Martin SFP BryantFounder
Martin SFP Bryant is the founder of UK startup newsletter PreSeed Now and technology and media consultancy Big Revolution. He was previously Martin SFP Bryant is the founder of UK startup newsletter PreSeed Now and technology and media consultancy Big Revolution. He was previously Editor-in-Chief at TNW.
Europe isn’t short of startup accelerator schemes at the moment, but the TechStars Network is generally recognised as offering some of the best out there. Now the first member of the network in Eastern Europe and the CIS has been announced.
Based in Moscow, TexDrive is being run in partnership with Springboard, the UK-based accelerator run by Jon Bradford, a man rapidly developing a reputation as Europe’s ‘Mr Accelerator’.
TexDrive’s first run will select ten projects from across Eastern Europe and the CIS to receive the usual combination of financial investment and an intensive period of business acceleration and mentoring. Over 100 entrepreneurs and VCs from 12 countries, including Russia, Europe and USA, are signed up as mentors.
Startups on the program will receive $25,000 on entry to the programme for a 10% stake. However, as partner Andrey Kessel explains, TexDrive will also invest a minimum of $100,000, or considerably more into best teams at the end of programme. “TexDrive has own funds,” he says. “Additionally TexDrive’s investors (wealthy individuals with experience of investing in tech) specifically negotiated the right to co-invest, so a significant amount can come directly from the programme and its immediate circle.
Kessel adds that where appropriate TexDrive will be putting together larger rounds, co-investing with angels and VCs up to $1m, meaning that TexDrive is willing to invest right up to Series A where it sees potential. While accelerator programs are generally thought of as seed or angel investors, the lack of good quality tech investment in Eastern Europe and the CIS is often cited as a major factor that’s holding the region back.
It feels like there’s real momentum starting to building behind efforts to improve the success chances of startups in Eastern Europe and the CIS at the moment. It’s something we noted a need for last year, and in addition to TexDrive, initiatives are under way in the Balkans and Romania, and plenty going is on in Lithuania too.
TexDrive’s English website can be found here.
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