€ 50,000 start-up prize on the iCEE.fest: UPGRADE 100 stage. Find out how you can participate (even for free) and what to do if you want to get financing - UPGRADE 100 News
1-2.10, 2020
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€ 50,000 start-up prize on the iCEE.fest: UPGRADE 100 stage. Find out how you can participate (even for free) and what to do if you want to get financing

The new iCEE.fest format, UPGRADE 100, features a special interest in the start-up ecosystem and the investors’ landscape. The festival that brings to Bucharest, on June 13 and 14, over 140 speakers and global experts dealing with the transformations led by the advances of the internet and technology has grown exponentially in this field.

The UPGRADE 100 Floors Elevator” competition, organized in partnership with start-up.ro will have start-ups from Romania, and not only, battle in the ring live on the festival stage for a € 50,000  prize offered by the venture capital investment fund GapMinder Venture Partners.

Previously, iCEE.fest organized the “200 Seconds of Fame” competition, where applicant startups were pitching in a live session in front of the jury and the audience in the main stage.

This year, the rules of the game changed as GapMinder Venture Partners takes the competition to a new level with a prize of € 50,000 committed capital (a form of loan, non-reimbursable, convertible into shares at a future company rating) for startup hero of the new competition, “The UPGRADE 100 Floors Elevator“.

Also, the Digital Business and Technology Entrepreneurship community can get the free entry based on a cover letter (details below).

How can you get on stage to present your startup?

  • Send a short pitch deck until June 3 (end of the day). All the details are here.
  • The jury will decide the 15 finalists by June 9. All applicants will be notified by email if they reach the final or not, and must confirm their presence at the event.
  • Prepare to rock the iCEE.fest: UPGRADE 100 scene, where you will pitch for 3 minutes and 30 seconds in front of jury members.
  • Remember that the pitch is in English and that you have to observe the alocated time slot rigorously. The pitch deck sent to apply can also be used on stage.

Valuable content for startups and entrepreneurs

In addition to the dedicated competition, the festival has a valuable agenda for entrepreneurs, counting on top notch investors from both Romania and Europe, in search of companies with global growth potential, as well as experts in the growth of start-up businesses.

On June 14, on the 2nd day of the festival, the UPGRADE 2 scene dedicated to startups – the full agenda is published here – will be opened with a debate on funding opportunities at any level of development, with representatives of essential funds investors, including Ondrej Bartos (General Partner Credo Ventures), Krzysztof Palucki (Associate OTB Ventures), Dan Mihăescu (GapMinder) or Panagiotis Karampinis (Endeavor Greece).

Then they will introduce the so-called “growth hackers”: Ben Kaplan (PR Hacker) will talk about getting to the attention of the press, Ferdinand Goetzen (Recruits) will talk about building the best team, and Theodore Moulos and Adrian Vlasiu (GrowthRocks) will present 13 alternative growth strategies.

A startup scene in Romania would not be complete without UiPath, the first unicorn born in Romania – the company that managed to get from under $ 200 million to over 7 billion in just two years.

Razvan Antim, business development manager at UiPath, will tell you the story and provide valuable tips on how this explosion came to fruition after more than ten years of launching the company in 2005.

On the same scene, Orange will present some of the teams that participated in the Orange Fab accelerator.

Together with Monica Obogeanu, startup programs manager Orange, Vlad Cazan (Kfactory), Bogdan Nourescu (CBNAgro.tech), Vlad Buşilă (Mozaik), Radu Motisan (uRADmonitor) and Adina Rosca (Orange Foundation) will be on the stage.

The second session will begin with the “Investors Agora” where, we gather at the same “table” several hundreds of millions of Euros represented by the participating investment funds.

Among those who will discuss the essential investment aspects for startups in the region, there are:

  • Dimitris Kalavros-Gousiou – Velocity Partners VC
  • Ondrej Bartos – Credo Ventures
  • Panagiotis Karampinis – Endeavor Greece
  • Mihai Sfințescu – Abilito Capital
  • Iulian Cîrciumariu – V7 Capital
  • Dragoș Stănescu – 0 Day Capital
  • Cosmin Ochișor – GapMinder Venture Partners
  • Mihaly Szalontay – Flashpoint Venture Capital
  • Mălin Ștefănescu – TechAngels Romania

Demo Day of the Techcelerator program

Techcelerator is an acceleration program that addresses Romanian technology startups.

Present in Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca, Techcelerator is the first accelerator in Romania to allocate funds for the development of companies in the (pre) acceleration phase.

Investments in participating companies are provided by the strategic partner, GapMinder Venture Partners.

On target are the innovative companies, which consider that they have a high potential for international development and expansion in growing industries such as FinTech, PropTech, digital transformation, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, IT solutions for health, AgTech and others.

The DemoDay event of the 3rd round of the program will precede the “The UPGRADE 100 Floors Elevator” competition, offering a memorable evening to the members of the startup ecosystem in Romania.

The day will end with the live pitch of the (maximum) 15 startups selected during the festival competition.

How can you participate, even for free?

Those who want to come to attend the startup scene at iCEE.fest: UPGRADE 100, and already have a company can argue the reason why they should do so, free of charge.

A limited number of startups will be able to participate for free. Details and enrollments here.

Access is also based on an entry ticket. There is also a dedicated ticket, just for those interested in the startup area, as well as general access tickets at all stages of the festival. The booking page is here.

iCEE.fest: UPGRADE 100 has already announced the whole festival agenda, which is published here. Speakers grouped on each line of content are listed here.

The festival takes place in Bucharest, 13-14 June 2019, for the 8th consecutive year, and is supported by Orange, Nissan, George / BCR, Coca-Cola, GLO, mPlatform, MedLife, Verizon Media, SalesForce, MedLife, and other sponsors.