In accordance with the ratified Loan Agreement (Serbia Accelerating Innovation and Growth Entrepreneurship Project) No. 9029-YF, Component 2 – Business Acceleration, concluded between the Republic of Serbia and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank) (Official Gazette of RS – International contracts, No. 3/20)
Public Call for the Acceleration Program – Katapult
The goal of the Katapult Acceleration Program is to improve the level of innovative entrepreneurship and to provide better access to external sources of financing for business growth, as well as to increase the number of new or improved innovative products and services on the market.
Through the Innovation Fund’s Katapult program, startups in Serbia have at their disposal intensive training and mentoring program customized to their needs (by local and international experts from various fields of technological entrepreneurship and investors), as well as non-refundable financial support for startups that secure qualified investment during or after the acceleration period in the amount of maximum 36 million dinars. This amount is available to startups that will be selected by the Innovation Fund as follows:
- At-Entry grant in the amount of up to 2.4 million dinars for startups in the early stages of development, or up to 6 million dinars for startups in the growth stage. This amount will be available to startups after signing the Acceleration agreement with the Innovation Fund.
- Co-investment grant available to startups that secure a qualified investment by business angels, venture capital funds or other investors acceptable for the Innovation Fund. The amount of the co-investment grant is equal to the amount of the qualified investment reduced by the amount of the At-Entry Grant, and up to a maximum of 36 million dinars.
Both At-Entry and CI Grants are awarded in the form of state aid for newly established enterprises in accordance with the Regulation on the Conditions and Criteria for Horizontal State-Aid Compliance and Regulations on Rules for State Aid Granting.
The Innovation Fund will consider funding startups from all areas of science and technology and from any industrial sector. However, the Katapult program is aligned with the Smart Specialization Strategy in Serbia, which focuses on four priority domains:
- Food for the future;
- Information and communication technologies (with an emphasis on Artificial Intelligence, as envisaged by the Strategy for the Development of Artificial Intelligence in the Republic of Serbia for the period 2020-2025);
- Machines and production processes of the future;
- Creative industries.
At least 50% of available funding will be allocated to Applications in the above-mentioned domains, subject to availability of good quality projects. Women co-founders are specifically encouraged to apply.
Eligible applicants for the Katapult program are micro or small sized company (at least 80% privately owned), not older than six years at the time of applying and majority owned (>50%) by the founding team of entrepreneurs.
In order for the application to be considered and evaluated, it needs to be submitted in electronic form via the Katapult portal. Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
- Product / technology
- Business model and traction
- Capital raising
Only applications that meet the above criteria will be considered and proposed for financing. Further details on procedures for the evaluation of applications are available in the Review Guidelines.
Detailed documentation regarding the application process is available on the Innovation Fund’s website: Documentation – July,2023
The deadline for the application submission is October 16th, 2023, by 1 p.m.
A company can submit only one Application in a specific call for proposals. Incomplete applications, as well as applications that have not been submitted by the application submission deadline will not be considered.
Please use the following application link: LOGIN
Katapult program website
Financing for Katapult is provided by the Republic of Serbia (Minister of Science, Technological Development and Innovation), through a 7.7 million euro World Bank loan with implementation support, and the European Union, through a 10 million euro grant. The program is part of the “Serbia Accelerating Innovation and Growth Entrepreneurship Project,” dedicated to strengthening innovative entrepreneurship and scientific research.