Following its approach from the previous event editions, which have all featured sections dedicated exclusively to startups, How to Web have recently launched a pre-accelerator programme for young entrepreneurs: the MVP Academy.
The idea for the project came as a natural progression following the previous editions of the How to Web tech-focused conference, and MVP stands for Minimum Viable Product, summing up the organisers’ vision of recruiting startups that meet the criterion of having an actual MVP, which they can improve upon and develop.
“We started the How to Web Conference in 2010, then Startup Spotlight program in 2012, then TechHub Bucharest in 2013,” Bogdan Iordache, CEO of How to Web, told inventures.eu. “We’ve learned more and more about the problems regional entrepreneurs and startups face, and [the MVP Academy] felt like a normal development of our efforts.”
The seven-week programme, which will take place in Bucharest between 2 June and 22 July, is free of charge and is designed to enable up-and-coming entrepreneurs in the CEE region to aquire the knowledge that can help them grow their businesses faster. While the focus falls on customised education and information, there is a very strong community component: A set of international and local reputed mentors will offer their input and insights during mentoring sessions, as well as the committment to continue to support the young startups post-programme.
The list of mentors includes well-known names from the international tech world, such as Jon Bradford (Managing Director, TechStars UK), Florin Talpes (CEO, Bitdefender), Alex Negrea (Co-founder & CTO, docTrackr), George Lemnaru (Founder, GreenHorse Games), Bobby Voicu (Co-founder & CEO, MavenHut), Vladimir Oane (Co-founder & CPO, uberVU), and others.
The programme has been designed to have a strong progress-tracking element, based on a set of KPIs aimed to continuously monitor the success and growth of all participating startups.
“The MVP Academy team will work closely with the participating startups to help and constantly improve on the startups’ experience throughout the programme, as well as evaluate and give constant feedback,” said Monica Obogeanu (Program Manager Startup Spotlight).
Applicants be fast
Participants will also benefit from a valuable tech infrastructure – platforms made available by partner companies, such as Microsoft’s BizSpark Program: “We are also going to facilitate 60.000 dollars of grants for the startups that need cloud resources – these grants cover all the costs of cloud for one year. We are looking closely at the teams in order to explore potential collaboration opportunities in the Microsoft Ventures accelerator programmes in Europe and we are willing to further invest in them” said Zoli Herczeg (Business Evangelist Microsoft).
The application process is currently open to CEE startups with backgrounds ranging from software and hardware to e-commerce, which need to meet several criteria: have a project in its first two years of activity, at least one co-founder has to be from CEE and at least part of the team residing in CEE, and have raised a maximum of 50.000 euros in funding.
Applications can be submitted until 17 May and a list of successful applicants will be posted on 23 May. More info on how to apply as well as further programme details can be found on the MVP Academy website.