Is your startup company using internet technology to accelerate the world’s transition to a sustainable energy supply? Being part of the “Internet of Energy Things” by deploying machine connectivity, software and apps, intelligent data and sharing platforms to optimize energy installations, grids and devices?
Join our Smart Energy Accelerator program where we help you build, validate and scale your business and find the best international product/market fit. We help you better understand product design, market fit and business models by enabling you to directly work with relevant suppliers, users, professionals and other stakeholders in energy.
The Smart Energy program is led by Freerk Bisschop, a seasoned venture developer in sustainable energy and clean tech, and will incorporate an extensive network of over 75 smart energy mentors, investors and energy partners. The 10 participating startups will spend 180-days in an intensive startup accelerator program located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
If your team is dedicated to turn your startup into a high-growth company, Rockstart Accelerator is a radical opportunity to push your startup forward. In our pressure-cooker program we connect you to 50 of the brightest entrepreneurial minds and provide you with: seed funding, inspiring office space in central Amsterdam, access to experts and corporates, conference visits, investor dinners, and all necessary tools to grow your startup.
In addition to that, we offer you three months support in fundraising, PR, and communication matters. Rockstart Accelerator has integrated an International Road Trip to give you the chance to pitch to renowned VCs, angels, and interesting partners depending on your startup needs.
Yes, probably your investor(s) would like you to join an accelerator because they know you get the best support to lay the foundations to grow your business as they cannot spend so much time and effort to coach you. Seed investors often spend a lot of time to coach the companies they invested in to increase the survival rate but cannot organize such a mentor network and expertise as an accelerator can. We help you to make your company investor ready! You can apply for this program during the first 1000 days of your startup.
The program is open to all startups during their first 3 years. The accelerator can help you to bring your startup to the next level, open doors that remain closed, help you with the PR, rethink your business approach based on your current experience and make sure you lay the foundation for growth. Often a startup grows fast at the beginning only to find out they cannot manage this growth. This accelerator helps to prepare for that. We tailor the program to the needs of the 10 selected startups.
Please contact Freerk Bisschop to check if we can help you at the specific stage you are now.
You need to have at least a team of two people to be able to join the program. It is difficult enough to build and grow a business, so you should at least have a partner to be able to make it a success. During the selection period the team aspect is also an important aspect of the selection. You should be complementary and have good dynamics to be able to make it work. However, we realize it is quite difficult to find the right partner. If you are very convinced that your startup should be part of the program, we recommend you to start applying! We might be able to connect you to the right partner. Your team should at least be ready before we invite you for selection days.
Are you kidding? Of course not! You are probably more experienced, you have a better network and you might even be experienced in starting a company! This are all advantages. The question is: are you willing to dedicate yourself to your startup (it is no 9-5 job), open minded and like to be challenged? We tailor the program to needs to the 10 selected startups. You might be able to skip some aspects of the program and need more support on other aspects. The fact that your peers in this program might be of another generation can only be beneficial to both of you! The main question is: Are you coachable? Or do you think you already know it all by yourself?
When invited to our program you will receive €20,000 in cash for which we will receive an equity stake of 8% per startup, possibly less if your company has been funded recently. We are willing to give our all alongside your other co-founders to make your startup work. You can call on us as a co-founder; before, during and after the program.
For our 2015 Smart Energy program our focus is on innovation in the areas of smart homes, meters & grids, collective and decentralized energy generation & distribution, energy reduction and energy usage awareness. We hope to see more and more innovative and compelling consumer oriented smart energy products and services coming from the world of software and internet technology.
Is IT not (yet) at the core of what you do? You can still apply if you are you ready to go to the market. Or want to focus on customer development before you fine tune your hardware technology. A great invention does not necessary lead to a successful company. Your proposition to the market is very important as well as being able to seduce your customer. Helping you to find the right story, to become customer focused and successfully pitch your business is where this accelerator adds it’s value. By the way, part of your strategy to reach out to your customers will be online, isn’t it?
We believe in the power of a great team. Since our program is extremely intense requires our teams to give everything, it’s important that you have a strong team (track record, motivation, potential). Inherent to the program, business concepts and models will most likely change.
We’re also looking for innovation. It doesn’t mean that you have to come up with a totally original idea, but your execution of that idea has to be unique. We’re looking to change the world with the startups we work with.
As we’re looking for the top startups, we don’t care where you’re from in the world as long as you can get here by 15th of January 2015.
In order for us to help you get most out of the program, we’re looking for startups that have developed at least a minimal viable product. If your idea is still on the back of a napkin at the moment, we suggest you go to your next Startup Weekend and test it out. Just as long as you have a business vision by the end of our application process in OCtober, we will love to hear your idea. However, given the fact that we generally receive a lot of applications we do look for and prefer customers, users and (some) traction.
Rockstart Accelerator is based in the heart of the startup hub Amsterdam. Known for its entrepreneurial climate, open lifestyle, and central location, it is the place for any startup to grow internationally.
No. We welcome all startups from within the EU and beyond, as long as they can legally work in Amsterdam for the full duration of the program. If you are outside of the EU, we will work with you in order to get the right paperwork. Together with the Dutch government we have made signififcant efforts in order to make it easier for non-EU founders to work on their startup in a Rockstart Accelerator program.
In order for startups to benefit the most from all program elements, we require all founders to live and work in / around Amsterdam for the full duration of the program. Our team will facilitate your search to find housing in Amsterdam.
Very unlikely. Our program is extremely intense and demands more than one entrepreneur could give. We encourage you to find one or two rock star co-founders with complementary skills (e.g. tech/product developer/business/UX).
Yes. We will only provide a maximum amount of seed funding of €20,000 (three founders), but that does not stop you from applying with more founders. In saying this, we don’t recommend teams of more than 5 founders.
As much as we believe in lean startup principles, your startup may need additional funding in order to grow. During the program we host our initial Demo Day. This gives the public the first real taste of what you have been working on.
On Demo Day, we will be inviting hundreds of investors (VCs and angels), mentors, and press for you to pitch your startup to. In addition, we take our teams on an International Road Trip. Here, our teams will have the chance to pitch to international VCs and angels.
We will be doing as much as we possibly can to get you further funding. Not all teams of course need funding, and we will always work in the interest of the startups.
We believe in getting the best out of every situation. You have to realize that all the decisions made for your company from start to finish will be yours and yours alone. We’ll help guide you through the pitfalls and hurdles of entrepreneur life, but we’re not here to run your startup.
We’re big fans of the quote “execution is everything”. In saying that, we are not in the business of stealing ideas. We can assure you that any idea that gets sent through our application process is only for the purpose of evaluating your startup. That means we won’t show anyone your idea, even if they ask really nicely.
Yes. As long as you’re not outsourcing unique business elements that add value at the heart of your startup, we will accept minor outsourcing. Do keep in mind that the team plays an essential role in the selection process.
Applying for Rockstart Smart Energy Accelerator is easy. Just complete and submit our online application form. We don’t require you to hand in a business plan.
The selection process consists of 3 rounds. We will timely inform all startups on their advancement to the next round. By the end of December 15/early – January 2016 we will notify the startups who have been selected into the program. This gives you another 3 weeks to pack, say goodbye, and move to Amsterdam.
Applications close Saturday, Dec 12 2015.
We will process each and every application with great care. Unfortunately it is impossible for us to give everyone personal feedback on their application. If something is unclear, you can ask us questions at any time via the F6s application system.