Techcelerator, a new acceleration program designed for Romanian tech startups, announces its official launch on the market. With programs in Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca, two important centers of Romanian innovation, Techcelerator is the first accelerator in Romania which allocates funds for the development of the companies in the (pre)acceleration phase. Financial investment is granted through the exclusive partnership with GapMinder, the venture capital fund recently launched in Romania.
At the beginning of the program, 15-20 seeding startups in the prototype or Minimum Viable Product stage will receive 25.000€ each for a share of 6 percent of the company. Afterward, during the program, the startups with the highest success rate will have the chance to receive a second investment tranche, up to 75.000€, convertible into shares in the respective startup. Invited to apply are young and innovative companies, with high potential of development and expansion at international level, from growing industries such as software field, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, digital transformation, Medtech, Agtech, Fintech etc.
The acceleration program will take place for 10 weeks, both in Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca with the help of 60 mentors, Romanian and international as well. The first phase of the program will start on the 31st of March. Techcelerator consists of intensive business coaching sessions, mentoring, startup industry-specific expertise, and marketing services. During the process, startups will have access to international communities for marketing & scale-up services.
During the acceleration program, the members of the Techcelerator team will facilitate meetings between participant startups and potential investors and business partners alongside with the startups could test their products or sign off strategic partnerships. The startups which will prove the highest growth potential will continue to be monitored by GapMinder and will be considered for next rounds of seed financing.
“Techcelerator is a new program, but we have behind accumulated experience, in similar acceleration programs. Two partners from GapMinder are from the ones who founded 4 years ago two well-known accelerators, RICAP (in Bucharest) and SprintPoint (in Cluj-Napoca). The members of the Techcelerator Team have international experience in supporting the entrepreneurship, they worked in business accelerators in Europe and were part of the team from the two local accelerators mentioned before.
The most important ingredient that brings novelty is that we are the first Romanian acceleration program where startups also receive funding, along with other acceleration benefits and access to extensive network of contacts. All these will transform quickly the participant startups from the project level to high performing business”, said Cristian Dascalu, Acceleration Partner, GapMinder.
“Techcelerator is the ideal program for those who want to develop their businesses which has a international potential. We grant for the first time funding to all selected startups for the development of the proposed product or service. In the same time, we have prepared an intensive mentoring program during which the founders and their teams will work with industry experts relevant to their business“ said Cristina Toncu, Manager Techcelerator.
The interested startups to participate in the first round of the program can apply until 11th of March 2018 on www.techcelerator.ro. There are invited to apply companies or individuals with development ideas of innovative technologies to register a company in case they will be selected in the program.
The assistance for creating and structuring management and advising on the GapMinder and Techcelerator venture capital fund was provided by the law firm Stratulat Albulescu Attorneys at Law.
GapMinder is a venture capital investment fund targeting innovative startups in Romania in the seed phase, the first round of investment or the acceleration phase. GapMinder seeks to bring into its portfolio technology companies with high potential for international expansion, from an area such as IT services & software, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, digital transformation, Medtech, Fintech etc. GapMinder is the first venture capital fund created by the selection of the European Investment Fund. It is mostly funded through the Competitiveness Operational Program 2014-2020, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.
RICAP program (Romanian Innovation Commercialization Assistance Program) was founded in Bucharest by a group of management consulting professionals and local startup ecosystem supporters. Its major objective was to support the research & innovation-driven technologies and support the high potential of local research outcomes through building their commercialization strategy for the international market. RICAP has 48 alumni companies which received support during 3 rounds of acceleration.
SprintPoint was initiated in Cluj Napoca, around ClujHUB community. Its objective was to be a liaison between local successful startups, accelerators and international investors. As of today, SprintPoint accelerator ran 2 cohorts of startups.
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.