The Eastern Europe Founder Institute, one of the world’s largest pre-seed startup accelerators, announced the second edition of its flagship program, titled Eastern Europe Fall Virtual 2021. Admissions are open until November 7th to all entrepreneurs and their teams looking for traction and funding.
About the program
The program is available in 90 countries and since 2015 in Bulgaria as well. In 2019, Sofia became the European headquarters of the accelerator. Later on, at the beginning of 2021, they partnered up with the team in Romania with a cohort of 62 founders.
Since its launch in 2009, the accelerator’s team has coached over 5000 companies across various industries and facilitated over $1B in funding. Their main goals are to focus on what’s important, aid smart decisions, raise funding, and build global brands.
To do this, the team uses a structured growth process to reduce the time and costs, offers constant feedback, and leverages a network of funding partners from all over the world, beginning with Silicon Valley.
Some of the success stories in the Bulgaria edition include chatbot platform Umni.bg, vocabulary-building app Worddio, and Foodobox, which received a grant from the ClimAccelerator Black Sea, for its food waste prevention app. From the Romanian edition, both Roboself, building smart digital assistants to improve customer satisfaction for SaaS companies, and meetgeek.ai, a virtual meeting assistant, went on to raise funding from Early Game Ventures.
This edition of the accelerator will be available online starting November 16th, with local and international mentors, and the potential for in-person networking. It will comprise one weekly evening session and 20-30 hours of work throughout the rest of the week over 14 weeks. In this way, Founder Institute is adapted to founders with full-time jobs who want to validate their ideas and get to traction before committing 100%.
After the application is completed, entrepreneurs are invited to take an assessment. On their virtual FAQ page, they ask one of the most important questions a startup founder might be asking:
“Aren’t economic downturns a bad time to start a company?”
“No. In fact, they are a great time to start a company, and this is not just conjecture: the Founder Institute was founded in April 2009, during the ‘Great Recession’. During a recession and times of economic uncertainty, large companies move slowly, talent is readily available, and the normal costs of real estate/goods/services are significantly lower. Many of the world’s largest tech companies used these benefits to their advantage to launch and get traction during an economic downturn, such as Apple, Microsoft, IBM, Udemy, etc,” shares the FI team.