Update! StartupYard FastLane: Pitch Us in one of 6 Cities in September

The time has come! Today, we kick off our 6 city tour of Central European capitals, visiting incubators and workspaces in the Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria, Kosovo, and Poland.



Startups in these countries will have the unique opportunity to pitch StartupYard’s team in person, and jump ahead to the final rounds of selection for StartupYard 2016, kicking off in January.

After applications close November 1st, StartupYard will select up to 10 teams to join us at StartupYard 2016, where they will receive 30,000+ Euros in investment, and over 500,000 Euros in perks, as part of an intensive, 3 month mentorship based program with dozens of workshops, and meetings with scores of mentors. Our program has accelerated 35 startups since 2011.

StartupYard, Fastlane 2016

StartupYard is expecting hundreds of individual startup applications from about a dozen countries for our 2016 cohort. We work hard to make the application process as fair as possible, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a perfect process.

Through a written application, much less one of hundreds like it, it’s very difficult to judge the passion, excitement, intelligence, and flexibility of an unknown startuper.

StartupYard is forced every year to relegate the vast majority of applications we receive to the dustbin, usually without ever meeting or really getting to know the applicants. We have to make very difficult decisions about hundreds of startups, based on very little information.

We probably miss out on amazing startups every year, because we don’t have time to get to know them all.

And that’s a shame. We don’t believe that a startup’s success in our program and in growing globally is necessarily connected with their ability to make themselves sound good on paper.

The decision to accept a startup into our program can have a massive impact on their future, but paper applications can’t communicate passion, people skills, poise, and responsiveness to feedback. These are things we only learn about the relatively tiny number of startups we interview in our final selection rounds.

We owe the startup communities in the countries where we recruit a fair shot at getting our attention. So we’re coming to you.

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Pitch StartupYard in Person: In any of 6 Cities

There will be 7 events, all in the month of September.

  • Prague, Czech Republic, September 2nd at Node5
  • Pristina, Kosovo, September 17th, at Innovation Center Kosovo
  • Sofia, Bulgaria, September 22nd  at VivaCom
  • Bucharest, Romania, September 24th with HowToWeb
  • Krakow, Poland September 29th at HubRaum
  • Warsaw, Poland, October 14th at Reaktor

How to Sign Up

Startups interested in pitching us at any of these events should sign up using the form below. Once we have verified that you meet the basic requirements to pitch us (that you are in our field, and other details), we will share your info with our local partners, and choose which teams to invite to pitch.

Even if you are not invited to pitch on-stage, this does not mean that you can’t meet us and pitch us in person. Some startups just don’t sound good on paper. That’s ok! We want to meet you, and we still want you to pitch us.

We’ll be in each city for at least a full day, providing time for you to do just that. The StartupYard team will host open hours in each of the venues we visit to give startups a chance to meet with us in person.

How it Works

StartupYard will visit 6 cities and 6 tech hubs such as incubators and workspaces (plus hold one event in our own city of Prague), where we will make ourselves available for a full day of mentoring, pitch training, and finally listening to the pitches of any local startups who are interested in joining our program and getting funded in 2016.

Local startups can choose to meet with us for mentoring and introductions, or come to pitch their startups in person, and talk to us afterwards. We will be providing constructive, experienced based feedback, in cooperation with our local partners in each city. These are not competitions, and there is no grand prize. However, they serve as an opportunity to grab our attention, as well as the attention of local influencers and investors who will also attend these events,

Those teams that impress us during this series of events will be invited to move directly from an initial application to StartupYard, directly to our final selection rounds, bypassing hundreds of other applicants in the process.

This is your chance to show us who you are.