Last week we attended a very special workshop in Barcelona. As you might already know, starting this September, the Future Internet Public-Private Partnership is going to distribute 80 million euros in direct funding for SMEs and web entrepreneurs who build innovative internet applications with FI-WARE technology. How will this be done? Well, in order to reach out to as many Europeans entrepreneurs possible, the task has been asigned to sixteeen startup accelerators from all over Europe.
Their mission will not only be publishing Open Calls this fall that distribute the funding, they will also provide mentorship and coaching so each selected startup or web entrepreneur makes the most of FI-WARE technology and can achieve tangible success in their innovative Future Internet projects and businesses.
The final ambition: to have at least 1,300 businesses to be accelerated by 2016.
During two days all accelerators got together with European Commision representatives, FI-WARE technology experts and independent advisors in a workshop that took place in the Disseny Hub building, in Barcelona's Institute of Culture.
The workshop addressed several key issues, such as – how to create synergies between accelerators, which dates will the Open Call start and finish, how will startups submit their proposals, what criteria will take place in the evaluation processes, how will they reach out and spread the word of their Open Calls?…
Independent advisors, successful entrepreneurs and venture capitalists shared their expertize to support the programme. Through panel discussions, participants shared ideas and opinions on how to build a profitable businesses and what really makes a startup successful. There were also interesting discussions around the difficult early stages of a startup, when cash flow is still negative, or what advanced marketing strategies can be used to deliver innovative products to customers.
On the last day of the workshop the Future Internet Accelerators shared practical information such as their acceleration methodology, target markets or staff that will be involved in the execution.
The result of all these conversations was a fruitful exchange of views and ideas, extremely productive and motivating for all participants. Such a wide and interdisciplinary exchange of information made the Future Internet Accelerators take home valuable advice and feel great enthusiasm for the job ahead!