Applications have now opened for the inaugural cohort of CEE-focused deep tech accelerator Ventures Thrive.
The first batch of the accelerator will focus on climate tech, and will be supported by a share of Ventures Thrive's €1.5 million equity-free funding pot, as reported on by Tech.eu in November.
Ventures Thrive gets underway in April with the initial onboarding of its debut mission, when climate tech founders will have the chance to sit down with the accelerator's coaching team to put KPIs in place and complete strategy write ups.
A six-month block of accelerator programming is then scheduled to strengthen the founders' business acumen, including bespoke impact challenges that'll see Thrive's corporate partners and select startups team on solving intractable climate problems.
Backed by CEE startup events organiser Wolves Summit, together with initiative partners Acceler8 and Anthology Ventures, the programme will go some way helping CEE's climate-related deep tech ecosystem catch up with the West. Indeed, CEE markets such as Poland are thought underleveraged in the climate space.
In fact Wolves Summit says that wherever in Europe you look there's a noticeable lack of lead investors for deep tech in the earliest stages.
Without the capital pool to validate and prototype a lot of deep tech businesses won't amount to anything, and a larger honey pot then needs to be identified to help them scale.
Getting someone with big pockets in early, therefore, so they can lead in these early CEE rounds is a pain point Ventures Thrive will aim to address.
On a related note, it seems there’s a discrepancy in corporate funding between Europe’s western and eastern spheres. Seems the region’s founders throw everything at the science, and finding world-beating deep tech solutions, but this gets lost in translation while interacting with Western investors to scale up the fundamental business model.
With that in mind, Ventures Thrive is also taking a limited number of Western European startups. The full list of eligible countries includes Portugal, Malta, Greece and Cyprus, along with 13 or so CEE markets.