The Prague-based accelerator, StartupYard will leverage its connections and experience to focus on deep tech startups in Security & Trust, IoT & Big Data, and Machine Learning & Prediction.
StartupYard, one of Central Europe’s leading seed accelerators for technology startups, announced today that it would begin accepting applications for a new cohort, to kick off in November 2016.
The news of StartupYard’s second 2016 cohort comes during a banner year for the accelerator, with alumni companies raising over 3 million euros within the past 12 months. In just the past week, two of StartupYard’s alumni, personal finance platform BudgetBakers (SY 2015), and social travel platform SpeediFly (SY 2016) announced seed investments of around 300,000 euros each. Also last week, StartupYard alum Neuron Soundware won the prestigious Idea of the Year contest, Napad Roku, winning over 170 other Central European startups, and gained funding from the Vodafone Foundation.
Since 2011, StartupYard has invested in and accelerated 6 cohorts of 44 startups. Its aim is to help startups grow and gain further investment, while connecting them with partners and mentors to help them launch on the global stage. 17 alumni have raised further investment, for a total of over 6 million euros. 5 companies have been acquired, and 29 are still operating. StartupYard is backed by Credo Ventures, Rockaway Capital, and a group of angel investors including Michal Illich, Josef Matejka, Michal Kratochvil, and Philip Staehelin.
Focusing on the Data Economy
The focus of this new cohort will be the data economy, which includes a broad range of possible technologies, including digital security, IoT, and machine learning, as well as areas like digital transactions, digital identity, and artificial intelligence. StartupYard has boasted a string of recent investments in startups from previous cohorts in the past year, including Albanian search leader Gjirafa.com, mobile security firm TeskaLabs, and most recently, personal finance platform BudgetBakers, and social travel platform Speedifly.
StartupYard Managing Director, Cedric Maloux commented on the renewed focus on data: Data has become the loadstone of modern business. And as we generate more and more data, we are discovering more opportunities to exploit that data for good, but also greater risks of that data being used against our interests and our personal liberty. Maloux added: when you look at every direction that the modern economy is headed: from the blockchain to deep learning, to natural language processing and IoT: data is now at the heart of everything.
Ondrej Bartos, Partner at Central European tech VC firm Credo Ventures, and a StartupYard investor agreed: modern corporations are either waking up to the reality of big data, or they’re already sinking faster than they realize. The smartest see startups as their future. StartupYard has shown with successes like [Albanian search leader] Gjirafa.com and [mobile security firm] TeskaLabs, that they can help startups move towards execution on a large scale, and develop real partnerships with existing key players on the market.
Alumni Gjirafa.com raised $2 million Series A from Rockaway Capital
In February 2016, Kosovo-based and StartupYard all-star Alum Gjirafa.com, raised a $2 million Series A round led by San Francisco and Prague-based Rockaway Capital. Mergim Cahani, Co-Founder, and CEO of Gjirafa, joined StartupYard as part of the 2014 cohort and has continued to stay in close contact as a mentor and advisor for the startups of StartupYard. Rockaway Capital is also a StartupYard investor.
Having these opportunities in mind, what’s your excuse for not applying for Startup Yard, even from Prishtina, Tirana, Skopje, Podgorica or Belgrade?