Launched in September 2013, the ACE project will develop a new, tailor-made acceleration programme – the ACE programme – to deliver targeted cross-border services to highly innovative ICT entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs with the potential to rapidly grow their businesses in international markets The ACE programme will provide innovative start ups and high growth ICT companies with direct assistance in finding partners, clients and financing to accelerate their move into cross border and international markets.Open calls for candidates will be launched throughout Europe in November 2013 through relevant European networks and associations.
Companies selected will be assigned a lead mentor from the partner organisation in their own country. This ‘local’ mentor will guide them through the overall ACE programme, develop an individual internationalisation action plan with them and put an internationalisation support team and package of support measures in place for them.
Unsuccessful applicants will be provided with customised feedback and encouraged to use the ACE online network to engage with other companies through the online stakeholder community and to use the online tools to prepare for internationalisation and subsequent cycles of the ACE programme.
The ACE consortium includes 15 leading incubators, clusters and living labs from across Europe (UK, Ireland, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Italy, Portugal, Finland, Sweden, Czech Republic) and is supported by EBN, the largest network of innovation based incubators in Europe and ENOLL, the European network of Living Labs.