EUR 350.000 is the record investment prize value offered to the best startup at the end of the Spotlight 2021 program

Aurel Constantin 14/09/2021 | 13:56

EUR 350.000 is the record investment prize value offered to the best startup chosen by a jury of investors and experts in the competition at the end of the Spotlight 2021 program.


The award, representing the most significant amount offered so far since the program’s launch, is syndicated by a group of investors, consisting of TechAngels, SeedBlink, Growceanu, GapMinder Venture Partners, RocaX, Simple Capital, and Transylvania Angels Network (T.A.N.). The amount offered as a contribution to future investment in the startup is in the form of a convertible note.

In addition to the investment prize, startups participating in the program will have access to other benefits offered by the main partners: an educational workshop for all startups that enrol Spotlight, organized by Google; an account package “Optimist Entrepreneur Plus”, that has an attached debit Business card from Mastercard, offered free of charge until 31st of December 2022 by BRD – Groupe Société Générale, for all the start-ups admitted in the program, as well as tax and legal consulting services for the best 3 startups in the program, provided by KPMG Romania.

This week is the last one in which startups can still register for Spotlight 2021, a leading program for Eastern European founders of early-stage startups, organized by How to Web. Startups can apply on the How to Web website until September 19th, 2021. The startups are selected in the program based on criteria such as market size, team experience, traction and utility of the product.

”This project has the significant quality of pioneering education towards creating successful startups by familiarizing entrepreneurs with branding and product validation, mass-market challenges, sustainable partnerships, and business investments stimulated by smart ideas. Business cultures are inspired by social cultures, principles, values, and beliefs related to risks, innovation, and communication. Like any business model, startups translate something of the cultural mind that a founder or an entrepreneur embraces”, says René Schöb, Partner, Head Tax and Legal, KPMG in Romania.

Up to 40 teams will be selected from the total number of registered startups. The program starts on October 4th, when the participants will be announced and will run exclusively online until November 21st, 2021. As it happens annually, Spotlight will conclude with a competition between startups: the semi-finals will take place on November 22nd and 23rd, when the 10 finalist startups will be chosen. The final will take place on November 24, when the teams will present their best pitches in front of a jury of investors and experts to win the €350.000 investment prize, offered by TechAngels, SeedBlink, Growceanu, GapMinder Venture Partners, RocaX, Simple Capital and Transylvania Angels Network.

Over the 5 consecutive weeks of Spotlight, the startups’ founders will benefit from over 1,000 individual meetings with leaders of the technology industry, such as Luciana Lixandru (Sequoia), Nicolas Dessaigne (Y Combinator), Irina Haivas (Atomico), Andrei Brașoveanu (Accel), Carlos Espinal (Seedcamp), Hristo Borisov (Payhawk), Nopadon Wongpakdee (Startup Core Strengths), Ramli John (Product-Led Institute), Andy Budd (Clearleft), and Ondrej Bartos (Credo Ventures), as well as representatives of over 50 investment funds, such as EarlyBird Venture Capital, Credo Ventures, 500 Startups Istanbul, Speedinvest, SOSV, Gamegroove Capital, LAUNCHub Ventures, Market One Capital, Eleven Ventures, Smok Ventures, eMAG Ventures, Flashpoint Capital, Notion Capital and others.

”Startup Spotlight is an opportunity for ambitious startups to get access to great mentors and experts, high-quality support, and a series of resources and benefits. Moreover, the founders join a strong network of startups’ supporters where they can find potential customers and investors, and also receive visibility for their products and services. Apply now and get the right support to take your startup to the next stage of growth”, adds Dan Oros, Head of Marketing Google and YouTube Romania.

Spotlight is developed in partnership with Google for Startups, KPMG Romania, Mastercard Romania and BRD – Groupe Société Générale, with the support of eMag, 2Checkout (now Verifone), Fitbit, Microsoft Romania, BearingPoint Romania, Orange Romania, Credo Ventures.

Launched in 2011 and organized as part of the How to Web conference, Spotlight is the best-known competition in Eastern Europe for technology startups that want to expand globally.

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