(Almost) Everything you need to know

What if it isn’t safe to travel because of Covid-19?

Until the end of June, Starter’s program phases are already, by design, a remote experience (online applications, online evaluation, online pitch), so we will be having continuous check-points during the next months to understand if we can move forward with the physical modules (the first one starting on the 30th of June), or if we deliver them as a fully remote experience (we are already prepared to enable any of these options).

What is the deadline for applying?

20th April 2020

What information do I need to provide in my application?

We ask for information about you, your idea, your team and your company. Don’t hold back, let us know how great you are.

What happens once I’ve applied?

Once you’ve submitted your details via our application form on the F6S platform, a member of our team will review your responses to confirm your suitability for the program. Beta-i, the program manager, may be in touch to gather further details and answer any questions you have before your details are submitted to the Starter Business Acceleration committee for review. Up to 30 startups around the world will be selected to the Starter Business Acceleration program running in Brazil, the United States, and Austria to engage with EDP, Turning Tables (Grupo Cuerva), and Verbund. We will then select the finalists to join The Grand Finale of the program, hosted by EDP.

I don’t live in the US, Spain, Brazil, Portugal or Austria. Can I apply?

Of course! Companies, entrepreneurs and startups from across the globe are encouraged to apply. Bear in mind that you may need a visa to participate in activities in these countries and that you will be required to travel during the program.

Is there a minimum age?

You must be at least 18 years old to enter Starter Business Acceleration.

What is the process for applying?

We ask you for information about you, your idea, your team and your company in an online form on the F6S platform. Once the application is submitted, Beta-i will get back to you on next steps.

What type of solutions are you looking for?

We are particularly interested in products related to Client-Focused Solutions, Data Leap, Energy Storage, Clean Energy, Smart Grids and Innovating internal processes. Of course, please take a look at our challenges area to have a more detailed explanation. If you have an idea that doesn’t quite fit any of those, but you still think it would work for us – send it through!

Who can participate?

Companies, entrepreneurs and startups from across the globe who are prepared to develop their products and services in collaboration with EDP, Turning Tables (Grupo Cuerva) and Verbund, for the benefit of their customers and consumers.

I’m not an energy business – can I participate?

Starter Business Acceleration is not exclusively for energy businesses. We’re also interested in working with solutions that can apply to the energy industry. For example, if you have a great data analytics platform, you could work with us to see how it could help us to understand how our customers consume energy.

I have a good business idea – can I participate in Starter Business Acceleration?

Not exactly, we are looking for companies that have at least a prototype with paying customers.

I’m quite an early-stage startup – am I right for Starter Business Acceleration?

We’re open to businesses that have at least a prototype with paying customers. If you feel that your business and products would benefit from this collaboration we’d love to hear from you.

I’ve been in accelerators before and have customers – is this right for me?

We know that your needs will be very different from an early-stage business. Your time is precious and we won’t waste it. So long as you have the ambition to test out your product and ideas in Starter Business Acceleration, we can work together.

Do I need to give away equity to participate?

No, we do not ask for equity for participating in this program. However, we may ask you to keep us notified about future funding rounds.

Are you asking for exclusivity?

No, we’re not asking you to sign an exclusivity agreement. We want to build a relationship based on trust and, if we like each other, we hope that you’ll see us as the first port of call when you need feedback on your new products. Please be aware that we will ask you to sign a mutual non-disclosure agreement (NDA) which you will need to adhere to, even when working with other parties in the energy sector.

Will I need to disclose confidential information about my business?

If you are invited to join Starter Business Acceleration, we will ask you to sign a mutual non-disclosure agreement (NDA) – this means that we’ll keep your information confidential, and you’ll need to do the same for us. This will ensure we can work together productively on the program. However, when you’re applying to join, neither party will be under NDA, so please only share with us information about your product or business that you consider in the public domain.

What does the Starter Business Acceleration consist of?

The Starter Business Acceleration will be a 3-day intensive program where ten selected startups for each country (Brazil, US, and Austria) will develop their product use case with the help of workshops, talks and mentoring sessions that will provide you with useful learnings for the program and enhance your skills, where at the end, approximately up to 3 teams will be selected to join The Grand Finale of the program.

What are the terms of entry into Starter Business Acceleration?

Selected teams will be required to sign a participation agreement to join the program.

Are you offering any travel support or assistance?

There is a travel and accommodation grant to help cover part of these costs with the exceptions of Brazilian based startups, Houston based startups and Vienna based startups.

What do I need to attend in person?

If selected for the program we will provide a list of required onsite dates. Currently, we will require you to be onsite for a 3-day module in either São Paulo, Houston or Vienna as well as potentially Lisbon:

  • 30th June – 2nd July in São Paulo – Latin America Module
  • 21st – 23rd July in Houston – North America Module
  • 16th – 18th September in Vienna – Europe Module
  • 18th November – Grand Finale (Digital)
What does the Piloting phase of the program involve?

Throughout the Starter Business Acceleration program, we will build on the initial use case you presented on the last day of the module. The itinerary is designed to guide you on creating game-changing products that will hopefully be implemented with the utilities. Along the way, you will receive essential guidance on key decisions in real-time from your mentors and other industry experts.

When is the Starter Business Acceleration running?

From 30th June to 2nd of July in São Paulo, from 21st to 23rd July in Houston and from 16th to 18th September in Austria. Approximately up to 3 teams will be selected to join The Grand Finale on 18th November.

Will the utilities invest in every company that joins the program?

We will decide which startups we invest in at the end of the program.

If sucessful, when will I receive investment from the utilities?

Investment decisions will be finalized at the end of the program.

How many startups will be chosen for the Starter Business Acceleration?

We will aim to select up to 10 startups for each of the 3 modules to participate in the Piloting phase of the Starter Business Acceleration program.

What are the upsides of joining the Starter Business Acceleration?

Starter Business Acceleration enables startups to trial their solutions at scale, network with industry experts, receive mentoring from the leadership teams of the utilities. Working directly with a partner like EDP, Turning Tables (Grupo Cuerva) will likely increase opportunities in your industry sector for pilots, contracts and further introductions, which is directly inline with our mission.

Is Starter Business Acceleration like other accelerators?

We believe we are different. We’ll provide your business with opportunities to:

  • Full exposure of your startup to the utilities since the application phase
  • Trial your product with the utilities
  • Receive mentoring from senior executives
Who is Beta-i? What are their role in this accelerator?

Beta-i is an organization created to boost entrepreneurship, and its mission is to foster a true innovation culture. We help new and established businesses grow, by offering 360º innovation services with 6 main areas: Acceleration, Events, Consulting, Open Innovation, Education and Investment. Internationally recognized as one of the leading companies in this field, and for running Lisbon Challenge, one of Europe’s most active startup accelerators, since 2010 we have received +5000 applications to our several programs and accelerated over 850 startups, that have raised +65M.

Where will the mentors come from?

Mentors will include senior executives from the utilities, experts within their wider business, entrepreneurs and external subject matter experts. A full list of mentors will be announced in due course.