Ventures Thrive: 1.5 Million Fund for Deeptech Startups

Ventures Thrive - the new venture builder for deeptech climate founders from CEE & Widening Countries

Scale your business and address the world’s most pressing climate tech problems with mentoring, corporate connections, fundraising, and more.
Ventures Thrive is an Horizon Europe Funded proejct that aims to support deeptech startups in their way to the market by filling the gaps with equity free funding and a curated growth programme. The Ventures Thrive’s mission is to reduce the existing hurdles that deep-tech companies face in their way to reach the market. The programme will connect startups with additional investment and corporates to test their developments in real world scenarios. The project, that follows a cascade funding scheme (take a look at our last publication about How Cascade Funding Works and discover all the benefits for your organisation) is offering a growth programme for deep-tech startups and will distribute a total fund of €1.5 million in the 32 accepted startups over the course of two years.

About the Ventures Thrive Programme

Ventures Thrive is an 8-month venture-building programme designed to accelerate the growth of CEE deeptech ventures by providing access to 1.5m EUR equity-free capital, masterclasses, and an international community of corporate partners, investors and world-class industry leaders. The programme is hybrid and culminates with a Demo Day event where startups will be presenting live in front of hundreds of local and international investors and business professionals. Ventures Thrive runs for two years and only selects 12-14 startups to fund each cycle.

Ventures Thrive was launched on 1st November 2022 by a consortium consisting of Acceler8 Venture Builder (Malta), Wolves Summit (Poland), and Anthology Ventures (Bulgaria).

Play Video about Ventures Thrive Open Call


Acceler8 Venture Builder
Anthology Ventures
Wolves Summit

Acceler8:  is a privately funded venture builder, working with deeptech companies and the scientific community during the past years, very oriented to commercialising science-based innovations.

Anthology ventures: is an angel-powered venture studio, working in Southern, Central and Eastern European countries. They specialize in fundraising and development for early-stage deeptech, spinoff, and consumer-oriented startups, in the Climate, Energy, Transport, Ag/biotech, Medtech, Proptech, and Edtech sectors.

Wolves Summit: is an integrated deal-flow and digital marketing platform for investors and tech companies. Offering year-round engagement through digital events, corporate innovation challenges, and startup scaling activities. Every edition attracts a diverse audience of 2000+ investors, startups, and industry leaders.

Ventures Thrive Open Call Summary

Ventures Thrive will host an 8-month programme in 2 different open calls, offering a total of €1.5M to 32 young companies. This equity-free funding will be combined with connections to top corporates, investors, institutions and mentors, helping increase the runway and capacity to grow. There are three phases to qualify for the Ventures Thrive Acceleration Programme, aside from the open calls:

    • Phase 1: Build (2 Months) – During the first month, 12 selected startups will work with Ventures Thrive coaches to refine their Business Case taking into account a number of specific indicators such as product development and commercialisation, business development and strategic synergies with the programme’s corporate partners, and future fundraising plan. Each team will commit to a set of realistic KPIs to pursue during the Ventures Thrive programme.
    • Phase 2: Grow (5 Months) – Startups have already set specific milestones and KPIs to achieve during their 6-month growth programme. Each startup will receive individual mentoring, along with innovation strategy workshops and masterclasses, investment readiness programmes and matchmaking, building a business use case for addressing real-life corporate challenges, and access to industry events. 
    • Phase 3: Raise (1 Month) – Startups will present their achievements during the programme and give a final pitch at Wolves Summit. Teams must be present to receive an award.


The application to the first open call can only be done as a single applicant. The accepted applicants for the Ventures Thrive 1st Open Call are deeptech startups, ensuring that:

    • Only companies complying with the legal definition of SME, according to the European Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC will be eligible.
    • Only organisations legally established or operating in the Widening area in any of the following countries are eligible.
    • Deep tech factor: Ventures Thrive is a programme purely oriented to accelerate deeptech startups. The call is looking for companies solidly rooted in tech, not offering tech as a commodity. 


The maturity of the projects to be considered for funding must be above TRL5 . If you want to know more about the TRL definition, you can check this official document from the European Commission.


The financial support provided in the Ventures Thrive Open Call will be awarded in the form of equity-free funding, vouchers, and prizes:

    • Equity-free funding: Ventures Thrive Open Call provides a maximum financial support of €80,000 per deeptech startup. This funding is allocated as a lump sum for each beneficiary (€5K + €75K)
    • Voucher: The €5,000 voucher will be only provided to the startups reaching the Growth programme.
    • Prize: The three most promising startups will be awarded with prizes of €15,000, €10,000, and €5,000 respectively. These awards will be received during the final Demo Day event


Proposals must be submitted electronically. The submission will be done through the SPLORO submission platform. Only applications received directly through this platform will be considered eligible.

Applications must be submitted in English and before the official deadline: 16 March 2023, 17:00 CET


    • Open call launch: 17/1/2023.
    • Deadline for submission. 16/03/2023, 17:00h CET.
    • Evaluation of applications from 17/03/2023 to 19/04/2023.
    • Communication of results to applicants from April/May 2023.
    • Masterplan with KPIs: end of April to end of May, 2023
    • Pitch contest: end of May, 2023 (between 20-25/05/2023).
    • Services execution: end of April 2023 to end of October 2023.
      • Mentoring.
      • Masterclasses & Workshops.
      • Corporate Procurement.
    • Investment Readiness. Workshop & Demo Day: end of October (24-26/10/2023).


  • Access to a global network of mentors, corporate partners, industry experts, and investors from over 20 countries.
  • Eligibility to receive up to €100,000 equity-free funding (cash and services), subject to reaching programme milestones.
  • Connections to leading corporates in your industry for pilot projects, partnership opportunities, and as customers.
  • Meet the most active VCs and Angel Investors in your industry from around the world.
  • Legal, finance, go-to-market, and R&D grant masterclasses to help mature your technology stack with non-dilutive funding.
  • A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join a specialised deeptech accelerator and venture builder, providing hands-on support and valuable instructions to scale your business.
  • Achievements will be celebrated in front of over 1,000 investors, corporates, mentors, fellow entrepreneurs, and press attendees.
  • Partner with leading companies to increase your product launch and sales capabilities. Build your network of investors and explore public funding opportunities.


Cascade funding, also known as financial support to third parties (FSTP), is an instrument of the European Commission to distribute public funds and generate opportunities for SMEs, startups and/or mid-cap companies, in the adoption or development of digital technologies. The main objective is to simplify the administrative processes faced by European companies, allowing them to have faster access to finance.

How can SPLORO support your organisation with cascade funding?

For Startups

For Open Call Managers

IDENTIFICATION AND ANALYSIS OF FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES: our team monitors all open calls and make a first check on the eligibility of your organization.

PROPOSAL WRITING AND SUBMISSION SUPPORT: we support you to land that idea that you have in mind and adapt it to the requirements of the call.

PROJECT MANGEMENT SUPPORT: our service does not end with uploading the documentation, we help you throughout the full life cycle of the project, providing you management support.

PROMOTE YOUR OPEN CALLS: Your call is running but you need applicants. Let us help you in promoting the calls through our network, and in our Open Calls Section.

USE OUR PLATFORM TO RUN YOUR CALLS: In case you have recently won a cascade funding project and you still don’t know where to publish, ping us too. We are currently running different programmes through Sploro Innovation Platform. 

DELEGATE THE OPERATIONS OF THE CALL: Building the contract with the subgrantees, guidelines for applicants or searching the pool of external evaluators. Let’s have a chat and see how we can help you.

If you need assistance in the proposal writing preparation, finding the right partners for the call or even having a double-check on what you are currently preparing, do not hesitate to contact us

If you are managing a cascade grant and want us to promote your call and do a review of this nature, feel free to contact, we can definitely address the topic and help with dissemination within our networks.

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