BAU is launching a new format of the Acceleration Program, which is better tailored to the needs of today’s startups and offers intensive mentoring, as well as time for implementation. The program will run with 4 content modules to cover all aspects of product, company, and founders’ acceleration.

BAU, in cooperation with EBRD,  through the new Acceleration Program Autumn 2021 (BAU APA2021) aims to generate new knowledge and turn your innovative solutions into a profitable business. Renowned global experts will be involved as mentors, while each week successful startups will share their stories, successes and failures.

Apply by 12 September on the following link:

APA2021 will last eight weeks and will be divided in two parts:

(1) Part I: Online workshops for 15 selected startups (October).

In this phase, you will be actively working on your company material and learning from the best experts in the industry. The purpose of this phase is not only to upskill you and make your startup investment ready, but also to identify areas for improvement and your capabilities as a team, product, and company as a whole. You will not only improve your business model, but also align your core story, deck, product and make it ready for investors. You will have to work hard to advance to the next phase with the intermediate selection.

(2) Part II – Mentorship program for 3-5 selected startups which progressed the most (November).

In this phase, you will be coached by industry or knowledge specific mentors to make your business model solid and story straight for investors to understand. Startups that put in the work and earn the trust of the mentors in Part I of the program can tap into the mentors’ network. Mentors are motivated to further support your growth by introducing you to their network based on your commitment and ability to get the job done.

All in all, this program is a fantastic opportunity for startups and scaleups to get in front of renowned global leaders from tech and business space.

What you get:

  1. Coaching sessions by global experts for selected topics of intense work sessions to improve your business models in the part I of the program (4 weeks);
  2. Ability to dive deep in experiences of successful regional and global startups;
  3. Carefully selected mentors per startup that will devote their time and be responsible for your development. Mentors will be selected from our global network and carefully matched to your needs;
  4. Opportunity to tap into mentors and coaches’ network as well as get connected to the successful startups presented during the program;
  5. Opportunity for obtaining investment from BAU (or partner investors).
  6. Opportunity for additional support from other EBRD initiatives/programs.

What will happen?

Out of the received applications BAU will identify a shortlist of startups to be interviewed and further challenged to fully understand the problem they are addressing with the solution of the startups.

Startups will be selected and further evaluated based on the following evaluation criteria. The information below should help entrants understand the jury expectations:

  1. An ambitious, innovation-oriented, motivated and committed team with the ability and desire to create value;
  2. An innovative technology-based solution or innovative business model;
  3. Value proposition with a clear competitive advantage;
  4. Market potential;
  5. Business model.

Up to 15 startups will be invited to participate in part I of APA2021.
3-5 startups which progressed the most will be invited in Part II of APA2021.

This 30+30-day program is designed to support the selected teams to co-develop their solutions with mentors involved in the program. The acceleration program, including workshops and mentorship sessions, will be online, teams do not need to be based in Skopje for the duration of the program. Support by BAU might be offline. Trello or similar platform will be used for documents and tasks management.

Startups can apply by completing the application form, which will also be used as a baseline for monitoring their weekly and overall progress. In order to be eligible for the next phase you need to send weekly update to the mentors with details on your progress in following areas: Big Wins – Metrics – Sales & Marketing – Product – Team – Finance and Funding – 1 Ask – Thank You.

Eligibility criteria for applicants:

  • Startups or teams with a prototype, MVP or have already developed a solution
  • Less than five years in business
  • Minimum 51% Macedonian ownership
  • Dedicated team (at least 2 people)
  • Intellectual Property – Intellectual Property Entrants must own, or have written permission to use the Intellectual property relevant to their entry. All entrants need to demonstrate a willingness to share information about their solution for the purposes of the APA2021. BAU intend to carry out publicity activity as well as publish insights gained through the APA2021 program. These activities will not divulge information relating to Intellectual Property in the public domain.