CrowdStream CROWDfunding to mainSTREAM innovation

The project “CrowdStream – Crowdfunding to stream innovation” aims at improving the effectiveness of public/private business support for innovative enterprises to access qualitative alternative financing.

Why was this deemed a crucial objective for the Danube Region by project partners and the DTP alike? The rise of crowdfunding as an innovative financing tool over the past decade is a result of the on-going digitalisation of processes and communication in our society, with easy access to high-speed internet and digital devices. Moreover crowdfunding (CF) has recently been moved to the forefront in the discussion on access to finance for innovative start-ups and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Crowdfunding, Crowd, Investment, Funding

This is a result of the economic crisis and the associated market failures of the incumbent financial services industry, which provides financing to SMEs. Europeans save their money, rather than assume risk by investing it in small enterprises and they admire established institutions, rather than the entrepreneurs who built them. According to statistics, some 30% of SMEs face liquidity problems and only 30% of SMEs access bank credit at any given time. Plus the availability of bank loans for SMEs has declined by 23% over recent years, while collateral requirements have increased by 34% and interest rates by 54%.

Still, SMEs are the main contributors to job creation and represent some 67% of all jobs in Europe. This drastic lack of funding for SMEs has a visible impact on Europe’s economy and has become a major barrier for driving the energy transition with a broader involvement of local energy stakeholders forward. It is the key reason why we are currently witnessing a lively discussion on crowdfunding, which involves political actors of the highest level, but above all also founders, entrepreneurs, visionaries, and social innovators.

Startups Entrepreneurship Ideas Entreprene

To support the challenging goal of improving the support for the access to alternative financing, CrowdStream brings together a partnership of public and private actors very much experienced in the fields of crowdfunding, start-up financing and innovation support. Pilot actions will enable the partnership to test the framework conditions for the implementation of crowdfunding models for regional innovation support.

Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet. Crowdfunding is a form of crowdsourcing and of alternative finance. In 2015, it was estimated that worldwide over US$34 billion were raised this way.

Today, crowdfunding is one of the most promising tools to enable economic growth, job creation, and innovation. Crowdfunding is one of the most viable means of funding new ideas, small businesses and jobs across Europe. It is a highly democratic tool that is posed to have a disruptive impact on community, start-up and consumer finance by allowing value creation on many levels, not just financial. Many crowd initiatives already concentrate on innovative start-ups and the project partners use CrowdStream to support Danube area regions to boost the already existing movement as an economic driver for the Danube Region.

Money, Home, Coin, Investment, Business

Crowdfunding can be a win-win situation for several actors. It provides for an alternative method of financing which can be attractive where borrowers struggle to qualify for full financing from traditional sources, such as banks. Crowd investors on the other hand can invest directly into innovative projects that have not previously been available to retail investors. At the same time the risk for investors and project promoters can be higher through the crowdfunding process. Therefore one of CrowdStream´s overall aims is the development of trans-national quality criteria for Crowdfunding Platforms.

The CrowdStream project will initiate a change in the financing market. Due to quality labelling and capacity building activities there will be a major shift from donation based to equity based crowdfunding.

The main project result will be an improved cooperation between business-support-organisations and enterprises to guarantee a qualitative access to crowdfunding

Therefore CrowdStream will develop with the proper frame to establish crowdfunding as an enabler for the implementation of regional innovative projects by:

  • Developing joint quality criteria for all kinds of crowdfunding platforms
  • Identifying the legal framework for cross border crowdfunding
  • stimulating the collaboration of relevant actors (crowdfunding platforms, regions, regional innovation agencies, public innovation funds, creative industry, media-universities, business incubators, businesses (especially SMEs), social media and the financial industries)
  • Providing trainings on CF for the public/private sector
  • raising awareness about CF as alternative financing tool in providing relevant information
  • Initiating roadmapping process to roll-out innovative financing solutions for innovation in the DANUBE region
  • acting as multiplier/disseminator.
CROWDfunding to mainSTREAM innovation
Start date
End date
Budget in Euro
Overall: 1649950
ERDF Contribution: 1178578,11
IPA Contribution: 223879,37
ENI Contribution: 0
Call number
Call 1
Innovative and socially responsible Danube region
Specific objective
Improve framework conditions for innovation

Project Partners

Name Type Email Country
Agency for European Intergration and Economic Development Lead partner Austria
South Bohemian Agency for Support to Innovative Enterprising ERDF partner Czech Republic
ConPlusUltra Ltd. ERDF partner Austria
Pannon Business Network Association ERDF partner Hungary
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Project News

    - 25-06-2019

    The international conference, hosted by the Bulgarian partner - Union of Bulgarian Black Sea Local Authorities (UBBSLA) was held in Varna on 28.05.2019. Planned as a project final event, the conference was the meeting place of many European and...

  • CrowdStream - Project achievements summarised in a leaflet
    - 05-06-2019
    Project achievements summarised in a leaflet

    In preparation for the Final CrowdStream Conference, which took place in Varna on May 28, 2019, CrowdStream consortium summarised project achievements in a leaflet. It was disseminated among conference participants and triggered lively...

  • CrowdStream - INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE 28.05.2019 Varna, Bulgaria
    - 03-05-2019
    INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE 28.05.2019 Varna, Bulgaria

    Venue:Graffit Gallery Hotel (, 65, Knyaz Boris I blvd., Varna, Bulgaria The partners of the project CrowdStream(CROWDfunding to mainSTREAM innovation) are delighted to invite you to the final event of the project...

  • CrowdStream - e-learning platform about crowdfunding
    - 05-04-2019
    e-learning platform about crowdfunding

    We have completed the creation and testing of the e-learning platform about crowdfunding. You can find the moodle platform here: This 6 modules training teach you everything you wanted to know about...

  • CrowdStream - CrowdStream at the 15th Joint Steering and Working Group Meeting of the EUSDR Priority Area 8
    - 04-02-2019
    CrowdStream at the 15th Joint Steering and Working Group Meeting of the EUSDR Priority Area 8

    The 15th Joint Steering and Working Group Meeting of the EUSDR Priority Area 8 took place on December 19, 2018 in Stuttgart, Germany. The focus was the revision of the EUSDR Action Plan, introduction of the Danube Strategy Point and discussions...

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Programme co-funded by European Union funds (ERDF, IPA, ENI)