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#EITCrisisResponse - EIT Health Start-up Rescue Instrument

The new Start-up Rescue Instrument was created to alleviate the economic shock posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Start-ups can apply to receive up to EUR 500 000 in co-investment from EIT Health, in return for options.

As part of the EIT’s Crisis Response Initiative, this activity directly contributes to the European Union’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, start-ups are struggling to close financing rounds and investors are struggling to keep their portfolios afloat. In some cases, private investors are adopting a portfolio-first strategy and pausing investment into new targets to focus on existing portfolios.

Part of the EIT Crisis Response Initiative, the EIT Health Start-up Rescue Instrument directly contributes to the European Union’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new instrument aims to support highly innovative ventures by increasing investor firepower and bridging the fundraising gap of start-ups in Series A, Series B and bridge-financing rounds.

Apply here

EIT Health will leverage the value of an investor’s commitment and co-invest up to EUR 500 000 in grants for options. For example, if a private investor invests at least EUR 250 000, EIT Health will match this with a EUR 500 000 grant and give the start-up a total cash injection of EUR 750 000.

Through this instrument, EIT Health will enable start-ups to attract further investor commitment and propel their venture’s acceleration. In addition to providing a boost to bridge financing rounds, EIT Health will offer selected start-ups a strong network of partners and introduce them to other opportunities in the EIT Health portfolio programmes.

Is it for me?

The Start-up Profile

Start-ups are eligible to apply if they meet the following requirements:

  • Investment rounds were affected/postponed by the COVID-19 crisis.
  • They are Seeking investment or bridge rounds of ≥ EUR 1 million.
  • Pre-money (of current round) or Post-money valuation (of previous round) ≥ EUR 5 million.
  • They are in the Series A or B, bridging financing round.
  • Private investors are willing and able to co-invest 50% of value of EIT Health grant.
  • The innovation is at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) ≥ 4 for Biotech innovations; TRL ≥ 6 for Medtech/Digital Health.
  • The company was incorporated on or later than 1 January 2013
  • The start-up is active in Medtech, Biotech and Digital Health areas. Drug development projects are not eligible.
  • The start-up is an SME according to the EU's definition
  • The start-up is registered in one of the EU Member States or countries associated with Horizon 2020

The Investor Profile

For start-ups to participate, their investor should meet the following requirements:

  • Private investors, already present or new to capitalization table, engaged in investment negotiations with start-ups whose fundraising rounds have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Private investors including but not limited to: Business Angels, Super Angels, CVCs, VCs, family offices and other equity investment partners who could support current or target portfolio start-ups.
  • The investor will need to provide start-up with evidence of ability and willingness to co-invest at least 50% of EIT Health grant-for-equity requested under current terms to be submitted with the application. The higher the private co-investment the more competitive the application.
  • Willingness to support start-ups growth by covering all other cost categories; EIT Health funding will cover project expenses.

The Call Document has full details on eligibility.

How to apply

To apply, start-ups must have all the required documentation, which is detailed in the Call Document, downloadable here or below, including but not limited to evidence of the investment matching requirement, pre- and post-money valuation, and a project plan.

Start-ups will need to create a profile and fill out the Start-up Rescue Instrument form on the EIT Health application platform.

Application deadline Monday, 1 June at 11:59 pm CEST.

About the EIT Crisis Response Initiative

As part of the EIT Crisis Response Initiative, this activity directly contributes to the European Union’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The EIT Health Start-up Rescue Instrument overall budget and the required pre-financing through EIT are both subject to the approval by the EIT Governing Board, which would not be granted before June 2020. All applicants will be informed as soon as the approval is granted.


Register for the online information session on 26 May at 11 am CEST

If you are part of a start-up and have questions about the Start-up Rescue Instrument, please contact a Business Creation Manager in your region.

If you are an investor and would like to recommend a start-up for the programme, please download this document, or contact the EIT Health Director of Business Creation, Kurt Höller.