Startup Reaktor, an internationalization program that gives access to pre-seed investments and the opportunity to expand into Western Europe and Scandinavia

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Bucharest, March 12, 2024RBJ – Founders of early-stage tech startups in Romania and Southeast Europe can apply until March 22nd for Startup Reaktor, an internationalization program that gives them access to pre-seed investments and the opportunity to expand into Western Europe and Scandinavia. More than 40 teams from Romania, Bulgaria, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, Serbia and Hungary have already signed up for the programme.

Startup Reaktor is a program launched in 2022 by the Romanian Tech Startups Association – ROTSA, now in its fourth edition and run through an Innovation Norway grant in partnership with Techcelerator, EIT Digital, European Startup Network – Brussels, Strategy Tools – Norway, TechAngels Romania, Linnify, SeedBlink and local investors.

The programme is open to startups coming from sectors such as data automation, artificial intelligence, enterprise software, financial services, eHealth, proptech, cleantech, edutech & future of work, market places, SaaS, transport & mobility, aerospace & defence, smart-city, cybersecurity, gaming, data & analytics and agritech.

The criteria for evaluating projects include: the team composition and expertise, the business model, the impact targeted by the solution, the potential for international scaling, the size of the target market, the identified competition, the validation actions carried out so far.

Companies selected in the programme will go through four intensive bootcamps that will address the following topics:

Adapting the business model to be favorable to international development (through matchmaking with mentors and international experts, access to a lead mentor for customer development actions).

Validation techniques together with Linnify

Market analysis (analysis of the target markets and identification of the international market suitable for launch, conducting trials and customer analysis in the markets selected for expansion, support in identifying the right partners in that market)
Market access (implementation of the internationalisation strategy, support in the marketing plan, and lead generation on the customer and distributor side)

Startup Reaktor’s internationalisation programme is supported by over 30 partners from Europe’s tech startup ecosystem. Founders will also have access to mentoring and practical assistance from over 100 international experts from ten partner countries in Western Europe and Scandinavia. The consultancy and expertise is provided by Strategy Tools – Norway, a partner of the programme together with Innovation Norway.

On 29 April the programme will host the Startup Reaktor Alpha DemoDay, a pitching event where participating startups can present their businesses to international partners and investors associated with the programme.

Through the program’s partnership with SeedBlink and other local investors, the top performing companies will have access to listing on SeeBlink for pre-seed investment rounds from €50,000 to €300,000.

Following these activities, startups will have further access to the infrastructure and support of the Startup Reaktor team, ROTSA and the programme’s European partners. Teams will be invited to continue their internationalisation efforts in #ROTechMission delegations organised by ROTSA around major European conferences this year:
EU Startup Summit – Malta, 9-10 May
Viva Tech – Paris, 22-25 May
London Tech Week – London, 10-14 June
France Digitale Day – Paris, 18 September
Bits & Pretzels – Munich, 29 September – 1 October
Startup Nights – Switzerland, 2-3 November
WebSummit – Lisbon, 11-14 November
Slush – Helsinki, 20-21 November

Startup Reaktor is the first “internationalization first” program dedicated to early-stage and very early-stage tech startups in South East Europe, with a focus on validating and launching in new markets.

The activities in the programme aim in particular to enable startups to launch and grow quickly in international markets, especially in the Nordic countries and the Western European area, to certify the investment value of the startup at the end of the programme and to facilitate the attraction of funding through investors associated with the programme.

“In 2022, when we designed Startup Reaktor, we started from the data, from the plans and needs of entrepreneurs expressed in the report How to Support Startups To Go Global by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development – OECD. This information showed us that more than 50% of startups in the EU go international in the first year, and more than 86% in the first three years. On the other hand, 37% of startups consider the EU as the most important market to grow in, and within the EU the most frequently targeted markets are the UK (15%), Germany (13%), and the Scandinavian area (9%), according to Startup Heatmap Europe 2021. Thus, internationalization of business is a key focus for most founders and a challenge for all economies. Startup Reaktor-type programs are needed because they can minimize risk, operate on the basis of strategic partnerships and provide access to existing local infrastructure in new markets, people, and data. All these actions can make the internationalisation of as many startups as possible a success,” says Cristina Țoncu, regional director of the Romanian Tech Startups Association (ROTSA) and Programs Partner Techcelerator.

“Startup Reaktor was created to address the intersection of critical founder needs aimed at attracting a pre-seed round and gaining accelerated international validation and traction.
In order that more and more founders in Romania and Southeast Europe to achieve this goal, Startup Reaktor together with local and European partners has validated a number of features, which make this program effective and unique in the regional landscape. Thus, Startup Reaktor is dedicated to companies before their first or second round of funding, focuses almost exclusively on exploring new markets; provides support to local partners facilitated by the Romanian Tech Startups Association and a community of organisations gathered in the European Startup Network and facilitates access to targeted international markets, which is also the critical phase of launching a tech startup in a new market. We hope that through this programme we will support as many founders from Romania and the region as possible to benefit from these opportunities and make their internationalisation efforts successful”, says Tudor Pasc, director of the incubation programmes developed by the Romanian Tech Startups Association (ROTSA).

***
Startup Reaktor is a program launched in 2022 by the Romanian Tech Startups Association – ROTSA and is the first “internationalization first” program dedicated to early stage and very early stage tech startups in South East Europe, with a focus on validating and launching new markets. The program was created to address the intersection of critical founder needs aimed at attracting a pre-seed round and gaining accelerated international validation and traction. The program works with founders, startups and collaborates with accelerator – incubator programs to complement company development by providing access to specific international markets where entrepreneurs need to adapt to local opportunities.

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