Fil Rouge Capital has launched applications for the accelerator program: Croatian startup companies are waiting for 25 to 50,000 euros.
The program starts on September 2nd and lasts until November 29th, and is already being sought for proven startups from the world of software, fintech, marketplace, manufacturing, hardware, IT and logistics solutions.
After we announced in February the details of the newly founded Fil Rouge Capitale that will invest a quarter billion kuna in Croatian startups and scaleups by 2023, we can announce the opening of applications for their first acceleration program starting in September this year.
Led by Julien Coustaury, Roger Blott and Aleš Pustovrh, this investment fund through an accelerator plans to invest in devoted and passionate founders with a convincing business concept or innovation in selected interest sectors that include software, fintech, marketplace, production, hardware, IoT and logistics solutions.
Let us recall, as EIF director Jacques Darcy, one of the key EIF directors who are in charge of the Croatian Venture Capital Initiative, told us, the fund itself is much bigger, encompassing the upcoming acceleration of the startup, which makes only one of its three investment levels: incubation, acceleration and growth. At the accelerator program level, the selected starters will be able to secure an investment of 25,000 euros, which will make a 6% stake in the company and a share of 8% for 50,000 euros. Over the next few years, nine circuits of the accelerator program will be held with 20 companies, which will total about 160 investments by the end of 2023.
Applications are open until July 11, followed by a selection. The first days of the selection of the best, or Selection Days, will be held on July 15 and 16 in Algebra LAB, where it is also the operational headquarters of the fund. During these two days, the jury, composed of members of the FRC team, will select up to 20 best startup teams that will participate in the first generation of acceleration teams in the Fall Rouge Capitale program in Zagreb in autumn.
More on the terms and criteria, along with a few tips to make sure that the application was successful, I talked with Stevica Kuharsky, Fil Rouge’s scouting manager, or finding new startups.
Who can (and should) report?
Fil Rouge Capital for an accelerator program looks for teams with a basic MVP (minimum sustainable product) that can show that there is a market need for such a solution. Therefore, it will be the startup with existing customers and customers will take precedence. Stevica:
The FRC accelerator is intended for companies and teams with an already developed product. At this early stage, this means an active web application or mobile application, an early prototype for IoT projects, potential users or a proof of concept.
The big plus certainly goes to candidates who need to develop their product and market access in order to speed up their international development. In addition, Stevica especially points out slightly less operational criteria – about the attitude of the team that has the potential to be selected:
The founders of the startup and their team must show us that they are the ideal team for the project, they must be convinced of what they are doing. And of course, they must be passionate about the project and work, ready to prove their vision with numbers. The founders must be in love with the problem, not the idea or the solution they are working on.
It invests in companies registered in the Republic of Croatia, and starters who have started their work in another country must meet the specific criteria that are explained in more detail in the application itself. In addition, excellent English knowledge is expected.
Are you a daring team?
Fil Rouge Capital points out that “they love daring ideas with bold founders”. Given that the final decision on the start-ups they made, they were interested in what exactly could delight the FRC team. Stevica particularly emphasizes that the teams must be authentic and that behind the bravery must stand figures :
There is no need to play something that is not or try to be someone else. All they need to do is confirm their boldness with numbers. Vision is not measurable, can be measured by the number of users, customers, time of use of the product. If they know the problem, they know the numbers they measure and can prove them, they have the right to be as daring as they want and for as long as they want.
What do startups get?
As we have already pointed out, when it comes to financing, this is an investment amount between 20 and 50 thousand euros. As for professional development assistance, it is important to point out the full access to the Fil Rouge Capital Mentoring Network. Additionally, each mentor from one of the Fil Rouge Capital partners will be assigned to each startup selected.
Mentoring is also being upgraded through an educational part that is realized through seminars that will be led by FRC professional lecturers. Startups will also have access to potential buyers of the product (s) they develop as well as a co-investor network, which emphasizes the possibility of additional investments after proving a business model and growth.
For the founders and non-Republican teams, Fil Rouge Capital provides operational and logistical support, assistance in opening a bank account, assistance in meeting the required criteria, as well as any other potential support in the Croatian business environment.
The selected startups will receive a number of other benefits from various companies like Google and AWS and will have the opportunity to participate in the exclusive Fil Rouge Capital Evenings of the Founders through weekly acceleration.
Do you want your application to succeed?
Its application in the FRC’s accelerator make you via a web form, and you can sign up by July 11, until midnight.
If you plan to report or already, Stevica has a couple of tips and attention to :
We seek answers to simple questions about the idea, problem and the whole project, and the answers should be as simple as explaining to a 10-year-old child. With this in mind, this should be explained to all potential investors, not just us. In this way, the founders and the entire team show that they know what they are doing, and if the explanations are too complicated or trying to solve an excessive problem for the stage they are in, it may be an indication that they do not know what they are doing and should be avoided. Startups in the incubation and acceleration phase need to prove how their business model makes sense – to work, nothing more. It is necessary to find a market for the product they work on, and when they find it, they are ready for growth and investments of larger amounts.
For selected startups, the program starts on September 2nd and lasts until November 29th, when Demo Day will be held , a closed type of event intended for invited investors of the Phil Rouge Capitale, before which the startups from the first generation of programs will have the opportunity to present their achievements, plans for the future and the necessary funding.
So far, FRC has already examined the applications of over 500 teams, and after finishing the applications, they will choose the best ones to present themselves live. After the presentation, a selection of 20 best ones will follow. In the next four years, the plan is to have eight more choices, two each year, Stevica concludes.