It’s time to sign up for Pangstart Accelerator:

“The program provides ambitious entrepreneurs with customers, capital and competence needed to scale”

Starting in the fall of 2020, the renewed three-month Pangstart Accelerator program is back to help tech startups raise capital and boost sales.

By Mari Kristine Buckholm, 7th of April 2020

“Since 2016, we have accelerated more than 100 startups, and 95 % are still operational and have been funded. We have successfully scaled some of Norway’s hottest startups and learned that running a successful startup ultimately boils down to the founder’s ability to convince investors and customers. Thus, we have made exactly that the focus of our program,” says Lorenzo Ruscelli, Head of Incubator and IT at Smart Innovation Norway.

Experience-based program

Pangstart Accelerator is a three-month, high-paced and experience-based accelerator program designed by serial entrepreneurs, investors and industry leaders to help tech startups raise capital and boost their sales.

“Companies who have graduated from the program will have a much higher probability of receiving institutional funding. Smart Innovation Norway alumni companies include Unloc, TotalCtrl, LeadX and eSmart Systems,” notes Ruscelli.

This year’s program extends from September to December, and application is now open. Some sessions will be held at Smart Innovation Norway’s Simulation Center in Halden, but most will be held with partners in the capital, Oslo.

Who should sign up and why?

Smart Innovation Norway’s core expertise includes smart energy systems, applied artificial intelligence (AI) and digital transformation, smart cities, and sustainable business development, and Ruscelli encourages all national and international startups with solutions within these fields to apply for Pangstart Accelerator.

“Our program is tailored for startups who match our areas of expertise. The most successful applicants have already raised some initial funding, received positive market validation and have paying customers, a product, and a team,” he explains.

Ruscelli (photo) has no doubt that signing up for Pangstart Accelerator is the smartest move to make for startups and entrepreneurs who aim to scale further, and lists five reasons why:

  1. The program offers six experience-led workshops in critical practices for scaling a business – product management, go-to-market, business model optimization, fundraising, sales and team development.
  2. You get 1:1 sessions with domain experts in finance, law, IP, artificial intelligence, fundraising, strategy, software development, sales, and entrepreneurship.
  3. You get 1:1 sessions with industry experts within smart city, energy systems, and ICT.
  4. You get access to industry partners and customers through our extensive network of more than 150 corporations.
  5. You get access to capital and investors to support your growth.

After completing the program, Ruscelli emphasizes, the startups will have traction with fundraising and sales.

Supported by significant local sponsor

Pangstart Accelerator would not be possible to offer without the support of sponsors. This year’s renewed and extended program has become a reality thanks to the local bank SpareBank 1 Østfold Akershus and the foundation SpareBank 1 Stiftelsen Østfold Akershus, which contribute with both consulting services and financial support.

“Our mission is to contribute to developing the region we operate in, and creating new workplaces is an important part of that work. Therefore, we support Pangstart Accelerator, where startups get essential knowledge and help to develop their businesses further. Participating in the program increases their chance of creating a viable business,” says Jon Tørmoen, Director of Corporate Market at Sparebank 1 Østfold Akershus.

He adds:

“My advice for entrepreneurs and startups that wish to succeed, is to connect with and seek collaboration with people who have the competence you lack. I am a big believer in complementary teams, so do not be tempted to recruit people who think just like yourself.”

About Pangstart Accelerator:

  • A three-month accelerator program for tech startups with a high degree of innovation.
  • Through the program, you will get help with raising capital and boosting sales in record time.
  • With a network of over 100+ corporations and expert mentors, you will have all the necessities to build a successful business.

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