Should I apply for funding from Starttech Ventures?
At Starttech Ventures we take pride for having built a private early-stage investment organization which offers a combination of capital, services and entrepreneurship drive to founders who aim to excel in their journey.
One of the key lessons learned during our own 18 years-long journey since September 2000 has been that in order to be able to successfully compete in the global market you do have to narrow down the scope of the things you do. Specialization undoubtedly is the only way to success.
What does this mean for an early stage acceleration fund? In our case we have concluded to the following:
- We only invest in B2B software startups with evident DNA of automation.
- Automation both in the service which they develop (i.e. they help their customers to automate their processes), but also in the very own business model of the startup (for instance, we greatly prefer businesses with automated inbound marketing business model over those who require a sales workforce for business development)
- Target-market-wise, our portfolio companies should primarily aim to North America and secondarily to North/West Europe. — This obviously is quite important for future growth equity investment and M&A opportunities.
- We never invest in single-founder companies; we want to see either two or three co-founders, and definitely one of them to be the software-expert who owns the know-how of the product’s technology.
- Stage-wise, we are investing in the MVP stage; we generally require that the founders have invested their time, their own resources and their 3Fs’ capital for building a prototype with clear value- and growth hypothesis and some experimental evidence supporting its soundness
- We are initially investing tickets in the range of $50K to $100k; should more capital be necessary and as long as the company keeps performing as expected, we shall re-invest and we shall mobilize our international network to actively support further fundraising.
- Together with the cash investment, we are taking our portfolio companies through our 18-months long acceleration program where we daily guide them in executing methodologies around customer development, lean startup and agile project management, aiming to get the best possible product at the lowest possible cost and at the shortest possible time.
- Together with the active guidance, coaching and mentoring described above, we have an internal agency with 10+ prominent professionals who provide free services in areas such as branding, UX/UI design and development, growth marketing, storytelling and project management.
- We also offer a shared scrum master and all the administrative support (business administration, recruitment, finance and accounting, IT support) which an early stage business will ever need.
- All this is done by dedicated full-time personnel whose since objective is the success of the accelerated companies. It also goes without saying that portfolio companies have unlimited free access to our library and labs and, obviously, free work-space as per their needs.
- With Athens being one of the most beautiful cities in the World; with an unparalleled history and culture and a vibrant nightlife, we don’t feel that the phrase ‘whole team compulsory relocation’ properly describes the rule of our acceleration program; it probably is one of its key benefits.
- Also because of this relocation clause, we have a natural preference for founders coming from the East Mediterranean region; there’s absolutely no localism in this approach; it’s only for practical matters. Should founders from other geographies be open to relocate to Athens and to adapt to the East Mediterranean cost structure, they are of course extremely welcome.
- What does ‘East Mediterranean’ mean for Starttech Ventures? Well, it is quite a broad region starting from Italy, going eastward to the Balkans, Anatolia, then South to the coastal countries of the Middle East and then going East in Northern Africa all the way up to Tunisia.
- For the combination of the initial investment and the 18-months long acceleration program, Starttech Ventures gets a flat equity stake of 10% with international market-standard minority protection rights.
At Starttech Ventures we are very proud of our track-record. We first exited from AbZorba Games and then managed to scale-up TalentLMS to one of the world-leaders in its category — and also Yodeck is en route for becoming a world-leader in it category too.
We do want to efficiently and effectively share our know-how with ambitious founders who really believe in the soundness of customer development, lean startup and agile.
If you then are a team of entrepreneurs who is fascinated with the prospect of creating real value for customers in North America and North / West Europe, with the prospect of making revenues, profits and growth in a rather short period of time, if you also believe that entrepreneurship is science and not gambling and that capital-raising is the medium and not the objective, then yes, at Starttech Ventures you will find the best possible co-driver who will actively support you with all means available during your entire journey.
In that case, yes please, be so kind to let us know!