Startup Spotlight 2014: looking for the most promising early-stage tech startups in the CEE

For the third year in a row, we’re putting together Startup Spotlight, the competition and orientation program for early-stage startups in Central and Eastern Europe who are working on great tech products. We’re looking for 32 teams that are prepared to deliver their best pitch, to get feedback from our experienced jury, to connect to early stage investors, to meet strategic partners and potential advisors, and compete for great prizes! This year’s edition will unfold November 19 through November 22, in Bucharest, in parallel with How to Web Conference 2014 (November 20-21).

If you have your eye on the competition and are thinking about applying, here’s what you need to know.

startup spotlight 2014

Benefits, perks & prizes

Startup Spotlight is a great opportunity to gain regional and international exposure, to receive expert advice and to establish meaningful connections with key people in the European tech ecosystem and beyond. We’re dedicated to supporting early-stage CEE startups on their way to securing investments, joining top acceleration programs and finding strategic partners to support their growth, so here’s what you can get from the competition:

• pitch in front of an exclusive, tech savvy audience
• capture the attention of experienced investors & top accelerators from around the world (Europe, Canada, US)
• develop your startup through free access to know-how & connections
• catch the eye of regional and international media outlets (TechCrunch,, The Next Web, Goal Europe, Inventures, Netocratic, Digjitale)
• compete for prizes up to $20.000 offered by IXIA!

SS 2014 logo

We pride on having built Startup Spotlight as a catalyst for early-stage startups and last year’s results speak of the quality of the program: 35% of the 2013 finalists have either received funding, secured an essential partnership or found strategic partners to support their future growth. To give you a taste, acceleration programs such as Techstars, Seedcamp, Rockstart, Startup Sauna, Wayra, Eleven, Launchub, Startup Wise Guys, Startup Bootcamp, Startup Highway, Oxygen and Hub:raum were present at Startup Spotlight in the previous years, mentoring teams and offering their valuable input.

This year, your team can be one of those who derive tangible benefits from applying to the competition and orientation program.

Application criteria

To help guide your application process, we’re revealing the application criteria for this year, which will be followed shortly by detailed information on the Startup Spotlight website:

• Your project needs to have less than 2 years of activity
• Each team should have at least one co-founder from the CEE
• Each team should have at least a part of the team residing in the CEE
• You must have at least a prototype to show on stage and give users for testing at the conference
• You mustn’t have raised more than €100k funding until the present moment.

Ready for the challenge? Start your application here.

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