Send your early stage startups! Rockstart Launchtrack is coming to Moldova
Amsterdam—February 20, 2017—Rockstart, one of Europe’s first multi-vertical startup accelerators, announces its Launchtrack program in Moldova, powered by Tekwill. The program focuses on supporting entrepreneurs, typically first-time founders, with prototypes and ideas, aspiring to launch their product and get selected by an international accelerator such as Rockstart. The entrepreneurs will take part in a 60-day program (March 31—June 2) in the Moldovan center of technology and capital Chișinău, coming from across Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and Central Asia.
“We see a real challenge for entrepreneurs bringing their ideas to life,” said Rune Theill, co-founder and CEO of Rockstart. “Far too often, we see that they work on a solution without understanding the problem first. We help these first-time entrepreneurs to launch a product with the potential for scale beyond their local market. We aim to support entrepreneurs on building something that matters to users, and make sure that they stay focused on the core value they are delivering to their customers. Understanding that you can sell something before you build it is one of the most powerful things we believe all entrepreneurs should learn from the Launchtrack program.”
Rockstart has chosen Moldova as its first program in Eastern Europe thanks to a rapidly growing vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem, as well as its strategic location. Moldova is easily reachable from most of the Eastern European and Central Asian countries, while its visa requirements are not as strict as in the neighboring EU member states.
“Having worked with startups from all over the world as part of our Rockstart Smart Energy accelerator, I saw that our best entrepreneurs didn’t just come from tech hubs such as London or San Francisco, they came from everywhere,” said Karin van Soest, program manager of the Rockstart Launchtrack Moldova program. “However, not all of them have had the same access to knowledge and support. Entrepreneurs originating from emerging ecosystems need access to the right tools and mentorship to be able to launch a tech startup.
“Moldova is a fast emerging startup ecosystem with highly engaged entrepreneurs. Being developer focussed, they are well able to build great products. They have the drive to dream big enough to go global, looking to San Francisco as a role model. But there are very few successful local founders to learn from, and the financial and mentorship support they need is scarce. I believe that by supporting entrepreneurs in emerging regions with our key knowledge and experience we can create a great impact and help many more succeed in their first steps towards a global presence.”
The partnership with Tekwill was also a strong argument for Rockstart in favor of launching a program in Moldova. The passionate team that has formed around the organization, including the CEE startup ecosystem champion and Tekwill advisor Anca Albu, aligns perfectly with the objectives and values that Rockstart has envisioned for the project.
“By bringing Rockstart to Moldova Tekwill expects to gain experience and learn how to run a program for early stage startups,” said Caterina Rutter, community manager at Tekwill. “We will get a better opportunity to create a founder-friendly and sustainable ecosystem for Eastern European tech startups. The Rockstart brand will help Tekwill to promote Moldova as one of the best places to turn your idea into a real startup. Also, since Tekwill provides co-working spaces, a partnership with Rockstart will ensure that we provide entrepreneurs with the best support to launch their startups, within and beyond Moldova.”
Rockstart Launchtrack powered by Tekwill is organized with the support of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) within “Moldova ICT Excellence Center Project.”
How to apply
Are you working on an initial prototype or idea which you believe has the potential for global scale? Get support from our international accelerator team in validating your product idea, find your launching market and get the chance to enter our international accelerator.
We are looking for teams or individuals who are creating the future, using promising new technologies to make a positive impact. You should be in the stage where you have a prototype or idea (pre-MVP).
Once you have applied we will take a look at your team and technology and invite you for a call. After our call we will let you know if you are selected and help you to plan your participation in the program and your stay in Chișinău. The program sessions will be held almost exclusively during long weekends, Fridays to Sundays, and you will be expected to participate in all program elements to be able to pass each of the milestones.
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