Széchenyi Venture Capital Management, one of the most active investor on the Hungarian equity financing market is the lead partner in a brand new acceleration programme based in the Danube region, called ACCELERATOR. The programme’s mission is to accelerate startups to make them ready for investments by venture capital funds in 8 CEE countries. The applications is going to start in January 2018.

Read about the most important details of the programme below:

Innovative SMEs in all participating regions of ACCELERATOR are hindered by access to equity particularly in their early stage development. Thus, ACCELERATOR engages in exploring and piloting the innovative path of acceleration programmes (a new type of investment readiness programme) towards improved business support in the Danube region. ACCELERATOR’s main objective is to enhance access to innovation finance through improving the institutional framework conditions and related policy instruments by developing the practical solution of acceleration services and influencing the concerned strategic framework at partner’s regions and programme level.

The primary target group is SMEs in need of capital but lacking skills to acquire it. Secondly, we target business support organisations through a Danube-region transnational network. Third, we concentrate on integrating equity financing institutions in regional innovation ecosystems. Last, the integration of the public sector is highly relevant for us due to increasing attention to equity programmes from ESIF sources.

Our approach has strong transnational dimensions: beyond the transnational network mentioned above, regions with well performing innovation systems and partners with successful acceleration schemes will assist weaker regions or partners. This embodies ACCELERATOR’s expected change defined as higher number and better acceleration services. The partnership actively integrates public bodies to channel joint policy recommendations on facilitating the spread of acceleration services and works out a joint strategy on the promotion of acceleration services and on their integration in ESIF measures in the Danube region.

The ACCELERATOR programme held its 2nd Steering Committee meeting and 4th working group meeting and in snow-covered Sofia on the 27-28th of November 2017 hosted and organized by the Bulgarian partner, Technology Centre Sofia. We visited Betahaus Sofia and Sofia Tech Park which are both important places for the local incubator activities. Also, during the two-day conference we were able to get insight of the current situation and challenges of the Bulgarian SMEs based on the reports of several Bulgarian stakeholders. The main purpose of the meeting was to jointly evaluate and discuss the pilot plans elaborated by the partners of the project as all the pilots are going to be kicked off in early 2018.

SZTA as the lead partner of the ACCELERATOR project starts to promote and advertise its accelerator pilot programme in December 2017 via diverse platforms. The application is going to start in January 2018. The target group of the accelerator is startups and teams with a business idea and/or proof of concept belonging to the Hungarian Smart Specialization Strategy priorities or to the sectors promoted by the Hungarian industrial policy (Irinyi Plan).

The accelerator offers quality content with the involvement of active and esteemed thematic experts from the Hungarian startup ecosystem and mentors with solid experience. During the 2 months of an acceleration round selected applicants will have tailored assistance to develop a sound business concept that will be presented to several investors active in the Hungarian equity financing market. Our mission is to accelerate startups with our international partners by providing mentoring, training, community and networking to make them ready for investments by venture capital funds. We are so excited about accelerating, stay tuned!