We’re pleased and excited to announce that, following nearly 3 months of applications, interviews, and the StartupYard finalists day at Node5 last week, StartupYard has now finalized our choices for the 2015 acceleration round, starting March 9th in Prague.
9 Teams, 4 Countries, 1 Amazing Group
The startups accepted to this acceleration round, for which StartupYard has been able to triple our seed investments to 30,000 Euros, represent a broad range of businesses and founder backgrounds. Teams will be drawn from Slovenia, Macedonia, Romania, and The Czech Republic. We also had notable finalists from Ireland and Bulgaria, as well as Israel- a first for StartupYard.
We believe that these teams, with projects in fintech and personal finance, e-sales, security, geolocation, productivity, education, represent the most advanced cohort of startups we have every accepted for an acceleration round, with the majority of teams already possessing an MVP, and several with live products, paying customers, and existing market traction. With most projects centered around mobile applications and services, they are also representative of the latest market demands, and of current investor interest. While about half of the teams are from The Czech Republic, we have notably expanded our reach into Southern and Eastern European markets, welcoming teams from both Slovenia and Macedonia for the first time.
In a marathon series of trainings, pitches, and mentoring sessions with the StartupYard selection committee, including Startupyard stakeholders and mentors, the finalists survived a 2 day selection process, in which every element of their startups, their experience, their charisma, their devotion, their salesmanship, and their product and market knowledge were tested repeatedly. The StartupYard selection committee then met to vote on the finalists, filling 9 spots out of 10 available.
Just as we had hoped, the selection committee engaged in passionate discussion about most of the final selections, and the elimination of the final teams (themselves selected from a pool of over 200), was a challenging process. But we are left with a core of 9 teams that have truly impressed us in one way or another, and which we are anxious to share with investors and the StartupYard community.
Team Names Coming in March
Although many of the teams selected for this round already have products on the market, as is customary for StartupYard, we will not release their names until they have experienced a full month of intensive mentorship with StartupYard’s current community of over 90 mentors and advisors. While you’ll meet some of the teams on this very blog in weeks to come, we will not release names and websites until then. So stay tuned to learn more!