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Get to know our mentors and community partners

Mentors

Help startups address key industry challenges by sharing their expertise and guidance.

Manafeddin Namazov

Manafeddin Namazov

Vice-rector

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Baku Engineering University

Linkedin
Wojciech Ratymirski

Wojciech Ratymirski

Partner

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Radix VC

Linkedin
Dimitrios Stratakis

Dimitrios Stratakis

CEO

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Unismack S.A

Linkedin
Tessa McIver

Tessa McIver

Head of Alumni Development

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MIT Enterprise Forum CEE

Linkedin
Bence Spiczmuller

Bence Spiczmuller

Partner

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Bence Spiczmuller Law Firm

Linkedin
Erika Szita-Szegedi

Erika Szita-Szegedi

CEO/Director

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ST Consultancy

Linkedin
Tamas Szeker

Tamas Szeker

Growth Partner

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Tamas Szeker

Linkedin
Adrian Suteu

Adrian Suteu

Operations Manager

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Transylvania Angels Network

Linkedin
Jure Tomc

Jure Tomc

CEO

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JTBD

Linkedin
Yasemin Erdal

Yasemin Erdal

Founder/Director

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Eco Consulting

Linkedin
Calin Sipos

Calin Sipos

President

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Cluj Startups

Linkedin
Goncalo Amorim

Goncalo Amorim

CEO & CFO

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BGI

Linkedin
Jarek Bialek

Jarek Bialek

Board member

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Revenue Capital

Linkedin
Vassilis Nikolopoulos

Vassilis Nikolopoulos

Head of Applied R&D, Tech & Innov

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Mytilineos

Linkedin
Johan Zammit

Johan Zammit

CEO

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Smart Studios ltd

Linkedin
Nina Dremelj

Nina Dremelj

President

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Business Angels Slovenia

Linkedin
Florin Pop

Florin Pop

Managing partner

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Florin Pop

Linkedin
Matthew Caruana

Matthew Caruana

CEO

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JA Malta

Linkedin
Anamaria Magri Pantea

Anamaria Magri Pantea

Managing Consultant

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Ascend Consulting

Linkedin
Mircea Vadan

Mircea Vadan

Manager

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Activize (VMI TECH INVEST)

Linkedin
Maria Sola Gil

Maria Sola Gil

Managing Director

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The European Biotech Venture Builder

Linkedin
Zoran Martinovski

Zoran Martinovski

President

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Prime Sustainability Foundation

Linkedin
Ruta Gumbeleviciute

Ruta Gumbeleviciute

Innovation Project Manager

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UAB Responsum

Linkedin
Sertac Oral

Sertac Oral

General Manager

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GVI (Gold Ventures Investment) Turkey

Linkedin

Community Partners

Co-invest alongside Ventures Thrive to accelerate the next generation of deeptech startups.

GVI (Gold Ventures Investment) Turkey
UAB Responsum
Hackquarters Innovation
MIT Enterprise Forum CEE
Ascend Consulting
Startup Moldova Foundation
DEX Innovation Centre
Eleven Ventures
Huge Thing
The European Biotech Venture Builder
Content Shift Accelerator
Activize (VMI TECH INVEST)
ST Consultancy
Euratechnologies
Quantum Leap Kft
Innovation Capital
Enterprise Hungary Kozhasnu Nonprofit Kft.
Prime Sustainability Foundation
Spheric Accelerator
Startup Campus Inkubator Zrt.
Catalyst Foundation
Business Angels Slovenia
JA Malta
Smart Studios ltd
OTP Bank
Mytilineos
Prima Invest
Alexander Innovation Zone S.A
Revenue Capital LLC
Cluj Startups
JTBD
Search on Media Group
Eco Consulting & Coaching
BGI
Baku Engineering University
Transylvania Angels Network
Radix Ventures Partners
Unismack S.A

Join our initiative

Be a mentor, address key industry challenges, or co-invest alongside Ventures Thrive to accelerate the next generation of deeptech startups.

Frequestly Asked Questions

About Ventures Thrive

What is the purpose of the Ventures Thrive programme?

The purpose of Ventures Thrive is to reduce the existing hurdles deeptech companies face in trying to reach the market, with a combination of equity-free funding, a growth programme, access to specialised investors and a real connection with corporate partners to promote open innovation activities.

How does the programme work?

Ventures Thrive will host an 8-month programme in 2 different open calls, offering a total of €1.5M to 32 young companies. This equity-free funding will be combined with connections to top corporates, investors, institutions and mentors, helping increase the runway and capacity to grow.

There are 3 phases to qualify for the Ventures Thrive Acceleration Programme, aside from the Open Calls: 
Programme Starts - Phase 1 (Build)

During the first month, 12 selected startups will work with Ventures Thrive coaches to refine their Business Case taking into account a number of specific indicators such as product development and commercialisation, business development and strategic synergies with the programme’s corporate partners, and future fundraising plan. Each team will commit to a set of realistic KPIs to pursue during the Ventures Thrive programme.

After that, in the second month, they will pitch in front of industry leaders and corporate partners. All companies reaching this stage will be qualified to receive a Venture Ticket of €5,000 equity-free, to cover all your costs associated with pitching.

Programme Phase 2 (Grow)

Startups have already set specific milestones and KPIs to achieve during their 6-month growth programme. Each startup will receive individual mentoring, along with innovation strategy workshops and masterclasses, investment readiness programmes and matchmaking, building a business use case for addressing real-life corporate challenges, and access to industry events. 

Demo Day (Raise)

Startups will present their achievements during the programme and give a final pitch at Wolves Summit. Teams must be present to receive an award.

Only startups that reach at least 80% of their KPIs in phase 2 will be eligible for awards. Prizes will be awarded to the top three startups (€15,000, €10,000 and €5,000 respectively). This funding is in addition to money already received within the regular programme.

About the Programme

How much time will I need to dedicate to the effort?

The Ventures Thrive programme will take 8 months. It will be split into 3 different phases:

1. Build (phase 1) - 2 months

2. Grow (phase 2) - 5 months

3. Raise (phase 3) - 1 month

How and when can I apply?

The first call for applications is now open. You can apply by clicking on the button Apply now. It will take you to the Sploro platform where you must create an account, and then fill in the application form. Make sure to read the Guidelines for Applications. You will find all the information you need to know before applying.

Is the funding given by the Ventures Thrive programme equity-free?

Yes, it is a grant and we do not expect anything in return.

What happens after I submit my application?

After you submit your application, it will pass a first screening test. After that, you will receive an email, describing the next steps.

Where does the programme take place? Do I need to relocate?

Ventures Thrive is a hybrid programme. You don’t need to relocate, however, there will be some events (Pitch Contest, Demo Day) that you’ll need to attend offline.

What portion of the awarded funding is provided in cash?

Startups accepted into Ventures Thrive can receive up to €100k in funding, of which €95k will be provided in cash and €5k in services. Receipt of the full €100k is subject to the startup reaching programme goals.

Can my startup carry on its operations throughout the programme’s duration?

Yes, your startup can carry on its operations throughout the programme's duration.

The purpose of the Thrive Growth programme is to help you grow your business, not to hinder it. The programme is designed around your company’s goals/KPIs and Ventures Thrive supporting you to reach these goals.

The majority of the programme is remote, which means that you do not need to relocate (excluding 2 startup events where you are expected to pitch and meet investors). This will allow you to keep your business running smoothly while you access the programme.

How and when will the awarded funding be dispersed?

The funding, provided as a grant, will be delivered to startups across a series of programme milestones. All accepted startups will receive €5k to draft a masterplan and present it to the jury at the Pitch Contest, set to be held in May 2024.

In 2024, the 10 startup finalists (chosen during the Pitch Contest) can also benefit from the following funds:

  • A €5k mentorship voucher intended for helping startups achieve their KPIs.
  • €37.5k in cash at the growth programme’s mid-point, provided that the KPIs established for the first 3 to 4 months are met.
  • €37.5k in cash at the end of the growth programme, provided that all the established KPIs are met.
  • €15k, €10k, or €5k cash prizes for the three best performing startup finalists, as selected during the Ventures Thrive Demo Day, set to be held in October 2024.

About Startup Eligibility Criteria

Which countries are eligible for the programme?

Companies established or operating in the Widening area, defined by the European Commission as:

EU member States: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Associated countries: Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Faroe Islands, North Macedonia, Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Tunisia, Turkey and Ukraine.

Outermost Regions (defined in Art. 349 TFEU): Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Réunion, Saint-Barthélemy, Saint-Martin, the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands.

What type of innovations are eligible?

Deeptech solutions leveraging BigData, AI, Blockchain, IoT, and Bio-Tech to address challenges, with promising solutions in the identified focus areas.

What stage of the company is the right fit?

Startups should have a working technology that has passed the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) stage (TRL-6 - technology demonstrated in a relevant environment). The startup should also be actively looking for private funding. It is also beneficial that the startup can generate sales.

What do you mean by an Mentoring Voucher?

Each selected startup will receive a 5000 voucher to be redeemed for focused mentoring, expert content & training, and investor feedback.

Founded by the European Union Logo Outline White

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

Ventures Thrive, project No 101073762 has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe framework programme, under the European Innovation Council’s StartUpEU initiative.

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