Kiuas Accelerator Spring 23 application period insights

March 10, 2023
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Kiuas team
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This spring the Kiuas Accelerator received applications from 108 startups from 20 different countries. Most applications come in from Finland but there is clearly international interest in Kiuas and the Finnish startup ecosystem. We have also had regularly international teams in our program. But it’s natural, that the Accelerator is still most interesting for Finnish teams as we and our networks and expertise are in Finland. Nevertheless, both Finnish and foreign teams consistently report gaining massive value from the program.

This application period was in many ways business as usual but provided some positive surprises. As Kiuas is more focused on supporting early-stage teams, it is no wonder that in half of the applications, the team size is 3 or fewer people. Furthermore, half of the teams are looking for a co-founder, which seems to be a bottleneck for many teams that we are working to solve with the Kiuas Co-Founder platform.

Since the scope is in early-stage startups, 43% of the applications came in from startups that are in the idea validation stage and 29% of them were at the piloting stage. Roughly one out of five applicants already had some revenue which in the current situation has become more and more important as investors have become more careful. Concrete traction or at least a properly validated idea is valuable proof that there is a need for the solution that the startup is creating.

Regarding funding, 83% of the applicant teams were bootstrapped. This actually fits the Kiuas scope very well since we are working with investors that are interested in funding early-stage startups with no significant revenue so far. Furthermore, in the program, we pay a lot of attention to fundraising and discuss all the possible sources. Also part of the program is to prepare the teams we work with to become investable and attractive to investors.

What the data from the applications didn’t reveal is the most positive surprise. After reading the applications and having a call with over 50 founders, our impression was that on average the founders were experienced, well-prepared, and had a solid background in working with the problem that they have set out to solve. This caused the Kiuas team some positive problems for selecting the teams to the Kiuas Accelerator Spring 2023 batch.

Finally, we have now made the selections and the next batch will start their Accelerator journey next week.

Stay tuned for our batch announcement!

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