Tuesday, January 28, 2014

How can Innovation Nest's ACCELERATE help your startup reach new levels?

By Paul Chen

Innovation Nest is interested in building a long term relationship with you.  Until January 31, 2014 you will be able to apply to ACCELERATE, their four month accelerator program. 

Who is it for?

Teams working on SaaS products who already have a working prototype or they launched their product but would like to move into the new market. 

How does it work?

The program starts with Customer Development workshops, where the team work on their business model, their Customer-Problem-Solution. Workshops last 3 weeks and are filled with mentoring, feedback, interviews and work. This part ends with a potential investment $25 000 for 8% of equity. Second phase is intensive trip to Silicon Valley which is followed by 3 month work on new version of the product. 

I heard something about Silicon Valley?

Yes, we believe that Silicon Valley is a place to be when creating a product. That's why all of the teams that we invested in are going with us to Silicon Valley. The goal of the firs trip is to get as much feedback on your business model and product as possible. Startups will meet with our network of investors as well as they will have to arrange meetings on their own. 

What is expected from Innovation Nest?

Joining ACCELERATE means joining Innovation Nest portfolio. That means that we will try to establish a working relationship with a company. Innovation Nest is not only a financial investor but also we try to help companies with our knowledge, network and experiences. Once the program finishes its not the end because usually we invest more in our companies. We will also help to fundraise next rounds.

What is expected from the startups?

Before answering that let's quote Steve Blank "A startup is a temporary organization searching for a repeatable and scalable business". We are looking for startups that are creating a SaaS(Software as a Service) product and already have a working prototype. The program is also looking for existing companies in the same model, who already have launched a product but are looking for a new market that basically means we can call them startups as well because they are still looking for a repeatable and scalable business model. There should also be a team of people that will be able to to work hard on their product and try to validate all of the hypotheses they created during our program. 


ACCELERATE is a bit different then other accelerators in Poland. First of all it's the only one that is launching 4th edition. That means we are constantly improving it and we already have experience how to create a program that is fulfilling startup needs. The program itself is created in a way that is actually fostering startups. It has three phases which help to get a bigger picture about your product and whom is it for. If everything goes right Innovation Nest is willing to invest more in startups that participated in the program.

Innovation Nest organize as well as sponsor many startup events in Krakow in the efforts of building a collaborating community.  They believe that as important as investor/ mentor to startup relationship is, startup to other startup relationship is just as important. 

Any previous success stories?

Landingi.com - Easy and fast landing pages. 

Cloud your Car - Fleet management made easy.

Visuu - selected by South Moravian Innovation Centre as one of the most promising high-tech startups

UxPin - Attracted investors like Andreessen-Horowitz, about to announce their fund raising results.

More information can be found here

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