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Startcelerate – starting a startup with no money down

Comments Off on Startcelerate – starting a startup with no money down May 8, 2014 |

startcelerate cluj-logoYoung entrepreneurs from Cluj-Napoca (Romania) who wants to open a business in the Information technology field (that includes the Internet) will have a unique chance to participate at “Startcelerate” platform launch which will premiere on 17 of May this year (this will be a pilot program, before launching internationally).

Startcelerate was established in London by two Romanians: Tudor Bîrlea and Gabriel Dombri.

“So far, young entrepreneurs had to raise cash or to find partners to sustain them financially somehow (think family and friends). Not an easy task to accomplish. Startcelerate wants to provide an alternative, different that the traditional ones. The IT companies can invest resources like services of teams of programmers, for example, who are working for these IT companies. This kind of investment is treated as a cash investment and those IT companies take a percentage of these new startups.”, says Tudor Bîrlea.

The event in Cluj-Napoca will take place between 17-18 of May at the co-working space ClujHub.

Among the speaker will be:

  • Eusebiu Burcas / Burcash: Startup finance managmenent
  • William Lorentz / Kwanji: How to start a startup in the European context
  • Florin Parlea / Gemini Foundry: How to invest in a startup
  • Emil Tamas / Mocqups: How to build an international startup in Cluj-Napoca
  • Ovidiu Matan / Today Software Magazine: The importance of a tech ecosystem

More Startcelerate events will follow in Bucharest, London, Tel-Aviv.
The international launch will be in September this year.

What is Startcelerate

Startcelerate is set up as a platform for alternative investments in startups, where software companies (initially) can use their internal resources to provide solutions for startups in exchange of equity. From their side, this means that startups can access directly a whole range of development resources, in such a way that all the usual issues from the classical fundaraising process can be avoided. As far as an invested resource can be translated in money value, it can become an equity round.

To overcome the shortcomings from the current investment models, Startcelerate has a few solutions:

  • Since you still have already paid for resources, why not make a proper investment with them?

The whole talent crisis and implicit war on talent in Romanian IT&C, a company has rarely a 100% occupancy rate for its resources. And when it has it, it is probably sold at the smallest possible price. Which really raises an eyebrow regarding the opportunity costs. With Startcelerate, any development resorce can be turned into an investment; indeed, a risky, teeth-crunching investment as far as accountants are concerned, but on a scalable ROI model, compared to the purely liniar revenue model these companies work with now.

  • Investors can make informed decisions.

Startcelerate will allow you to search, analyse and compare startups based on a formalised profile and according to a series of relevant metrics tied up to the type of startup and its phase of development. The decision-making process for investing gets a new and essential area of specific and actionable data.

  • Step-by-step and agile investments.

To mitigate risk, the invested resources can be scheduled in small batches tied to some pre-established milestones, where an accomplished objective fires up the next investment. Practically, the startup founders establish an objective, the tactics to get there and the necessary resources for getting there, while the entire progress will be recorded within the startup account on the platform.

  • Effective and flexible investment contracts.

On the legal side, Startcelerate proposes an agile and effective contracting flow, using a series of security-type contracts, customisable stright away within the platform. Such contracts will give the initial investors the options to buy shares in a future equity round, at a pre-established price.


Why Cluj might have an edge with Startcelerate model

With its technology infrastructure (both those a few dozens software companies and the academic environment that provides fresh talent every year) and its relevant outsourcing history, Cluj seems to have a head start in the Startcelerate framework.
The local software companies could use Startcelerate either as an investment tool or as a way into an innovation area that is many times difficult to cultivate inside a company whose main focus is to sell development hours to its clients. A more prominent startup local community comes to add up another positive mark here.

These are the main reasons for choosing to launch Startcelerate – a London-based investment startup otherwise – in Cluj, in a pilot event in the second part of May 2014. This event will bring together local software companies and Romanian startup founders in an intensive pitch-and-develop 3 days event. For more details, visit
(part of this article is sourced from: Today Software Magazine)


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