Would a startup accelerator help Romanian entrepreneurs?

After the tremendous number of entrepreneurship meetings, websites, TV shows, podcasts, blogs, wikis, etc. have emerged in Romania to promote the IT entrepreneurship movement would the industry benefit more from a startup accelerator?

I’m not thinking here of just advisory stuff, where you can call or meet with your advisors every couple of weeks or even months, but daily support in topics like:

  • finding the right market for the startup
  • creating a product
  • marketing planning
  • compiling a business plan
  • raise funding (and don’t get screwed)
  • connecting with the right people
  • incorporation help
  • legal & accounting advisory
  • getting in the right mindset
  • polishing the idea

The benefit for the entrepreneurial team is either:

  • get a proof of concept to the market faster and maintain or strengthen the first mover’s advantage
  • validate the idea faster so seed funding can come sooner than later
  • have a well put together company when it’s time to receive the first round of funding

I need your help here as I would like to know how useful would you find such program and what benefits would you see entrepreneurs getting out of it. What should the entrepreneur give back for those services? How would the added value be measured? Please comment even if you’re not involved in any way to Romanian startups. Any kind of feedback is highly appreciated.

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  • mirceapasoi

    In my opinion, an accelerator would be an obvious benefit to the startup community. We can just look at examples from outside Romania (YCombinator, Bootup Labs, Seedcamp) and agree they've had beneficial effects.

    The general formula is to give shares (usually <20%) in exchange for money, mentorship, networking, etc. and it sounds pretty fair. Paul Graham has a nice essay that relates to your question on measuring added value: http://www.paulgraham.com/equity.html

    Also, this is a nice article on the history and performance of YCombinator: http://blog.awesomezombie.com/2009/12/analyzing

  • Horia

    I believe that this accelerator should be connected somehow to the learning environment (Academy of Economic Studies, Politechnic University of Bucharest and many others). Startups should be encouraged to be formed in the students' community.