Europe: A pre-accelerator program within the CEE organized by InnoEnergy

InnoEnergy, the innovation engine for sustainable energy across Europe, announces the second edition of the Primer pre-acceleration program for early-stage startups. The main goal is to get innovators from the Central and Eastern Europe to build their entrepreneurial skills and prepare their business to enter the acceleration and investment programs. The program sets a new and unified standard in terms of InnoEnergy’s pre-acceleration activities.

This 4 weeks program consists of 40 hours of theory and practical workshops led by professional mentors, industry experts, and experienced entrepreneurs. The topics range from legal and IP protection, to pitch deck design, to agile methodology, and more. Entrepreneurs learn how to choose and adapt appropriate business models, how to raise funds, and how to build a marketing and sales strategy. They also receive soft skills trainings, which include building leadership skills and team management. The program is adapted to the needs of participating startups.

Although there are many startups with great products that apply to our accelerator program, we have noticed that they are often missing critical business skills, which are needed for their market success – says Christo Balinow, InnoEnergy’s Business Development Director for CEE, Middle East and North America. – We created Primer, to fill this knowledge gap, and to increase the entrepreneurial potential in the region.

In each country, the Primer program ends with a local Demo Day, where all teams make a four minute pitch, followed by a three minute Q&A from the jury and audience. By the end of the program startups develop a set of deliverables that are required by potential investors, which include a letter of intent, a go-to-market strategy, a roadmap, and a competitive landscape.

The upcoming edition of the Primer will be run in all twelve InnoEnergy Hubs (Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey). The first pilot edition of the program took place in the past spring in four countries: Hungary, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia. Today, over 50 entrepreneurs have completed the Primer program.

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