“Gazelles” are innovative companies characterized by their rapid growth pace contributing substantially in the creation of new jobs. It is estimated that Gazelles represent only 4% of all companies, but account for 70% of all new jobs.
The “Gazelle project”, under the framework of the INTERREG Balkan – Mediterranean 2014-2020program, is planning and implementing joint sustainable measures in order to create a dynamic ecosystem for innovative SMEs in the Balkan Med area.
The general objective of the project is twofold:
- the acceleration of BalkanMed “Gazelles” and
- the creation of an ecosystem where “Gazelles can run faster and further”.
Specifically, the project aims to tackle the major obstacles in the development and growth of Gazelles:
- access to finance through the support of the creation and the valorization of Business Angels Networks (BANs) and
- access to external knowledge whether this is knowledge of the market or technical expertise by boosting technology transfer strategies and facilitating the connection between universities and innovative SMEs.
The activities and the expected results of the Gazelle project include :
- Development of a transnational integrated mechanism facilitating “Gazelles” at an early stage of development by promoting access to a) finance and b) scientific knowledge and expertise that can be directly ‘put into action’.
- Strengthened organizations that can support the creation of business angel networks
- Transfer of best practices – development of integrated methodology – including tools for business angels and entrepreneurs / potential entrepreneurs, as well as knowhow transfer tools
- Implementation of an intensive business acceleration program for selected innovative SMEs that is focused in two important axes : the angel market and the technology transfer.
- Policy updates and recommendation in the fields of technology transfer to SMEs, innovation as well as promotion and support of BANs.
Kick-off meeting, July 18-19, 2020, Athens
The project “GAZELLE: orGAnizing accELaration for high-potential innovative SMEs” was officially launched on July, 18-19th 2019 in Athens. Representatives of all six partner organizations attended the kick-off meeting hosted by the consortium’s leader Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The participants were welcomed by Mrs. Eleni Foti, Director of International Commercial Relations and Head of the project.
2nd Partners meeting, November 19-2, 2020, Ruse, Bulgaria
On November, 19th the partners were greeted by the Executive Director of Ruse Chamber of Commerce and Industry to the organization’s premises in the center of the Danube city. The focus of the discussions was the progress of the activities related with the analyses of the countries’ situations as well as the best practices of technology transfer centers and business angel networks (BAN) in the geographical region assigned to every partner.