For early-stage startups, fund-raising can be time-consuming and difficult, leading to lost opportunities and strongly impacting the entire business ecosystem. On the other side of the spectrum, many established companies have unused or badly-used internal resources that are trapped inside their businessesâ€™ operations. More, many of those companies are in a constant search for innovation, entrepreneurial talent and competitive advantages. After studying hundreds of startups and interacting with dozens of startup founders, we realized that in a great deal of cases in the early days of a startup - where the founding team are trying to get problem/ solutions fit and product/ market fit - itâ€™s not money that is needed but development capacities (coding, design, marketing, tech resources, relationships etc.). While going for fundraising is one option to solve that issue, another one would be to access those resources directly. Putting all these insights together made us create Startcelerate, an alternative framework for investing in startups, where, instead of money, companies can allocate seed resources to interesting startups in exchange for equity.
Startcelerate allows early stage startups and founding teams to find suitable resource partners, pitch them their projects and then facilitate the entire matching process between the investment partners. All we do all these rather quickly and in a highly costeffective way for both parties. For now, we do this by organizing a local Pitch & Match Event in cities with strong startup ecosystems in Europe and next year weâ€™ll also launch an online matching and monitoring platform. We strongly believe that there is a great opportunity to create a better world if different kind of resources that are trapped inside established companies would be readily available for smart and creative entrepreneurs as direct investments based on a partnership framework. Collaboration and partnerships are at the core of this.
The European initiative of increasing the early stage investment market from 7.5bn EUR today to 15bn EUR until 2015 shows the potential for this market. European Commision initiatives (e.g. Horizon 2020 with a 80bn EUR budget), and the UK SEIS/EIS regulation only reinforce the growing importance of investments in innovative startups. Arguably, it has never been easier to get a business off the ground as it is today. This however poses a problem for investors: as more startups are created, it gets more difficult to manage inherent risks and spot potential winners. This also translates into a higher difficulty for startups access capital and talent.
Interests Large and multinational corporations started to follow on the high growth potential of technology startups. There are a few notable initiatives through which corporations dedicate resources to startups: BBC Labs (media), Wayra (telecom), Barclays Accelerator (fintech), KPMG Capital (data analytics). Other companies (IT predominantly) are tapping into the growth potential startups posses, by experimenting with switching their business model from invoicing startups to considering the value of their services as capital contributions. To size the potential, the Romanian custom software development market was 378mm USD in 2012, out of which 83% in exports. This trend is supported by the diminishing returns offered by the traditional IT outsourcing model and startups increasingly choosing to work with remote development teams. One notable example is the Russian development team behind Whatsapp (acquired by Facebook for 18bn USD). For legal, tax, and accounting players who recognised the potential of working with startups there are a different set of challenges. While startups require their services and can make great clients, building a relationship with them is difficult as in the early stages they lack funds and therefore there has to be a different approach. For example, KPMG, Deloitte and Pinsent Masons started building relationships with startups by organizing events, creating tailored services, facilitating introductions to their clients, and providing free tools and support. Early relationship building with startups provides access to innovation, additional value creation for existing clients and involvement in future large deals (e.g. partnerships, joint-ventures, M&A).
Problem vs. Solution For startups fundraising is difficult and time consuming. IT companies profit margins are shrinking due to competition. Many companies have trapped and inefficient resources inside their operations. Companies can invest unused resources in startups and therefore access geometric ROI. Startups can access directly the resources they need, avoiding fundraising.
What is Startcelerate? Watch a 2 min video
Click Play or use the video link: http://goo.gl/hRPi4Q
Validations Since May 2014 our focus has been on validating Startcelerateâ€™s business model, creating a team and testing our capacity to implement. To do this, we created Startcelerate Pitch & Match, a three days direct interaction event that brings together a selected number of startups, a curated panel of companies as investors, high-profile speakers and a handful of special guests. It functions as a counter-hackathon focused on four components - Learning, Pitching, Collaboration and Feedback - and has as its main objective at the end of the event the creation of investment partnerships between the selected startups and investors.
Participants â†’ Companies Companies participating in Startcelerate Pitch & Match Events belong to two groups. First, we have companies that already use a similar investment model but wanted to have a rigorous valuation, contractual and management model. Also, discovering promising startups is cost-intensive, therefore by attending to our international events they save money. The other group is comprised of companies that want to adopt our investment model and use our services as a mean to de-risk their investments. Secondary benefits for companies are introductions to other companies and professionals as potential partners, employees or clients.
Participants → Startups The following types of startups are the usual participants in Startcelerate: + establish startups in need of further development either to create technology demos or scale their business + founders without technology capabilities but who have a strong idea for a market where they have a relevant experience + tech enabled startups in need of developing the technology side Startups are incentivised by the ease of access to the resources they need, additional support from experienced business professionals and the simplified, non-diluting, investment model.
Partnerships Validation came also from a series of significant partnerships that sponsored and supported our efforts. These partnerships are in 3 specific fields: business (Microsoft, Atracore, Gemini Foundry, Qual Media Group), institutional (The British Embassy, UKTI, ANIS, ARIES) and academic (“Babes-Bolyai” University Cluj, Polytechnic Institute Bucharest).
Team and advisors Our team grew from 2 founders in May 2014 to 8 team members and 3 advisors (from UK, Belgium and Germany). All software development needs are covered by a partnership with a Romanian development company.
Next steps For Startcelerate the next steps are organizing the London Pitch & Match event (Level39 in October 2014), launching the online platform (Q2 2015), and preparing the next 6 Pitch & Match events for next year (London, Berlin, Dublin, Amsterdam, Brussels, and Paris).
Startcelerate Business Model Fundraising can be time-consuming and difficult for seed and early-stage startups, while many established companies have unused or ineffectively used internal resources. Startcelerateâ€™s solution for the two parties is to provide them with an investment framework that facilitates the matching between a startup needing resources and a company wanting to invest resources. The functionality of the framework is based on a series of products: pitch & match event, valuation workshop, legal tools & services, and progress monitoring platform.
Market size + 700mm GBP invested in UK start-up and early-stage companies between 2010 and 2012. + 1.47Bn GBP invested between 2010 and 2013 in 340 London-based companies. + Romanian custom software development in 2012 reached 378mm USD (83% exported)
Competitive Landscape + Monitoring: Alice, StartupGenome, Seederboard + Investing online: Angel List, Seedrs, Gust + Matching events: Startup Weekend, Launch48, Angelâ€™s Den + Partnerships/ corporate support: BBC Labs, Barclays Accelerator, Wayra (Telefonica), Founders Forum
Competitive Advantages Existing players + Existing platforms facilitate only fundraising; + Resources are invested individually.
Startcelerate + Agnostic approach to matching companies to startups; + Startups to raise directly any resource they need, as capital contribution; + Companies have a single external point for discovery, filtering, valuation, investing and monitoring.
Products & Revenue Streams + Discovery & Matching: Startcelerate Pitch & Match Event – pay to attend + Valuation: Workshop / Consultancy – paid services + Partnership Creation: Legal Kit / Consultancy – paid services + Monitoring: Online Platform – premium services + Post-Starcelerate: Accelerators // VCs network – affiliation fee
Go to market Strategy + Direct contact: Pitch & Match events + Strategic partnerships: Incubators, Accelerators, IT industry clusters, multinational corporations + Workshops: in startup, companies and IT&C industry events + Inbound: self & partners tools, knowledge base, social media + Outbound: PR & digital marketing tactics
& Validation Done & Validated + May 2014: organized the first Pitch & Match event in Cluj-Napoca, Romania [10 startups, 4 investors, 7 speakers, 16 partners] + July 2014: organized the second Pitch & Match event in Bucharest, Romania [7 startups, 7 investors, 10 speakers, 4 sponsors, 14 partners] + Partners: Microsoft, UK Embassy, ANIS, ARIES, TechHub, How to Web.
Next for 2014 + October: New website startcelerate.com + October: the third Pitch & Match event, in London [20 startups, 10 investors, 8 speakers, 4 sponsors, 20 partners] + Q3 2014: Valuation Workshop + Q4 2014: Legal Kit
Next for 2015 + Online Platform (beta) â€“ Q2 2015 + 6 Pitch & Match Events (Europe-wide) â€“ starting with Q1 2015
Pitch & Match
London Event Overview When
31st October â€“ 1st November 2014
Level39, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AB
Participants: + Startups: 20 projects (40 to 60 founders) + Investors: 10 (software development companies, marketing and design agencies) + Speakers: 10 internationally renowned entrepreneurs and business professionals + Guest: 20 managers, investors and business professionals
Main Partners Previously secured Business Days, Raiffeisen Bank, Today Software Magazine, Romanian Startups, DeKlausen, Burcash, Kwanji London, ANIS, ARIES, How to Web, TechHub, IAA-YP, Salad Box, Sugar & Lime. In progress City University, TechCity, PayPall, TWilio, DreamStake, UKTI, HealthBox, Innovation Warehouse, Baker Tilly, Pinsent Mason, KPMG High Growth Tech Group, Metropolitan University, UCL Advance, Romanian Embassy London, TechCityNews.
Audience in UK + + + + + + +
Tech entrepreneurs and startup founders Industry professionals from Tech, Media, Telco, FinTech, FashTech IT&C managers and software developers Angel investors and VCs Students from four major London universities Incubators, accelerators and workspaces communities Startup communities in Shoreditch & Canary Wharf
International audience + UK and Europe based startups, entrepreneurs, and business owners + Startup communities from London, Berlin, and Tel Aviv, including accelerators and incubators (over 120) + Potential investors (angels and VCs) from Europe and US + European software development companies (UK, Holland, Russia, Estonia, etc.)
Packages Gold - ÂŁ1000 Availability: 6 spots Deadline: 20th September 2014
Benefits + Direct exposure among an entrepreneurial and tech network in the UK and Romania (over 15,000 startups only in the Silicon Roundabout area in London, with over 70 accelerators and incubators) + Mentioning as partners in all the communication materials before, during and after the event, both in our direct communication and in the media + Mentioning of the brand as partner during the event by the event moderator + The possibility to display a rollup in the event room during the event + 2 free tickets for the company representatives during the event (at request) providing direct access to high profile participants (investment companies, startups and other partners) + The opportunity to offer a branded prize at the end of the event + Mentioning in the newsletters send by us before and during the event + 1 mentioning in our social media channels before the event
Platinum - ÂŁ2400 Availability: 4 spots Deadline: 20th September 2014
Benefits All Gold benefits, plus: + You can delegate a company representative as speaker at the event* + You can have a stand during the event [2 x 1,5 m in the hallway of the location] + 2 Free Intros to any member from our network in the UK, Romania, Germany and Belgium + 1 additional free ticket at the event for a company representative or a guest + 2 invitations to the special dinner/ cocktail with investors, software development companies, startup founders and special industry guests + 4 mentionings in our social media channels before, during and after the event * Upon agreeing a speech theme with us
Co-branding partner - ÂŁ9000 Availability: 1 spots Deadline: 20th September 2014
Benefits All Gold benefits, plus: + The entire event will be co-branded and communicated as Powered by + Presence in all the interviews and press interactions together with the founding team from Startcelerate + Mentioning in all the communication about the event on our social media channels before, during and after the event
Local Operations Coordinator
Social Media Executive
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/+Startcelerate
Angel List: https://angel.co/startcelerate
Startcelerate Pitch & Match London is a two days event where startups and software companies pitch one another and create investment partner...
Published on Sep 17, 2014
Startcelerate Pitch & Match London is a two days event where startups and software companies pitch one another and create investment partner...