Startup Spotlight – 20,000$ for the Best CEE Startups

In November How to Web Startup Spotlight brings together brave entrepreneurs, international tech experts, accelerators and investors from all around the world. The tech startups developing innovative products can compete for the 20.000 USD cash prizes by applying online at until Sunday, October 20.

Organized in parallel with How to Web, Startup Spotlight is the most important competition and orientation program for CEE startups. The 32 finalists will discuss with mentors, investors, as well as representatives of World Class Accelerators, while the winners will receive cash prizes with a total value of 20.000 USD offered by IXIA, the main partner of the event.

Startup Spotlight targets technology startups with less than 2 years of activity that have a least a prototype to show on stage and have not raised more than 100.000 EUR funding until the present moment. During the 4 days of the event, the teams will attend practical workshops and mentoring sessions and they will have 1 on 1 meetings with investors and representatives of the accelerators. Moreover, they will rehearse their pitches and receive valuable feedback during the pitching workshops. The best 8 teams will get the chance to present their product on the main How to Web stage in front of the entire audience of the conference.

The results of the previous Startup Spotlight edition talk by themselves. Out of the 32 early stage startups from 8 CEE countries that attended the program, 10 have closed an important deal as a consequence of participating in the program. Even if they got accepted to an accelerator, got a VC investment, signed a partnership or found an advisor or a new team member, Startup Spotlight had a significant impact on their further development, fueled their growth and helped them seize important opportunities. Moreover, 4 months after the event other 8 teams had unfinished negotiations.

Incrediblue, the winner of Startup Spotlight 2012, got an investment from Open Fund, publicly launched their product and launched their Geeks on a boat project at The Next Web Conference in Amsterdam.

An hour after the award ceremony, TechCrunch wrote about the results of Startup Spotlight and, of course, mentioned us in the title and article. For the following hours we got about 1000 invitation requests for our closed beta. It was crazy!, said Georgios Gatos, Co-Founder of Incrediblue.

The other winners also had spectacular results. Gameleon, the winner of IXIA Innovation Award, got accepted to Eleven and Mozilla Web Fwd, closed a partnership with SoftLayer, and won several pitching contests all around Europe and the US, including the Intel Global Challenge.

The Mavenhut team, the winners of the best pitch, received a 500.000 EUR investment from SOS Ventures, was awarded some of the most important distinctions in the industry, and their products reached Top 100 Grossing Apps on Facebook in October 2013.

This year too Startup Spotlight follows the same success recipe: 4 days of workshops, pitching, panels with investors and accelerator representatives, mentoring sessions, as well as 1 to 1 meetings with accelerators and investors from all around the world. Some of the accelerators that will be attending Startup Spotlight are TechStars, Seedcamp, Oxygen and Wayra (UK), Rockstart (The Netherlands), Eleven and LauncHub (Bulgaria), Startup Bootcamp (present in several European countries), TechPeaks (Italy), Startup Wise Guys and Startup Highway (Estonia), or Hub:raum (Poland).

Andrei PitiÅŸ (President of ANIS), Radu Georgescu (Co-Founder Avangate and Gecad), Maxim Gurvitz (Partner, Teres Capital), Dan Lupu (Partner Early Bird Capital), Daniel Lynch (Partner 3TS Capital) and Alan Clayton (Business Coach SOS Ventures) are some of the exceptional mentors and investors that will meet with the Startup Spotlight finalists.

The attendance to the program is free for the 32 teams that will be selected. Registrations are made online at until Sunday, October 20. The expert judges will review the applications based on their team fit and experience, market size & trend, market validation & traction, customer acquisition cost, scalability and overall feasibility.

Startup Spotlight is organized in the same time with How to Web, the most important web and technology event in South East Europe. How to Web 2013 has as major theme the Let’s grow together” concept and it brings 40 international speakers from 4 continents in front of an estimated audience of over 800 persons. The detailed agenda of the event, the list with all the confirmed speakers, as well as details about tickets and prices are available online at . How to Web is an event developed together with IXIA with the support of X3, SoftLayer, Enterprise Ireland, Avangate, Microsoft, Hubraum, and Twilio.

The visibility of the event is ensured by the main media partners Prove PR, Digi TV, Forbes Romania, Capital,, Evenimentul Zilei, DAS Cloud, Revista Cariere, Ctrl-D, and, and the media partners,, Digjitale, IT Dogadjaji, CEE Startups,, Goal Europe, Akcees, IQ Ads, Computer World, PC World, Business Cover, Tech Cover, Business Woman, Gadget & Trends, Comunicaii mobile, Market Watch, Business Review, Manager Express, România Liber,, Zelist, Ejobs, Softlead, Romanian Startups and Today Software Magazine.