$50,000 of investment, experts from Google: TechMinsk is accepting requests for the new batch
Established 6 years ago with the support of the US Agency for International
development (USAID), TechMinsk is the first-ever startup accelerator in Belarus.
During its operation (9 batches), founders and team members of many successful
Belarusian companies have taken part in its activities: PandaDoc, MSQRD,
Deepdee, Eightydays.me, Kuku.io, etc.—a total of 120 people. This year, the
accelerator has changed terms of cooperation, its program and added venture
funding. Startups will receive up to $50,000 for 8% of their equity and have mentors from Google work with them. Accelerator's founder Tanya Marinich and Olga Godunova, TechMinsk Managing Partner, elaborate.
As we've already reported, TechMinsk accelerator partnered with Google
Developers Launchpad program in early summer. "This means the accelerator now
has access to 600+ Google mentors across the globe and the opportunity to invite them to our program. We have already sent a request, clarified tentative areas where mentor expertise is required. The names of specific experts to join us will be known in the near future," Olga Godunova said.
"Paramount success factors of the Belarusian teams include the country's strong
technical education," says Tanya Marinich. "We intend to ensure the flow of high-
quality tech startups and we want to cooperate with everyone willing to co-invest into scalable technological companies from Belarus."
Also, startups will gain access to Imaguru coworking space and to the startup hub's networking—over 200 experts from around the world.
Pre-seed AI startups with an MVP and traction that work with artificial intelligence technology are invited to the new acceleration program. The accelerator is not restricted to a specific sector and promises assistance to companies from various domains—education, medicine, transport, etc.
"We will be very flexible in terms of milestones and mentor selection based on the teams' context and current objectives," Olga Godunova continues. "We strive for top efficiency and benefit for startups."
Participation in the acceleration program requires filling out a questionnaire of 28 items. These include: the problem founders solve, their expertise, how long they have known each other, how they plan to attract clients and monetize their concept. The format is similar to that used by Y Combinator, 500 Startups and other renowned accelerators. The acceleration program runs for 10 weeks, which is a rather short time. The teams are therefore supposed to meet high requirements.
Applications are accepted until August 31. Sessions start on October 1; a Demo Day is scheduled for December. It will be held in Minsk. However, it can be organized in other countries including the USA if need be. Primarily Belarusian startups are invited to participate. Additionally, however, the program is prepared to accept foreign companies as well—provided that their team members are Belarusians, or the company is registered in Belarus. The working language is English.
Having completed the program, the startups will receive post-acceleration support. They will also get the chance to showcase their projects at GEW and Venture Day Minsk conferences. "Normally, if a team received investments at the acceleration phase, it is ready for a new round six months on. So for some of our graduates, five months after the program will probably be enough to come to Venture Day Minsk not as a pre-seed stage startup, but as a more mature company," Olga Godunova believes.
On top of this, future accelerator graduates will be able to receive follow-on
investments (details later).
Let's recap: why apply to TechMinsk? This accelerator is your access to knowledge, mentors and contacts that were simply out of reach before! Or a much tougher selection process by Y Combinator was required to enable all that. "We certainly compete not only with Silicon Valley accelerators, but also with any others. But we do have a strong advantage—you don't have to go anywhere, we bring the world's top experts here," Olga Godunova sums up.
Press release prepared by Yulia Nekhai