Creation of a leading non-equity startup accelerator

The background:

Our mission at CIVITTA Innovation is to be the catalyst for new economies, helping ambitious founders build and scale their businesses. CEE region lacked a high-quality, non-equity startup accelerator program that would be both scalable and open to startups from across the region. We knew that demand was there and took the initiative to fulfill it.

Aim of the project:

Our solution was to design a flagship startup accelerator program powered by CIVITTA that could be deployed in any European country and across various industry verticals. We created the Challenger Accelerator to rival the best accelerators globally. Our focus was on assisting startups in finding customers, gaining traction, and raising funding. Additionally, we help corporations identify technologies and startups for meaningful collaborations. Ultimately, we aim to foster a more supportive environment in the CEE region for ambitious entrepreneurs, positioning them as new driving forces in the economy.

We run 4+ batches of the Challenger Accelerator each year, focusing on areas such as AI/ML, urban innovation, sustainability, and diversity, and we help more than 40 startups on their journey to global success.

Services provided:

  • Organizing three-month-long Challenger programs for 8 to 12 startups.
  • Providing individual and group mentoring and coaching to startups on various topics, including product-market fit, investment fundraising, product development, positioning, and business models.
  • Organizing pitch events for startups on the final Demo Day, which can be either an offline or hybrid event, capturing the attention of international VCs, corporations, and media.

Project result:

To date, we have accelerated over 100 early-stage startups and 15 teams through the Challenger programs. Each program has provided more than 120 hours of mentoring and coaching. We have also organized over 60 hours of workshops and various networking events with investors and potential customers during each program.