Helping ICT and creative businesses go international

Launched in September 2013, the ACE project developed 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 ideas was reproduced by ACE Creative in 2015.

The ACE Programme provided innovative startups 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 were launched throughout Europe in November 2013 through relevant European networks and associations. 

The selected companies were assigned a lead mentor from partner organisation in their own country. This ‘local’ mentor guided them through the overall ACE programme, developed an individual internationalisation action plan with them, and put an internationalisation support team and package of support measures in place for them.

ACE supported ICT startups with:

What happened next? ACE gets Creative

The ACE Programme finished in 2016. In parallel over the last two years of the programme, another 100 new and emerging creative companies were supported through the ACE Creative Programme:

How did ACE Creative work?

In addition to the customised support programme:

  • The top 30 companies (15 each year) won the opportunity to pitch to audiences of international investors at the Creative Business Cup finals in Copenhagen in November;
  • Up to a further 400 SMEs could benefit from participation in one of 15 ACE Creative international bootcamps staged across Europe in 2015 and 2016;
  • Even more SMEs benefited from ACE Creative online support platform, accessing resources in the areas of finance, networking, incubation technology and new markets.

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