How Does Our Go-To-Market Program Work?
Application & Selection
To apply for StartLabs acceleration program we ask you to fill out a short online questionnaire. We review all submitted applications and invite selected startups to pitch us their ideas.
During the course of our program in Belgrade your team will go through a very intensive acceleration process with the goal of identifying the market fit and building the core product.
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 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 customer development, growth hacking, scaling, payment processing, analytics, A/B testing, and much more.
Additionally, our legal and accounting partners will take care about these services enabling you to focus on your startup.
The best startups from our portfolio will travel to work in the epicenter of world´s greatest startup community, interacting more closely with a network of our mentors and meet most active investors, angels and startup founds to close the next round of funding.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much do you invest?
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.
What do StartLabs get?
In return for the seed investment and help we provide, StartLabs will accept 10-15% of equity stake in your company.
What else do we get, in addition to seed investment?
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. Customer development, growth hacking, payment processing, UX/UI design, analytics, A/B testing, metrics, sales, AARRR, SEO, mobile... 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. Finally, StartLabs will provide a full set of legal and accounting services enabling you to focus on your startup.
What is the application process for StartLabs?
We do not have strict schedules for accepting applications, or precise timeline for the 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.
Do I need a business plan to apply?
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.
Would you accept a non-IT startup?
Not very likely. We are coming from the strong technology background and believe that we should stick to what we know.
I don't have a team, but have a great idea. Can I apply?
A startup is just too much work for a single person. We would strongly advise you to gather a competent team of not more than 3 to 4 people. A hacker, a hipster and a hustler is all you need to get started.
Do I need to speak english to enter the program?
Yes, you do. We have mentors from US, Europe and elsewhere, so you should be able to understand them well. Furthermore, the program stage two takes place in San Francisco, so you should have strong English communication skills.
Can a company that already has a product, service or existing investment apply for the seed funding?
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 program.
We have a great idea, team and product, but we don't have a formally registered company. Can we apply?
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 program.
Can the team work on other projects during the participation in StartLabs?
No. We expect you to be passionate, committed and focused on your startup.
How much of control over my company will I have to give up?
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.
Where is the catch?
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.
Will I have weekly assignments, daily tasks, lectures that I have to attend or tests to pass during the program?
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.
Do you only accept teams from Serbia/Belgrade?
No. We are welcoming everyone from the Western Balkans region. And the World!