Issue 35

SprintPoint: a pre-acceleration program in Cluj that wants to help you succeed!

Horia Mircea Botoș
Program coordinator @ SprintPoint


The seed accelerator phenomenon is growing worldwide, with an ever-increasing number of active programs primarily in the United States but also in other parts of the world. Prominent seed accelerators such as Y Combinator have received significant attention in the entrepreneurial community and are continuously exploring potential startup ventures.” This trend was observed by L. Barrehag in 2012 in a study about accelerators and three years later the seed programs have been developing further than ever before.

This made me think... when you want to enter a seed program, first you have to understand the difference between an accelerator and an incubator. Paul Bricault, the cofounder of a Los Angeles based accelerator, explains that the accelerator takes some equity of externally developed ideas in return for some capital and mentorship. At the end of the 3 or 4 months the startup „graduates”. The incubator brings an external team to work on a idea of the investor. The more an idea needs to achieve maturity, the more the required equity grows.

Basicly the incubator takes longer and requires more equity for the assistance, while the accelerating programs are shorter, more specialised and ask for less equity.

This is why we at Startup Transilvania decided to conceive a pre-acceleration program that would help tech oriented startup from Cluj-Napoca grow and achieve their potential. The program is called SprintPoint. During the 8 weeks of the program, the teams will go through some interesting and useful experiences, such as team guidance and mentoring, pitch training, workshops and networking .

This program is oriented towards teams of professionals and entrepreneurs that wish to have their own businesses, and offers them the opportunity to ask questions and to learn from professionals, ambassadors and facilitators in the tech field.

In order to apply, the interested team must submit their value proposition, core element based on which the mentors and investors will evaluate the application. Having a good value proposition will show how much thought the team gave about the product or service and how well they understands the business that they are getting into.

The program will stretch over the summer and the participants will be initiated in the frameworks presented in two very important books for any technical startup. The first is Lean Canvas, by Eric Ries (2011), and second one is Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful Startup, by Bill Aulet (2013). More details about the books during the program.

In our program, we are looking for those startups driven to succeed. In order to be eligible, you must be part of a team (you can’t apply as an individual), your project is more than a mere idea, and this project has scaling potential. As for you, you must be able to think outside the box, to commit to this and be able to collaborate, work hard and learn from others. These qualities are in our opinion the best recipe for success in the program.

During SprintPoint, in order to help your development, you will undertake training, coaching and mentoring sessions. All of this will take place at Cluj Hub, a modern co-working space in Cluj-Napoca’s city center. You will also have the opportunity of networking with mentors and investors participating in the program and to attend various tech events, such as: FiWare Workshops, Transilvania Demo Days, Techsylvania and others. At the end of the program all the teams will have the chance to pitch their work during a Demo Day.

This 8 week program will prepare you and your idea to face the challenges that will follow. In order to register, please complete this form: http://sprintpoint.ro/apply/



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