Boosting startups in Green & Digital

About the program

Challenger is a non-equity startup accelerator based in Bratislava. Every year we select a batch of 6 early-stage startups to participate in a 3-month program. We help you find product-market fit, paying customers, and raise investment to scale your operation.

In the following batch, we are looking for startups and tech companies solving challenges in digitalization, cleantech, mobility, agritech, e-commerce, and manufacturing.

 

What We Offer

Up to 20k EUR grant or convertible loan

This money can be used for the company´s development during the program

Mentoring & Coaching

Tailored individual coaching with international mentors that helps the startups build a three-month personalised growth plan

Investor matchmaking

Access to the most prominent investors in Europe

Customers & Industry experts

Market validation by industry experts and access to potential clients and partners

Demo Day

Presentation in front of investors, customers, and partners

Alumni network

Connections to a strong alumni community of startups

Program outline

The program is adapted to meet the needs of today’s startups and apart from intensive mentoring also offers implementation time.

Applications open

10th May

Apply to the accelerator by submitting a short application form via F6S.

Application deadline - 1st cut-off

12th June

This is the first cut-off for startup applications. Your application will be reviewed in 2-3 weeks. Selected startups will be invited to pitch their business.

Application deadline - 2nd cut-off

30th June

This is the last cut-off for startup applications. Your application will be reviewed in 2-3 weeks. Selected startups will be invited to pitch their business.

Selection interviews

22nd July

Pitch in front of the jury that will determine whether you are selected for the program. 2 startups to attend sTARTUp Day are also selected here.

sTARTUp Day 2022

24th - 26th August

Startups from the Challenger Green & Digital accelerator will be selected and invited to participate at the largest startup festival in the Baltics.

The acceleration program

19th September - 13th December

The program starts with an individual assessment of each startup. Together with your coach and mentors, you will prepare a roadmap for the next 3 months. Every week you will have workshops, individual mentoring sessions, and investor & industry events that are designed to accelerate your business.

Program ends

Demo Day

13th December

This is the final event of the Challenger accelerator. You will have 3 minutes to pitch your startup to the jury of international investors, potential clients, partners, and the media. The experience from the startups from our previous programs confirms that the Demo Day helps startups to stand out and find key investors, partners, and clients for the future.

We are looking for you

In this batch, we are looking for startups and tech companies solving challenges in digitalization, cleantech, mobility, agritech, e-commerce, and manufacturing.

Early stage technology startups with sustainability solutions from Central Europe

Functional prototype with proven traction

Strong team conscious of sustainable development challenges

Full-time commitment to participate in the program in Bratislava

Mentors

Peter Gazik

CEO
Yettel, Hungary

Andrea Basilova

Co-Founder
Sensoneo

Katarina Mihalikova

Partner
Majerník & Miháliková

Klaudia Bednarova

Executive Director & English Coach
The Bridge

Howard Kingston

Founder
Velocity Academy

Dalibor Pulkert

Co-Founder
Outboxers

Christa Bleyleben

Managing Partner
MassGlobal Partners

Anton Zajac

President
Eset North America

Simon Sicko

Co-Founder
Pixel Federation

Mary MacPherson

President
Slovak American Foundation

Matej Ftacnik

CEO
VacuumLabs

Iurii Blavt

Associate Partner
Civitta

Harri Tallinn

Team Lead
Ajujaht

Jaroslav Luptak

Managing Partner
Neulogy Ventures

Vytautas Cerniauskas

Startup Mentor
Civitta

Peter Simko

Founder
PowereX

Lucia Sickova

Co-Founder
Pixel Federation

Martin Santa

Head of Strategy
National Bank of Slovakia

Michal Nespor

Partner
Crowdberry

Viktor Mikulasek

CEO
Launcher

David Szedely

CFO & Investment Manager
Neulogy VC

Andrej Petrus

Investment Manager
ZAKA VC

Martin Basila

CEO & Co-Founder
Sensoneo

Michal Hrabovec

Founder & President
Anasoft

Martin Mastalir

General Manager
Dell Technologies

Jan Porvaznik

Director of Business Development
Mainspring Energy

Gleb Maltsev

Co-founder
Fundwise

Lucia Timek

Investment Manager
CB Investment Management

David Miller

Co-founder
Red Basket

Milan Čapka

Chief Innovator
Milan Innovation services

Andrej Dula

Founder & CEO
Rezztek

Tomáš Bel

Partner
Vision Ventures

Vit Hanus

Investment Partner
Zero Gravity Capital

Juraj Šándor

Head of SK Desk
Sparring

Roman Žňava

Legal Mind
Sparring

Peter Krišťák

Partner
Voxwise

Radovan Čechvala

Partner
inventa

Peter Furmaník

Founder
Libertax Consulting, ĽudskouRečou.sk

Alex Lyhovez

Co-founder & VP of Global Business Development
SPS- APP

Frequently Asked Questions

The program targets start-ups in the early stage but already with at least MVP and some traction. The goal is to help you build traction, prepare you for serious investment, and connect you with the right people. We work closely not only with VCs and business angels but also with corporate partners and public authorities.

Challenger Accelerator takes place in Bratislava. Some of our workshops and mentoring happens online and some physical events and meetings take place in our office at the Spot or other places in the city center. We have good experience in running acceleration programs fully online, in-person, or hybrid so we are prepared for all scenarios. Our priority is to have as much of the program in-person but will look closely at the pandemic situation, and change to online whenever needed.

We do not invest in startups directly, but we connect you with investors. The winner of our program can negotiate an investment of at least 250,000 EUR through our investment partner Crowdberry. We have a strong track record of connecting startups with the right people and receiving the investment is all up to your skills and the company potential. Over the last years, the startups that participated in our acceleration program raised more than 1.3 billion EUR in external funding! On top of that, the startups participating in this accelerator will get up to 20,000 EUR in grant or convertible note.

At least one co-founder/executive should be present at each session. It does not have to be the same person each week.

You need to submit your application via the F6S platform (https://www.f6s.com/challenger-2022/apply) by the first cut-off on the 12th of June or the second one on the 30th of June. The answers provided in the application form should provide a convincing case on why the company should be selected for the program. Within 2 or 3 weeks of submitting, your application will be reviewed and selected startups will be invited to pitch their business.

You need to have an MVP with traction, potential customers, or subscribers. We look closely on the innovativeness of the product, market potential, and team.

Then, unfortunately, you are not the right fit for the program. However, we have different programs to support entrepreneurs at all levels. If you want to know more send us info at info.sk@civitta.com.

Only you can make your business succeed. But we can promise to push you for real results and tough love to get you closer to your goals. You can also expect new connections, feedback, and knowledge. You’ll get it in different formats: 1-1 mentoring with experts, business coaching, networking events, business workshops. We’ll help to develop your own customized plan and will make sure you’ll get the most out of the program.

Active participation, hard work, and dedication. Throughout the program, we’ll constantly evaluate your progress. If it will seem that there isn’t a mutual fit in the expectations and outcomes, we’ll need to say farewell to each other even before the final Demo Day.

In this batch, we are looking for startups and tech companies solving challenges in digitalization, cleantech, mobility, agritech, e-commerce, and manufacturing. If you don't fit in any of the categories, you can still send us your application. We closely evaluate each startup and can make an exception in specific cases.

Yes. However, the limit for the funding is 500,000 EUR.

If you have any other questions, please, feel free to reach out to us at michal.laco@civitta.com.

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