Announcing IMPACT GROWTH, the new accelerator with €3.6 million for European super startups.

Mar 9, 2017

  • IMPACT has created the first acceleration program linking renowned international accelerators (ISDI and Accelerace), open source technology, global brands and VC investment funds to invest €3.6 million euros in European startups.
  •  28 startups will receive €100,000 without giving up company equity. Two of these will receive up to €250,000 equity free, and the best four startups will have the opportunity to receive an investment of €1.5 million from Kibo Ventures and Accelerace.
  • IMPACT GROWTH is an extension of the work done by IMPACT, after three open calls that saw the accelerator investing €6.4 million in 63 new companies during the last two years.
  • This program, like the previous one, is funded by the European Commission and framed within the FIWARE ecosystem, built around the open source platform that is becoming the platform of choice for development of smart solutions worldwide.
  • Led by ISDI and FundingBox, it has the support of the FIWARE Foundation, Accelerace, Mobile World Capital Barcelona, Kibo Ventures, Invesdor, Danone, Ferrovial Servicios, DOCOMO Digital and MADE, among others.

Madrid, March 9th, 2017.– European accelerator IMPACT is launching IMPACT GROWTH, a new acceleration program led by ISDI and Accelerace with a fund of €3.6 million and the final aim of identifying four European super startups. In the first stage of the program, IMPACT Growth will finance 28 startups with €100,000, equity free.

The program, which was launched on February 27 at 4YFN Barcelona, the startup event of Mobile World Capital Barcelona and GSMA, is focused on four verticals and aimed at startups from all over the world in the growth phase, with products that are already in the market. Furthermore, startups should have the potential to achieve Seed and Series A round financing at the end of the acceleration program, to access capital already focused on scalability and international growth. The four verticals are: Smart Infrastructure & Cities, Smart Content, Smart Manufacturing, and Smart AgriFood.

As in IMPACT’s previous programs, funding will go hand in hand with a high-performance startup training program in which renowned experts and international entrepreneurs will deliver practical classes in Madrid, Copenhagen, and Barcelona. In addition, entrepreneurs will have access to an international network of more than one hundred recognized mentors, founders, and investors who are experts in different key areas of knowledge, both in the digital sector and in the accelerator’s four verticals.

Mentors will help startups solve complex issues related to business, technology, and scalability. Following the acceleration phase of the program, two startups selected from the batch of 28 will also receive an additional €150,000 equity free, and the best four will have the opportunity to get up to €1.5 million in private investment from Kibo Ventures and Accelerace.

Startups will receive support from the FIWARE Foundation in incorporating FIWARE technologies into their software architecture. FIWARE is an innovative, open source, and cloud-based technology stack  that eases the creation and global deployment of smart services and applications in the new Digital era.

The search for four “super startups”

An important aspect of this new program is the creation of four acceleration verticals. Each vertical is supported by a large international organization that will act as a mentor to selected projects, offering focused expertise and the possibility of future partnerships. The areas are:

  • Smart Infrastructure & Cities, supported by Ferrovial Servicios;
  • Smart Content, with DOCOMO Digital as leader;
  • Smart AgriFood, led by Danone;
  • Smart Manufacturing, partnered with MADE (Lego).

The startups selected for this specific plan will be incorporated into a demanding acceleration program led by ISDI and Accelerace and supported by the multinationals that are part of the project. These startups will be able to access world-class events and top-level mentors as well as the private financing of €1.5 million led by Kibo Ventures and Accelerace.

IMPACT Growth is accepting applications on their website until May 9th, 2017.

Sebastián Muller, Acceleration Director at IMPACT, states that “in this new stage, we have taken another step, both in the type of startups that we are going to select and in the type of financing and acceleration that they will have access to. Based on the same quality model that has made us a reference for European accelerators, we want to look for the four startups with the greatest potential in Europe, to turn them into true global companies, energizing the sectors that will change the most in our society in the next years.”

Roi Rodríguez, Project Manager of IMPACT Growth (FundingBox) states that “the elements that differentiate IMPACT Growth are four: up to €250,000 in equity free financing; an acceleration program connected intimately with funds such as Kibo Ventures and Accelerace; support for our startups from leading corporations in their sectors; and the global impact of the program with active partners in Europe, America and Asia.”

Aquilino Peña, Founding Partner at Kibo Ventures and Juan López, Principal at Kibo Ventures and Kibo Ventures’ leader of the IMPACT Growth initiative are “very enthusiastic about a truly European project that will help to grow some of the most promising projects in Europe. Kibo Ventures hopes to contribute to this initiative and consolidate it as a channel to partner early on with the best entrepreneurs at the seed stage level.”

6.4 million in two years

The goal of IMPACT Growth is to become the reference point for European accelerators in Future Internet trends, to expand Old World innovation practices to the rest of the planet (USA, Latam and Asia), through the values of growth of high performance and transparency. These values are what led IMPACT’s previous acceleration program to be one of the highest-evaluated within the European digital ecosystem and inspired the creation of Open Acceleration. This methodology is detailed in a whitepaper, created by ISDI, which provides open data on the growth of the accelerator and its 63 startups.

Since its creation, two years ago, IMPACT has invested 6.4 million euros over three open calls. Numbers to highlight include:

  • Applications from more than 2,600 startups in 42 countries;
  •  63 projects accelerated and financed with €100,000 equity free;
  • Job creation: accelerated startups went from an average of 4.3 to 6.4 employees;
  • In addition, the average outside funding obtained grew from €188,000 per startup before the program to €360,000 after IMPACT’s acceleration.
  • In aggregate, the group of startups that has gone through IMPACT doubled funding achieved.

Smart solutions incorporate functions for capturing context information and make decisions based on available context information, leading to the execution of smart actions which radically improve existing processes. In the new digital era, the daily life of people or the daily operation of businesses and organizations will experiment a radical transformation based on smart solutions.
Smart solutions powered by FIWARE rely on components that the FIWARE platform provides, enabling startups to capture, manage and provide access to context information at very large scale, in a standard manner. This context information may come from many different context sources (end users, sensor networks and all kind of information systems including social networks) which may be also highly distributed.   They can make use of existing FIWARE generic enablers that ease the processing and analysis of current and historic context information in order to support decisions that trigger smart actions in a predictive or adaptive manner, also in order to generate insights that further enrich available context information.
Exploiting the full potential of FIWARE, smart solutions powered by FIWARE can become an integral part of multi-side markets where context information can be shared as open data or monetized, supporting open innovation and materializing a standard-based Data Economy.

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Photo by InstaWalli on Unsplash.


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