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Europe’s leading accelerators | Hear from Startup Wise Guys, Rockstart and Techstars at this year’s EU-Startups Summit!

On April 20-21, 2023, we will be welcoming you again to our annual EU-Startups Summit in Barcelona! This year, the event will be bigger and better than ever before and we’ll have lots of exciting speakers, panel discussions, networking activities, pitch competitions and much more. The EU-Startups Summit will gather over 2,000 founders, startup enthusiasts and investors for two days of networking, inspiration and learning!

This year, one of the panel discussions on our main stage will be covering all things Accelerators! For early-stage startups there are many benefits to accelerator programmes. They help you speed up your progress, grow your network, gain some clout and attention, get some exclusive perks, find future customers, and avoid costly mistakes – just to name a few of the advantages.

Across Europe, accelerator programmes are becoming more and more active in supporting our thriving startup ecosystem and it’s a real positive sign for the future. They’re giving startup founders the chance to validate their ideas, get tangible support as well as grow the community surrounding European innovation. That’s why we‘ve organised a panel discussion at this year’s Summit, representing some of the leading accelerator programmes from the continent and exploring the benefits these can bring to your startup. 

The panel discussion will feature Startup Wise Guys Global CEO Cristobal Alonso,  Rockstart CEO and co-founder, Rune Theill, and Techstars‘ Managing Director, Raphaele Leyendecker

Startup Wise Guys, founded in 2012 in the startup unicorn-land Estonia, is a global accelerator fund that focuses on early-stage startups in B2B SaaS, Fintech, Cyber, Extended Reality and Sustainability verticals. The 5-month hybrid accelerator programme provides seed capital, intense practical educational curriculum and most importantly – world-class mentors. Startup Wise Guys have invested in more than 350+ startups from 65+ countries and have already celebrated 13 exits from the portfolio.

A 3x CEO, early-stage investor (with more than 300 investments) and global executive, Cristobal has a wealth of experience to share insights from. At Startup Wise Guys, Cristobal leads as Global CEO and Energy Master. A strategic thinker, he is an expert in developing highly empowered international teams. Alongside making investments and fueling the global startup ecosystem, Cristobal is also a former professional basketball player and has co-authored Perform, The Unsexy Truth About (Startup) Success.

Rockstart is an early-stage VC-accelerator  that empowers purpose-driven founders across AgriFood, Energy and Emerging Technologies. To date, Rockstart has invested in more than 300 startups and its alumni value is more than $1 billion.

Rune has over a decade of experience in building ecosystems for entrepreneurs. He began his career in 2010 at Venture Cup where he was part of building the largest business plan for students in the Nordics. He then joined Startupbootcamp before moving to Amsterdam and founding Rockstart in 2012. During his time at Rockstart, Rune has had a leading role in selecting and  scaling startups across AgriFood, Energy and Emerging Tech. He has also been actively involved in building and raising Rockstart’s three current funds. Rune took the position of CEO in 2016.

TechStars - Iomob

Techstars, founded in 2006, has so far invested in more than 3,600 early-stage startups around the world. It backs startups in a range of tech verticals, including healthtech, fintech, web3 and cleantech. The company aims to support entrepreneurs with access to capital, mentoring, hiring, onboarding customers and beyond – so they can reach global success.

Raphaele is the Managing Director of Techstars Sustainability Paris Accelerator and invested in 36 sustainable ventures in the last 12 months. Sustainability and digital entrepreneur, startup board member and early-stage investor, Raphaele is also an expert in strategic innovation and venture building, working with 55+ corporations such as Engie, Suez, Schneider Electric, L’Oreal, Nespresso and Unither Pharmaceuticals over the years.

This Accelerator Panel is sure to bring up all the hot topics in the world of accelerators. It’ll leverage these three experts’ vast experience, give you the inside tips you need, answer those lingering questions, and maybe inspire you to apply for an upcoming programme!

Don’t forget to secure your ticket as soon as possible, and add this very special event to your calendar in 2023! To learn more about the event, and the other wonderful speakers taking part, check out our dedicated event page, and enjoy the video below, which will give you some insights into what’s to come.

Our Event Sponsors

Silicon Castles is a Tech Company Builder and Strategic Business Accelerator for technology, intellectual property and licensing businesses, located in Salzburg, Austria. The focus is on European Diamonds: technology startups with a unique business idea, scalable technology and outstanding intellectual property. Silicon Castles also organizes the Startup Executive Academy (SEA), an international Go-to-Market program for founders and executives of early-stage startups, taking place annually since 2017.

Vanta is the easy way to achieve compliance certifications such as SOC 2, ISO 27001, and more. Over 4000 fast-growing companies trust Vanta to automate their security monitoring and get ready for compliance audits in weeks instead of months. Simply connect your tools to Vanta, fix the gaps on your customised dashboard, and then work with a Vanta-trained auditor to complete your certification. And for a limited time, EU-Startups readers and attendees of the EU-Startups Summit will get $1,000 off Vanta. Just go to vanta.com/eustartups to get started.

EPAM is the foremost global digital transformation services provider – leading the industry in digital and physical product development and digital platform engineering services. Through its innovative strategy; integrated advisory, consulting, and design capabilities; and unique ‘Engineering DNA,’ EPAM’s globally deployed hybrid teams help make the future real for clients and communities around the world by powering better enterprise, education and health platforms that connect people, optimize experiences, and improve people’s lives.

Airwallex is a global payments and financial platform for modern businesses. It removes the unnecessary friction and cost inherent in the traditional financial system to help entrepreneurs achieve their global ambitions. Leading companies around the world trust Airwallex to manage everything from payments, treasury, and spend to embedded finance — all in one single platform. With an international footprint across the Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America, Airwallex connects entrepreneurs, business builders and creators with opportunities in every corner of the world, and empowers them to grow without borders.

ACCIÓ – Catalonia Trade & Investment is the Catalan Government’s agency that works to attract foreign investment to Catalonia, promoting the region as attractive, innovative and competitive business location for startups. Check out their offerings and the Catalonia Startup Directory.

Patricia Allen
Patricia Allen
is the Head of Content at EU-Startups. With a background in politics, Patricia has a real passion for how shared ideas across communities and cultures can bring new initiatives and innovations for the future. She spends her time bringing you the latest news and updates of startups across Europe, and curating our social media.

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