Springboard launches startup incubation for the Y-Combinator generation

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So we have Seedcamp, Startup Bootcamp, The Founder Institute, Launch48, Hackfwd and various other startup programme across Europe. And we can now add another to that list: Springboard.

But this is not the Springboard we wrote about last year. Then, it was the brainchild of Red Gate Software who were effectively offering a very informal arrangement, helping young startups. It was also B2B focused.

This is a different beast. The new Springboard programme has wisely realised that there is a gap in the European eco-system for the super-early stage startup that really just needs enough cash to create something. That is in the Y-Combinator and TechStars sort of area, which is much more at the hacker/product end of the market.

Increasingly it feels like Seedcamp has moved upstream to more fully-formed startups, so this emphasis on pure product companies is welcome.

It will launch in the UK with a full time 13 week bootcamp programme for up to ten teams. But the programme does not just apply to the UK. Any company worldwide can apply to join (last year they had teams from the US, Canada, and Russia), but proximity to the UK and Europe probably helps. It will run from April to July next year.

Each team gets a super low £15,000 of investment capital, reflecting the very product-oriented nature of this scheme. For that they take 6% in ordinary founder shares. Office space etc is free.

Springboard combines investment capital with intensive mentoring and coaching from mentors that include experienced entrepreneurs and Venture Capitalists. The programme will end with the teams presenting their proposition to venture capitalists and angel investors at an Investor Day. Applications are now open for their Spring 2011 intake.

Luckily, Neil Davidson and his team at Red Gate Software have experience. They bootstrapped Red Gate Software to a $25m company, run the Business of Software conference with Joel Spolsky, set-up the Red Gate’s annual $1million challenge and ran the Accidental Incubator – from which Rapportive and Mixcloud have come.

But this time they are serious. Backed by an angel investor syndicate, the Cambridge co-working facility ideaSpace, and the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA), Springboard’s advisors/mentors include Alex van Someren from Amadeus Capital Partners; Colin Willis, Managing Director at Hotspur Capital Partners and Neil McClements, Managing Partner at Fintech Ventures Fund.

The deadline for entries is 13 February 2011.

  • http://jetlib.com/news/2010/11/29/new-european-startup-programme-resembles-y-combinator-model/ New European Startup Programme Resembles Y-Combinator Model | JetLib News

    […] Read the rest of this entry » […]

  • http://www.peerindex.net Azeem

    This is a great addition – but as you point out will only build one type of company, the hacker/product driven one.

    And then at the other end, you have the usual UK equity gap to contend with. Perhaps having Amadeus involved will give graduating startups a place to look for capital, but the Amadeus Angels fund is only one fund, so they will need many many partners.

  • http://www.mysites.com Ramine Darabiha

    *Disclaimer* I am one of the mentors at Springboard.

    Nice writeup. No matter how we look at it, Europe is lagging behind in terms of startup success (in comparison with Silicon Valley).

    The YC model is mature enough to be considered proven, so Springboard, as well as Bootcamp.dk and Aalto Venture Garage are making the old continent more and more likely to generate the likes of MySQL and Skype :)

  • SecrDig

    Here you can say your secret out,

    secrets will be automatically announced to Twitter,

    but they are anonymous…xD

  • Darren

    The more programs like this the better but my concern is 5k per founder for 13 weeks won’t cover the costs of staying in London. I think to many people look at the yc model and think oh that will work here without looking at living costs

  • http://twitter.com/julien_c Julien C

    Hey Mike,

    you absolutely can’t miss “Le Camping”, a Paris-based YC-inspired “startup accelerator” that’s being set up by the excellent folks over at La Cantine/Silicon Sentier.

    Application deadline for the first cycle of startups is tomorrow!


  • Digitalle

    Interesting idea, but seriously, 15k for 6%, why not 20%if these people need it so bad? 15k over 1/4 of a year – not so much ” bootstrapping” as “sandlestrapping”!!

    It’s difficult, as there does not appear to be a good formula of when you are “seed” or development which leads to a bit of a blurred financing landscape. My company digitalle.com is sort of in that financial no- man’s land between development, and actually needing additional funding to accelerate that development. The “come back to us when you have more ‘traction'” argument is all well and good , but honestly if we have traction then our requirement for cash will be a lot lower! The appetite for risk is what seems to be lacking sometimes, as you cannot always back a winner, and that ethos is what differentiates the US scene from the European one.

    They are prepared to take more risk, and as the old saying goes, “who dares wins”. For digitalle, we are funding our development by generate cash from selling stuff, a novel concept I know, but it would be useful to have a more open market for the various stages that some funders will touch, and those it will not.

    So here’s an open invitation to anyone in the market who is looking to invest in a company that isn’t designing an app to tell your friends how good you look in your new outfit ( some crazy money flying around out there) , get in touch and see what we are doing, with multi channel publishing and online security. I guarantee you’ll be blown away. Rupert Hurley, CEO

    • fedd

      > that ethos is what differentiates the US scene from the European one

      but isn’t an American YC is almost the same in terms?

  • http://eu.techcrunch.com/2011/01/27/screenreach-raises-500000-for-its-screach-app-and-platform-for-smartphones/ ScreenReach raises £500,000 for its Screach app and platform for smartphones

    […] founder Paul Rawlings is now one of a hundred mentors of the newly launched Cambridge-based Springboard seed accelerator programme. Applicants to Springboard have until Sunday, 20th February to apply. CrunchBase Information […]

  • http://romanovskis.blogspot.com romanovskis
  • Admin

    Springboard does well

  • http://eu.techcrunch.com/2011/07/29/publification-aims-at-amazon-google-and-apple-with-amazing-html5-ebook-app-springboard/ Publification aims at Amazon, Google and Apple with amazing HTML5 eBook app [Springboard]

    […] one of the most interesting new startups to emerge from the Springboard accelerator programme at its first investor day today has been […]

  • http://facebookim.info/?p=340 Publification aims at Amazon, Google and Apple with amazing HTML5 eBook app [Springboard] » im facebook

    […] one of the most interesting new startups to emerge from the Springboard accelerator programme at its first investor day today has been […]

  • http://alexmeadeint.com/2010/12/08/new-european-startup-programme-resembles-y-combinator/ New European Startup Programme Resembles Y-Combinator Model - ami - alex meade international | ami

    […] New European Startup Programme Resembles Y-Combinator Model 12/08/2010 • Uncategorized […]

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