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This week the iCatapult accelerator launched in Hungary, but it’s a startup accelerator with a twist. Billing itself as an “excelerator”, iCatapult’s founders, including CEO Imre Hild are attempting to introduce something new in Hungary to the traditional startup accelerator program.
We spoke to the CEO of iCatapult Imre Hild, who told us that the accelerator will push international business development and market access from the beginning in its program. The program begins in Budapest with a two-month, lean-startup-based mentorship program. Having completed this, graduates can move on to the US to enter the market and begin meeting with investors. At this stage the accelerator will also look for the US exectutives that would join the startup team to take it to the American market. The program also lasts for two months, but could be extended up to a year.
Citing examples of LogMeIn, Ustream and Prezi, Hild believes that Hungarian and CEE startups that the accelerators target, have a potential to become a global company. Further, the team behind this new accelerator is generally looking to accept startups who are willing to enter into joint venture with the accelerator itself. Participating teams can receive from $0 to $200,000 (about 149,000 euro).
iCatapult was jointly established by representatives Primus Capital and Digital Natives and Hild has previously was an “entrepreneur-in-residence” at Primus Capital, having spent many years working in the US. The team at Digital Natives are Ruby on Rails, Android, and iOS agile developers who have a number of clients, included the World Wildlife Foundation, the Budapest Airport and Hungarian startups such as Mixgarand Dragontape. Meanwhile, Primus Capital is a Budapest-based management fund whose top investees include Blueprint Entertainment and BBS Nanotech.
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