Apply To Startups Of The Month

05 April 2023·6 min read

Martyna Konys

Program Manager, Vestbee

Startup Accelerator Of The Month - Starta Accelerator

Take your startup to new heights with Starta Accelerator - New York's premier soft-landing program designed to help early-stage international startups scale and raise capital in the US. With a focus on industry-agnostic companies and a preference for MVP or later-stage products, Starta Accelerator offers a comprehensive six-month program that includes expert mentorship, networking opportunities, and the chance to connect with investors.

Accelerator Strategy Overview

Geography: Worldwide (Located in New York)
Preferred industries: Industry-agnostic
Company stage: Early stage, pre-seed, and seed
Product stage: MVP or later
Product type: No preferences
Revenues: Some revenue on the home market (at least first paying customers)

Program Details

Duration: 6 months with 3 months intense part in-person in New York
Participation fee: $100K in equity
Equity Investment: No cash investments upfront
No. of batches per year (+ months when you collect applications): 2 batches per year (applications open between December-January and June-July)
No. of startups in a cohort: Up to 20

 Q&A with Renat Khairullin, Accelerator Director at Starta Accelerator

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

  1. First, it should be an interesting idea.
  2. Some traction on the startup’s home market, at least paying customers.
  3. Potential in the US market, because our main focus is getting them there.
  4. The team is also very important.
  5. Last but not least, we should be sure that we as a venture ecosystem would be able to provide enough value to the startup.

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

The Program is in-person in New York, so they have to be sure they can afford to stay in one of the most expensive cities in the world for 3 months. It may sometimes be a huge investment and a very big decision for early-stage startup founders.

Additionally, for pre-idea, idea-stage and pre-sales founders, we also offer a hands-on 6-month Master of Startup Administration program that provides expert support to validate your startup ideas and take your startup off the ground, and networking opportunities at bootcamps in New York and Berlin. Check it out here.

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

I don’t like it if founders haven’t done any research on the US market and don’t have a strategic goal and reasons to go to the US market. It can’t be applied ‘just in case’. They should have American expansion in their roadmap.

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

First, improving communications and pitching skills. We have Pitch contests every week for 12 weeks. It is like a gym for them. We always see the huge gap between their very first pitch contest and the Demo day.

And this is not only pitching skills but also a huge cultural aspect. Founders come from all over the world with very different cultural backgrounds, and they need to do it in the “American way” of communicating, negotiating, selling etc.

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

Our main goal is to provide an individual approach to every startup. That’s why during the program we focus on 1:1 sessions with our coaches in marketing, sales, fundraising, product development, etc. We invest in 20-30% of startups in a year after the program. And also after the program startups remain our portfolio companies anyway, so we’re interested in their success and try to provide any kind of support they need and ask for.

What are the best-performing companies in your portfolio?

My favourite ones so far are:

Starta Accelerator Fall 2021.
Raised $600K from Starta & outside investors post-program.
Software as a service shared with school staff to manage the relationships of the school community. Schools can prevent, predict and detect real-time bullying and cyberbullying in just a few short steps.

Starta Accelerator Fall 2021.
Raised $1M from Starta & outside investors post-program.
Clientify is an all-in-one marketing and sales SaaS platform that helps SMEs grow without compromise. Presence in more than 24 countries, with more than 10,000 users.

A white glove catering food delivery service for brands. They focus on delivering large orders for large brands that are looking to provide high-end customer service and small brands that are looking to expand rapidly.

Also, please check our two latest batches from the fall of 2022 and spring of 2023.

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

The problem is usually a lack of expertise in the team. I believe that founders should find good-matched co-founders. If you’re good at business, find yourself a tech person to cover the software development side. And the opposite if you are good in tech try to find someone who may help with the business side and product management.

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

Because founders need some assistance. Just cash investments are not enough nowadays. You got to be fast, faster than your competitors at least. Accelerators help to buy time. Whatever you do during an acceleration program, you can do it yourself, but that will take longer.

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

We work with very different markets. I believe technologies are crucial nowadays, not markets. For example, AI and ML are hot now. You just got to make a good application for it.

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

We usually work with the US market, so I wouldn’t say much about the European market. But at the same time, I think trends may be pretty similar. Based on the recent situation with the market slowing down and the SVB case venture market may cool down. I believe there still will be money in the pre-seed and seed stage, but valuations may become more ‘fair’. Investors probably will become more careful and reasonable with their investments.

Related Posts:

Startup Accelerator Of The Month - Impact Hub Belgrade (by Martyna Konys, Program Manager, Vestbee)

Startup Accelerator Of The Month - Sting (by Martyna Konys, Program Manager, Vestbee)

Startup Accelerator Of The Month - Endeavor (by Martyna Konys, Program Manager, Vestbee)

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