Starting today, January 22, 2018, start-ups can apply here to join the third batch of Techcelerator, the first accelerator in Romania to provide also financial support to Romanian technology newly established companies through its strategic partner, GapMinder Venture Partners BV, co-financed through the Competitiveness Operational Program 2014-2020.
Techcelerator targets early stage startups in the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) phase from areas such as FinTech, Property Tech, Cyber Security, MedTech, Digital Transformation solutions, including applications in the blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning (ML) areas. Team structure, their traction in the market together with the used technology and product maturity represent other important factors in the evaluation process.
The companies accelerated in the new program will also benefit from the involvement of corporate partners, having a strong focus on three specific tracks: FinTech, PropertyTech and Digital Transformation (&Automation) Services. Banca Transilvania will offer go-to-market support and mentoring expertise for the startups addressing the vertical track of SME financial services. Another new partner for this batch is Globalworth, the leading office investor in Romania, with the help of which a PropertyTech track will be delivered. Startups addressing solutions in the area of smart buildings & smart city, mobility & energy, property automation or real estate software will receive support from Globalworth, obtaining access to know-how in the domain and the possibility to test products and validate prototypes in premium office & commercial buildings envisioning the city of tomorrow. Due to its strategic focus to support entrepreneurs and valuable ideas, EY Romania will provide assistance on product-market fit and expansion through it’s global presence. In their network of growth and innovation centers, startups building products that address the digital services area will benefit from knowledge and access towards relevant clients and complex markets.
The application period will be open until February 25, 2019. The acceleration program will start on the 15th of April and will be rolled-out for a period of 10 weeks, both in Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca, with the support of corporate partners and about 60 Romanian and foreign mentors.
The startups in the third Techcelerator batch will have access to bootcamps and intensive business coaching sessions, mentoring, start-up industry specific know-how and marketing services, plus will benefit of the introduction into international communities for growth and exposure in the global market. At the end of the acceleration program, the start-ups will pitch their business projects within a Demo Day event, thus being able to attract supplementary funds from various investors.
Moreover, the selected start-ups will benefit from a first investment round of € 50,000 from the GapMinder Venture Partners BV fund, in exchange for a 7% stake in the company. Start-ups that have registered a good track have the chance to be invited to a second round of investment of € 50,000, convertible into shares.
"We permanently have our eyes open on the dynamics of the local tech start-ups market and we are certain we will have on board, this time too, some of the most promising local projects. We encourage all members of the ecosystem to apply for the reserved 1 million euro for the third batch, but, at the same time, we are very selective because we are looking for strong teams who have a clear idea on what and how they want to develop their business and also have a solution with a high growth potential on international markets. We are offering not only substantial funds for their acceleration, but also all the resources and tools for their project to validate and boost", said Cristian Dascalu, GapMinder Venture Partners BV, Partner and liaison between Techcelerator and local start-ups ecosystem.
12 start-ups successfully completed the first acceleration round in June 2018, and currently other 8 are to pitch their projects during a Demo Day event on 31 January, at the end of the second batch program.