SaaS Accelerator Program: Bilbao

Elevate your SaaS startup to the next level, transform your business and discover your potential.

Startup Wise Guys SaaS acceleration Bilbao program will provide an optimized approach that delivers tailored guidance and support from world class mentors and experts. Our accelerator program will help you navigate the bumps in the company building road, revolutionize your go-to-market strategy and encourage you to bring your A game. 

We know you’re passionate about what you do and this program will provide you access to an constantly expanding network of like minded founders, practitioners and investors and encourage value driven partnerships with people who see the world just like you do!

Why Bilbao?

This booming region in northern Spain is the perfect place to grow your business. There is the potential to secure governmental non-refundable grants of up to 125K€ in the first year of your operation and when your business takes off (we know it will), there is possibility of receiving additional sums of up to 160K directed at startups in the later stages of R&D projects and opening up of international markets.

 

Get funding

Receive a convertible investment up to €100,000 (with a program cost of €35,000) and an additional €250,000 as a follow-on opportunity. If you register a legal entity in Bilbao, there's a chance to secure an even higher investment of up to €200,000.

Learn from the best

Learn top sales and product development tricks from leading SaaS mentors and  experts.

Meet the people

Access a community +350 mentors, +200 investors and collaborate with 600+ fellow visionary founders growing in the same industry as you.

About the program

Application Process

Applications are now open for the SaaS Bilbao program. Our team will carefully review all applications and once we identify potential candidates that fit our requirements we will reach out to schedule an interview!

Apply now

Note: applications are checked on first come first serve basis.

Week 1-5 / Module 1

Setting KPI’s, Company Building, Get together, and Market Engineering Sprint

Meet your lead coaches, introduce your business idea, set KPI targets and brush up on the essentials. This unit is all about equipping you with the foundations to build your business. 

Week 7-10 / Module 2

Communication, Sales, and Product Sprint

Refine your pitch deck prep and storytelling skills, prepare product demos and test your product-market fit validation in our product sprint. Benefit from the support and expertise of our internal stakeholders.

Week 12-13 / Module 3

Sales, Marketing, Growth and Progress Day

Boost your sales and marketing solutions with one on one mentor meetings who tailor their support to the needs of your growing startup.

Week 14-15 / Module 4

Fundraising, Investor Readiness and Graduation Day

Learn the ins and out of fundraising, revamp your strategy and networking approaches. Gain unique exposure to business angels and VCs and prepare your company for investment.

Aftercare

Don’t think that the after the program we stop working together. You can still benefit from the support of the Startup wise guys community channels and get fundraising support for your future investment rounds. 

A typical week in the Startup Wise Guys Bilbao SaaS accelerator program might look like…

Well truth be told there’s no such thing as a typical week in our Bilbao SaaS accelerator program. 

Apart from weekly one-on-ones with your personal mentor, you won’t find any two weeks the same! You’ll be developing your skills and transforming your startup at a supercharged pace. Your experience, over the course of three months, will include intensive training and personal development opportunities like never before. 

We want to get the best out of you, so you’ll constantly be challenged in what you do and how you do it. Doing things the way you always have won’t cut it this time !

In program activities:

What kind of activities can you expect? 

  • Workshops and masterclasses delivered by industry experts on specialized topics like product development, fundraising, tech solutions, pitching, marketing strategies….. The list goes on ! 
  • Networking sessions with our mentors and investors. 
  • Chance to learn from the founders. Successful entrepreneurs will share exactly how they built their company and tell you the good, the bad and the ugly ! It’s not all sunshines and rainbows building startups!
  • Intensive pitch practice, in preparation for Demo Day and fundraising. 
  • Every batch and experience is different. Our mentors tailor the content to your businesses’ individual needs so you can develop specifically with your vertical in mind.

And when you think it’s all over… it has only just started. Once you have completed the program we don’t stop working together… 

You will still benefit from the support and program aftercare of the Startup Wise Guys community channels, expert mentors and continue to achieve fundraising support for your future investment rounds.

It would be a great match if you are…

Goal orientated, ambitious and aspiring to build your business for the long term future. 

This Bilbao accelerator program is designed for teams who meet one or more of the requirements listed below.

  • You are an early-stage B2B SaaS startup working in
    • Industry 4.0
    • Manufacturing
    • SaaS
    • Computer vision
    • Deep learning algorithms
    • Blockchain
    • 5G technologies with initial traction
  • You have a working MVP
  • Your startup has at least 2 co-founders or team members
  • You are building initial customer traction, MRR or revenues.

15

Exits

440+

portfolio companies

800+

founders network

70%

Survival rate

Marvelous mentors

Meet the great minds behind it all. We have a network of over 200+ experienced mentors, industry experts and first rate founders who you will have the chance to learn and grow from.

Adia Sowho

CMO

MTN Nigeria, Tech Venture Builder and Operator

Fred Copestake

Julie Barber

Fundraising Mentor

Paul Fernandez

Seun Ojo

Product and technical leader

INSEAD MBA

Uldis Žeidurs

Geek in Residence

Startup Wise Guys

Program partners

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • What are the requirements the startup must comply with to participate in the program?

    Our programs are meant for B2B startups. We do sometimes work with B2B2C companies, but we do not work with B2C startups.

    To be eligible for the full-time acceleration program you need to have:

    • at least a working MVP;
    • at least 2 co-founders/team members;
    • initial customer traction, MRR or revenues.
  • What does the selection process look like?
    • After the submission of the application to the Dealum, the Scouting team evaluates the application for eligibility. It can take up to 2 weeks for us to get back to you after we have received your application.
    • If the application fits our criteria we might ask you additional questions and invite you to take part in the pitch day to present the business to SWG General partners and team members.
    • Pitch day is an internal event to evaluate the business idea and meet founders face to face, after the pitches SWG team decides how to proceed with the application. Decisions are: move forward with Due Diligence, offer Wise Guys Pre-accelerator program, reject or stay in touch until later.
    • Due diligence process includes: the Tech call, Managing Director call, Partner/ expert call, and the Deal call.
    • After the startup has successfully gone through the due diligence process they are invited to the Selection Bootcamp.
    • TOP 10-12 teams are selected to participate in the acceleration program.
  • What are the investment conditions?
    Receive a convertible investment up to €100,000 (with a program cost of €35,000) and an additional €250,000 as a follow-on opportunity. If you register a legal entity in Bilbao, there's a chance to secure an even higher investment of up to €200,000.

     

  • What can I expect from the program?

    Throughout the program, there are four main focus areas on which we are working to help you build and grow your startup: Company building, Sales and marketing, Fundraising and Pitching, and Product building.

    Work in these areas happens through intensive collaboration with almost 100 mentors at workshops, one-on-one sessions, and sprint weeks, as well as through a dedicated implementation time throughout the program.

  • Where is the program taking place?

    This is a hybrid accelerator program, where 80% of the program content will take place online, and 20% of the program will take place in person in Bilbao, Spain. The program consists of four modules, and during and modules 1 and 4, startups will have the opportunity to be present in Bilbao, Spain to attend live workshops, mentoring sessions, and meet other founders as well as members of the Startup Wise Guys team. If a relevant conference or networking opportunity in Europe coincides with the program, the startup participants may choose to travel together to attend. All teams are expected to send at least one founder to attend the onsite portions.  Each team can expect to spend between 2-3 weeks in total onsite.

  • Why Bilbao is a great place for startups?

    Companies who will register the company or will have an operating subsidiary within Biscay will be eligible for:

    • An opportunity to receive a co-investment ticket matching Startup Wise Guys ticket from Bizkaia Seed Capital
    • Access to government grants of up to 125K in the first year and then additional
    • Access to up to 600K grants available for the later years of operating within the Biscay area
  • What is the expected commitment? Will all the team members have to attend the program full-time?

    A full-time commitment is a requirement to participate in the program.

     

     

  • I have applied for the full-time acceleration program, but I got an invitation to join an online pre-acceleration program. What is the difference?

    The Scouting team evaluates each application and decides what program the startup is eligible for. If we see the potential in the project, but it is still a little too early for acceleration we invite the startup for the 8-week long pre-acceleration program, where we provide mentoring and support to help startups grow faster. After the Pre-acceleration the best teams might get invited to take part in the full-time Acceleration program.

    The acceleration program is a 5-month program and comes with an investment. The main criteria to be eligible for the equity-based program are:
    – a working MVP
    – at least 2 co-founders
    – initial traction. MRR/ revenues.

  • Are there any geographical restrictions on who can apply?

    No, there are no restrictions, but you have to take into account that the workshops, mentoring sessions, and other program activities will happen according to the EET time zone, so you might have to adapt to this schedule.

    Also, it’s a hybrid program with online and onsite modules, therefore, if there are no Covid-related restrictions, some parts of the program will happen onsite, and you’ll be expected to be there.

If you didn’t find what you were looking for get in touch with us at hello@startupwiseguys.com.