Tech startups around the globe have two more weeks to apply to the next round at Dubai-based accelerator SeedStartup. The tech-focused accelerator, which graduated 7 teams during its first two rounds, is now taking applications until February 15th for its third round.
They that apply should be tech-focused, with a “strong team” that pays “a lot of attention to detail,” focuses on “large markets,” and fulfills the requirements- no solo applicants, says founder Rony El-Nashar. “If an idea is focusing on a local market, its chances are better if it’s B2B.”
The accelerator also tends to stay away from “me-too” ideas whose models have been launched abroad. “We tend to favor more innovative startups,” he says. It also helps if they have a prototype, as the accelerator tends to look for teams beyond the idea phase.
Once accepted, startups will receive seed investment of around $20,000 to $25,000 in exchange for a 10% stake, and will undergo a three month bootcamp focused on intensive mentorship. SeedStartup, which is a member of the Global Accelerator Network, grants its startups access to a network of over 50 mentors, around half from within the Arab world and half from locations around the globe.
Each team is assigned 10 mentors, with whom they meet for an hour a week each. “We don’t want a classroom setting; we want to really get involved and roll up our sleeves,” says El-Nashar.
A glance at their 7 graduates reveals that only one thus far- EXA- is from the Arab world. “I’m hoping we’ll have a larger percentage of startups based in the region this year,” El-Nashar hopes.
Of those who graduated, one- Rasello- has closed a Series A round at a “significantly higher” valuation than it had when it entered SeedStartup; the rest are at “various stages of the negotiation process.” TaxiMonger is in talks with a Malaysian VC fund.
The 7 current graduates, who presented at SeedStartup’s First Demo Day, include:
- MediaGraph, a recommendation engine that helps businesses pitch to journalists.
- SteadyFare, a site that allows travelers to lock in airfare ahead of time while setting dates later.
- Locuming, a platform where temporary staff can book and manage jobs.
- Exa.io, a high-performance cloud-based rendering platform that rivals current solutions and offers lower prices.
- Rasello, an SMS marketing and consumer management platform for small businesses.
- Metwit, a crowdsourced real-time weather platform.
- Taximonger, a platform that allows customers to review taxis and book them online (adding to the recent taxi app trend).
Interested startups can apply on the SeedStartup site.