It’s no secret that the most successful location for launching tech startups is Silicon Valley. For international companies, the idea of taking their own ideas and attempting to compete with the Silicon success can be daunting. However, thanks to this exact booming success in Silicon Valley, there’s an over-abundance of investors eager to finance the next great idea.
This is where Barcelona Ventures comes into play. The newest kid on the Barcelona-based accelerator block is offering an eight-week program for international tech companies who want to expand into the US market. Known as the US Market Validation Program (MVP), this opportunity is aimed at facilitating a graceful entrance into US markets and creating an early pipeline of customers to sell to and partner with.
Understanding why a company would offer such a program is key. Barcelona Ventures is a comprehensive resource platform for companies who want to take the plunge across to America. It finds success with the success of these adventurous startups. Founded by Francesc Bach in 2012 on his belief and mission that if there were a customized and safe way for European tech companies to gain financing in the Silicon Valley, they would be more likely to do it. Barcelona Ventures regularly arranges investor meetings for European entrepreneurs and works with its most notable partner, US Market Access Center (US MAC), as joint accelerators for international brands. Within the past three years, US Mac has helped 60 companies that successfully conduct business in the US today.
It is with US MAC that Barcelona Ventures is hosting the aforementioned MVP Program. At the program, each startup is given two mentors: an expert on US market business models and someone in the startup sector. US MAC has over 100 experienced mentors in both of these fields, so the talent is astounding. Over the six weeks working remotely and the two weeks in San Francisco, each startup will attend weekly mentoring sessions and be assigned deliverables designed to grow their Silicon Valley network. This network will also grow throughout the numerous meetings set up with new customers and partners in the Silicon Valley.
Some of the other perks of the program include immigration and visa advice from lawyers, office space during the stay in San Francisco, attendance at industry events and investor forums, and coaching sessions from experienced entrepreneurs. The coaches stem from an incredible line up of talent, including Carlos Riveiro (Co-founder and CEO at Vilynx), Xavier Renom (Co-founder and CEO at JUSTINMIND), and Alfonso de la Nuez (Co-founder and Co-CEO at UserZoom), who all want to assist in the transfer of Silicon valley knowledge, know-how, and of course, network, to each participating company.
The inaugural MVP program is looking for 5 tech companies from Internet sector, Big Data, software, SaaS, or mobile intent on building a global startup. The program has the best results with those who already have current customers and traction in their home markets so that they can truly commit to US market entry as an expansion of their current success. In fact, this could be the ideal post-accelerator program for Barcelona startups recently graduating from Wayra, SeedRocket or Conector and are ready to scale.
Valued at €27,000, the program financed directly by the startup or through a convertible loan, of which one-third will be covered by US MAC and Barcelona Ventures. With no initial dilution, the program does not discuss the valuation of the company and will not take any equity: a first for Barcelona accelerator programs. Only upon closing of a financing will the debt convert into equity according to that valuation of time. Startups need to apply by July 15th if they are interested. This can be done by either emailing MVP@barcelonaventures.com or through the website http://www.barcelonaventures.com.