Who we are
iCatapult is a unique accelerator and business development company, focusing on taking Central European technologies to the global market. We believe that many non-US startups have the potential of going global from day one, they just need the boost to avoid cultural, language, financial barriers and the lack of a cohesive network.
We strongly believe that talent on this planet is distributed evenly whereas opportunity is not. Backed by our founders, a great network of mentors and an awesome team, we help Central European tech startups expand their businesses to a global scale by exposing them to startup ecosystem cultures like that of Silicon Valley, New York, Miami or even Singapur.
Who we look for
We are looking for early stage startups with a strong technical background. Our focus is on global web, mobile, or even IOT technologies that have achieved some form of validation — preferably by a working prototype and traction (validated MVP). The founders have to be open-minded and willing to pivot according to new discoveries from the market.
In the current startup renaissance, the biggest reason why so many startups fail is that they are building a product that no one will use. We look for teams who treat their idea and their business model as a set of hypotheses that need to be rigorously tested and validated. This is one of the main reasons why we advocate European startups going to the US market at a very early stage, because in most cases this validation can only happen where the true early adopters are.
Stage One: Global Startup Training Program
In the first stage of the iCatapult program, each selected team goes through an extensive bootcamp in preparation for relocating to the US. This stage is based on an active dialog with local and international mentors, who provide ongoing industry feedback and product-market fit input.
Culturing to become a global player
We believe that preparing the teams culturally before relocating them is crucial. That is why we put a strong emphasis on developing our teams’ soft skills, such as pitching and networking.
We clear the air on common misconceptions that non-US startups usually have. We make sure that each of our founders are familiar with powerful principles like the Lean Startup Methodology and that they are speaking the same entrepreneurial language that they will encounter in the US. To succeed in the world of global business, they must adopt the global startup mindset.
Preparing for soft landing
Founders are required to do extensive preparatory work prior to leaving for the US, including contacting potential partners, investors and players of the ecosystem even before their plane takes off.
In order to find their place in their respective domains, teams are also required to develop their digital footprint which will boost their presence and visibility.
Throughout the bootcamp, the teams will receive one-on-one mentoring from a number of international industry experts on mapping market entry opportunities and formulating global business development tactics.
We are organizing this program with CEU Business School.
Stage Two: Soft landing
After the successful completion of the bootcamp the selected teams will move to Silicon Valley or NYC for about 3 months to execute the market access and business development plan in cooperation with iCatapult executives, mentors and partners.
The teams will live in a shared house, with like-minded non-US founders who have the same vision about scaling their businesses to a global level. They will receive ongoing industry feedback from US experts about their product and market opportunities.
This stage lasts for only 3 months, however iCatapult plans to be involved for up to 18 months depending on the needs of each company.
iCatapult arranges funds for up to 200K € on a case by case basis. It is important to emphasize that iCatapult is not an investment company and it does not make traditional financial investments. Although it takes equity positions in each accelerated company up to 19%, all the provided financial resources are meant to be spent to reach the global business development and market access goal of the company.
Board of directors
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Az iCatapult coworking irodája kezdő és haladó startupoknak és kisvállalkozóknak a Lurdy házban!