B-hub has just launched its open call to access acceleration services. The application platform will be open until September 8 and will enable winning blockchain SMEs to benefit from free, expert, customized go-to-market acceleration services; access to a pan-European network of businesses, public actors and startups (Italy, Romania, Germany, France, Lithuania); connection opportunities with investors and counselling on access to public funds; and European visibility through our communication channels and events.
What is in the programme for winning SMEs and how will the acceleration be delivered ?
The main content of the acceleration programme is free and customized coaching services. This coaching splits into different tracks, reflecting the variety of programme content; as well as different stages (webinar, workshop, deep- dive and mentoring) to form a logical progression for participants. The Decentralized Acceleration Programme will run for 6 months with up to 12 days of consulting services for each participant, based on participation in 2 tracks.
Onboarding and analysis
The first step in the Programme, once the startup candidature is accepted, is the onboarding and analysis. This is an intensive session between the Mentor and the participant, lasting between 2 and 4 hours, in which the state of the company is examined in-depth, and the needs, readiness and suitability for the tracks are assessed. This session forms the base of the roadmap and individual programme creation.
During the onboarding and analysis, the participant and mentor organisation co-define individual KPIs or goals for the startup to reach within the duration of the programme. Said KPIs and goals are also used to monitor progress during the check-in sessions.
Acceleration tracks delivery
After the onboarding and analysis session, The Programme divides into different tracks, typically consisting of one or more webinars, workshops, deep-dive sessions and one-on-one mentoring on specific subjects. The services within each track are partly pre-defined and partly customized to meet the specific needs of each participant.
Each track consists of up to 4 components:
- a webinar introducing the subject,
- a workshop going into more depth with the participant,
- a deep-dive specific support on topics and
- a one on one mentoring following the deep-dive.
Every participant is assigned a Lead Mentor for the Participation in the programme, who will set up a schedule of check-in meetings.
These meetings are meant to monitor the progress within the programme, the KPIs and goals defined for participation in the programme during the onboarding and analysis. It also serves as a feedback and quality control mechanism for the programme to ensure successful participation.
At least 6 check-in sessions, spaced at least 2 weeks apart from each other, are required. More can be planned if needed.
Participants to the acceleration program should chose two among six tracks offered by B-hub partners. The proposed tracks are based on a survey conducted by B-hub partners in early 2020, and thus reflect the most pressing needs of blockchain startups. They are as follows:
Business model & strategy review
The Business model & strategy review track is available and mandatory, only for those participants who during the onboarding analysis have demonstrated that more business model and strategy refinement is needed to successfully partake in the programme, or where the main challenge surrounds the business model or the overall strategy. Due to the focus of the programme on growth stage startups, only a small percentage is expected to participate in this track.
Marketing & Internationalization
The Marketing & Internationalization track focuses on growth through expanding the reach and markets active in and optimizing existing marketing and go-to-market strategies. Due to the geographic diversity of the consortium partners, participants can gain access to different target markets with professional support in internationalization and understanding the key cultural differences.
The Growth Strategies track helps participants with specific elements of growth (not falling under marketing and internationalization), such as customer selection, recruitment and staffing for growth, sales and technical solution optimization. These strategies are universally applicable and help organizations prepare for entry in different sectors and segments.
IPR Protection, Regulatory and Compliance
The IPR Protection, Regulatory and Compliance track supports startups facing the need to protect their IP and ensure regulatory compliance. In particular for growth stage companies utilizing decentralized technologies, the road to compliance can be challenging.
Access to Public Funding
The Access to Public Funding track gives participants all the insight, tools and hands-on support required to discover and apply for public funding programmes. The partners have extensive experience in writing applications for smaller and bigger public funding projects. With overview webinars, insight workshops and hands-on support, they will provide specialised advice and support for applications from selected startups to regional, national and European funding schemes. This will allow participants to significantly increase their chances to access this interesting area of funding opportunities.
Access to Private Investments
The Access to Private Investments track helps participants prepare for investments from private funds, VCs and angel investors. By reviewing, improving and coaching the pitch, ensuring the company is set up for investment, and by giving important background information on how investors view their opportunities, participants set up for a more successful conversation and understand their valuations and opportunities better than before. Through the geographic diversity of the consortium, specific cultural differences can be highlighted when raising rounds in different regions.
Note: Please also check out this detailed description of tracks and stages.
Other ongoing opportunities
Additional to the programme’s main tracks, supported startups will benefit from opportunities for introductions with potential clients and investors, European visibility and networking.
Speaking, pitching and demo opportunities
Throughout the programme the participants will be given opportunities to speak at events, pitch their product or service and demonstrate them. Partners will actively source opportunities and endeavour to place the participants under their responsibilities at partner and EU-supported events.
Throughout the programme the partners will make, when relevant and appropriate, business introductions for the participant within their network and partner networks. Introductions objectives are for example: to aid customer discovery, feedback sessions, testing and sales opportunities.
Signposting public funding and networking opportunities
Throughout the programme and even beyond its conclusion within the project cycle, consortium partners will identify and suggest to selected startups opportunities to access public grants, support measures for startups, incentives at national/regional level, competitions/challenges and awards, as well as opportunities at EU level to join networks, communities and working groups of potential interest for the startup focus.
Throughout the programme, in particular but not only for participants in the private investment track, the partners will make introductions to investors (public/private) or introductions that may lead to investments.
Access to alumni network/community
All participants in the network will become part of the online community platform where they can connect and interact, learn from and collaborate with other participants, and will after completion remain part of the alumni network on the same platform, at least until the end of 2021. The platform will also promote other calls, events, challenges and disseminate key information related to the project. Some of the mentors will be available on the platform to help with ad-hoc specific questions.
Calendar and practical information
The acceleration process, including application to the open call, will be delivered as per the following timeline.
If you are interested, please apply to the open call for acceleration services until September 8!
For a summary of acceleration services and application conditions, also see our voucher scheme page.
For any questions, contact us at email@example.com.