ZIP Accelerator 1
The first major startup incubator in Croatia, with three cohorts to date and international backing.
|Sectors||Finance & Payments Non-Digital B2B|
Founded in 2012 with the goal of helping aspiring entrepreneurs from the region of Southeastern Europe build their companies, ZIP has established itself as one of the strongest startup incubators in the region. Three generations of startup teams have passed through the ZIP Startup Program and the fourth is currently underway. In addition to the Startup Program, ZIP organizes various startup conferences, lectures and other events.
Dave McClure, Sith Lord, 500Startups (Silicon Valley)
Carlos Eduardo Espinal, Partner, Seedcamp (London)
Stefan Glaenzer, Partner, Passion Capital / White Bear Yard (London)
Nenad Marovac, Managing partner, DN Capital (London)
This is an opportunity to invest in the best regional talent that Croatia and Southeast Europe have to offer, managed and supported by an experienced and proven team. Although the amounts to be invested may seem modest, they will provide a key stepping stone for our best teams, enabling them to fully commit to their projects and take them to the market access and/or the next funding round stage.
Since founding ZIP, in the last two years the ZIP Startup Program has had three generations pass through.
The program is very intensive with two workshops every week, weekly written (brief) reports and bi-weekly live updates. Every team selects a lead mentor which they work with on a daily basis. Education and mentoring is done by 4 founders, 2 full time ZIP employees and members of the ZIP mentor network (which consists of 30 entrepreneurs and experts from different areas of expertise). The previous cohorts received everything for free in ZIP and they did not have to give equity in exchange for the services received. Mentors and founders were also pro bono volunteers - the idea was to jump start the whole startup ecosystem.
Going forward, we are looking to use the funds raised on Seedrs to also provide capital investment into each of the cohort teams, in addition to continuing to provide the mentorship and support afforded through the Startup Program.
ZIP is very active in building the startup community in Croatia and the Southeast Europe region through projects such as:
- The annual Startup island conference on Hvar on the Croatian coast
- Startup camp Rijeka in partnership with CISEX - Croatian independent software exporters association with 150 member companies and supported by the US Embassy in Zagreb
- Finnovation hackathon in partnership with Bee One, the corporate incubator of Vienna-based Erste Bank Group
- ZIP MasterClass series of international lectures and mentoring, supported by the US Embassy
Sponsors and strategic partners include:
- Zagreb University
- Erste bank group - large regional bank
- Agrokor - biggest Croatian company and
- Iskon/HT/Deutche telekom - biggest telecom provider in Croatia.
Zagreb University and ZIP work together in outreach to the University community. ZIP also has access to University presentation and lecture facilities at the so-called "ZIP.Events" location in central Zagreb. The other partners support ZIP financially and work with ZIP to develop innovative ideas and enable ZIP teams to have access to the corporate resources (product testing etc.) within their organizations. All of the partners also provide mentors to the ZIP mentor network.
ZIP has been active for two years as the first major Croatian technology incubator. There is a very strong need for small capital investments in the teams in the ZIP Startup Program, together with a need for a more professional educational accelerator program.
By investing in this campaign, you are investing in a fund which will in turn invest in each of the startups that are selected by ZIP as participants in the Zip Startup Program. Investors' funds, net of the Seedrs fee, will be invested into a newly-created limited partnership, which will in turn invest the funds in each of the startups in exchange for shares. Seedrs will hold your limited partnership interests (which constitute your equity in the fund) as nominee in the same way that it does for all startups that raise money through its platform. This structure is analogous to the one that traditional venture capital and private equity funds use, and it provides flexibility (as compared to making investments directly into each company without a limited partnership in between) when investing in companies from multiple jurisdictions and currencies.
The following is a diagram of the fund structure:
The funds raised will be invested by the fund into approximately 5 startups which complete the first 3 months of the Startup Program. The startups will give approximately 10% of equity in exchange for an investment of approximately £10,000, along with continued use of the ZIP coworking space. In the event that the fund receives more than £50,000, it would look to either invest more into each company (but this would not affect each company's valuation) or it will accept more companies into the programme. Any returns on these investments will be paid to the fund, which in turn will distribute the funds as follows:
Your investment decision is therefore based on your view of ZIP's ability to attract and select appealing startups in Croatia.
After the investment, the startups will enter the second 3 month intensive accelerator program, launch their product and (with support from the ZIP management team) try to enter the best EU or US startup accelerator programs and/or find seed investment.