Starting tomorrow, August 21, 2018, Techcelerator, the first accelerator in Romania to support also financialy tech start-ups via its exclusive partner, GapMinder, opens the applications for a new round of the program. GapMinder venture capital fund is co-funded through the Competitiveness Operational Program.
Innovative tech start-ups with high potential for international expansion can apply here by September 20. Techcelerator targets companies in the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) phase from areas such as IT and software, cyber security, artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning (ML), digital transformation, IT solutions for health sector, FinTech (including applications in the blockchain area). Team members and their cohesion represent another important factor in the evaluation process.
The second Techcelerator batch will have an enhanced format that will include intensive business coaching sessions, mentoring, start-up industry specific know-how and marketing services. Start-ups will also have access to international communities to benefit of growth and exposure in the global market. At the end of the acceleration program, those start-ups will pitch their business projects within a DemoDay event.
“The main ingredient of the program is obviously the investment in the participating companies who, after entering the program, know that they can rely on at least 25,000 euros. But more important than that, the Techcelerator’s mission is to make them more attractive for subsequent rounds of funding. For this we have prepared a strong cocktail of know-how for the development of these businesses through which, in a very short period of time, they will clarify or validate their business model and marketing strategy”, said Cristina Ţoncu, Program Manager Techcelerator.
The selected start-ups will benefit from a first investment round of € 25,000 from the GapMinder fund, in exchange for a 6% stake in the company. Start-ups that have registered a good track have the chance to be invited to a second round of investment up to € 75,000, convertible into shares.
The acceleration program will be rolled-out for a period of 10 weeks, both in Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca, with the support of about 60 Romanian and foreign mentors.
Following the first successful acceleration round in June 2018, 12 start-ups of the 14 selected in the program benefited from three bootcamp sessions, pitching rounds, mentoring 1: 1. More details about the start-ups selected in the first round of Techcelerator are available here and here.
Techcelerator program qualified in the Central European Startup Awards, being nominated for “Best Accelerator or Incubator” category. Central European Startup Awards is one of the most important events in the region dedicated to start-ups. The competition includes both a local phase in each of the 10 participating countries in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as a regional one and a global one.
GapMinder is a venture capital investment fund targeting innovative start-ups in Romania in the seed phase, the first round of investments or the acceleration phase. GapMinder seeks to bring together technology companies with high potential for international expansion in areas such as IT and software, cyber security, artificial intelligence, digital transformation, IT solutions for health, FinTech etc. GapMinder is the first venture capital fund created following the selection of the European Investment Fund. It is mostly funded through the Competitiveness Operational Program 2014-2020 and co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
Techcelerator is an acceleration program targeting Romanian technology start-ups. Headquartered in Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca, two important centers of Romanian innovation, Techcelerator is the first accelerator in Romania to allocate funds for the development of companies in the (pre)acceleration phase. Financial support is provided through the exclusive partnership with GapMinder, a venture capital fund. Young innovative companies, with high potential for international development and expansion in growing industries such as: software, cyber security, artificial intelligence, digital transformation, IT solutions for health, AgTech, FinTech and others are targeted. Up to now, 12 start-ups from the 14 selected for the first batch of the program received funds. More details here.
About European Investment Fund
European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank Group and is the main venture capital for SMEs in Europe, via venture capital instruments, guarantees and microfinance. In Romania, the EIF implements financial instruments funded through structural and investment funds: JEREMIE 2007-2013, SME Initiative and financial instruments from PO Competitiveness, Regional Operational Program and NRDP.
About the Competitiveness Operational Program
The Competitiveness Operational Program 2014-2020 (POC) supports investments to meet the needs and challenges of low levels of economic competitiveness, in particular with regard to (a) insufficient support for research, development and innovation and (b) infrastructure developed by Technology Information and Communication. POC benefits from a € 1.33 billion allocation from the European Regional Development Fund.