Startupbootcamp c’est : 3 années d’existence, 120 mentors, de belles réussites à son actif, et un programme qui attire aussi à l’international. C’est notamment le cas de Spotistic, une startup française présente lors de la première édition du SBC, qui a su séduire le SBC et qui a poussé l’équipe à se déplacer en France pour en trouver de nouvelles et les emmener à Berlin. Alex Farcet revient (en anglais) sur cette aventure et les avantages de son programme pour Maddyness :
My first job was with a startup on San Francisco (with 101OnLine Inc. which was trying to implement… the Minitel!) then I was a corporate guy until both my son and I had cancer in the span of one year. We’re both OK but it was one of those times when life hits you in the head and I decided that I should work on what I really love: being an entrepreneur and working with entrepreneurs. So I reached out to David Cohen of TechStars which I was inspired by in late 2010 and co-founded Startupbootcamp in 2010 together with Rainmaking – partnership of entrepreneurs with 14 startups, 4 exits and many failures.
The real value is in the mentorship. We have 120 mentors most of whom are serial entrepreneurs who have been in the trenches. They volunteer their time, share their knowledge and open up their networks which, at this scale, can be game changing for these entrepreneurs. Concretely we give €15k in « pizza money » to each team (to make it cost-neutral for teams to join our program and relocate to Berlin), 6 months free office space (3 months program + 3 months after the program) and exposure to investors on Demo Day (500 people in attendance at our last Demo Day in Berlin). We also contribute access to a ton of deals (worth $400k) to teams via the F6S platform.
We’re hitting at least 20 cities globally this year because we want to meet startups where they are and not just rely on social media and word of mouth. We’re also growing our network by meeting tons of new people like mentors and… journalists like you ;). Finally, we had a great French startup – Spotistic (alpha here) – join the first Startupbootcamp Berlin program and we’d love to get some great French teams!
The huge thing at the moment is that there is a real talent migration. Many, many talented people are moving to Berlin because they’re attracted to the ecosystem. It’s a super creative and young city with active art and music scenes. It’s relatively inexpensive so a boostrapped startup can last longer. And it’s an open ecosystem. People in the startup scene are open and reachable and there are dozens of great startups. Also bigger startups and investors are moving operations there because it’s a credible alternative to London.
I’ve kept an eye on LeCamping and I know Startup Weekend has been very active there but I’m not that familiar with it. My guess is it’s relatively challenging to be a foreign entrepreneur there so attracting international talent may be challenging. But there are certainly awesome entrepreneurs who have had great successes.
hmm, not sure ;). If we were approached by an amazing team who wanted to run a program, maybe focused on a specific vertical, then we may consider it. But it’s not on the radar right now. We want to be Africa, Latin America and Asia as soon as possible.
A startup accelerator is not for everyone. If you think you’re Steve Job it’s not for you. But if find it exciting and motivating to be ten other super smart and motivated startup teams and if you’re open to mentorship and willing to use the opportunity to the maximum then it can be a life changing experience.