1 Innovation in personalised nutrition for the silver population Innovation Support Services Handbook for SMEs and Entrepreneurs
2 INCluSilver Innovation Support Services Handbook Introduction The INCluSilver project aims at supporting cross-border and cross-sectoral collaboration between actors from agri-food, health, ICT and creative industries. Its goal is to create the right conditions and foster the development and validation of innovative ideas, in the field of personalised nutrition for the silver population, which demonstrate significant market potential. INCluSilver targets the development of new cross-sectoral/-cluster/-border industrial valuechains, including in particular SMEs, to foster the development of personalised nutrition for the silver population in Europe and expand to the world. This pursued development is based not only on the establishment of new value chains, but also on the reconfiguration of existing ones driven by the integration of new technologies and expertise. The present handbook aims at providing potential beneficiaries, entrepreneurs and SMEs with a comprehensive and exhaustive list of Innovation Support Services ISS offered by INCluSilver partners within the framework of their efforts to align all available capacity across Europe for a common goal. It is interesting to note that all of the listed Innovation Support Services will be offered free of charge to entrepreneurs and SMEs, complimentary to the Innovation Voucher Scheme - IVS. The ISS aim at offering innovation support to the participants of the different IVS calls for proposals launched during the project, and therefore bridge gaps between high and lowperforming serviced participants. In this respect, Innovation Support Services will consist of a first step for assessing and redirecting new cross-sectoral and cross-border innovative projects in order to boost their potential. INCluSilver will provide applicants with a first basic level of support, aimed at providing innovation support services to entrepreneurs and SMEs to assess the potential and pave the way for a further development of their innovative ideas or business projects in the main INCluSilver areas of intervention through IVS. Furthermore, the ISS target the enhancement of entrepreneurial and innovation skills and the provision of professional training and expert services to the larger European SME community, and mostly to those SMEs that belong to the direct outreach of INCluSilver partners (cluster members or SMEs being in the close network/communication channels of INCluSilver partners). The ISS are provided by the INCluSilver partners. INCluSilver partners are representatives of regional clusters and business and innovation support organizations. To this extent, clusters act as springboard for the promotion of innovation, as well as catalysts for regional innovative projects and regional innovation and competitiveness. INCluSilver SMEs helpdesk Expertise services provided by partners will be available to SMEs. The need for these services could be requested formally by the SMEs through an Expression of Interest-EoI or identified by the innovation officers appointed to the successful IVS applications. All innovation officers will form the INCluSilver SMEs Helpdesk, which will be coordinated by Corallia and Clusaga. Services offered by the helpdesk are free, beneficiary SMEs must be either cluster members or IVS beneficiaries that are being supported by the INCluSilver partners.
3 Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management Webinars & How to Toolkit SMEs will be contacted through the dissemination channels of consortium partners and will be invited to participate to training sessions (webinars) providing them the opportunity to highly benefit from free innovation support primarily addressing the basic concepts and introduction to marketing and branding strategy, business plan creation, business plan commercialisation etc., thus providing them a stable basis for development. The Entrepreneurship and Innovation management training material along with the organisation and delivery of the training sessions (webinars) will be directly developed and provided by the INCluSilver consortium. In addition, a How to guide/toolkit with a cross-sectorial approach will be developed and provided to the SMEs assisting them on how to communicate with the other sectors. Both outputs will be uploaded on INCluSilver s website and will be freely available to the entire European SME community. Overview of the Innovation Support Services The main themes covered by the Innovation Support Services are listed below, along with the names of the INCluSilver partners* that offer them: Branding & PR: Danish Food Cluster, SFIN & Corallia Business Model: SFIN, Clusaga & Corallia Fundraising/ Access to Finance & Pitching Investors: Corallia & D.A.Re. scrl Internationalisation: Clusaga, Innoskart, Agropolis & Corallia Incubation / Co-location: Surrey University, Clusaga & Corallia * Service provision leading partners appear first in light blue bold font Service provision model: The services will be offered in two stages: Firstly, there will be a training session through five consecutive webinars, one for each service, which will be then repeated in given time and in sync with the evaluation process of the IVS. At the same time, video presentations of those sessions will be uploaded and available online. On a second stage, a dedicated consultation between subject matter experts (reps. from each partner) and interested SMEs will take place. This consultation will be under the format of open office hours, during which SMEs will be able to seek advice on concrete matters. The meetings can be physical or online via eg. Skype and must be pre-arranged.
4 01 Branding & PR A specialised Helpdesk service offering online support and guidelines on matters related to branding & public relations (of the project/ product/ service) including: pamphlets/ flyers, online presence including social media, press kit preparation and events. #1 Service Description: Branding & PR service is about understanding the basics in building a branding and PR plan and/ or strategy for SMEs to support their products, services and company. Many businesses and not only the healthy food business companies realise that their brand is one of the greatest assets they can have. They need to establish their products or services identity in the marketplace by having a good reputation. However, many of them undervalue the importance of branding, and fail to market their companies effectively. This is especially critical within the food industry struggling with low consumer trust and a lack of connection with main stakeholders such as food bloggers and the complex regulations regarding health claims. The process for establishing a strong brand name is fundamental to any small business in order that it may compete and grow. The services provided by INCluSilver partners need to be mainly focused on fully understanding the relationship and importance of effective branding and value creation as well as on presenting the principals of effective public relations and communications activities, which will make SMEs more visible to the community, and increase awareness of, and enhance their image. The service will be focusing on the different aspects in using the different online tools eg. website, newsletter and social media. The different platforms have strengths and weaknesses and by knowing these, SMEs can build a more focused branding and PR strategy. #2 Main Service Take Away: SMEs will be ready to build or support their existing branding and PR strategy. They will get guidelines for making a content plan for the different online media as well the required tools and insights to monitor online activities; all given in a simple guide. #3 Service Providers: Danish Food Cluster (DFC) is a membership organisation for businesses, research institutions, and public authorities working within the food and agriculture sector. Communication, dissemination and promotion is a vital part of DFC, through different channels (website, events, social media, press, newsletter etc.). Hence, it will bring knowledge on using the specific tools and build a branding strategy for the participating SMEs. #4 Link with IVS: Branding & PR Service can be beneficiary, especially in relation to the following PIVs: Scalability and Internationalisation, Demonstration, Technology Transfer Voucher and 2IV: Ideas Innovation.
5 02 Business Model Assessing business models and business plans and recommendation for improvement. #1 Service Description: The building of a coherent business model is of vital importance for all startups as well as for growth companies. A business model is the method by which an organisation utilises its resources to deliver value to customers while maximising profits and growth. The model provides a structure or framework for delivering products or services to an intended audience. INCluSilver partners will provide the principles of evaluating and improving the business model to ensure that the current model will support SMEs plans for growth. This service will cover the following areas: Establish and secure market position How to secure knowledge of the market and consumer trends that the company is supposed to do business in? Try to establish potential positions that are available or possible to establish. That means research in terms of market data etc. But also be prepared to test ideas - most interesting services and products are not necessarily known to the market as it never be introduced before. Analyse all other parameters that will influence the intended business - legislation, trademarks, distribution, potential production partners etc. Formulate & execute business plan and organise team How to formulate a business plan. Vision, mission, objectives, strategy. And as a result of that process - how to organise (building teams), manage and finance the company. Emphasise the need to be customer focused and committed to really try to understand the need of the customer, which is not always known. Build and maintain a network of partners and expertise How to build a relevant network of partners and expertise that can support the business in respective areas not available in-house (Patent Consultants, lawyers, bankers, PR and branding consultants, web specialist, IT support, accountant agency etc.) It s also beneficial for startups to try to join a business incubator in order to meet with other SMEs and receive assistance from coaches often available. This service will also be provided to companies which need to accelerate their business. It will cover the following areas: SMEs that have been around for a while often know most of the things mentioned above. Their challenge is more likely how to accelerate their business. Some incubators provide accelerator programs that can be useful to participate in. Other challenges are financing the growth of the company - the need for finding investors accelerate. Production and distribution often need to be addressed and also how to export your business proposals etc. These are areas that will also be covered in the service. #2 Main Service Take-Away: SMEs will understand the principles of business model design and will gain significant and valuable insight, via practical advice as to how, when & why business model matters for their business; all given in a simple guide.
6 #3 Service Providers: Skåne Food Innovation Network (SFIN) will offer its most experienced team members both in work and academic environment in Business Administration, in order to provide skillful insight to SMEs in all related matters. In addition, SFIN will exploit its comprehensive experience in business incubation services and investment in order to present an all-inclusive, yet complete guide in business modeling to SMEs. #4 Link with IVS: Business Model Service can be beneficiary, especially in relation to the following PIVs: Scalability and Internationalisation, Economic Feasibility Analysis and 2IV: Ideas Innovation. 03 Fundraising/ Access to Finance & Pitching Investors Support acquisition of access to funding and other fundraising opportunities for SMEs, including detailed information and consultancy on related opportunities at regional, national and EU level, financial brokerage and consultancy to successfully contact VCs, BAs and training to sharpen investment readiness, at all levels, particularly designed to meet the needs of the participating SMEs. #1 Service Description: Broadening the funding opportunities available and accessible to SMEs from the food industry is a key challenge in quest of fostering their development and sustaining the most dynamic ones. It also represents a long-term challenge to improving the SMEs capital structure and investment capacity, and decreasing their over-reliance and vulnerability to the traditional lending channels. The focus here is placed on broadening the finance options available to SMEs by improving understanding about the full range of financing instruments they can access in varying circumstances and by encouraging discussion among stakeholders about new approaches and innovative policies for SME financing. In addition, investment readiness and investor awareness training is needed to attract private investment, especially in emerging industries. Thus, entrepreneurs from the project may need to pitch to investors to raise capital or use pitching techniques when, for example, they take part in a trade show etc. Many entrepreneurs are inexperienced at making such presentations. The focus here is placed on providing basic pitching guidelines and highlighting things to avoid. As part of this service, SMEs will receive support on early stage financing. More specifically, they will gain knowledge on: (1) available capital sources, namely: - Independent Investors (Institutional Funds, Venture Capitalists, Business Angels, etc.) - European Investment Funds - loans and venture capital supported by the European Union (The European Commission uses financial instruments and helps EU companies get access to loans and guarantees, venture capital, business angels, growth stock markets, crowdfunding.) - European Programmes & National and Regional Programmes in partners countries (2) the process to access the abovementioned funding means. Through this service, SMEs will obtain practical know-
7 how in order to address these sources (they will learn how to pitch investors, when to decide to raise capital, etc.). #2 Main Service Take-Away: Key questions that will be answered include: - When to raise outside capital? What area of the company or what stage of the company do you want to find investors for? - What kind of investors invest by stage and where to find them? - What are the fundraising options? How to raise outside capital? - What are the key components of the term sheet and how can they read one? - How to perform company valuations? And how can they value the investors companies? How will investors value their company (Due diligence main steps and metrics)? - How to pitch to investors? - What techniques help the entrepreneur get to the close? - How to apply for an EU funding programme? - How to apply for an EU loan? - How to assess the proposal consistency/quality? (tech. readiness level, KETs they can use or address, the societal challenges met, the value-chain to be built or started up, the staff s know-how and the need of collaborative researches, the need of a demonstrator). #3 Leading Service Provider: Corallia has accumulated more than 10 years of experience in supporting SMEs and entrepreneurs in their efforts to get access to finance and raise money through public or private funding sources, with many success stories among its members, including the acquisition of several regional, European and national funding tools. #4 Link with IVS: Fundraising/ Access to Finance & Pitching Investors Service can be beneficiary, especially in relation to the following IVs: Scalability and Internationalisation Voucher, Demonstration Voucher, Economic Feasibility Analysis Voucher, IPR Innovation Voucher. 04 Internationalisation Assessing opportunities for internationalisation and recommendations. Identifying the most suitable markets, trade missions and exhibitions. #1 Service Description: Internationalisation opens up new markets for SMEs and has the potential to boost SME competitiveness and growth considerably. Internationalisation results in gaining competitiveness as a company which may ultimately translate into upgraded economic performance at local and European level (EC, 2010, p 57). Internationally active SMEs, therefore, are more competitive than their local counterparts (EC, 2010, p 70). Food industry has a long tradition and the new tendencies and the future of food industry is going towards functional, healthy and personalised food for the consumers inside and outside of European Union. Small businesses operating in the food industry face many difficulties in trying to broad and expand to new market, that is why these companies are a key innovation and they
8 have done many breakthroughs in the food industry as well. On this foundation, the INCLuSilver partners will provide the basics and principles for the SMEs to facilitate the use of possibilities offered by the national agencies supporting the international development of the European countries, as well as promoting and facilitating international investments; the development of international partnerships so that SMEs have easier access to global value chains, develop strategic alliances with research organisations, expand SMEs commercial activities both inside and outside of European Union, and obtain appropriate skills and tailored professional advice (EC, 2011 (2), p 13) in order to help them grow and survive ion the global market. The service aims at encouraging the growing tendency of cooperation between SMEs (and clusters) across national boundaries. We are focusing on business development to make SMEs able to operate in different cultures and languages easily. Areas covered in SMEs competency development: - why internationalisation? (advantages and threats of stepping out to the international market, etc.) - how to identify SMEs opportunities in international markets? (trainings/ motivation, within the company) - what are the needed steps to go international? (strategic planning, international marketing strategy, proper human and financial resources, validated and competitive products, services and business model, etc.) - how to collect relevant business/ technology information from abroad? (market research and networking) - how to search international business or project partners? (B2B and C2C actions). #2 Main Service Take-Away: Internationalisation is a challenge but brave organisations often win. The service is excellent for providing learning by examples: SMEs are supported in their decisions, good and bad examples are presented, and if it seems that the SME is not ready for internationalisation, further support will be offered. #3 Leading Service Provider: Galicia Food & Drink Cluster (Clusaga) has been developing different activities of international promotion with the aim of improving the positioning of its member (food) companies in international markets. In this area, Clusaga has been actively involved and is broadly experienced in defining international strategy (providing companies with qualitative information on target markets, market trends or most demanded products) up to detecting of opportunities and potential buyers through target trade missions and organisation of other events. #4 Link with IVS: Internationalisation Service can be beneficiary, especially in relation to the following IVs: Scalability and Internationalisation Voucher, Technology Transfer Voucher, Economic Feasibility Analysis Voucher, IPR Innovation Voucher.
9 05 Incubation / Co-location: Assessing opportunities for incubation and redirection to the right incubation programme. #1 Service Description: Small healthy-food businesses face numerous challenges such as: absence of managerial skills, lack of financial support, access to markets, usable technology and services, lack of interest by employees, and inadequate institutional support. As the small and medium sized businesses increasingly become a major feature of economic development policy, the business incubation is now observed as dynamic hybridised economic development facilities that combine features of entrepreneurship, business facilitation and support mechanisms for economic growth on the global scale. The INCluSilver service focuses on helping SMEs to access the nurturing environment needed to develop and grow their businesses, offering everything from virtual support, rent-a-desk through to state of the art laboratories and everything in between (such as: direct access to hands on intensive business support, access to finance and experts and to other entrepreneurs and suppliers) to really make businesses and entrepreneurs to grow. The goal is to increase the chance that a start-up will succeed, shorten the time and reduce the cost of establishing and growing its business. #2 Main Service Take-Away: Participating SMEs will have the chance to use, for 2 to 3 days a dedicated office space area in close proximity with cluster members. Office spaces are fully equipped with stateof-the-art connectivity systems (telecommunication), including optical fibre to meet the high demands in data (media, sound, and graphics) transmission. #3 Leading Service Provider: Surrey University is a founding member of the SETsquared Partnership of five research intensive institutions in the south of England. The University supports and grows businesses from across a number of key technological areas. Since 2002 our enviable track record of success in supporting and accelerating 165+ early stage, high-growth technology businesses speaks for itself, with 75% still trading and over 90% surviving more than 3 years. #4 Link with IVS: Incubation / Co-location Service can be beneficiary, especially in relation to the following PIVs: Ideas Innovation Voucher, Demonstration Voucher, Technology Transfer Voucher, IPR Innovation Voucher.
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