The long-awaited moment is here - Startup Wise Guys is coming back to Riga, and it's hoping to accept 10-11 early-stage B2B startups from different countries to accelerate their ideas over 3 months through seed funding, intense business development, pitch experience and mentoring.
Startup Wise Guys, the leading B2B startup accelerator in Europe is on the hunt for early stage B2B startups for the next acceleration program. To qualify, startups are required to show some traction or MVP, a committed founders team and market potential. Startup Wise Guys batch 9 will be run from the heart of the Baltics – Riga, Latvia - starting on September 18.
Applications are open till July 9: startupwiseguys.com/apply
Selected startups will receive a 20,000 EUR investment per startup, 3 month intense B2B business curriculum and access to 150+ mentors and investors, as well as the “family” of program graduates, including startups such as Vitalfields, Wolf3d, Investly, Leaf.fm and others. Startup Wise Guys have accelerated more than 70 companies and have become one of the top investors in early stage startups in the Nordics and CEE.
“2016 was a special year – it marked our first exit, and also expansion outside of Estonia to run our first program in Riga. Even though Riga batch teams complained about sleep deprivation, no time to do “the real stuff” and 3 months flying by too fast, most of them have done amazing after graduation, raising in total more than half a million eur investments just few months after the program ended. And we are looking forward to host yet another amazing bunch of international startups in our second home – Riga,” says Cristobal Alonso, global CEO at Startup Wise Guys.
Neighboring Tallinn - the birth-place of Skype and Startup Wise Guys - Riga has proved itself as a perfect match for the accelerator’s expansion. Startups and international mentors from previous program in Riga appreciated the strong and dynamic startup community, as well as great geographical location with easy access to an airport hub with connections to the rest of the world, availability of tech talent in the region, and relatively low business and living costs.
The applications for the accelerator program close on July 9. After thorough selection, top 20 to 25 teams will be invited for a 3 day event in Riga in late August to get the “reality check” on acceleration with some of our top mentors and investors, as well as the feel of the city that might become their home town for 3 months.
Startup Wise Guys plans to accept 10 to 11 international startups to the next acceleration batch in Riga.
"As experience shows, startups do better at acceleration outside of their home country, so most likely 80% of the batch will not be Latvian startups. We are currently on a roadshow visiting more than 17 cities across Nordics and Central Eastern Europe. Usually Ukraine is very strong with applications, also Belarus, as for these non EU countries, Baltics & Startup Wise Guys is a great gate-way to EU. On the other hand, there are plenty of startups for whom acceleration in Baltics makes way more sense, before conquering US or other bigger markets, as costs are significantly lower and startup can survive for longer, besides at Startup Wise Guys we have mostly international mentors flying in, so you still get high value, although not being located in Berlin, UK or Silicon Valley." says Zane Bojare, communications manager of the program.
"In the previous Tallinn program that just finished, we had 11 teams and 9 nationalities: from Baltics to India and Armenia, and only one local, i.e., Estonian team. Such diversity turned into amazing vibe, collaboration and lots of leisure time activities like joint dinner cooking, sightseeing around Estonia and peer-to-peer help on business. There's lots of synergy between startups of one batch, they help each other find customers, hire people, especially developers, or get pilot-projects with corporations in their home-country. We intend to keep the same approach and energy also in Riga program."
Startups from around the world apply for the Startup Wise Guys accelerator for the experience and direct access to Europe, the market, mentors, and more importantly - investors. Here's the reasoning from some international startups that participated in the recent Tallinn batch:
Kallidil Kallidasan from Mobscale (India):
Mobscale is my second startup and we are a marketing automation platform for App companies. I went through Alchemist accelerator in my previous startup and had a great time there. But with Mobscale, we are targeting the European B2B market and Startup Wise Guys has a great network which we plan to capitalise on to getting to potential customers and investors. Also Estonia with the new hassle-free startup visa and e-residency is a great place to setup a EU company and grow sales into other EU states.
Dmitriy Norenko from bNesis (Ukraine):
For growing in the US, companies need money and networking. We came to the US (Starta accelerator) when we were in too early stage. For a European startup, it is better to develop first versions of technology and business in the EU, launch, solve all the problems and go to the US already with money and some brand awareness and connections. We want to have a "warm investor" from Europe - somebody who already has experience in our field, at Startup Wise Guys we hope to leverage their investor network, especially taking account they have already invested in company similar to us.
The applications for the accelerator program close on July 9. After thorough selection, top 20 to 25 teams will be invited for a 3 day event in Riga in late August to get the “reality check” on acceleration with some of SWG's top mentors and investors, as well as the feel of the city that might become their home town for 3 months.