role in providing financial support to startups and SMEs in their respective regions, fueling innovation and economic development.

Also, a multilateral approach is essential in this context. Pooling resources brings more firepower for the creation of larger funds capable of supporting more substantial investment rounds when needed. This approach not only enhances the financial stability of these instruments but also reduces dependence on investors from outside the region. It fosters self-sufficiency and empowers the region to control its financial destinies, ultimately driving innovation and economic growth from within.


FI4INN is dedicated to exploring and implementing impactful financial instruments for startups and small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Central Europe and beyond. We believe that collaboration and shared experiences are key to our mission’s success.

If you have valuable insights and experiences related to financial solutions for startups and SMEs, we invite you to be a part of our initiative. Your knowledge and expertise can contribute to the growth and innovation of businesses in the region. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, an investor, a policymaker, or a researcher, your input is crucial.

Let’s work together to shape the future of financial support for startups and SMEs. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us and share your experiences. Together, we can make a tangible impact on the entrepreneurial landscape of Central Europe and beyond. Join us in this exciting journey of fostering innovation and economic growth. Contact us today.