FundingBox is a leading orchestrator of Funding, Technology, Collaborations & Champions in Europe. They help startups, scaleups, SMEs, local organizations, (e)Digital Innovation Hubs, universities and tech centers ignite their growth and rewrite their future through easy-to-apply cascade funding opportunities (non-refundable grants), tech transfer on-site opportunities, exclusive partnerships with global brands, renowned institutions and community knowledge.

Interview with Anna Dymowska, Partner & COO & Xabier Chao García, Partner & CEO at FundingBox.

Easy Engineering: A brief description of the company and its activities.

Anna Dymowska & Xabier Chao García: We support members of our network at every stage of their growth journey with the right opportunities so that their ideas and projects can blossom. Over the years, we became leaders in cascade funding by distributing over €100 million, equity-free, and we are now developing other strong funding capabilities through partnerships with corporate players.

We specialize in technology areas such as digitalization of manufacturing, laser based advanced and additive manufacturing, robotics, AI, energy, IOT, web3, blockchain, technology for climate change and agriculture, circular economy, urban mobility in the verticals of Digital Manufacturing, Ed-Tech, Sport-Tech & Cybersecurity. 

E.E: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

A.D & X.C.G: We are Europe’s leader in the distribution of Cascade Funding for Deep Tech and we also host one of Europe’s largest online communities of startups, SMEs, evaluators, mentors, investors, corporates, researchers which has more than 50 thousand users. Through the years, we have also become experts in the support for Digital Innovation Hubs thanks to our vast experience with both early stages, widening countries hubs as well as mature European Digital Innovation Hubs that hold a seal of excellence. 

E.E: What’s the news about new products/services?

A.D & X.C.G: We have just launched OnePass, a Discovery Platform for Innovators looking for funding. It provides early-stage startup investments with seamless access to trustworthy, verifiable information about available funding, tech and learning opportunities in the desired Deep Tech field. The platform bridges the startup information with opportunity-required data and streamlines deal flows. As a result, startups can easily browse, select and apply for various funding opportunities as well as check their status of each application in one place. 

Anna Dymowska

E.E: What are the ranges of products/services?

A.D & X.C.G: At FundingBox we offer specific products and services for our different audiences, that can be summarized into:

For innovators (startups, scaleups, researchers, SMEs, etc…): access to funding and digital transformation opportunities, access to connections via ecosystem creation and management services, free “test-before-invest” technology access.

For i-xperts: paid partnerships for mentors, evaluators and ambassadors and networking services with other top tech experts & customers

For institutions: funds management and funding consultancy services, tech ecosystem building and technology exploitation via market validation.

For investors (incl VCs, corporates and accelerators): scouting services of government-funded startups and innovators, acceleration and incubation programs management, tech events organization and access to curated innovators through sponsored content in FundingBox channels.

E.E: What is the state of the market where you are currently active?

A.D & X.C.G: We have projects dedicated to startups, SMEs, and institutions supporting the uptake of deep tech technologies all over Europe, at the same time, we view Central and Eastern Europe as particularly interesting markets thanks to the potential market growth and emerging business. 

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

A.D & X.C.G: We live in an unprecedented time when technology affects and reshapes each aspect of our lives be it working, healthcare, commuting, family or leisure. At the same time, this huge potential needs to be organized and channeled so that innovation contributes to the improvement of both people and the planet. 

After years of centralization, be it the growth of multinational corporations or growth of megacities, we see a drive for decentralization with smaller, more agile and creative startups taking over the stage and people moving out of the cities to enjoy living in smaller, more familiar communities – so-called 15-minute cities. Certainly, technology plays a great role in this change as it enables people to access the opportunities otherwise not available outside of these bigger structures. Such opportunities include working, studying and even accessing healthcare remotely. 

Next big trend we see is the need for investment in digitalization of manufacturing. With Europe willing to compete with the great markets of the US and Asia, we need to focus on optimizing our processes and providing the highest quality products. This can be done only by the adoption of a vast range of technological solutions and further automation of our production lines, while maintaining the agility of the process. Here technologies such as LBAAM (Laser-Based Advanced and Additive Manufacturing) or Digital Twinning will play an important role or should we say, they already are. 

Finally, consumers are becoming more and more aware of their rights as well as the impact of their every-day choices and so we see data protection, the whole concept of web 3 or access to information about the products and services we purchase e.g. ethical sourcing of the materials on the forefront of our activities in the upcoming future. Once again, the technology we have already available and we are sure more will be developed, can truly enable us to make conscious, informed decisions about how we manage our data or spend our money. 

E.E: What are the most innovative products/services marketed?

A.D & X.C.G: We currently focus primarily on our Digital Platform – OnePass but we also provide funding consultation and assistance to companies and organizations willing to participate in European projects or become e.g. Digital Innovation Hubs. 

Xabier Chao García

E.E: What estimations do you have for the beginning of 2024?

A.D & X.C.G: In terms of estimations for the beginning of 2024, we are focusing on several key initiatives to further strengthen our position and expand our impact:

Maintaining leadership position – our primary goal is to maintain our leadership position as intermediaries of cascade funding, aka public funding. This involves continuing to effectively connect innovators with funding opportunities to support their growth and development.

Enriching value proposition – we are enriching our value proposition to Innovators by offering additional funding options available in Europe and through private investors and complementary innovation services such as training. In January, we successfully launched a catalogue of training programs that startups and developers can purchase online. Additionally, we are preparing to launch a complementary offering that provides access to private investors later this year.

Revenue growth – we aim for a 10% Year-over-Year growth in total revenue compared to 2023. This growth reflects our commitment to expanding our services and reaching new markets.

Geographical expansion – we are focused on expanding our presence in widening countries, particularly in the Balkans and Central Eastern Europe (CEE) regions. Our goal is to become a pan-European connector among tech-savvy companies and SMEs through European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIHs), fostering collaboration and innovation across borders.