LAUNCHub, the 9 million Euro seed and acceleration fund from Bulgaria, has opened applications for the LAUNCHub accelerator for Spring 2013. in which startups get €30,000. This will be their second batch of startups that came predominantly from Bulgaria, while Cinematic and Habbits were in fact – Croatian. Netocratic talked to both Managing partner Lyuben Belov and one of their startup founders, Stevica Kuharski, CEO of Habbits.
Launching with LAUNCHub
LAUNCHub itself is focused on investing in the “digital domain” with a strong emphasis on digital media, the consumer internet and ecommerce. They would love to in fact invest in startups that would disrupt the banking, entertainment and education space. The LAUNCHub guys say they can help startups because they are enteprenerus themselves. They believe they can help with access to advisers and capital through both their network and partners. LAUNCHub has partnered with well known seed investment fund and accelerator Seedcamp as well as the Cisco Entepreneur Institute which is based in Bulgaria. Belov described the types of teams they want to apply:
We are very much looking to see a coherent teams with a set of complimentary skills, dedicated to the project and capable to execute. Passionate. Flexible and receptive to feedback but at the same time with strong vision and focus. We are expecting to see traction- either in the composition of the team, product development or customer acquisition.
LAUNCHub can provide a seed investment up to €200,000 with Belov adding:
We as fund are focused on our SEED component and the startup is more likely to get additional financing once the product is launched and gets more traction.
For their part, Habbits’ Stevica Kuharski believes an early stage company that already has some revenue but cannot support fast growth should apply for an investment. Kuharski describes what he has found with his investor, LAUNCHub:
Altho boostrapping might seem appropriate for, investment from the right investor is not just about the money. It’s about the experience of the management team, connections and potential clients that might be connected with investor.Great management team (Lyuben and Todor), great portfolio managers (Rumen and Stanislav) and excellent network around them.
Kuharski says that the experience of just participating in LAUNCHub’s 4-day Long Weekend in Sofia opened his eyes. I asked him to give some suggestions to startups applying not just to LAUNCHub but also any startup accelerator or contest:
Don’t wait for the last two days. Those 20-30 questions need to be answered with facts helping the jury to see all your qualities within first few seconds. Imagine 300+ applications. And imagine all those things everybody is writing. You wanted to write that as well, right? Well, don’t. Be honest and write astonishing application. Let the jury see that you are really the best team in the batch. And read your application 20 times before you will send it. Don’t have tpyos. Like me. 🙂 The most important thing in your project is your team, so make sure you will stress that out. Show the jury that you are experienced and that your project is your life!
You can find out more about LAUNCHub on their official website. Teams can expect mentoring and €30,000 for 8-10 percent equity. The application deadline is January 6th and you can apply on LAUNCHub’s website.