Startlabs, first Serbian accelerator, investing 50.000$ in regional startupsBY Vukašin Stojkov ON January 15
Startlabs is the first seed fund and accelerator in Serbia and their goal is to invest in Serbian and Western Balkan’s tech startups.
They have a standard terms and conditions — 50.000$ investment for 10-15% share, with 3-month-program in Belgrade and San Francisco.
The founders of this accelerator are Voja Lalic and Nebojsa Lazic, who both have long entrepreneurial experience, having a few startups in Belgrade and San Francisco like Pamet, Vision Inc, MotionApps i Vicert.
What’s the deal?
Startlabs is taking the proven approach of the accelerators, but adjusting it a little to the the specifics of this part of the Europe and and the level of the ecosystem development.
Besides the financial investment, startups who become part of their program will have access to carefully selected group of mentors, office space, contact network and counseling about every aspect of business and company development.
Regarding the financial part – the maximum ammunt of each particular investment is 50.000 $ which goes in two tranches – for Belgrade and California stage. The share they will take is 10-15% depending on the phase the startup is in.
The authencity of Startlabs
Besides the fact that it is the first seed fund in Serbia and one of the rare ones in SEE, the connection Startlabs has with Silicon Valley, the world center of tech entrepreneurship, is what makes them unique.
Voja and Nebojsa believe that startups from Serbia and region will strongly benefit from moving to San Francisco and participating in the worlds most developed startup ecosystem.
As Voja, one of the founders says:
Statlabs is a bridge which connecs Balkan’s entrepreneurs and Silicon Valley.
We want to help the seed of entrepreneurialism grow in many young, smart and curious individuals by pointing them the way they can go to make their ideas become reality.
In addition to the ways of thinking, work on startups development and building high-quality and wide-ranging network of contacts, Silicon Valley is the place with the most accessible capital for technology business in the world, which is also a factor why StartLabs plans to run their startups in San Francisco.
They don’t like to play with numbers
Joint ventures, rich experience and established bases in Serbia and California were one of the factors that have created the right establishment for the creation of the accelerator. As they also state, the activities of SEE ICT also played an important role for development of Serbian startup scene.
One other characteristic that makes them unique is striving to quality, instead quantity – investing in large number of startups with expectations that some of them will fail, few return the investment and one return 10+ times the invested amount.
This approach is adapted to the target area. Although the region is producing more and more startups, the fact that it is still news when a new one is created, as well as when the young startup is making good business results.
Whether and to what extent StartLabs will succeed in realising this ambitious strategy remains to be seen, and Startit will certainly report about the performance of the fund in future years.
What kind of startups and founders they want in StartLabs? Committed for start
If you are an entrepreneur in the early stages of your startup you have probably already asked yourself – how you can become part of the accelerator? Investors usually want good teams, ambitious idea, a solid business model…
In an exclusive interview with Voja, we found out what kinds of startups and founders they are looking for:
We are looking for teams and founders who are committed to their idea and startup to the end. A good startup has an enormous energy and good idea. A good startup can show that he is able to do what he’s up to.
A good startup is one that wants to invest all their efforts in the quality of their products. A good startup understands that the key to success in the quality of the team and product, and not in the quality of their presentations.
You can see more details about StartLabs on their website and the activities they have undertaken so far and more info about the startups that have become part of their programme – Carlock, CaseTrek and Business Exchange.