Julian Jacob

The Second Smart Energy Deep Dive Week: Finance and Funding

Having an understanding of finance and funding is important for startups. It is necessary for startups to have knowledge in this area and also be able to apply this knowledge to a plan for their future steps. That is why the Rockstart Smart Energy Accelerator has a Deep Dive week fully dedicated to financing and funding. The aim of this Deep Dive week is for each of our nine startups to finalize a basic financial plan and a basic investment & funding proposal. They’ll also create a roadmap to get these documents to an advanced level for Demo Day in November.

Throughout this Deep Dive week, each startup took part in multiple workshops, presentations, meetings, and ‘Ask Me Anything’ sessions to achieve this goal. The ‘Ask Me Anything’ session is unique in the sense that they allow for startups to ask experts, investors and entrepreneurs any question they have. Throughout the Deep Dive, our startups were also engaged with their assigned core mentors and advisors as well as the wider mentor network in challenging sessions where received a lot of feedback.

Joan Collell Sánchez, co-founder & COO of FlexiDAO stated that he values the Rockstart Smart Energy program for multiple reasons “first of all, starting with Freerk’s weekly check-ups, he helped us with on pitch that led to us being a winner in the EAT awards and receiving €20,000. But its much more than that its really the senior support in the areas we struggle in that is targeted at our most immediate needs. I would also add that all the training really touches on the critical areas of the business we need support on”.

To be able to achieve the most in a five day period, we held 1on1 assessments prior to the start of the finance and funding Deep Dive week. The 1on1 assessments focused on each individual startup’s current financial situation and plan. Based on this information we were able to tailor some of the workshops to the specific needs the startups had. This ensures that all of our startups finished the week with the necessary knowledge and skill they need moving forward in their financial and funding plan. This was especially important, as the nine startups all entered the program at different stages from a financial point of view. Our nine Smart Energy startups came to the program with some financial planning and funding set up, however, most of them were at the basic level with their financial plan. Therefore, we wanted the startups to have a well-structured plan and roadmap so that they are able to clearly see the next steps in their growth. For that reason, each day of the deep dive week was structured in a manner that would best benefit the startups.

This Deep Dive week focused on where our startups are and how to get them to the next level. This is important to all startups looking for investment as investors look for startups that can show a clear projection and strategy for their company’s financials. We wanted the startups to have a strong understanding of their current financials, what they will need in the future, and what will happen with their cash flow and business model going forward. Through this, each startup also gained a better idea and plan for their future growth and scale up.

Startups always need to think about the future and next steps ahead of them. Without they would be unable to clearly communicate with investors. From a financial perspective, startups need to know how to argue and justify their plan to investors. Therefore, they need to be able to understand and explain their costs, their business model, and the type of customers they have and whom they are targeting. This should all be represented in their financial plan and projection. Startups also need to understand how to present their financial plan to investors in an effective manner with a clear and comprehensive story. For this reason, we let them present in front of selected mentors to get valuable feedback and get challenged about their assumptions, projections, and financials.

“We applied to join the Rockstart accelerator program as we wanted to get the best possible support in growing our business. During the program, we have been matched with exceptional mentors, been asked the important questions of “why you, why now”, been exposed to the Rockstart network, which is a lot larger than we could imagine, and gone through extensive trainings on how to best serve our customers, price our product, and find the best investor. We truly feel that we have become part of the Rockstart family.” said Stine Bundgaard Carlé, co-founder of AMMP Technologies.

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