Have you ever wondered what does it take to change your ideas into a viable business? To be your own boss? What sacrifices are necessary to agree on to live a life of an entrepreneur?
Providing you with these answers is one of the key reasons why Startup Weekend keeps being organized in Malta in the first place. And second of all, there’s also “life after Startup Weekend”! like i.e. pre-acceleration and (seed funded) acceleration programs run by MITA Innovation Hub.
The concept of Startup Weekend events – taking place in +140 countries and +1000 cities every year – is in itself a tried and tested tool to build the motivational and strategic capabilities of to-be entrepreneurs. Within a weekend-long (54-hours) event, the participants are given the opportunity to simulate the pre-startup and early-stage activities of a new entrepreneurial venture, from having to identify a client base through to pitching their projects to prospect investors. The Startup Weekend event can be considered a hybrid cross-breed between a whirlwind startup acceleration program and intense entrepreneurial training. What Startup Weekend achieves for budding entrepreneurs is emulating the leap from bare ideas, through to team building, co-funding, validating, prototyping and finally launching and scaling up. The focus on small teams, building trust and engaging with mentors and potential investors becomes a mini-replication of an entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Being involved in launching all Maltese additions of Startup Weekend (since 2013) I’ve been asked many times “What’s next?” “How do you plan to keep up the momentum?” We’ve experimented with several different approaches but with this years’ opening I can finally say: We’re ready to walk you through – step-by-step – team formation, idea validation, prototyping and (seed) funding. All as one, consistent process! Thanks to collaboration with MITA Innovation HUB, Startup Weekend is in sync with its YouStartIT pre-acceleration (kicking off a few weeks after the SW event) and acceleration programmes. Have a look here to find out what’s out there you!
So no more excuses! Start planning your availability for the second week of November (10-12 March) and let’s start working together on taking your business idea to the next level!
This year’s edition of Malta Startup Weekend has been put in sync with the acceleration program, delivered by MITA. It’s a great opportunity for all Startup Weekend participants to keep up the momentum gained over this event and to carry on with the projects development. Here’s what you can expect to happen after the event:
About the call
The MITA Innovation Hub (MIH) will offer a pre-seed investment and pro bono services of €22,000 to up to FIVE startups with the best business idea based on digital technologies.
We will privilege ideas that leverage areas of strength of the Maltese economy such as Financial Services, Health & Leisure, Tourism, Maritime and Gaming as a testbed or launchpad to global markets, and preferably use emerging technologies or disruptive models such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things and BlockChain.
As all our previous calls for startups, rules will apply. These include:
- The need to be a tech startup at an early stage of growth or in business for less than five (5) years. Startups that have not yet formalised into a Malta-registered business undertaking will be expected to do so if selected for funding and acceleration. Startups that are already formalised as a business undertaking must not exceed a headcount of nine (9).
- Each Startup must avail itself of a team composed of a minimum of three named members with complementary technical, design and business skills of relevance to the project and the chosen thematic area. One team member will be assigned the role of a Project Coordinator having specific responsibilities as highlighted in Appendix A of the Letter of Award.
- All the Startup members must have an entrepreneurial vision, be ready to pitch their project and/or business idea at a public event as part of the selection process; and then be prepared to learn and experiment using agile and rapid prototyping approaches while constantly engaging with early adopters of their solution.
Interested candidates are encouraged to follow our pre-acceleration programme to receive guidance on how to validate their business idea and eventually pitch it to our panel of judges.
Below is a timeline of the entire programme – some dates have yet to be confirmed.
Applications open – Tue 28th March 2017
Startup-meets-mentor networking event – Tue 4th April 2017 †
Pre-acceleration & Design Thinking – Wed 5th April to Mon 8th May 2017
Applications close – Tue 9th May 2017 *
Communication of shortlisted startups – Mon 15th May 2017 *
Coaching week – Tue 16th to Fri 19th May 2017 *†
Pitch ideas to panel of judges – Sat 20th May 2017 †
Start of acceleration & project kick-off – Mon 22nd May 2017
Product launch – Thu 20th July 2017 *
Submission of Business Plan & Final Report – Thu 17th August 2017 *
Demo day – pitch to investors – Thu 24th August 2017 *
* Event date and time subject to change.
† Details about the venue will be communicated through our website.
Special sessions on the following themes are also being planned. These will be held prior to application closing date:
- Registering your startup as a business undertaking according to Maltese law
- Regulating the relationship between startup founders, and why it is important to do it early
What else you should know about the call
Startups selected for acceleration are expected to sign a Letter of Award appending terms and conditions and startup responsibilities.
A call document explaining more in detail eligibility criteria, how to apply, judging criteria, state aid rules and other details will be uploaded together with the Letter of Award in the coming weeks. As a general guideline you should not expect many changes to these documents with respect to ones used for YouStartIT #1.
Should you have any further queries you can write to us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call +356 2599 2207.
Some events on our timeline may change, so always watch out for any updates about planned activities and related venues on this webpage.
- You attend our Startup-meets-Mentor networking event to understand better what is expected from you and what are the gains and opportunities of the acceleration programme.
- You follow our pre-acceleration programme if you want your idea to gain an edge over your competition. This programme is based on Design Thinking methodology.
If you are an EU national and a non-resident you are eligible to apply as long as you register your startup as a business undertaking in Malta. If you are a third country national (i.e. non-EU, e.g. US, Russia, Ukraine, etc.) you are technically also eligible, but you should first check residency permit requirements as these could hinder your ability to comply with the programme timeline. Check our FAQs for more details.
We hope to see you all over this event. The discount coupons for ZEST will be provided upon purchasing your Startup Weekend tickets.