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ReaktorX - Startup Accelerator Of The Month
04 February 2021·10 min read

Magdalena Balcerzak

Manager, Vestbee

Startup Accelerator Of The Month - ReaktorX

ReaktorX is one of the CEE region-leading, pre-acceleration programs fueling early-stage startups since 2017 with 80+ accelerated startups from 14 different countries so far. Over 50% of the portfolio companies are still active and 25% of them raised funding with an average ticket of 180k EUR.

Startups’ founders who are industry experts having in-depth knowledge about the market and an idea of how to disrupt it can always count on their expertise. The accelerator partners up with the best investors, business specialists and seasoned founders to deliver a high-quality program, full of practical workshops and mentoring sessions.

Accelerator Strategy Overview 

 

STARTUPS ELIGIBLE FOR ACCELERATION PROGRAM

Geography: Global
Preferred industries: Sector agnostic with a sweet spot on SportsTech, Wellness, Digital Health
Company stage: idea (pre-seed), launch (seed)
Product stage: concept, demo, MVP/beta
Product type: B2B, B2C, B2B2C, B2D, B2G, 
Revenues: No

PROGRAM DETAILS

Duration: 10 weeks
Participation fee:  Yes (700 EUR for a 10-week program: approx. 100 hours of business mentoring and workshops worth 20k EUR)
Equity Investment: Yes  (3% equity: 1% for the lead mentor on 2 years investing and 2% for ReaktorX). Option to acquire an additional 50k investment for 8% of equity from partnering VC funds including SMOK.vc
Grant:  20k EUR in services: workshops, business mentoring, investor pitches
No of batches per year: 2 batches/year:
- recruitment in February - March for the spring edition and in July - October for the autumn edition
No of startups in a cohort: 10-15

You can always register your startup to the ReactorX acceleration program via Vestbee platform! 

Q&A with Agata Kwaśniewska, CEO

What are the 5 most important things you look for in a startup applying to your acceleration program?

The most important criterion for us is a founding team - we want to back exceptional people and help them turn their talent, ideas and ambition into marketable products and successful businesses. Taking into consideration our support for early-stage startups, the team is much more important than the product itself. We want to see the spark of determination, passion and enthusiasm in the founder's eyes. We are looking for industry experts, who have in-depth knowledge about the market, know its problems and have a disruptive idea on how to solve them. The chemistry between ReaktorX’s team and the startup founder is a must - we are spending lots of time working together closely. The way the business owner reacts to feedback is crucial - the number of meetings with mentors is enormous, so the team has to be open-minded and coachable.

What startups should take into account before applying to your acceleration program? 

First of all - the time commitment for the team is really huge. So if you have a daily job, personal life and a startup - we suggest picking two ;) We mean our teams to use 100% of the time and resources they receive after getting into the ReaktorX acceleration program. We want to make sure that founders are motivated to deliver the goals they set at the beginning of the program. Applying without having good industry knowledge or not making a basic validation or any research is not a good idea either. Apart from that, there are no other criteria for us. We are interested in companies from all over the world so even the location is not relevant in this case.

Can you share some of the red flags that can disqualify a startup from joining your accelerator?

During the interview, we are checking if the team is genuinely enthusiastic about what it is doing at the moment and motivated to work hard - lack of enthusiasm would be a first red flag for us. We also pay attention to how they react to feedback. Sometimes founders get so emotionally attached to the project, they don’t even consider doing a pivot - which is a natural path in a startup world. Also, there needs to be a chemistry between the ReaktorX team and founders - afterall we are all humans and when we understand each other and follow the same direction, the work goes so much smoother and the results are much more creative and satisfying.

What are the most valuable skills that selected startups can develop thanks to your program?

The most valuable skill to develop that our startup founders do appreciate is lead mentoring. We perceive it as a really unique quality because it means that instead of providing only standard skills toolkit we mostly offer help and knowledge that are precisely adjusted to the startup's founders current needs, stage of their project, the profile of the network they need access to or any arising business obstacles. A lead mentor is someone who already set up successfully a company in the industry our entrepreneurs are trying to disrupt, so it is the best source of specific knowledge and inspiration. Among our mentors, you will find Uldis Leiterts, co-founder at Infogram (sold to Prezi), serial founder and designer from Latvia, David Bizer who worked with Marc Andreessen at Netscape and was the first Google recruiter in Europe, Tom Karwatka — founder and CEO at Divante, one of the biggest e-commerce shops in Central and Eastern Europe, Łukasz Adziński — co-founder of Nasza Klasa (sold to Naspers), once the biggest social networking platform in CEE, Paweł Kopiński — ex-Head of PR & Marketing at Techland, responsible for the success of Dying Light, one of the top-grossing premium games, currently co-founder at Superbright, a VR gaming studio that cooperates with Google, Oculus and Sony, Magda Posłuszny — investor at Lakestar, Hussein Kanji — investor at Hoxton Ventures, London-based venture capital fund investing across Europe (startup portfolio includes Deliveroo and Babylon Health) and so many more!

During the workshops and ad-hoc meetings with experts from many different fields, startup founders will learn sales, UX, building MVP, product strategy, team management, pitching, creating an investors deck, marketing, PR, legal aspects of running a company, accounting, financial modeling and more. There are many investors among our mentors, so participants have an opportunity to get to know their perspectives and learn how to attract VCs.

How does your accelerator support portfolio companies during and after the program?

We always remind our portfolio companies to be proactive as they can get as much out of the program as they will pursue to get. Apart from mentoring sessions (lead and ad-hoc) and workshops, we are offering access to our network of investors and companies across CEE and Silicon Valley. We are there for the founders if they want to discuss their projects or need mental support, as we know how difficult the life of a startup founder can be! Our alumni community is supportive and we always help with exchanging information, opinions and business ideas while taking care of this constantly growing group by organizing another program - “ReaktorX - Reunited”.

What are the best-performing companies in your portfolio? 

We definitely want to share with you some of our portfolio companies that are worth mentioning here:
Renderro – Cloud Solutions for modern digital content creation. 
Hashiona - Hashimoto virtual clinic. 
HiPets - SaaS-enabled marketplace for pet services. 
Lofty - virtual interior design assistant. 
Futuresalt Entertainment – the game studio that creates innovative mobile puzzle games that are fun, boosts logical thinking, and support environmental protection.

What key lessons have you learned from projects that didn’t work out the way you expected?

The first and foremost important thing we learned is to pay attention to the team’s determination and focus concerning its project - they should give it 100% of their attention. In the first editions of our program, we were working with students who had many alternative projects going on simultaneously and building a startup was one of them. They treat it as an additional activity easy to drop when things get tougher. Working with dedicated, experienced professionals, that had much more to lose, made us understand what type of people we are looking for. Secondly, many startups failed because there was neither chemistry between the founders nor the complementary skills in the team. Some of the startup ideas didn’t work out because of a lack of global vision - the ones that aim to focus only on the local market don’t seem attractive for the investors.

Why, in your opinion, accelerators are becoming more popular nowadays?

According to the Harvard Business Review report with data on over 2,000 ventures from 42 accelerator programs, across country settings, accelerated ventures grow at significantly higher rates compared to ventures that applied but were not accepted into the accelerator program. Startup accelerators work because they invest most of their money, time, and human resources in the earliest stages of a business. We suppose that the reason for accelerators being so popular is because just in 10 weeks founders can validate if the idea they have in mind makes sense and if there is a market need for it. We believe acceleration programs are most successful when they provide the right help to the right people. 

What are the hottest markets you currently look at as an accelerator and where do you see the biggest hype?

Recently our team has developed a special path for sports-tech, wellness, and digital health startups. We are fascinated with these industries and look forward to accelerating the best global talents. Some of the top athletes, gold medalists, Olympians, world-record holders, NFL players and sport club owners joined us to mentor startups and help them succeed. What is more, we welcome startups from different industries from all over the world that are looking for the validation of their ideas and building the MVP. 

Do you have any predictions about the key trends that will shape the European accelerator scene in the near future?

Due to the current situation in the world, the landscape has changed much already - our accelerator, as most other companies, turned into a remote-first program, that allowed us to get on a new level of connecting mentors and startups globally. Mentoring has always been the number one value for ReaktorX alumni founders. Now we are able to engage the best mentors not just from the region, but all over the world — including Silicon Valley. 

We believe that digital health will be a very strong trend, as well as wellness and sport as people are more concerned about their health and fit lifestyle while staying at home - this discipline, which was pretty analog, is rapidly moving towards the digital sphere.

 

Related Posts: 

Startup Accelerator Of The Month - Elevator Lab(by Magdalena Balcerzak, Manager, Vestbee)

Startup Accelerator Of The Month - ABC Accelerator (by Magdalena Balcerzak, Manager, Vestbee)

Startup Accelerator Of The Month - StartupYard (by Magdalena Balcerzak, Manager, Vestbee)



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