Springwise Wildcard accelerator hunts for start-ups

Applications close today for the Springwise Wildcard scheme, which will see start-ups travel to Amsterdam to participate in the Rockstart accelerator program.


The Springwise Wildcard is a joint initiative of Rockstart and Springspotters, a global network of more than 15,000 “spotters” who highlight new business ideas as they come across them.


Springspotters has partnered with Rockstart to offer the entrepreneurs behind these ideas the opportunity to “take their start-ups to the next level”.


Rockstart Accelerator aims to help entrepreneurs from around the world launch their start-ups and break through on a global scale.


Springspotters is offering an exclusive Springwise Wildcard for Rockstart’s 2012 accelerator program, encouraging spotters to nominate businesses.


“We’re looking for the very best start-ups and new businesses that you’ve spotted,” Springspotters coordinator Chris Kreinczes says.


“If you have referred an entrepreneur with a great idea or company and he or she gets selected for the Springwise Wildcard, Rockstart will fly you to attend their demo day as a VIP.”


According to Rockstart, the demo day is the culmination of 100 days of “crazy, intense” start-up work. Ten teams will take to the stage to present their start-up to an audience of angel investors.


But according to Kreinczes, it doesn’t stop there, which is why he is encouraging spotters to nominate their favourite businesses.


“This wildcard gives the entrepreneur that you’ve spotted the opportunity for an investment that is worth $15,000 in cash,” he says.


“It includes six months of free office space and a 25-day business trip to Silicon Valley, with coaching by over 100 serial entrepreneurs and industry veterans from Europe and Silicon Valley.”


Spotters should contact the start-ups to make them aware of the Springwise Wildcard before emailing their nominations to rockstart@springwise.com.


The start-ups will have seven days to create a one-minute video pitch, which will be their entry for the Springwise Wildcard. This will be assessed by a jury before the winner is announced.


Rockstart founder Oscar Kneppers says his goal is to ensure not only the survival but the success of early stage start-ups.


“There’s nothing more inspiring to me than people with great ideas and great drive to get things done,” he says.


“If we make it possible for start-ups to be more successful in the first thousand days of the existence of their company, then we will be doing something really important.”


“The dream scenario would be in 20, 25 years’ time people talking about this period, about companies being born back in the early 2010s – the Rockstart generation of start-ups.”


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