Starta Accelerator unites families and motivates people to dig deep into their family tree. We accept Eastern-European startups only. Those that wanted to apply, but had no apparent familial connections to the region tried really hard to find Eastern-European roots. They analyzed their last names, double-checked grandma’s birth certificate, looked up the origin their families best recipe, etc. Which was very fascinating!
Thanks to that, we now know that there are lots of Australian, Venezuelan, Pakistani, Zambian and other people with Eastern European heritage.
The acceptance rate to Starta Accelerator this year became similar to acceptance rate toStanford, which was 4.7 % per spot. Yeah, we are pretty similar: educate future business leaders, build a strong network of connections, provide an understanding of the business environment, and even provide financing. We do not accept loans, but provide “grants” in exchange for equity.
Out of the hundreds of applications, aspiring to be a part of Starta Accelerator family, only 209 were highly qualified for the program startups with MVP (minimum viable product), traction, some with revenue.
Out of these 209 applications, only 8 (!!!) applications were from female founders, which is 3.8%. Thus, out of the 10 startups in our second batch, we accepted 1 female founder, which is 10%. I personally encourage more females to be proactive in entrepreneurship!
Out of 209 applications, 43 are from Russia (20.6%) , 32 from Ukraine (15.3%), 20 from Belarus (9.6%) , the rest are Russian speaking immigrants from Israel, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria ( total Europe- 30.5 %), USA (11%) and other parts of the world (9%).
Among the applications 70% were SAAS vs. 30% hardware, 20% healthcare, 20% adtech, 25% big data, 15% AI, 20% other.
The most memorable answers in applications:
"What is your competitive advantage?" -"I am!"
“Country of origin”- “Venezuela, but last name is a little Russian, and German too.”
“Why do you need an accelerator in NY?”- An excuse to move to New York!
Though I didn't have any specific script for interviewing startup founders, I did ask questions like "what keeps you awake at night?" and was quite surprised with the answers. In general, "out of the box" thinkers got accepted. One of the guys rented out Star Wars costumes to make a living while bootstrapping till MVP!
I am very happy that hundreds of companies from more than 30 countries are so passionate about our acceleration program!
Our goal is to help founders to create global companies. Your goal is to change the world:-)
P.S. The second batch kicks off on August 15th in the heart of New York, announcing the names of those fantastic startups that we've accepted on August 10th.
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