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
Access to the most prominent investors in Europe
Customers & Industry experts
Market validation by industry experts and access to potential clients and partners
Presentation in front of investors, customers, and partners
Connections to a strong alumni community of startups
The program is adapted to meet the needs of today’s startups and apart from intensive mentoring also offers implementation time.
Apply to the accelerator by submitting a short application form via F6S.
Application deadline - 1st cut-off
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
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.
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.
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
Majerník & Miháliková
Executive Director & English Coach
Eset North America
Slovak American Foundation
Head of Strategy
National Bank of Slovakia
CFO & Investment Manager
CEO & Co-Founder
Founder & President
Director of Business Development
CB Investment Management
Milan Innovation services
Founder & CEO
Zero Gravity Capital
Head of SK Desk
Libertax Consulting, ĽudskouRečou.sk
Co-founder & VP of Global Business Development
LeadX Capital Partners
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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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