MVP Academy 2016: 3 months later

MVP Academy 2016, the third edition of our accelerator program, was a blast. It was intense for both the teams that made it into the program, as for ourselves, the team working behind the stage to make things happen. We wrapped everything up on May 30 with Demo Day, when 15 startups took the stage to pitch their products and showcase their progress in front of an audience of 500+ tech professionals. Here we are today, 3 months later, celebrating their successes and presenting you an inside view of what was the best accelerator program we’ve run to date. 

Check out the video that opened MVP Academy Demo Day and see how our alumni felt before taking the stage:

The first morning that followed MVP Academy Demo Day was about silence: the entire buzz made by our superstar batch of startups that enrolled in this year’s edition was gone. It’s been about three months since then, but we still remember how it felt. After all, for over 7 weeks we worked together, we laughed together, and, more importantly, we acted as a team: startups, mentors, investors, partners and community members, all of us sharing a common goal: to help startups in our batch of 2016 build sound businesses & take their products to the next level.

For about 2 months we brought 17 teams into the startup world at TechHub Bucharest and got them out of their comfort zone: No bullshit, just hard work! Throughout the program, they attended dedicated workshops, pitch practice sessions, 1-on-1 meetings with top-notch mentors, and enjoyed hands-on product & business consultancy.

The workshops

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Startup framework
workshop with Bogdan Iordache, Program director MVP Academy accelerator

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The entrepreneurial experience
Q&A with Vladimir Oane, Director of Product Hootsuite – link here to the article presenting Vladimir’s session

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Ask the MVP Academy alumni
panel discussion

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Legal for startups
Q&A with Tudor Stanciu, Startups Community Manager, MVP Academy

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Customer Development
workshop with George Dita, Co-founder & Principal advisor MVP Angels

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Hardware: from prototype to production
Q&A with Irina Alexandru, Design Engineer & Program Manager at Vector Watch

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Product metrics
workshop with Bogdan Ripa, Director of Product, Vector Watch

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How to internationalize businesses
workshop with Steffen Ehrhardt, Startups Lead EMEA, Google

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Selling a product
Q&A with Mihai Anghel, Business Manager & Co-Founder Gloria Food

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Investment
Q&A with Radu Georgescu, Founding partner at GECAD Group & investor

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Digital marketing
Q&A with Alin Vlad, Director of sales & online marketing, Heimdal Security

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Finance & funding for startups
Q&A with Mihai Sfintescu, investor, and Bogdan Iordache, Program Director, MVP Academy

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Public speaking
workshop with Mircea Vadan, Program Manager, MVP Academy

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Pitch practice with Max Kelly, Managing Director, TechStars London

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Pitch practice with Cosmin Ochisor, Business Development Manager, hub:raum Krakow

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Q&A with Florin Talpes, CEO & Co-Founder Bitdefender

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1 on 1 mentoring sessions

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Weekly pitch practice

 

Demo Day

During Demo Day, the startups had the chance to showcase their products & progress, as well as start discussions for closing business partnerships or raising money. And they definitely nailed it! Check out the videos on our YouTube Channel to see for yourself!

And here’s what they say 

MVP_DemoDay_bunchBunch: MVP Academy cut months of our work, helped us speed up our product development process and define our market launch strategy, as well as the general business strategy. We have not just attended an accelerator, but had next to us a hands-on team that helped us find solutions to the challenges we faced along the way.

 

MVP_DemoDay_checkmobi

CheckMobi: MVP Academy is an energy boost for Romanian startups, creating a vital ecosystem for tech entrepreneurs. The program had a huge impact for CheckMobi: we met active persons, ready to help us beyond the program, we had deep dive sessions that helped us shape a product that fits the needs of the market we target, we received lots of mentoring and practiced our pitch. All these increase our odds of success.

MVP_DemoDay_fishpointerFishPointer: The time spent in MVP Academy was very valuable for us. The experience we acquired helped us further develop our product, have a wider understanding of the market, as well as get ready for a further potential investment.

MVP_DemoDay_grobykGrobyk: MVP Academy helped us understand who our clients are, and which is our target market. We pivoted twice after starting the program but it was worth every effort: now we have a relevant product and we know exactly what we want to do.

MVP_DemoDay_inkydealsInkyDeals: All the support we received from the MVP Academy teams & all the mentors involved in this program were incredible. We definitely improved our product and we strongly recommend this accelerator to all the startup founders out there.

MVP_DemoDay_listplorerListplorer: For us, MVP Academy was an amazing learning experience. We’ve met so many people with a wide experience in the IT industry that helped us grow our business in such a short period of time. I do recommend this program to every entrepreneur that needs to better evaluate his product, to develop his business strategy, and to understand everything about product development and investment.

MVP_DemoDay_ReflexReFlex: When you start up a company, you don’t really know so much about how challenging it will be. MVP Academy helped us grow exponentially in just 2 months. All they ask is full commitment, hard work and ears to hear. I think the hands-on mentoring sessions were one of the best parts of the program but I would add to this the great community from TechHub Bucharest.

MVP_DemoDay_scootersonScooterson: It was great being surrounded by a selected group of young entrepreneurs, as part of an acceleration program that reached its maturity.

MVP_DemoDay_silometerSiloMeter: This program gave me an extraordinary know-how that I don’t know how else I could’ve achieved. I’ve met great people, and I have now a better approach about how to develop your network and interact with people in order to grow your business.

MVP_DemoDay_tintagTinTag: In 2015 we missed the chance to join MVP Academy accelerator, so being part of this year’s batch meant a lot for us. The added value of this program was obvious from the very beginning when we started to see people and discuss business with them. This is something we couldn’t have done by ourselves. Overall, I’d say we’ve lived the most productive weeks in our entire life.

MVP_DemoDay_TypingDNATypingDNA: Transcending – that’s how MVP Academy felt like. I entered this program with an innovative application from a technical point of view, but with little to no business knowledge. And in less than 2 months, with tens of 1-on-1 meetings and loads of debates I’ve managed to fulfil this gap. The intensity and the pace at which you work in this program are incredible.

MVP_DemoDay_urbyUrby: During MVP Academy we managed to finally define our product. We were going to be part of this program for only 2 months so we wanted to make the most of it. The open discussions & mentoring sessions helped us clarify almost everything we didn’t know how to fix by then. We learnt a lot and we’re grateful for this.

MVP_DemoDay_woogieWoogie: Woogie grew in the first 3 weeks of MVP Academy accelerator, as it would have grown in 3 months otherwise. As a team, we felt some kind of a pressure to execute. We were out of our comfort zone on a daily basis, and that pushed us and made us more productive and even more creative. If I have to choose, I would say the user interviews with the kids were the most useful part of the program.

What’s next

The purpose of MVP Academy is to help young companies fulfill their potential and achieve their objectives. And we couldn’t have done this without the support of our trusted partners and dedicated mentors, proud supporters of the Bucharest tech ecosystem. MVP Academy 2016 was organized in partnership with CyberGhost, with the support of Telekom Romania, Bitdefender, BCR, Microsoft, hub:raum, Raiffeisen Bank and Retargeting.biz, and with the active involvement of hundreds of top-notch professionals that invested their time and effort in helping the startups in our batch of 2016 (check out the complete list here). Nothing of this could have happened without them so they deserve a full round of applause!

And the best is yet to come! We’re now working full-speed to open applications for Startup Spotlight, a deal-making program for European tech startups. Find out more here and stay tuned: we’ll get back with more soon!

 

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