GapMinder is a Venture Capital Fund with headquarters in Bucharest, Romania. It targets IT Software and Services start-ups in Central Eastern Europe.
The VC fund partners with visionary entrepreneurs to speed up their ideas to high-potential markets.
“We build a hub for innovation to accelerate the growth of the leading high-tech start-ups in the SEE region that are working to shape the future and a higher quality of life,” explains Cristian Dascalu, GapMinder VC.
GapMinder invests up to €1.5 million in seed funding, and up to €6 million in follow-up rounds.
The domains that are shaping the world of tomorrow are Technology, Artificial Intelligence, Fintech, Machine Learning, SaaS, Health-Tech, Digitalisation. This puts them on the priority list of most world organisations aiming to improve our lives and increase business intelligence and productivity based on ethical standards.
Strategic partnerships and regional opportunities are crucial advantages for leading start-ups that are innovating in such fields. “An accelerator is always close to entrepreneurs, ready to provide funding and support, always seeking to understand their immediate needs and quickly identify solutions in the local or international community of partners,” says Cristian Dascalu.
Attracting investments can be the most difficult part of successful international development. Thus, a robust, resourceful, and resilient ecosystem of investors, mentors, alumni, and entrepreneurs working together to provide know-how, training, funding, and network is vital.
The good news is that a good idea will always find investors, and the investor community in Romania is active and growing. An accelerator acts as a catalyst for such resources, constantly adding strong players to the national ecosystem.
Personal Background and Values
“I believe in courage, cooperation, and innovation. These are the values at the heart of my leadership. We cannot wait for the future; we must build it,” proudly shares Mr. Dascalu.
Equally true is that the future can no longer be based on the past, we must innovate to shape it. Innovation takes courage and can only be achieved through cooperation. Vision and insight take courage.
Cristian believes that the community needs the courage to take on the problems of the world, as well as challenge and transform the status quo, so it can reshape the world of tomorrow.
A task this abundant requires plenty of resources. “Cooperation multiplies all of our resources – including our intelligence and vision, our insight and our courage. That’s why we build communities and trust the power of the ecosystem. This is what drives exponential growth.”
GapMinder is committed to providing start-ups with the rocket fuel they need to take off and raise the seed rounds. To achieve this, the Fund finds local investors, regional VCs, and international co-investors.
“In two years, we have raised €5 million, and we have accelerated 40+ start-ups that have launched in 16 countries, with a survival rate of 86%,” explains Cristian Dascalu and continues, “We have built an ecosystem of 200+ corporate experts and mentors and 50+ local and regional VCs. In 2019, we have received the Best Regional Accelerator award from CESA.”
Techcelerator is the first accelerator in Romania to allocate funds for the development of companies in the (pre)acceleration phase. It targets acceleration and investments in young innovative companies with high potential for international development and expansion in growing industries such as FinTech, PropTech, software, cybersecurity, Artificial Intelligence, digital transformation, IT solutions for health, AgTech, and others.
The programmes run by Techecelerator include:
- Next FinTech Accelerator – dedicated to local FinTech start-ups;
- Advancing AI – which supports AI/ML companies, helping them transform their ideas into fast-growing businesses;
- Scale Match – which matches SEE start-ups with top-notch investors and innovative corporations;
- Investment Readiness Program – a programme designed to help tech star-ups prepare for their next pre-seed/ seed investment round.
Techcelerator benefits from the strategic support of GapMinder VC and collaborates with other relevant local and European investors to support the local tech ecosystem.
Connection with InvestHorizon
“We share similar values: we aim to accelerate start-ups and facilitate funding for selected deep-tech companies while boosting their investment readiness and investor relations. Our objectives are also similar: provide funding, create networks, foster scalability. We share a strong interest in technology, too” concludes Cristian Dascalu.