StepFWD Together: Applications open for acceleration program targeting tech startups from CEE
StepFWD Together kicked off the applications for a new cohort of 20 technology startups from the CEE region seeking to accelerate their growth. Participation in the program is free of charge and equity-free, and the application deadline is October 8.
StepFWD Together is looking for 20 early-stage tech startups formed by diverse teams that already have a product and initial users/customers and are seeking opportunities for rapid growth and learning. The project team and mentors will select the participants based on their application and interview with the team.
“StepFWD Together is a natural continuation of our work in recent years. We are now looking for those 20 technology startups that show a marker of diversity in their teams and are in search of an accelerator to help them grow rapidly. […] Additionally, this year, we have partnered with Startup Norway, which brings expertise from a more developed ecosystem and will help us access larger markets and investors from the Scandinavian region. We also have local mentors with extensive experience, excellent connections, and great determination to support them,” said Liviu Cadariu, Program Director of StepFWD Together.
StepFWD Together spans over 7 months, from October 2023 to April 2024. The selected startups will benefit from constant support, both general and personalized mentorship sessions provided by professionals and experienced entrepreneurs in the field, access to numerous resources, local and international investors, and other funding opportunities, dedicated and practical workshops, networking events, and access to a dynamic community and a vast network of program supporters.
The program is structured in two parts. During the first two-month phase, “Learn and connect,” the participants will participate in workshops structured around four essential pillars for advanced early-stage startups: team building, product management, growth, smart founding, and pitching.
Additionally, the 20 startups will connect with investors and industry experts and prepare for Demo Day - an offline event held in mid-December, where the teams will present their businesses and progress, with over 200 investors, journalists, and members of the startup ecosystem attending.
The 6 most promising startups out of the initial 20 will be selected in the second stage. In the “Grow” phase, taking place from January to April 2024, the program’s content will be tailored to the needs of each of the 6 remaining teams. Each startup will be assigned a dedicated mentorship team comprising entrepreneurs who have demonstrated their abilities to help teams grow rapidly, industry experts, and a member of the StepFWD Together team.
StepFWD Together is a program developed by StepFWD in partnership with Startup Norway through a grant from Innovation Norway, with the support of Bitdefender and Google for Startups. Participation in the program is free, and teams are not required to give up equity.
(Photo source: StepFWD)