Following last week’s hugely successful Demo Day for StartupYard 2015’s 6 startups, we are excited to announce that early-bird applications are now open for our 2016 accelerator round.
While the full application will be available starting in July, startups can demonstrate their interest, and start a dialogue with StartupYard today, by filling in this short form. This will keep you in the loop for when full applications open, and give StartupYard a chance to get familiar with your startup.
As was the case in 2015, StartupYard has partnered with Ceed Tech, a consortium of 5 Startup Accelerators in the Central European region, including Startup Wise Guys in Estonia, Digital Factory in Hungary, Open Coffee Club in Lithuania, and The Spot in Slovakia.
These 5 accelerators will again share a common pool of applications, allowing startups to designate their first and second choice accelerators in the group. This increases a startup’s chances of finding a fit with one of the accelerators, and getting funded.
Startups accepted to StartupYard will receive €30,000 in seed funding in the form of a grant from the European Commission, in exchange for a 10% equity stake in their company. In addition, StartupYard will be able to provide follow-on financing of up to €250,000 for selected startups who show good future potential during and following the program.
That follow-on financing is in the form of a grant, and is given without an equity swap. If you’re curious about the terms we offer, we encourage you to get in touch with us directly. We have also covered this subject in some length on this blog.
As in the past, applications will go through several rounds of selection. Initial screening verifies that a startup is within the general scope of business, and geographic area (Europe and other selected countries), that StartupYard recruits from, and that it is a “real startup,” with a potentially global product.
Following this screening, our selection panel rates the applications of the remaining startups, and invites about 20-30 of the highest rated applicants to a series of online and in-person interviews. Reaching this stage is already an accomplishment that startups should be proud of.
During these final rounds, StartupYard evaluates not only the ideas and plans of the startups, but also the potential impact StartupYard might have on a particular startup. Above all, we look for talented, motivated, and ambitious founders with potential leadership skills, who get us excited about their ideas and plans.
What We Look For
As stated, we look primarily for motivated, engaged, and ambitious founder teams who are enthusiastic about taking their startups to the next level. Generally, we look favorably upon startups that have launched products and have users or customers already- even if they plan to significantly alter their original ideas in the near future.
We generally do not consider “lone wolf” or single founder companies, without a strong, committed 2nd in command. While your company founders need not be absolute equals (this is rarely the case), our experience shows that you need at least two strongly engaged, well fitted partners to survive and thrive in the accelerator. We do sometimes consider single founders if they are willing to find a co-founder.
While we look for companies with products already on the market, we have and will continue to also consider companies that have not launched products. In our last accelerator round, for example, fully 1/3 of our startups had not launched a minimum viable product at the start of the program.
If you are a passionate person, a lifelong learner, naturally curious, and committed to making your dreams a reality, we want to hear from you.