After a long and very hot summer (at least in Slovenia temperatures were mostly above 35 C), next cut-off dates to (re)submit your SME Instrument proposal are approaching very fast.

  • If you are applying for Phase 1, mark these dates: 6th of September 2017  and 8th of November 2017.
  • If you are applying for Phase 2, then 18th of October is your last chance for this year.

BIG changes in SME Instrument  are announced!

According to EASME we can expect some very interesting changes of selection procedure in 2018.

As it seems, interview stage will most likely be introduced, where most promising innovators will get an opportunity to present their project proposals in person.

How will this affect you?

We have a saying that “paper can bear anything”. But situation get’s completely different, when you are personally explaining your project idea.

Now imagine, that you are a CEO or CFO of the company, standing in front of your “jury”.

Your audience is a group of experienced investors, business people and scientist. They have high expectations and they value their time.

Such situation can easily become nerve wrecking if…you don’t know the content of the proposal in tiny little details.

On the other hand, you can deliver your best performance, pitch that will leave your audience with mouth wide open.

Be prepared for the pitch!

Changes in selection procedures will most likely result in natural advantage for those SMEs, which will be intensively involved in the proposal development it self.

As a matter a fact, from our own experience, this it is also the ONLY right way.  Why we say so?

All of our 6 winning SME Instrument proposals and 7 more, which received Seal of Excellence (3 of them were further funded under alternative EU programmes), were designed in such cooperation.

Also, doesn’t it make sense to you, that business owners and key personnel of the applying SME contribute their ideas,  expertize, experience, technical facts and concrete financial numbers to craft far reaching, industry and perhaps society changing strategy?

To become industry leader, core team must engage to maximize chances of winning SME Instrument.Click To Tweet

Reconsider being part of the creative process as a privilege (to many can’t afford it) but also as an opportunity do design an amazing pitch deck for the SME Instrument jury.

What can you do today if you plan to apply in 2018?

Nobody wants to be left behind when things starts to happen. Off course, keep an eye on situation development and how proposed interviews are going to be implemented.

We are taking it very seriously and already took first steps to adapt to new situations.

We have outlined a 9 slide pitch deck PowerPoint and established our Pitch Training Video Studio.

Outline of powerful pitch deck to convince SME Instrument evaluators or investors

It feels great when you stand in front of group of people and you know exactly what you are about to say.

You are not nervous (but excited), you feel confident and ready to deliver an important message.

Hard questions do not kick you out of balance.

It is completely opposite situation to the one, where you:

  • are still not sure what you will say
  • are nervously walking on the stage like caged tiger
  • are terrified to death of forthcoming questions
  • hear only crickets in your head when your time is on.

We can agree, that second situation can easily happen and feels like nightmare.

That is why a tool, which you can use to steer your brain and mouth in synchronized action, is super useful tool to either:

  • Design a concept of SME Instrument proposal,
  • Pitch the potential investor.

In this blog we are just briefly outlining our 9 slide pitchdeck, however sign up here, if you wish to receive our detailed elaboration (it will be released in our next email).

The battle tested Horizon 2020 SME Instrument outline:

  1. Cover slide (to catch the attention)
  2. The problem we tackle (and business deal)
  3. Product show off (to impress and convince with outstanding performance)
  4. Target market (and expansion)
  5. Customer value proposition (appealing reasons to buy now)
  6. Why us and not them? (competitive advantage over alternatives)
  7. Money money money (revenues and profits)
  8. Saving the planet (environment and society benefits)
  9. The team behind a steering wheel (values, credibility and energy)

We can confidently say that if you will cover listed nine points in your proposal, it will put you far ahead of your competition. Off course, you still need to avoid 9 critical mistakes 95% SME Instrument winners never do.

Outline is just great, but I am worried about my live presentation?

Fear of presenting is one of the most common fears in human society. Actually the average person ranks fear of public speaking higher then death!

If you ever lead a seminar or was invited as a keynote speaker, then you know, you need to prepare well for this.

Organize your thoughts and practice your pitch. Shortcuts will cost you more then invested time.Click To Tweet

After organizing and leading numerous lectures and trainings, we can advice you to follow this 7 steps to master your live presentation:

  1. Know your topic (never underestimate your audience)
  2. Organize your thoughts (use 9 slide pitchdeck outline)
  3. Practice by speaking loud (it is easy doing it in your head only)
  4. Practice in front of the mirror (you will see what they see)
  5. Drink some water to prevent loosing voice (room temperature)
  6. Record your self on a video (almost nobody likes to watch themselves but it is the best learning experience).
  7. Don’t forget to breathe (you can control fear by deep, calm, slow breathing).

With practice, things become “normal” and audience is carefully following your message.


To help you out with live pitching we are already setting up Pitch training video studio and have connected with professional speaker trainers, to prepare you for your best live performance ever.

Now when you know what changes are going to happen within Instrument for SME, let us know your thoughts:

  • Do you think these changes will positively affect the evaluation procedure?
  • Do you feel ready to give your best pitch?
  • What do you think is the biggest challenge in delivering your best pitch?

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