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It is a tricky task for startups to raise funding. Luckily, there are more emerging startup initiatives in Europe that aim to promote entrepreneurship and nurture more successful company founders on the European continent. According to the research conducted by CB insights, funding (or running out of funds) is the second most common reason why startups fail. Thus, it is critical for startup founders to raise funds. How? One of the proven ways to do so is by joining a startup accelerator program. What are startup accelerator programs? A startup accelerator program is an intensive business and personal development program which supports a small team of founders, usually with a business idea of their own. The support comes in a form of mentorship, affordable office spaces, and some starting capital. In a nutshell, a program consists of the following core elements: - An application process that is open to all, yet highly competitive. - A provision of pre-seed investment, normally in exchange for a single-digit equity. - A focus on small teams, not individual founders. - Time-limited support comprising programmed events and intensive mentoring. - A final event – “A demo day” – when startups pitch their ideas to raise first big funding. - At the same time, it is important to realize that startup accelerators are ultimately investment management companies. They look for the most promising companies at the very early stage and then invest into them. Yet, they expect companies to raise the next rounds of funding and ultimately (and hopefully) make an exit – either through companies’ acquisitions or IPOs (Initial Public Offering). To find a list of all Accelerator Programs & Incubators in Europe go to incubatorlist.com Here are the best startup accelerator programs in Europe sorted in alphabetical order: Program Location The offer Duration Upcoming deadline* Accelerace København, Denmark Investments up to 500 000 DKK + corporate matchmaking 5 Months Rolling basis Antler Amsterdam Amsterdam, the Netherlands € 100,000 for 10% equity + monthly allowance for the duration of the program 6 Months Rolling basis Antler London London, UK £ 100,000 for 10% equity + monthly allowance for the duration of the program 6 Months Rolling basis Antler Oslo Oslo, Norway NOK 1M for 10% equity + monthly allowance for the duration of the program 6 Months Rolling basis Antler Stockholm Stockholm, Swedem SEK 1M for 10% equity; monthly allowance of € 2,500 6 Months Rolling basis APX Berlin, Germany € 50,000 for 5% equity 3 Months Rolling basis Barclays Accelerator London, UK up to $ 120,000 13 Weeks Will reopen soon Bethnal Green Ventures London, UK £ 30,000 for 7% equity 3 Months Will reopen in May 2022 DCU Ryan Academy Dublin, Ireland Mentoring, coaching & access to clients 10-12 Weeks Will reopen soon Distill Ventures London, UK £ 150,000 6 Months Rolling basis Entrepreneur First London, UK £ 15,000 + monthly allowance for 8% equity 6 Months Rolling basis Birdhouse Gent & Antwerp, Belgium Mentoring, coaching & access to investors 6 Months Rolling basis Microsoft Accelerator Berlin, Germany Mentoring & coaching up to 6 Months Rolling basis NDRC Dublin, Ireland up to € 130,000 12 to 24 Weeks Will reopen soon Nextstars Paris, France € 10,000 4 Months Rolling basis PANDO Ventures Frankfurt, Germany Mentoring, coaching & access to investors 12 Weeks Rolling basis ProSienbenSat.1 Accelerator Berlin, Germany up to € 1.5M in advertising volumne 3 Months Rolling basis Rockstart AgriFood Copenhagen, Denmark; Amsterdam, the Netherlands and online €100k convertible loan from the fund, €65k (i.e. net cash proceeds to your company of €35,000) 5 Months Rolling basis Rockstart Energy Amsterdam, the Netherlands and online €100k convertible loan from the fund, €65k (i.e. net cash proceeds to your company of €35,000) 5 Months Rolling basis SeedRocket Barcelona, Spain € 150,000 3 Months Will reopen soon Startup Reykjavik Reykjavik, Iceland $ 23,500 10 Weeks Will reopen soon Startup Wise Guys Tallinn, Estonia; Milan and Cosenza, Italy; Copenhagen, Denmark; Riga, Latvia; Vilnius, Lithuania € 50,000 on average 5 Months Rolling basis Startupbootcamp Smart City Amsterdam Amsterdam, The Netherlands € 15,000 for 8% equity 3 Months Rolling basis Startupbootcamp Smart Transportation & Energy Berlin Berlin, Germany € 15,000 for 8% equity 3 Months Rolling basis Startupbootcamp Internet of Things and Big Data Barcelona Barcelona, Spain € 15,000 for 8% equity 3 Months Rolling basis Startupbootcamp Insurance London London, UK € 15,000 for 8% equity 3 Months Rolling basis Sting Accelerate Stockholm, Sweden € 30,000 5 months Rolling basis Techstars London London, UK $ 20,000 for 6% equity + $100,000 convertible note 3 Months Will reopen soon Techstars Starburst Space Virtual $ 20,000 for 6% equity + $100,000 convertible note 3 Months Rolling basis Yunus Social Business Accelerator Europe up to € 500,000 4 Months Rolling basis What is the difference between a startup accelerator and a business incubator? It is easy to get lost in various startup definitions which intuitively are synonymous, but in fact, they are not. The following definitions will help you navigate through the startup ecosystems and to see which programs are applicable to your current development stage. Workspace An office location which provides desks, office space and facilities (infrastructure) at a significantly reduced or low rate to startups and growth businesses. As a rule of thumb, you can expect to get standard business amenities which conditions vary from the very basic to somewhat exquisite. Workspaces can be offered at a separate location or as part of a wider network (e.g., startup accelerator or business incubator). Desks are charged at a monthly fee or discounted for an advance payment. Startup Weekends These events take between 48 to 72 hours with the aim to create new startup teams who will then develop business ideas within the given time limit. Participants can either be individuals with no initial connections, or existing teams joining to fast track their ideas. Such events also have flexible agendas. Some accept or invite budding founders or active founders working on defined business ideas, and some encourage founders with no idea nor team to apply to come up with a new business idea right on the spot. Normally there is a small participation fee, with no liability to continue with a team or idea after the weekend is over. Startup Accelerator Profit-driven programs that accept open applications to attend classes (or ‘cohorts’) of new companies run by small founding teams. The initial ideas are expected to be already developed by founders. The programs assist with providing seed capital, guidance and events for a limited period – generally 3 to 4 months – in return for equity (in between 5-10%). The newly established companies “graduate” at the end of the program by receiving the first serious investment from investors, usually after pitching their ideas at a ‘demo day’. Business Incubator These are programs that are backing successfully developing businesses by offering assets and services, operated by a group of expert directors and staff, as well as the access incubators’ networks and contacts. There are two types of incubators: where the idea is developed within an incubator and then an external team runs it; or, similarly to workspaces, incubator participants can come up with their own ideas. In the first case, the incubator asks for a stake in the company to provide their resources, whereas in the second case entrepreneurs might be asked to pay monthly fees to utilize the resources of the incubator. Blog written by Arthur Gopak to alphagamma.eu

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