European Accelerator Summit 2015 report by Segments Accelerator

The European Accelerator Summit took place in Lisbon during the intense week of ICT15.

ICT15 (Innovate, Connect, Transform), organised by the European Commission, is one of the biggest events in Europe on technology and innovation, with more than 5000 attendees from all different backgrounds (startups, research, politics, investment, universities).

Segments Accelerator was represented by its CEO, Ivo Radulovski who took part in discussions with executives and representatives from major European accelerators (Techstars - Tak Lo, Seedcamp - Dave Haynes, Startupbootcamp - Sophie Donkin, Tetuan Valley - Carmen Bermejo, NUMA - Aviva Markowicz, Elise Nebout; Raphaelle Neyton and others) which gathered in Lisbon on October 19th to join the European Accelerator Summit and discussed the best practices within acceleration as well as to get different point of views on the European startup scene. Beta-i, in partnership with NUMA and backed up by the ATALANTA project, was the host of this year’s invitation only summit.

During the conference day we had Miklos Grof speaking, the founder and CEO of Fundacity (one of the biggest matching platform between entrepreneurs and investors) as well as Christopher Haley, the head of startups and new technology research at NUMA, Amisha Miller from the Kauffman Foundation and Sean Kane from F6S.

The most important interactions were “face to face” during the focus workshops according to Ivo Radulovski as he states “I felt an amazing vibe and enthusiasm to discuss the major trends of innovation and shape the solutions of tomorrow, by creating strategies for better entrepreneurship & acceleration programs.”

Participants were able to connect with some of the world’s leading accelerators and stakeholders. Some great insights about their programs and business models were given,  which shall allow Segments Accelerator to continue its growth plans.

The insights strengthen our focus on international cooperation, vertical programs and centralization of resources in Vienna as a startup & innovation hub. Segments is looking to extend its network and cooperation through partnerships in CEE countries, where also the Vienna Business Agency and Austrian Business Agency are regularly represented and supported at startup oriented events.

Some of the main discussion topics were “How to create better pre-acceleration programs to raise the quality of startups entering accelerator programs”, one of the areas where Segments Accelerator sees itself as the bridge between Product Idea, Prototype and Growth.

Other Topics were “International Expansion & Accelerator Networks”, “Accelerator Business Models” as well as “Verticalization” and “Corporate - Accelerator Relationships”

One of the missing focus workshops according to Ivo Radulovski was “Collaboration between Accelerators”, which he envisions at the next Meetup, initiated by Segments Accelerator during the Global Webit Congress “Digit.EMEA” in Istanbul on the 18th and 19th November.

The key take-aways for us:

  • Development goes towards vertical programs, which may be standalone, co-branded or joint ventures with corporates.

  • Accelerators may engage with corporates as partners and in many cases act as funnels for such.

  • Create a network of industry experts, services and resources to deliver value to vertical programs.

  • Build a global network and cooperation models which allow startups easily to expand to other markets through your accelerator.

  • Work constantly on a sustainable business model and stay as lean as possible.

  • Engage with your community and stakeholders on a daily basis.

Our conclusion of the event was that the growing amount of accelerators and the strive for structured growth & development requires accelerators to create vertical programs and to set up better cooperation models between each other. Eventually the growing number of accelerators will lead to a consolidation of such. Time will show How, When and Where. As soon as the new study / full event report is published we will link it here.

After a long and exciting day the participants found themselves next to Mike Butcher at the TechCrunch Meetup and Pitch-off in Lisbon.

We thank Beta-i for this interesting day and hope to see you next year at H-FARM.


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