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Deadline for the application submission is October 17th at 3 p.m. (CEST).

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  • Registration and Application submission

    After registering an account with a valid Tax Identification Number (PIB) and email address, submit a completed application questionnaire and the following documents:

    • Management resumes and a list identifying key employees or representatives.
    • List of existing shareholders and their percentage ownership (capitalization table).
    • Brief financial history/records.
    • Completed Environmental and Social Screening Questionnaire.
    • Ethics self-assessment checklist filled in and signed by the Applicant.
    • Financial statements for the most recent operating periods up to two years, if available.
    • Investor deck and/or business plan.
    • Pro forma financial model.
    • Indicative fundraising ask (amount and use of funds, e.g.)
  • Administrative and Eligibility Check - 1 week

    After registering and submitting the application, the IF staff will conduct eligibility checks to ensure their completeness and compliance with the requirements of the program.

    Eligibility criteria:

    • The Applicant is a legally registered business not older than six years at the time of applying.
    • The Applicant is a private sector (at least 80% privately owned), micro or small-sized company.
    • The Applicant must be majority owned (>50%) by the founding team of entrepreneurs.
    • The Applicant is not listed on the stock exchange.
    • The Applicant has not received financing from any other IF financing program for the same or similar activities
    • The Applicant or its affiliated entity did not have revenues over €8,000,000 in any of the prior two years.
  • Pre-Selection - 7 weeks

    Applications that meet eligibility criteria go through the Pre-selection phase carried out by the Selection Committee (SC).

    The SC includes 3 external experts with extensive experience investing in startups.

    A written assessment is also provided by one external reviewer, a subject matter expert with knowledge of the business or industry in question.

  • Live Pitch & Final Decision - 2 weeks

    Final scoring, ranking, and selection decisions – including placement into Ideation or Scale-up stream – are made by the SC after live pitches by pre-selected applicants.

    The best applications are offered a contract to join the Katapult accelerator and At-entry grants.

For more information about the Katapult program and application process, download the following documents:

Click to see files

Katapult selects cohorts that include two “streams” determined by stage of company development:

The “Ideation” stream

For startups in the early stages of product and go-to-market development. These companies are looking for market validation, confirmation of a business model, and initial seed funding. If the IP/tech is unique and compelling, Katapult may consider pre-revenue startups. Ideation stream companies receive at-entry grants of up to 2.4 million RSD (~€20.000).

The “Scale-up” stream

For companies with proven traction looking to accelerate their growth and aiming to raise a late Seed/Series A round of financing. Scale-up companies receive at-entry grants of up to 6 million RSD (~€50.000).

If an eligible investor commits to invest, companies from both streams can also receive Co-Investment Grants.

FAQs

  • Katapult is an acceleration program designed to help startups speed their pace of development. This is done through mentoring, startup building curriculum, seed funding, and peer learning. The goal is to help startups reach key milestones that get them to the next stage – likely a private funding round, though it could be meaningful revenue – more quickly.

    The core accelerator is a 3-month program with a residential component in or near Belgrade (if conditions allow) followed by ongoing capital raising support. Up to 20 startups will be selected to participate in each cohort.

  • All applications are handled through the Katapult portal. To register an account, the Applicant must have a valid Tax Identification Number (PIB). An email address given during the registration will be used for any correspondence with applicants.

  • Innovation Fund will publish one public call per year for the Katapult accelerator.

  • We’re looking for highly talented and motivated teams. While we expect most teams to be building tech products or leveraging digital technologies to deliver new services, we encourage any team commercializing an innovation to apply.

  • Startups from outside of Serbia may apply, provided they are willing to register their business and establish a significant operating base in Serbia. Key team members must be present in Serbia.

    Participating companies may be incorporated internationally (Delaware C-Corp, e.g.) as long as they also have a locally registered entity to handle day-to-bay business.

  • Your startup needs to be a legally registered business, not older than six (6) years at the time of applying to the Katapult accelerator.

    Applicants should also be privately owned (at least 80%) and we expect the founders to have most of the equity.

    Applicants must be majority owned (>50%) by the founding team of entrepreneurs.

    For the full eligibility criteria, checkout the Program manual here.

  • We believe the odds of building successful startups are strongly improved when co-founders with complementary and diverse skill sets and experience team together. It is highly preferred that applicants have at least two co-founders.

  • Katapult accelerator is an intensive program that will require co-founders to be full-time committed to their startups. Investors also tend to only invest in startups with fully committed, full-time founding teams.

  • We expect participants to be past the concept stage. To fully leverage the support and resources of Katapult, teams need to be able to at least put an initial MVP version of the product with sufficient features in front of early users or customers.

  • Katapult will have two streams: Ideation and Scale-up.

    Pre-revenue startups may qualify for the Ideation stream, though we will look for evidence of demand. Pilots with potential customers are a good start.

    To qualify for the Scale-up stream, companies should already be generating revenue.

  • The “Ideation” stream aims to assist founders in the early stages of product and customer development. These founders are likely looking for support with market validation and getting their first (or second) paying customers. We expect they will be looking to raise initial seed capital from €100K – €1M.

    The “Scale-up” stream will work with companies with existing customers focused on accelerating growth. Startups in this stream may have already raised some seed capital and are likely targeting a late Seed/Series A round of financing between €500K – €2M.

    The streams will run concurrently during the same cohort; some topics and activities will be done together (sharing ideas and experiences can be super valuable for all involved) while other activities will be specific to each stream. Mentors will be matched where their expertise can best be leveraged.

  • All applications are initially reviewed for eligibility and those that are eligible are moved to review by the Selection Committee, which includes experienced investors and successful entrepreneurs. The SC will score applicants against the Katapult evaluation criteria and will invite highly rated startups to pitch and interviews.

  • Applications will be assessed against five core criteria, including:

    1. Strength of the team
    2. Product/technology innovation and uniqueness
    3. Business model viability & traction
    4. Market attractiveness
    5. Capital raising prospects
  • Two types of funding are available: At-Entry and Co-Investment Grants.

    At-Entry Grants provide teams with funds to put to work during the acceleration program. For Ideation startups, this is up to €20K; for Scale-up companies, up to €50K.

    Co-Investment Grants are available to all Katapult startups – but require a private investor to invest to unlock the funding. Co-Investment Grants will match an investor 1-to-1 up to the Katapult grant ceiling of €300K (reduced for the amount of At-Entry Grant) across the two grants.

  • Katapult grant funding is non-dilutive, the IF does not take equity.

  • Once admitted into Katapult, startups are eligible for Co-Investment Grants and may receive them at any time during the acceleration program and up to nine (9) months following the completion of their cohort.

    To receive the funds, startups must secure an investment from an eligible investor such as a venture capital fund or angel investors. Once you have a term sheet, you can apply. And, startups with term sheets are highly encouraged to apply to Katapult.

    For more information on qualifying investments and investor eligibility, checkout the Program manual here.

  • Katapult grants are designed to be flexible and to allow startups to deploy funds to meet business development and growth needs. Eligible expenses include:

    • Team/salary costs.

    • Product development, including developing and testing technology, R&D, etc.

    • Business development, such as market research and customer discovery.

    • Sales & marketing.

    • Goods and other services for the purpose of company growth and development.

    • Overhead such as rent, tech/app/data subscriptions, etc.
    • For a full list of eligible and ineligible expenses, checkout the Program manual here.

  • Provided you are still at the early stage (Pre-Series A, e.g.) and want to raise additional capital, definitely!

  • All applicants will be notified regarding the status of their applications during the review process.

    However, due to application volume, we are unable to give personalized written feedback on every application that makes it to the interview stage.

  • This depends on your stage and what is in front of you as founders. The program will help you identify the core drivers of your business proposition, what needs to be validated, and the key performance indicators (KPIs) you need to improve to get your company to the next stage.

  • We expect a hybrid model with some in-person activities in or around Belgrade as well as remote instruction and mentoring. We do not offer office or co-working space at this time.

  • We’ve put together an awesome, diverse pool of mentors. A group of “lead” mentors who will work closely with startup founders and are matched with teams based on their technical, functional, and industry experience.

    You will also be able to tap into a broad pool of mentors from a variety of areas such as product design, marketing, sales, operations, and fundraising with experience as startup founders, key employees in high growth startups, corporate executives, investors, etc.

    Some mentors will be based locally with strong knowledge of Serbian and regional markets, while others will be international with global perspectives.

  • One of the main Katapult objectives is to attract early stage risk investors, including angel investors and venture capitalists, to consider investing in Serbian startups. We are actively promoting Katapult to local and international investors and through networking and events such as Demo Days will work with startup founders to find potential investment partners.

    That said, entrepreneurs will also need to do the legwork to identify potential investors – Katapult will provide you with the tools and know-how to be effective.

  • Participating startups and their founding teams remain part of the Katapult community. Katapult will continue to support startups that are actively raising funding with mentoring and networking opportunities.

  • No. We see too many ideas and we expect applicants will be at too early a stage to warrant doing so. It is unlikely that any investor would sign an NDA at the pre-seed or seed stage.

  • Yes. But keep in mind that the maximum amount of Innovation Fund financing that a company may receive across all programs is €800K.