Startup Weekend has been instrumental in inspiring entrepreneurs all over the world to build and launch thousands of startups. But what happens when the weekend comes to an end? Do the startups continue to grow or do they fizzle out into oblivion? Cue Startup Labs, a seed-stage fund started by the people behind Startup Weekend.
Focused on making investments in emerging markets and hosting 3 week bootcamps for their portfolio companies in countries like Russia, Brazil, Turkey, South Africa, Singapore etc, Startup Labs aims to get teams running at a very fast pace, get them validating their products in 3 weeks and defining revenue and user targets. In each city, a local investment partner will help support the program preferably investing half of the funds required for an approximate 8% stake. (total investment amount between $30-50k). On the last day of the program, an investor day will be held, closing the program, where teams will be able to raise further capital from investors from the region.
“What we consider as the most disrupting part of the program, said Tugce Ergul, Director of Startup Labs, “Is the fact that Startup Labs leverages the global Startup Weekend network including great mentors, investors, developers and designers in more than 67 countries and launches its portfolio companies in multiple markets after the local bootcamps are over. Presence in the world’s hottest emerging markets gives the Startup Labs portfolio companies a great advantage for future rounds coming from especially Valley investors.”
I sat down with Tugce Ergul to talk about what makes Startup Labs different from other seed accelerator.