#8 A2F Consulting

A2F Consulting stands for Access to Funding

What does A2F offer? 

A2F Consulting is the first and to this date only Serbian fundraising service provider exclusively focused on access to non-dilutive support and funding for tech startups. Featuring regularly in X2.0 as Impact Builder, that is exactly what we worked on with X2.0 beneficiaries – enabling three startups to better comprehend the environment and key stakeholders in the European innovation funding landscape. 

What unique opportunities does the X2.0 programme offer to the startups that lead to their growth and achievements?

Working with the best expert in the industry is a privilege unfortunately reserved for those who can afford it, which rarely means startups. Early stage ones especially have to make do with whatever they can scrape until they grow in status and purchasing power, which may take quite some time, and even longer exactly due to a lack of tailored, relevant and quality support. The framework like this remedies that issue, basically making elite business knowledge available to those who need it most but can afford it least of all. Its a lot. Even if it doesn’t look that much at this point, the moment will come when many of your participants will reflect and identify X2.0 as a real milestone.

How many startups have you been working with so far under the X2.0 programme?

It is fortunate, as much as it is confusing, that I rarely need to make a selection regarding a sector or industry. Or, in this case, the deep tech area. Everyone needs access to funding, and the good news is that there is something for each one of them.

I worked with IoT, AI, and drones, all applied in agriculture, as well as biomaterials in construction and manufacturing industries. Being politologist, I barely knew anything about most of these things until recently. But when talent needs funding, I do what I must, learn new things, and advance in knowledge far enough to help my clients show up competitive in the funding arena. It is immense growth for me, beyond anything I was imagining before I got into this line of work. And the best part is actually sharing a moment when we learn that innovators got their funding and their work will see the light of day and make a difference as a result. 


Could you share some success stories of the startups you have been working with in the X2.0 programme?

Veles Sense, one of X2.o startups from the Agritech cohort, worked with me on their grant proposal, and we also did a deep dive into the current funding landscape on continental level. For me it wasn’t a difficult task, they were well prepared, with a sound base and good understanding of grant making as a mechanism. They were in need of one accurately articulated and targeted push towards success, and we decided to write a proposal for the national Innovation Fund program and use it as a springboard to get them familiar with the wider landscape. Due to the nature of my service, specifically long delivery cycles dictated by inherent slow pace of public funding as such, It was impossible to fit the process and the full scope of results into the 5 months period. But at this moment, Veles is an Innovation Fund grantee, the proposal was approved for funding, and it certainly feels like just an intro to their funding narrative, with so much more to come imminently.

With their cohort peers, Smart Watering, I basically continued the previously established collaboration, now within X2.o framework. As a result of our work, they are already alumni of EIT, Circular Valley, Serbia Innovation fund and several more very much relevant support bodies. And we have EIC firmly within our sight. 

I never take credit for these achievements, its their brilliance, but I can’t help being just a little proud of my modest contribution. It’s really easy for me when I work with such people, they are marked for success, I just make sure nothing gets lost along the way. Sometimes it crosses my mind that a job shouldn’t be this easy, or fun even… you know, blood, sweat, tears, struggle, and all that jazz. I see none of those here )


Based on your experience, what recommendations would you give to startups considering joining an acceleration program like this?

Obviously, there are numerous benefits. I can’t give a blank endorsement to accelerators in general, I have heard all kinds of experiences, and not all of them positive. But some are verified by the community, with plenty of reviews going around. So as long as everything fits smoothly, the program is relevant for their industry, maturity level and development stage – go for it. Not everything is for everyone, but taking time to get properly informed… and having a good enough funding consultant to assist with selection and application – has to pay off. It always does.  

Would you like to read other testimonials? Take a look at our Impact Arena Editorial and discover more success stories!