Accelerators are becoming an increasingly important part of the startup ecosystem all around the world. Seedcamp here in Europe and TechStars and Y Combinator over in the US have set the standard for others to follow. Most of them offer startups the chance to exchange 5-10% of their equity for a small investment (typically sub $50k), a three month intensive mentoring programme and increased visibility amongst the investment community. Typically they have one or two programmes operating on an annual cycle.
Startupbootcamp (which is affiliated with TechStars) was new on the scene in 2010 and ran its first programme in Copenhagen in the autumn of 2010. They had a bunch of good mentors there including my friends Tommy Ahlers, Richard Anson, Michael Jackson, Hazel Moore, Morten Wulff, and last but not least Alex Farcet, who is the driving force behind the whole shebang. It is too early to know how successful the companies will be, but initial reports from the companies who participated and investors who have seen the companies are very positive.
I’m writing about all this today because this morning Startupbootcamp Techcrunch broke the news that they will be running a programme this summer in Madrid, to compliment the one in Copenhagen in the autumn. Next year they are planning to add London and Berlin. That is some expansion! If they are half as successful as Techstars is being with a similar number of programmes in the US it will mean we have many more high quality startups in Europe a year or two from now, which would be great.
Some details on how it works:
Startupbootcamp is a highly selective mentorship driven 3-month program. Teams are given 4K EUR per team member, free office space, and access to over 75 mentors including serial entrepreneurs, investors and corporate managers. The program concludes on Investor Day where teams showcase their startups to over one hundred of Europe’s most active Business Angels and Venture Capitalists.
As Seedcamp, Y Combinator, and TechStars have shown many times now accelerator programmes like Startupbootcamp can add a lot of value to very early stage companies. If that description fits your business and you are in Europe you should consider applying.