How We Do It
StartLabs acceleration program consists of two stages: one that takes place in Belgrade during which the focus is to identify the market fit and on building the core product, and the second stage in San Francisco where the best startups will immerse themselves in the Silicon Valley ecosystem, meet mentors, boosters, partners and potential investors with a goal to close the next round of funding.
To apply for StartLabs acceleration program we ask you to fill out a short online questionnaire. We will review all submitted applications and invite selected startups to pitch their ideas to us.
During the first stage your team will go through a very intensive acceleration process. StartLabs provides initial funding to your startup and accepts equity stake in your company. All the teams get together and collaborate at StartLabs in our shared office space.
In addition to providing stimulating environment to work from, we will work closely with your team to help evolve ideas and shape your approach to building a successful company. We believe that proper mentoring is key so StartLabs team will provide access to experienced mentors from Belgrade, region and Silicon Valley on a regular basis to help the startup further along the way.
As your needs grow and evolve, StartLabs will provide help in getting other talented and high energy engineers, growth hackers, product managers and UX designers from our network and broader talent pool to join in.
It is very likely that your team will already have a strong technical talent but StartLabs will be able to provide guidance and help you set up and run things like hosting, scaling, AWS, payment processing, Google Analytics, A/B testing, customer support, to name a few of those that are not the core of what you do but will have to be done, and done well.
Additionally, our legal and accounting partners will take care about these services enabling you to focus on your startup.
If you qualify for the second acceleration stage, you will be working with initial customers, focusing on their feedback to improve your product and get some meaningful traction. To generate maximum impact, your team will go to San Francisco and work from our offices there. Being in the epicenter of world's greatest startup community will provide an opportunity to interact more closely with a network of our mentors there as well as to meet the most active investors, angels and startup founders. That will also be the perfect time and place to pitch and show everyone how good you are.
For the second stage, StartLabs will provide an additional round of funding to your startup and in return accept additional equity stake. This funding will be used, among other things, to cover the expenses of your visit to Silicon Valley.
Frequently asked questions
StartLabs is a tech accelerator that combines seed investment with comprehensive set of entrepreneurial resources, such as mentoring, expert business advice, working space and technical assistance as well as opportunity to reach investors, VCs and angels in Silicon Valley. Our partners will also take care of all the legal and accounting stuff.
Program is tailored for early stage high-potential technology startups from the Western Balkans.
While it ultimately depends on a startup, we invest up to $50,000 over the course of the program. The goal is to shape a product well enough to attract outside investment at the end of the program.
Also, our investment schedule is not carved in stone and the same for all startups that enter StartLabs. Every startup is unique and have different needs and capabilities: as with everything else we do for startups in our program, our investment schedule, amount of money that we invest and equity we accept is tailored to the current state of your startup.
In return for the acceleration investment and services we provide, StartLabs will accept 10-15% of equity stake in your company.
Most importantly, we will provide you the mentorship. Your startup will have access to leading mentors from various fields, including marketing, technology, accounting, sales and others.
For the duration of the StartLabs program in Belgrade we will put you in front of our experienced developers, product managers, sales, marketing and customer support people that have been working together for many years on many different products. SQL, NoSQL, hosting, scaling, AWS, coding, payment processing, indexing, searching, UX/UI design, Google Analytics, A/B testing, customer support, metrics, AARRR, SEO, mobile, social integrations... these are just some of the topics that you will have somebody to talk to and help you.
If you qualify for the second stage of the program, in San Francisco, you will have an opportunity to meet other founders, investors and many other players in the best startup ecosystem out there. We will guide you trough, set up meetings with our mentors, make introductions and connect with the people that can help you get your business to the next level. We will also provide working space, accommodation and cover the travel costs.
Finally, StartLabs will provide a full set of legal and accounting services enabling you to focus on your startup.
We do not have strict schedules for accepting applications, or precise timeline for the acceleration program. We are always open to accepting great startups to StartLabs so you can apply for the program at any time.
To apply, we will ask you to fill out a short questionnaire, which we will review and invite you for an in person meeting if you qualify.
No, you don't. Our selection process is based on the application form and in person interviews. If you have relevant references, or people that we know can recommend you, that will help.
Not very likely. We are coming from the strong technology background and believe that we should stick to what we know
A startup is just too much work for a single person. However, if you are an engineer or college intern and want to join our team and learn on the job how to build a winning startup we invite you to join StartLabs Technical Talent pool.
Yes, you do. We have mentors from US, Europe and elsewhere, so you should be able to understand them well. Furthermore, the acceleration stage two takes place in San Francisco, so you should have strong English communication skills.
Yes, it can. If your company already has a working product, or has already raised some outside funding, we will welcome it to the StartLabs. We can adjust the terms, timings, percentages and other parameters of your participation in the accelerator.
By all means - yes. If you don't have a legal entity under which you operate, StartLabs and its partners will help you establish the legal structure required for building startup and accepting further investments as a part of your participation in the accelerator.
No. We expect you to be passionate, committed and focused on your startup.
StartLabs partners with you as a co-founder. We expect to have all the same rights as any other founder would, relative to our minority ownership position. We don't want any special or controlling interests in your company. You will run the show, and we will be there to help.
There is no catch.
We will be successful only if our teams are successful. It is in our interest to make you and your company successful. We are not in the " let the thousand flowers bloom " business hoping that one of ten will have some success and cover for the failure of the others. We select few startups to work with and are gunning for all of them to be successful. That's a good deal for both of us.
No. We are not a business school, startup academy or training program. The goal of our mentors is not to lecture or train you, but to help you solve the specific issues you may encounter in your venture.
No. We are welcoming everyone from the Western Balkans region. And the World!