Startup Wise Guys Welcomes Proptech and Web3 Startups to Its New Acceleration Programs

  • The well-known Estonian startup accelerator Startup Wise Guys invites founders to upcoming Proptech and Web3 acceleration programs
  • The programs will begin in Q4 2023 and run in Marbella, Spain, and Lisbon, Portugal, respectively
  • The locations are chosen for the favorable environment for the respective verticals

Tallinn-based Startup Wise Guys, one of Europe’s most reputable startup accelerators, announces two new vertical-specific acceleration programs – proptech and web3. The programs will enlist 10 teams each and begin in late 2023 in Marbella, Spain, and Lisbon, Portugal, respectively.

Shift Toward Vertical-Specific

Cristobal Alonso, Global CEO at Startup Wise Guys

The launch of the two new vertical-specific programs follows Startup Wise Guys’ journey toward verticalization. The accelerator’s previous vertical-specific programs included fintech and cyber programs before the pandemic, as well as sustainability and XR programs. There have been equity-free, pre-accelerator web3 programs before, and proptech startups were present in the fintech program. Dedicated proptech and web3 verticals mark the next step in the verticalization as Startup Wise Guys continues to leverage its well-known expertise and strategic partnerships with industry experts and organizations.

‘It is important to note down that the core of our accelerator program that we have been perfecting since the first cohort in 2012 is the same in various verticals, therefore operations team is rather focused on ensuring amazing experience for founders, as well as mentors, not really on the vertical nuances per se,’ Startup Wise Guys’ global CEO Cristobal Alonso points out.

Meanwhile, the ‘heavy lifting’ of vertical-specific knowledge will lie on the shoulders of the experts invited to the relevant programs in the roles of Managing Director, Entrepreneurs in Residence and General Partner.

Proptech and Marbella’s Networking Opportunities

Jourdan Alexander-Younis, General Partner at Startup Wise Guys

Jourdan Alexander-Younis, a serial proptech founder from California with 20+ years of experience, joins Startup Wise Guys as a general partner. The accelerator will leverage its new partner’s expertise in the upcoming Proptech program. He shares that the expert advisory board for the program will comprise recognizable names from Columbia University, Tesla, Lend Lease, World Economic Forum, Fabrica AI, and more prominent industry players.

‘Importantly, the proptech fund integrates with several other verticals within Startup Wise Guys, such as sustainability, SaaS, and AR/VR, to deliver one of the most comprehensive, hands-on accelerator programs in Europe,’ Mr Alexander-Younis adds.

Mr Alonso admits that Marbella, Spain, was chosen as the base for running the Proptech program because of its high concentration of active business angels and expats with vast expertise in various topics, including proptech. Startup Wise Guys got to expand its network in this direction while running its XR program in the nearby Malaga. Fortunately, the recently opened co-working space Pool Marbella was open and willing to collaborate and host the program in their picturesque premises created in a former shopping mall.

Lisbon as the Favorable Web3 Tech Hub

Pedro Cerdeira, Partner at 3Comma Capital

As for the Web3 program, it will run in partnership with 3Comma Capital that specializes in this vertical. The choice of Lisbon as the location for the program is also not accidental. There are already 60+ web3 Startups registered in Portugal, 40 incubated at Startup Lisboa (where Startup Wise Guys’ upcoming web3 program will also run), large organizations from the field already present in the market. A combination of technology, favorable regulatory context, existing web3 companies incubated or registered in the city, as well as its technically skilled expat talent pool makes Lisbon a very particularly favorable hub for a web3 acceleration program.

This way, the program can be better equipped with people that are knowledgeable within the space, as well as expand the investor and mentor network with web3 enthusiasts and experts.

‘Web3 is entrepreneurship in a field that is being designed as we speak. Therefore, it is even more complex and demanding in terms of skill set than ‘regular’ entrepreneurship in other verticals, that have matured a bit more and have their own rulebooks and frameworks. There is no regulation in most areas, most web3 projects have their own ‘tokenomics’ aka business models and the community in web3 is taking a whole new meaning, given that most innovations and products in the field are not easily understood at the first glance by the general public. This is why a support program like a vertical specific accelerator is so crucial,’ 3Comma Capital’s general partner Pedro Cerdeira states.

The Vertical-Specific Appeal

The importance of vertical specific programs is further highlighted by the tendency where founders are expressly interested not only in more vertical-specific knowledge, but also in more vertical-specific networking during the acceleration programs.

‘Since we invest in an early stage, we have noticed that at least 80% of the challenges startups face are actually not vertical-specific. However, sales and fundraising, or just peer support definitely, are very vertical bound. We do see that more and more that startups appreciate connecting and talking to investors that ‘get them,’ especially in verticals like XR or cyber security. Same with mentors, even on generic topics like sales or pitching,’ Mr Alonso notes.

Both Proptech and Web3 programs are now open for applications from founders. There is definitely a growth expectation and opportunity both for startups and the Startup Wise Guys team.


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