EstLat-Accelerate project-good opportunity for startups

EstLat-Accelerate pre-acceleration program for Estonian and Latvian early-stage startups invites all first time entrepreneurs to apply for its second season before March 11.

To create a company the biggest challenge is the standstill in the pre-launch phase of a startup – many groups are coming together, many ideas are born and developed at hackathons, but most of them die out with the end of the event. This means that even those groups that  develop solid ideas tend to fail as they lack the skills and support for making  it to the next-commitment phase.

That´s why  the EstLat-Accelerate project seeks early-phase challenges. This project  introduces a new approach in the region – pre-acceleration. Pre-acceleration programmes are usually designed to support (first-time) entrepreneurs with new ideas.

The main aim of EstLat-Accelerate project is to prepare and carry out three pre-acceleration programs that are  organized in Tartu and Riga. Each round of pre-acceleration takes about four months and has a specific ICT focus that varies from program to program.

The pre-acceleration program has three  phases – hackathons, mentoring and graduation. The hackathon phase, is designed to encourage cross-border team creation and to single out the most promising ideas. The teams with the best entrepreneurship potential are admitted to the mentoring program, which is a series of individual meetings and joint events with highly experienced entrepreneurs and business coaches. Last phase is pitching- the teams pitch their ideas to potential investors at graduation days.

You can read more from EstLat-Accelerate project homepage.

The EstLat-Accelerate project will be realized by five partners (three Estonian and two Latvian):

Baltic Innovation Agency – project management, overall coordination, monitoring and analysis
TechHub Riga – coordinating the pre-acceleration programs and communication
University of Tartu – carrying out the mentoring programs in Estonia
Garage48 – organizing ideation workshops and hackathons in Estonia and Latvia
Latvian Startup Association – carrying out the mentoring programs in Latvia
Program: Interreg Estonia-Latvia
Project: EstLat-Accelerate (Pre-accelerator program for boosting Estonian-Latvian start-ups)
Duration: 1 May 2017 – 28 February 2019
Total ERDF funding: 454,920 EUR

EstLat-Accelerate’ is pre-accelerator program for boosting Latvian and Estonian startups supported by ERDF programme ‘Interreg Estonia – Latvia 2014 – 2020’. The programme is implemented under the European territorial cooperation goal of the cohesion policy and it supports cross-border cooperation. The programme carries on the co-operation relationship between Estonia and Latvia, which started during implementation of the Estonia-Latvia-Russia INTERREG IIIA Priority within the Baltic Sea Region INTERREG III B Neighbourhood Programme in 2004 and Estonia – Latvia programme 2007 – 2013. It is funded by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Republic of Estonia and the Republic of Latvia.

Sources: University of Tartu and EstLat-Accelerate project

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