The year 2020 was a year of many exciting events for Accelpoint and the precise strategy implementation since the foundation of the accelerator. In line with this strategy, we have developed our CEE region’s presence, and cooperation with partners from Singapore, UK, and Israel initiated in 2018. The accelerator co-synergised the implementation of 2 programmes, a fintech one for developed projects who want to collaborate with corporations (AccelUp) and a MedTech one where we incubate startups with Public Partners (AccelBox). As part of our cooperation and activity in Singapore and Southeast Asia, we became a Partner of the Singapore Fintech Festival – the world’s largest fintech event. At the same time, we organised a European programme for the best fintech companies from Europe – European Fintech Hackcelerator 2020 (www.europefh.com) in cooperation with over 40 partners from 14 European and Asian countries.
First things first
As a tech accelerator, we support programmes for startups in the MedTech and CleanTech areas (AccelBox programme, aimed at teams at the initial stage of development) as well as fintech, InsurTech and telco areas (AccelUp programme, aimed at companies with at least MVP or with market traction). This year, under these two programmes implemented in cooperation with PARP and NCBR, we supported 46 teams. Accelerated startups have completed their MVPs, successfully passed the Proof of Concept (PoC) stage or led to commercial cooperation with one of the acceleration partners (Santander Bank Polska, Axa Partners, Santander Consumer Bank, Orange Polska, Santander Leasing or Relyon IT Services). After two rounds of the AccelUp programme, almost 50% of the accelerated projects have established or are in the process of commercialising a solution with a corporate partner. Within the AccelBox programme, we have completed twice as many MedTech projects as we originally anticipated. We supported 12 MVPs of new startups in MedTech and CleanTech, which received financial support and advisory from our experts.
Despite the pandemic hurdles for the entire industry, we managed to organise many events, both in a mixed formula and typically online. The biggest of them was Demo Day in October this year for our graduates from the first two rounds of the AccelUp programme. The event was visited virtually or in-person by over 500 guests.
Watching the dynamic growth of startups in our acceleration programmes was unquestionably the factor that motivated us the most. We are very proud that our graduates include such great and advanced companies like Symmetrical.ai, AIbusters, Alphamoon, Cashy, RevDeBug or Plenti. We are also very much rooting for our MedTechs who have been developing MVPs under the AccelBox programme. Despite being at the earlier stage of development, the innovativeness of their solutions is truly impressive. For example, startup Translog is developing a system to manage a nationwide fleet of medical drones. Translog will be responsible, e.g. transporting human organs and blood-type fluids, or the Reniconnect project to connect potential kidney donors for transplantation with recipients on a pan-European scale. Of course, it would be impossible to describe all the 46 projects we had the pleasure of working with last year, but it is their energy that has made us enter 2021 with redoubled vigour.
The Europe-Singapore bridge
Since the accelerator’s foundation in 2018, our overseas expansion strategy was focused primarily on building bridges connecting the CEE startup ecosystem with three leading environments: the UK, Singapore and Israel. By establishing intensive cooperation with Singaporean government institutions and with the fantastic support of the PAIH’s overseas trade office in Singapore, we became the main organiser of the European FinTech Hackcelerator 2020 – a pan-European programme for fintech startups ready to start their international expansion in the markets of Central and Eastern Asia. We have organised this programme in cooperation with the largest and most prestigious fintech conference globally, the Singapore FinTech Festival. We are proud that Accelpoint is the first CEE accelerator taking the role of its official international partner.
As part of the programme, we have established close project partnerships with more than 40 leading organisations, VC funds and corporations from European countries and the ASEAN region. These include MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore), EDB Singapore, Singapore Enterprise, Climate-KIC, Startup Wise Guys, 7bulls Seedstars, Singapore Fintech Association, Stripe, Block71 or Fintech Holland and many others. More than 20 international experts have selected the winner of the EFH programme from over 14 countries. The main prize was awarded to Coinfirm, a company specialising in anti-money laundering using a solution based on blockchain technology. We are also very proud that the winner of the additional prize awarded by Singapore’s largest accelerator, Block71, has been awarded to Yosh.ai, a startup that is in the process of completing our third round of AccelUp programme. As part of the programme, we have helped to establish and connect projects with investors from 10 countries. Next year we are planning another edition of the programme, to which we already invite you.
Direction: the United Kingdom
Thanks to the partnership with the British Embassy in Warsaw, we managed to deepen our contacts in the British business and startup environment. Within this cooperation, the Embassy representatives have joined our AccelUpâ€™s 1st & 2nd round Demo Day. As a result, two selected startups: RevDeBug and Alphamoon will take a business trip to find new corporate partners, customers and investors in the UK market. Further business trips await the winners of future rounds of the AccelUp programme.
Plans for 2021
In 2021 we will continue to support startups from the last two rounds of the AccelUp programme and finalise MVPs with MedTech projects from AccelBox. This year will also be a period of commercialisation of most projects accelerated within Accelpoint. Our role will be to support this process together with VC funds actively.
We are preparing to launch further acceleration programmes, and investment activities, including European FinTech Hackcelerator, implemented in cooperation with the Singapore Fintech Festival. In line with our strategy, we are planning joint activities with our partners in Israel in anticipation of the opening of borders. We have also not yet said the last word in cooperation with the ASEAN region and UK markets. I must admit that I am curious about what else will surprise us in 2021.