FAQ

About the Program

The program rolls out for 10 consecutive weeks and consists of weekly meetings 1:1 where you (re)define areas of your business (go to market, sales&marketing, product fit etc) that we both consider important to focus on. These meetings will give you the opportunity to discuss with different experts so that you get a constructive feedback on how to make it work. 

Besides these weekly diagnosis you will have tones of feedback on your product through speed meeting sessions. Throughout the program you have access to 1:1 meetings with investors and have the chance to interact with top speakers. 

Our entire focus is to develop your product and predict as many challenges as possible in order to see your company scaling. Our team will make sure that you have everything that you need in order to move your company to the next stage of development. 

The entire program structure will be presented to you once you get accepted in the program.

  1. Keeping updated with the latest trends in terms of tech startups in Romania
  2. Exploring different ideas with the startups they are working with. Widening their perception
  3. Flexibility in how to deal with their mentee
  4. Enhance their personal branding and PR for their own company
  5. Have the satisfaction of giving back to the community they are living in
  6. Part of an exciting acceleration program with a lot of energy and enthusiasm.

You can apply to be one of our mentors if you have what it takes. Send us an email to contact@techcelerator.ro and let’s connect !

After the first selection, when we get to know each other more we offer to each startup from the program a team made out of: 1 Lead mentor and acceleration team with whom we create an informal group (for those 2 months of acceleration). We complete this group with different experts based on each startup needs.

Additionally, you will meet GapMinder partners that will follow closely your company evolution throughout the program and after it. Based on your evolution / progress in those approx. 10 weeks, you can be positively surprised at the end  of the program (or even earlier) to have access to additional 75k euro.

The mentors have the role to question and explore all the areas you might have missed or to place your idea / product in a different perspective. They will share with you your professional experience from the market they are mostly active on and where they have real examples. No theory just practicality.

We assigned those mentors to challenge your idea and make you see from a wider perspective. From all those mentoring sessions you select whatever you believe it’s suitable for your company. We highly recommend that you make sure you perfectly understand the advices and don’t take it as general truths. It is your company and your decision is what matters

The mentors are romanian and international entrepreneurs (BusinessAngel or VS), people with experience in consultancy companies and management. We started collaborating with in 2014 when they were part of some of our acceleration programs (for RICAP / SPRINTPOINT)

The mentors pool is regularly updating and growing as we are constantly interested in meeting experienced entrepreneurs with expertise that matches the needs of our startups (cleantech, social media, finance, marketing, Sales) and they are willing to give back to the community.

We focus on covering whatever necessary so that your company have what it takes to take off and scale your business.

We are a team of 4 people in Bucharest and 3 in Cluj Napoca. This is completed but the team of the Investment Fund which works closely with the accelerator team.

All the Funds’ partners are also advisors for Techcelerator program.

The Techcelerator team is a combination of different areas of professional experience. From working directly in accelerators (RICAP, SPRINTPOINT, hub:raum, VentureCup) to working for different international companies.

More about Techcelerator team: https://techcelerator.ro/our-team/

More about GapMinder team: http://gapminder.vc/our-team/

POC is a demonstration, its scope is to verify different concepts or theories with high applicability. POC is therefore a prototype which aims to determin the fesability but doesn’t have delivrable.

Generally, POC validates two things: “People need that producs” and “I have the capacity to build that product”

MVP is a development technique in which a new product is developed with enough functionalities / features to satisfy early adopters. The final product with the complete set of functionalities is drawn after a first feedback from the users.

MVP validates that “people need the product AND that they are willing to buy it”. The clients don’t see POC because it is built in-house. They can only have access to MVP and thats the product they should be willing to pay for. With an MVP product you can start production whereas in POC phase production is not an option.

Your product has to be at MVP or POC level in order to join our program.  

We invite all founders with a product easy to scale at MVP or POC level (or more) to connect with us.

Because tech startup market in Romania is not matured, we accept applications from all the industries with priority: Medicine, Agriculture, Finance, Energy, Cyber security, Mobile, Digital Transformation etc.

If you don’t have a company registered in Romania you can still apply to our program but you need to register a company if you get selected (a mandatory task to get the 25k euro funding from GapMinder VC).

As an accelerator, Techcelerator (as opposed to classic incubator) offers access to funding and focuses a lot on mentoring in a short period of time. Techcelerator main role is to help your business valuation grow faster than what you could have done with your own resources. Then we offer you the possibility to get ready for next step: presenting to other VCs and Angel Investors. Therefor not only that you get access to funds but we will invest a lot of time in giving you best mentoring sessions, access to community, strategy consultancy and validation of your product.

Techcelerator is a program which comes from merging two acceleration programs with a long history of working with tech startups. The two accelerators RICAP & SPRINTPOINT have merged their teams and knowledge consisting of more than 10 year of experience in working with startups.

After the Program

Once you get selected to our program, you automatically start the investment process with GapMinde VC. Because you will be funded by GapMinder and (hopefully) others too now it’s your duty to keep your investors up-to-date with your company evolution and milestones. It is important to ask for support and feedback and be open about your current challenges.

You don’t have to lose momentum. You have accumulated so many useful information and you established contacts precious to your business. The biggest mistake now is to get back to old habits, run your business as before. Even if now you are not forced and pushed by others to get out of your (business) comfort zone and meet other people don’t give up. Networking is an important part of your business.

Our team will stay in touch with you and we will be closely monitoring your business evolution therefore do come to use whenever you need some support.

Application Process

Not at all. During 10 weeks of program you will have 1 to 1 meetings with lead mentor and our team. In case you are not based in Cluj-Napoca or Bucharest and you want to stay in these cities during the program (instead of traveling constantly) we can help you find the right place for you and give you all the info and support you might need to relocate for this program. It is mandatory that we meet once every two weeks and that you participate on events related to the program.

No problem even though for a tech startup it can be challenging. We are very interested to see how you are planning to launch and scale it.

Yes, you can apply but based on our experience a mix of different skills in your team is vital to the success of a  business. Do apply and if your business is suitable for our program we can discuss all these details. It is important to have something more than just an idea.

Besides the initial investment there are few pillars that focuses on your growth. Team consolidation – the synergy between team member is vital to the success of your product/idea. Participating in this program you will be able to narrow your focus and get feedback from people with long experience in areas core to your business. Together we identify and work on your weak areas of your business. We have many experts that can bring a fresh and game-changing insight to your business.

There is no participation fee. If you are not from Bucharest (or Cluj) you need to support your living costs during the program but we will make sure you have all necessary support from our side. 

Yes, registering your company (SRL) is necessary only if you are accepted and therefore be granted funding from our side.  Don’t worry , we can support you with that but it’s important that you are a citizen of the European Union. 

During the Program

You surely can !

We can arrange a meeting with any of them but you have anyway the chance to meet them at one or two events, during your acceleration period.

You can find below the main categories of benefits we’ve arranged for you:

  • discounted package for PR tools (press release, communication strategy)
  • discounted package for Legal issues.
  • access to Google Cloud Services and Mentors.
  • digital accounting tool
  • other things you need, just ask

We’ve created the framework, the network and support elements to foster your success. The actual success and progress of your business during the program is very much up to you. The more time you dedicate, the more you ask,  the more curious you are the higher chances to fulfill your dream and fill the gaps.

Respect your mentors time and agenda, don’t miss meetings or reschedule them last minute. All these mentors are dedicating their time so that you get valuable feedback so it’s important to respect each other’s time and treat these sessions very serious.

Contact your mentor, ask Techcelerator team for anything that helps your business grow. We are all very friendly and happy to help you, really 🙂

Once you get accepted in the program we will do everything possible to promote your solution and your team, to introduce you to relevant people and make sure that as many people as possible hear about your cool solution.

In order to do that more effective we need you to keep us updated and tell us what is more valuable for you to promote. We are always available for a discussion in order to understand how to use all marketing / PR tricks to get your brand to our community.

The more you get involved in this process the greater the outcomes. It’s very much up to you and together we can make it work.

We can arrange for you access to present your product at different events / conferences. We will be doing that anyway but it’s good if you tell us what / where is important for you to be present.

Mentoring is maybe the most important aspect of the program. Throughout the program your choices and ideas will be challenged by experts and mentors in order to make you aware of all the obstacles that may occur.

You must be open about your weak points and fear and also ask as many questions as possible. Keep your vision but listen to the constructive feedback of people with a long professional experience. These feedbacks and discussions will have a great impact on your business development

Experts from different industries will work based on your needs to cover all the following  areas:

  • Customer development
  • Revenue streams
  • Go-to-market strategy
  • Product development (all stages)
  • Growth (incl. exploring partnering opportunities)
  • Vision and validation
  • Equity and funding

We suggest 10h / week x 10 weeks. We will have events important for your development: workshops, 1:1 weekly meetings. Plus we believe it’s important that you deep dive into what you discussed with your mentor and eventual perform some adjustment to your product.

In most of the cases (besides group events) you will be able to participate through virtual meetings so you don’t have to be physically present. We do encourage you to spend more time with us as your evolution in this program has a direct impact on your chances to get next rounds of investment.

Evaluation

Techcelerator program is structured on batches. We organize 2 batches per year. Those 2 batches are accelerated by our team – one part in Bucharest and one in Cluj (main hotspots of tech startups in Romania).  

The process starts with the online application that is reviewed and evaluated by our team with the support of the investment fund team and selected mentors. This selection can also include a video call with you but we tell in advance if it’s needed. 

The selection criteria guidelines are listed below:

Criteria
Team

  1. Experience of founder/management team (Number of founders, LinkedIn profiles, Time of working together as a team, Previous achievements or projects);
  2. Company and management team goals and vision are defined and realistic and the technology fits into the overall profile;
  3. Estimation of team attitude to learn & work, how coachable are its members?
30%
Product & Technology

  1. Innovative idea ;
  2. Business Case Strength & Commercialization Goals;
  3. Identification and understanding of obstacles, gaps and deficiencies of the technology and business;
  4. Clear commercial goals and strong likelihood of attaining commercial goals;
  5. Critical milestones achieved in anticipation of commercial entry and progress to date in achieving commercial success;
  6. Maturity (Proof of Concept, MVP, Pre-commercial or Commercial);
  7. IP rights (current,or ongoing/potential);
15%
Target market & Competitive environment

  1. Size of market and growth trends (Candidate technology should serve a wide / global need, or prove to solve major societal troubles, or tackle an innovative way to improve people’s lives);
  2. Understanding of the proposed market and customer focus: Who the customers are? What do they need and how the technology responds to market needs in an innovative way? Or does your technology meet and yet undiscovered need that will improve people’s lives?
  3. Awareness about competition;
  4. The underlying strength of the technology, as indicated by the value proposition, the understanding of customer needs and expressed interest by end‐users and partners;
35%
Sales and distribution channels

  1. Traction;
  2. Sales & revenues;
  3. Distribution Partnerships;
10%
Potential for funding

  1. Already funded?
  2. Main source of funding
  3. Potential for further rounds, or Clarity about potential exit routes
  4. Funding needs.
10%

From the entire pool of applications we will select the top 20-25 startups that we invite for a final selection to a face to face discussions. Here we get to know your business better and your team members synergy.

Category: Evaluation

Investments

Not a problem at all.

We are happy to invest in your product along with other investors. The more people trust / invest in your product the greater the trustworthy / reliable your product is.

Category: Investments

Convertible notes are financial instruments used by seed investors in order to delay your company valuation for a next round or a milestone. Convertible notes means that the outstanding amount is automatically converted into equity (at the next valuation or next milestone(. To compensate  the angel investor for the additional risk of the initial round, convertible notes can have additional clauses as CAPS or DISCOUNTS.

Category: Investments
  1. Acceleration: 10-15 ideas per batch. Each startup get 25k euro for 6% equity and chance to raise 75k euro more in convertible notes.
  2. Seed investment
Category: Investments