Search for...

Startup Wise Guys enters Romania to accelerate regional fintech innovation

startup wise guys
Image credit: Startup Wise Guys 2021
, ~

Startup Wise Guys (SWG), the renowned European B2B startup accelerator and early-stage investor launches a new accelerator in Romania together with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and TaiwanBusiness, the Technical Cooperation Fund of EBRD. The program is fintech-focused and will allow up to ten selected startups to receive a €90K pre-seed investment with the opportunity for a follow-on. The Startup Wise Guys Fintech program in Bucharest will start on July 11, 2022. 

The goal of the new accelerator is to broaden innovations in financial verticals such as  proptech, insurtech, analytics, regtech and cybersecurity. By entering Romania, Startup Wise Guys continues its focus on impact investing in emerging markets, EBRD builds on its mission of supporting new development in CEE. The 5-month program will be shaped in a hybrid format with online and offline modules, while the selected startups will be mentored by the SWG team, fintech experts, and EBRD staff. Interested startups can apply before June 9, 2022. 

“Having invested in close to 50 fintech startups, we have witnessed amazing talent from the region and the impact these startups can make to the digital economy. We chose Romania for our fifth fintech program because it is a country we believe is poised for hypergrowth in the startup space in the coming decade. We are doing this in a new partnership with EBRD after a successful collaboration in the last fintech program in Vilnius, Lithuania,” Cristobal Alonso, Global CEO at Startup Wise Guys, highlights in the press release. 

Is the Startup Wise Guys Fintech program for me?

All the programs of Startup Wise Guys, including the Romanian fintech program, are meant for B2B startups. On some occasions, B2B2C companies are also accepted, but purely customer-oriented startups would not be considered. In addition, to be eligible, the startups need to have a working MVP, at least 2 co-founders, and some form of initial customer traction, or revenue metrics. 

Read more:  Open Banking: Trends, Insights, and Innovators in Southeast Europe

The program does not have any geographical focus but currently does not accept applications from Russia and Belarus-based companies. In addition, teams who haven’t established their companies yet would be considered but will be required to establish a company if they get selected for the program. All participants are expected to make a full-time commitment. 

Participating teams will be supported in four main focus areas: Company building, Sales and marketing, Fundraising and Pitching, and Product building. They will engage in an intensive collaboration with almost 100 mentors at workshops, one-on-one sessions, and sprint weeks. Founders will also have a dedicated time for implementation throughout the program and will be supported with a €90K convertible investment (65K cash + 25K program) with a €250K follow-on possibility.

The team behind Startup Wise Guys Fintech

The program in Bucharest will be run by the Spanish insurtech expert Juan Alonso-Villalobos and the Romanian startup founder and business development expert Razvan Suta. They will be supported by several fintech entrepreneurs-in-residence, including the serial investor and founder Omer Unsal and the Latvian fintech expert Jevgenijs Kazanins. Moreover, the startups will be supported by SWG’s network of over 250 mentors, among which Johan Lorenzen, Former CEO of Holvi, Mārcis Goģis, Head of Product at Mintos, and Remco Veenenberg Founder of Budapest AI. 

In Romania, Startup Wise Guys is also partnering with Rubik Hub to help the organization launch its Rubik Garage equity-free accelerator for CEE startups. 

Help us grow the emerging innovation hubs in Southeast Europe

Every single contribution of yours helps us guarantee our independence and sustainable future. With your financial support, we can keep on providing constructive reporting on the developments in the region, give even more global visibility to our ecosystem, and educate the next generation of innovation journalists and content creators.

Find out more about how your donation could help us shape the story of the SEE entrepreneurial ecosystem!

One-time donation

You can also support The Recursive’s mission with a pick-any-amount, one-time donation. 👍

Elena is an Innovation Reporter at The Recursive, an online media dedicated to the emerging tech and startup ecosystems in Southeast Europe. She is keen on sharing the innovation stories that shape the regional ecosystem and has a great interest in fintech, IoT, and biotech startups. Elena is currently finishing her Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and Political Science at the American University in Bulgaria.
Startups