Deep & inclusive social innovation ecosystems

            Social Innovation Ecosystem Accelerator 

Funded by

Our initiative is part of the Horizon Europe Program.

Implemented by


Accelerator program for the creation of social innovation ecosystem hubs


Deadline: 26 February 2024 

Consolid8, an international initiative co-funded by the European Union, offers a full 2-year ecosystem accelerator for social innovation ecosystem builders. The program offers the full benefits of DEEP Ecosystem´s DEEP Startup Ecosystem Accelerator plus access to the international consolid8 network. 

The Social Innovation Ecosystem Accelerator provides strategic support and mentorship to 10-12 ecosystem-building initiatives, empowering them to develop impactful and commercially viable business models that establish themselves as ecosystem hubs within their respective ecosystems.  

Ecosystem hubs actively engage stakeholders and foster collaborations that transform them into strategic partners who share a common vision. Through these partnerships, stakeholders can access cutting-edge services and processes offered by the accelerator alumni, who will serve as local ecosystem leaders. These efforts will be enriched and complemented by the collective capabilities of the DEEP Ecosystems and Consolid8 communities. 


About the Accelerator

Empower social innovators and entrepreneurs in your home region and raise funds to maximize your impact! 

The Consolid8 Social Innovation Ecosystem Accelerator will launch in April 2024. It is run by DEEP Ecosystems and the Consolid8 project partners. 

The program consists of a six-week online accelerator program that helps participants formulate an impactful and sustainable business model for the creation or growth of an ecosystem hub. 

It is followed by a two-year implementation partnership: Participating ecosystem hubs are empowered to develop world-class innovation support offerings and to raise funds for their activities via public funding applications and the development of own business models. Your benefits: 

  • Work with world-class facilitators with experiences in ecosystem development from top hubs  
  • Data-driven analysis of your ecosystem UVP and definition of key objectives  
  • Access to best practices and blueprints for ecosystem building interventions 
  • Partnering strategy and networking support to achieve global impact  
  • Develop a sustainable business model for the projects to sustain activities in the long-term  
  • Raise funds via public funding opportunities supported by DEEP’s funding monitoring and partner search  

The DEEPSEA Challenge

Think Big

Building an ecosystem means not only running an event or a startup support program with a narrow focus. The most successful ecosystem builders in the world are consciously or instinctively planning and implementing transformative interventions to:

  • Radically impact their wider communities.
  • Produce positive external effects on their region, city, and/or industrial sector.
  • Unlock additional third-party resources like investments or specialized support measures, and thereby.
  • Become change-makers who work to overcome systemic barriers to the breakthrough of innovation.
Become an Innovation Leader
  • DEEPSEA supports you to establish and grow your innovation ecosystem hub. Ideally, your hub will be a physical place where your community meets, co-creates, and transforms innovative ideas into reality (think of an "ecosystem house").
  • DEEPSEA accelerates the set-up and scale-up of membership-driven initiatives that undertake large-scale transformations of innovation systems. We will provide you with a tested and ready framework to build a commercially viable business model that will enable you to become a transformative ecosystem leader.
  • We challenge you to focus on:
    • Shaping the purpose of your ecosystem, not just managing a project.
    • Bolstering the cutting-edge innovative quality of your ecosystem.
    • Integrating and engaging other local and international ecosystem leaders as supporters and sponsors.
    • Finding and engaging committed long-term partners that will finance your quest for change.
    • Organizing a thriving community with the critical mass to carry the impact forward in the long term.
Expected Outcomes
  • System Innovation: You are actively reducing barriers for the creation of new markets and the transformation of your economy.
  • Coalition building: You are implementing concrete steps to build a robust coalition of stakeholders that will hold and support you in the long run. Based on the experience of best practices, we recommend that this should be based on a membership model.
  • Long-term commitment: To sustain your major impact in the long run (think 5-10 years), you are implementing an ambitious financing and fundraising strategy. Our action platform will enable you to continuously generate commercial revenue, build partnerships, and raise funds (in the dimension of several hundred thousand euro per year).
  • Private and Public funding: You will target philanthropy, serial entrepreneurs, and corporates to join your initiatives, but also build consortia to attract public funds.
Attract Public Funding to your Ecosystem

DEEPSEA alumni submit at least 10 public funding applications per year, which should result in winning at least one. While many calls and tenders are very local or industry specific and require your own ongoing monitoring and contact nurturing, we will present you with practical support to monitor funding opportunities and elaborate winning proposals. You should be ready to win calls from programs and sponsors like:

  • European Innovation Ecosystems: Part of Horizon Europe, aims to create more connected, inclusive, and efficient innovation ecosystems with a total budget of 230 million € in 2023 and 2024.
  • Regional Innovation Valleys: The European Commission dedicates 122 million € to create connected regional innovation valleys (if eligible, we recommend you to already submit your expression of interest by 18 September 2023).
  • Erasmus+ Alliances for Innovation: Supports the buildup of entrepreneurial ecosystems for academic and educational actors (total budget over 60 million € in 2022).
  • Interreg Europe: 380 million € for capacity building programs focusing on building a smarter Europe & other objectives, with a strong involvement of policy-making institutions.
  • European Social Fund Plus: EU funding scheme for transnational social innovation initiatives with a budget of nearly €200 million.
  • Bilateral and multilateral diplomacy and development cooperation grants, such as Visegrad Funds, Nordic Council, or Union for the Mediterranean.
  • Development finance institutions, foundations, governments, and international organizations.

Accelerator Program 

                 8 April to 17 May 2024  

Meet the Team







Who should apply

  • Managers of startup programs, accelerators, or incubators;
  • Economic Development agencies, investors, innovation scouts, and startup relations managers;
  • Entrepreneurial non-profits and community builders;
  • Founders looking to re-invest in their ecosystems.





  • Applications open: 1 December 2023
  • Application deadline: 26 February 2024
  • Interviews: End of February / beginning of March 2024
  • Notification of results: Mid-March 2024
  • Launch of 6-week accelerator program: 8 April 2024
  • Closing of 6-week accelerator program: 17 May 2024
  • Demo Day: June/July 2024
  • Implementation support until April 2026


What to expect

Consolid8 supports the creation of ecosystem hubs and initiatives in collaboration with different project partners. We intend to enrich ecosystems, connect ecosystem builders, and create collaboration projects that raise funds, e.g. via grants or sponsoring, to enable their execution. The methodology of the program is based on the DEEP Startup Ecosystem Accelerator.

We will collaborate with the participants of the Consolid8 Social Innovation Ecosystem Accelerator program on the development of a specific project proposed and led by the participant.

Consolid8 will actively foster the development of the project by providing:

  • A 6-week online acceleration program for ecosystem projects taking the project from idea to execution
  • Weekly knowledge sessions covering relevant concepts for ecosystem building from conceptualization, partnership and fundraising strategies
  • Group and individual mentoring sessions by international experts
  • Peer exchange opportunities involving other ecosystem builders with similar projects
  • Partnering events and tools to identify organizations and stakeholders useful to the development of the envisioned project
  • Fundraising strategy support tools, including lists of international opportunities, as well as mentoring for proposal writing
  • Visibility support by listing the project on digital channels of Consoli8 and its partner organizations, including among DEEP Ecosystems’ portfolio
  • Hosting of an in-person Demo Day at a major international conference to pitch your project to potential investors and partners. Travel costs will be covered up to a reasonable limit.

After the end of the 6-week program, DEEP Ecosystems will continuously support the project’s success by providing access to a community of ecosystem builders, organizing networking, and facilitating fundraising opportunities for the course of 2 years.

Additional support and mentoring are provided by the Consolid8 partner organizations.

The combined value of DEEP’s contribution to the process is valued at 60,000 € (in-kind, not a cash contribution), which is seen as an upfront investment in the project.


Participation Agreement

We sign a participation agreement with successful applicants before they are admitted.

This includes a success fee sharing of 15% of the total funding sum before taxes covering all funds or investments that are raised for the project within 2 years. The success fee can be waived if the participating organizations agree to a 40,000 € (excl. VAT) waiver fee.

You can review the draft participation agreement here.


European Union Funding

The Consolid8 Social Innovation Ecosystem Accelerator receives financial support from the European Union, as part of the Horizon Europe project titled 'Consolidating deep & inclusive social innovation ecosystems' (ID 101096781- link).

Successful applicants engage in a two-year commercial implementation partnership, outlined in a participation agreement. This agreement not only fosters sustainable growth but also facilitates success fee sharing. By participating, individuals gain access to a range of benefits that extend beyond the initial scope of the EU-funded project, encouraging long-term engagement and development.


You can find the Q&A document here.

Contact and questions

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