Techpeaks wants you to spend 6 months in the Alps (and build a startup)

BY Alex Čović ON April 3

A new kind of startup accelerator is launching right around the corner from SEE region – in the Italian Alps. The picturesque city of Trento, Italy will be the home of TechPeaks, the “people accelerator“, which is taking place from late May to November. If you are looking to spend six months in the Alps honing your entrepreneurial skills and building a startup, this might be right up your alley.

TechPeaks is launched by Trento RISE Association in partnership with Trentino Sviluppo, and it’s taking a slightly different approach than we might be used to. Describing itself as a people accelerator, TechPeaks is welcoming applications from both preexisting startups and teams, as well as individuals with (or without) an idea for a business.

The accelerator provides applicants who make the cut with six months of free housing, office space and food, as well as pocket money and visa support (if you need one to work and study in Italy).

Even more importantly, selected participants will get access to 40+ mentors (including founders, CEO’s and advisors from Jawbone, Eventbrite, Meetup.com, Zemanta, SeedCamp, 500 startups and Lean Startup Machine, to name but a few) and access to VCs, accelerators and investment funds.

Checkout what Evan Nissenson, mentor at 500 startups, SeedCamp and TechPeaks had to say about the programme:

TechPeaks is also providing funding, consisting of 25,000€ grants – meaning that the accelerator doesn’t take a cut of the startups equity. This is another perk that the new accelerator is looking to set itself apart with. The only condition is that your new startup is registred in Italy, since one of the goals of the initiative is to grow the tech and startup ecosystem in the region.

Additionally, TechPeaks will be able to provide up to 200.000 € in equity matched funds for startups that succeed  in attracting other investments.

Another interesting angle that TechPeaks is taking consists of partnering, rather than competing with some of the top accelerators and investment funds in West Coast, Europe and the region. Accelerators working with TechPeaks include well known names like SeedCamp, Founder Institute and Mind the Bridge, as well as increasingly active Eleven and iCatapult, both of which Startit readers are already familiar with.

TechPeak’s Accelerator for People is an ambitious idea, – says Carlos Eduardo Espinal, Partner at Seedcamp, – but I believe that it’s possible to create efficient mix of individuals and passion to support entrepreneurship education and innovations in Europe. The Main challenge for Tech Peaks will be how to achieve maximum results and convert “bright talented individuals” into great founders of startups, with success in both local markets and global ones… This initiative has the potential to really boost the European startup ecosystem and motivate people, so we are very supportive!

NB: You can catch Carlos’ keynote at our own StartupStandup event, taking place on the 6th.

Csongor Biás of iCatapult added:

The program of TeachPeaks is truly  valuable, not just because of the unbelievable benefits they provide, but also since they’ve chosen this unique approach to focus on people, not just teams. With TechPeaks, we share the belief that in order to create hubs of innovation and achieve success stories in the European region, we need openness and discussion between talented and diverse people. Their initiative is designed to bring talented people together and provide the conditions to accelerate new or existing businesses. We are glad to call them a partner.

This is only the beginning for TechPeaks – the initiative has already provided 13M€ of committed capital, which should cover funding for two boot camps every year, for next four years. The end-goal of the initiative is to help launch ‘at least’ one hundred ICT projects over this time period.

The application window for the first TechPeaks boot camp is open until the 5th April.

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