The Digital Freedom Festival is continuing cooperation with leading global accelerator 500 Startups (USA) and international startup, investor and mentor union Rockstart (Netherlands) by inviting seed stage startups to apply to the Startup Pitch Competition. Applications are open through October 18th, with finalists announced on November 1st. The grand final will be held during the Digital Freedom Festival Investor Day on November 15th.
Digital Freedom Festival Co-founder and Latvian Startup Association Startin.lv Board Member Dagnija Lejiņa: “We're very pleased to continue cooperation with our reliable partners at 500 Startups and Rockstart. Getting into 500 Startups is like jumping to the front of a very long line. It increases trust in the eyes of investors and offers invaluable personal experience and growth. I suggest you get rid of your doubts and participate in the competition, after all - you lose 100% of the shots you don't take!”
The 500 Startups Pitch Competition is open to seed-stage startups, which have developed and tested a product prototype. The top three to five will advance to the next round, where they will have the opportunity to present their ideas to local and international investors, media and other festival attendees. The winner will receive a fast-track to the final interview round for the next accelerator batch in Silicon Valley. There they will fight for the opportunity to receive world-class mentoring, access to a USD 150 000 seed fund and participation in the 4-month accelerator programme.
500 Startups Partner Marvin Liao: "I am personally a big fan of the Digital Freedom Festival and would recommend it to anyone and everyone. This is also why 500 Startups has been involved with the event the last 3 years!"
The Rockstart Pitch Competition is open to startups operating in the smart mobility, energy or artificial intelligence sectors. Applicants must have developed and tested a product prototype.
Competition winners will have the opportunity to take part in the final selection round for the Rockstart 6-month accelerator programme in the Netherlands. During the accelerator programme startups will have access to a EUR 20 000 euro cash prize, EUR 80 000 in indirect financing through office space rental and mentor support, as well as more than 50 various additional support tools valued at around EUR 100 000. The programme will also provide the opportunity to qualify for EUR 500 000 -1 million in further investment.
Rockstart Co-founder and CEO Rune Theill: “The Digital Freedom Festival is a well-organised event for changemakers, innovators, and creative thinkers. In beautiful surroundings, DFF is an intimate event optimised to create meaningful connections.”
Participation in the pitch competitions allows startups to develop their ideas and presentation skills, gain constructive criticism from industry representatives and experts, and gain access to world-class contacts and investors.
As previously reported, last year's 500 Startups Pitch Competition winner was Latvian startup Asya. In turn, the winner of the Dutch accelerator's Rockstart Pitch Competition was CostPocket from Estonia.
Asya CEO Ēvalds Urtāns emphasises: “Participation in DFF gave us great media exposure, connections to top startup accelerator programs in the global arena and a lot of early beta users before the actual launch of the asya.ai app.”