Romania, Bucharest, September 8th, 2020. Techcelerator opens the applications for its fifth acceleration batch, this time with focus on FinTech startups. The founders can register here by October 1, 2020. Up to 12 selected startups from this specific area of focus for Techcelerator will enter the NEXT FinTech, a mixed online & offline Techcelerator program.
The acceleration program will focus on four intensive modules: Corporate sales & matchmakings with financial institutions in the region, Product Marketing, Go-To-Market, and Investment Readiness, delivered with top experts and experimented mentors and investors in the Fintech space. The accelerator program is powered by European Fund for Southeast Europe from Luxembourg, having as program partners GapMinder VC, Google for Startups, RoFintech Association, Seedblink, TechAngels, and Stripe.
By the end of the program, according to the progress made, the startups are eligible to receive up to 200,000 euros from Techcelerator’s investment partners: GapMinder VC, TechAngels, SeedBlink, and several other regional investors.
“We are excited to support the further development of the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Romania, a country that is brimming with startup talent,” says Markus Aschendorf, Chairperson of the EFSE Development Facility. “Techcelerator is an experienced on-the-ground partner in seeking and fostering impactful new business ideas, and together, we are looking forward to being a part of the emergence of the next generation of Fintech experts in Romania – the <<NextFintech>> powered by EFSE”.
Techcelerator targets Fintech companies in the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) or in the Beta testing phase. The start-ups should also have a feasible product, an internationally scalable solution, and a strong team. The targeted start-ups should be in areas like alternative financing for SME’s, eCommerce & alternative financing for retail, contactless payments, personal & digital financial services, customer experience & loyalty, asset management & capital markets, open banking & new financial management systems, security, and fraud Prediction, Blockchain, Data & Predictive Analytics, RegTech, PropTech, InsurTech.
“The pandemic changed significantly many consumption behaviours, on top of the new European regulations focusing on digital banking. Having several investments in this industry we see many opportunities in Fintech and together with our partners, mentors, and successful young companies from our portfolio like FintechOS, Typing DNA, Beez, Finqware we aim to give also to new Romanian startups a boost on the market and connect them with the financial institutions in the CEE to scale regionally and more”, said Cristian Dascălu, Co-Founder of Techcelerator and GapMinder VC Partner.
The fifth Techcelerator batch will have a 10 weeks program, during October 2020 – January 2021, taking place, in a mixed online-offline setup, with the support of regional corporate partners companies and approximately 60 Romanian and foreign mentors and business angels.
Additionally, at the start of the program, all the companies can enjoy benefits from Techcelerator partners, for a total package value of over 150,000 euros, consisting in Google Cloud Credits, Stripe credits, HubSpot startup accounts, Freshworks software products, and many more.
The program will end with a Demo Day event, during which they can highlight their progress and potentially attract funds from the investors’ community.
Techcelerator proudly supported over 40 startups during its previous batches and also during various assistance programs organized standalone or in partnership with other ecosystem entities. In only 2.5 years since it is established on the market, the accelerator portfolio benefited from a cumulated investment of over 5 million euros from the investment rounds attracted until now.
Techcelerator is an acceleration program targeting Romanian technology start-ups. Headquartered in Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca, Techcelerator is the first accelerator in Romania to allocate funds for the development of companies in the (pre)acceleration phase. It targets for acceleration and investments young innovative high-tech companies with enhanced potential for international development and expansion in growing industries such as FinTech, PropTech, software, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, digital transformation, IT solutions for health, and others. Techcelerator benefits from the strategic support of GapMinder VC and collaborates with other relevant local and European investors to support the local tech ecosystem.
About GapMinder Venture Partners BV
GapMinder is a 45 Million USD venture capital fund investing in high technology companies born in Romania and Central Europe and scaling-up at the international level, at Seed or Series A-stages. GapMinder’s partners have a hands-on approach as investors, enhancing companies’ growth via strategic advisory and direct involvement in operational streamlining, corporate governance, and financial discipline.
GapMinder’s portfolio includes companies such as FintechOS, TypingDNA, SmartDreamers, Deepstash, Frisbo, etc.
The fund is co-financed through the Competitiveness Operational Program 2014-2020.
About the EFSE Development Facility
The Development Facility of the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE DF) was created in 2006 to support the fund’s development finance mandate. It deploys effective, targeted, and innovative technical assistance to maximize the impact and extent of the fund’s development finance mandate in target countries. The EFSE Entrepreneurship Academy is an arm of the EFSE DF that specifically focuses on providing entrepreneurs with the resources, training, opportunities for financial backing, and other means necessary to turn good ideas into successful enterprises.
Managed by impact asset manager Finance in Motion, the facility operates independently from the fund in a fiduciary arrangement under Luxembourg law. The Development Facility Committee, comprising members nominated by KfW Development Bank, the development bank of Austria OeEB, and the Dutch development bank FMO, is responsible for assessing and approving all project proposals and providing strategic guidance to the facility.
About Google for Startups
Google for Startups is an initiative that brings the best of Google’s products, connections, and best practices to startups through our global network of partners and online resources. Our goal is to help startups thrive across every corner of the world.
SeedBlink is the most important equity crowdfunding platform in the region, which supports investors and democratizes investments by “matching” them with innovative startups. Our commitment and mission are to support the development of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, allowing startups seeking financing access to the platform and, first of all, facilitating the choice of preferred startups by investors.
Investments in startups are considered worldwide as a risky business and investors should allocate to this approach only the amounts they can afford to lose. Some of the ways to reduce risks are to diversify investments and to choose with preference the areas in which investors have experience and / or in companies whose products they strongly believe.
TechAngels was created in 2013 to fill the need of having a common “meeting place” between early-stage technology startups and the investors looking for investment opportunities.
The group has two main directives: to educate and support young entrepreneurs through investments, access to acceleration programs, and a sum of various other resources needed to grow their business, and to encourage potential business angels to take their first steps in this area of expertise.
As a member of TechAngels, whoever is taking into consideration becoming a technology business angel investor has access to a considerable number of startups looking for funding, can benefit from the investment-focused workshops, shared experiences from the other members, and you can make your first investments – either as a private investor or as a syndicate partner – with guidance from the most experienced technology business angels.
About the 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.
Senior Advisor, Corporate Communication, DiFine PR