What Are Startup Accelerators?

What Are Startup Accelerators?

Startup accelerators and incubators are words which entrepreneurs might often hear in the startup business.

Most of the time people think that these two terms mean the same exact thing, but they are wrong.

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What Is The Meaning Of Seed Round?

What Is The Meaning Of Seed Round?

The seed round is one of the most important moments for a start up.

Let’s go and see what seed round means and how it works.

What’s The Seed Round?

An entrepreneur has to research in order to look for funds for his start up.

This can be divided in three main phases:

  • pre-seed round;
  • seed round;
  • A round, B, round, ecc. 

During the “pre-seed round“, the start up doesn’t exist yet. It’s just an entrepreneur’s idea, a project to build it.

In this round, there’s a need of funds to create the start up.

At the second phase, called “seed round“, the startup is no longer just an idea: in fact, the entrepreneur has built his start up.

In this stage, the efforts of the entrepreneur are focused raising funds to start production and all processes.

After the pre-seed and seed stages, there are other phases which are called “A round“, “B round“, ecc.

Those are used to raise new funds to further improve the start up and establish it commercially

Each of these stages is preparatory to the next. 

54gene is a start up that raises US $4.5m seed funding
Credits Image: Lang Buisson

Why The Seed Round Is Fundamental For Start Ups?

It is also one of the most delicate phases for your start up, because at this stage, the majority of start ups collapses.  

The reason being owners didn’t raise enough funding to start. 

It’s difficult to find an individual investor or a group to trust in a start up and decide to invest in it.

Only when this happens, your start up can start the production of goods or services.

The Meaning Of Seed Round | cahill-caizzone.com
The Seed Round is one of the most delicate phases for a start up.
It’s fundamental to be prepared

Why Is It Difficult To Find Anyone To Invest In Your Start Up During This Stage?

There are many reasons why a great number of start ups don’t find someone to invest in a start up.

One of the most common is the lack of market research and acceptance of products or services which the start up would like to market.

Usually potential investors don’t invest any amount of money if they don’t know this approval rating about specific goods or services that will form the start up.

Another reason for collapse of start ups is that entrepreneurs can’t persuade potential investors to trust in their start ups.

In this case, it’s very useful the prototype’s patenting and testing carried out before the meeting between investors and entrepreneurs.

It’s fundamental to show these documents for two reasons: the first is to demonstrate the real functioning and possibilities of the product or service.

The second is to demonstrate a real analysis costs/revenues of that product or service and the model of business around it.

What Is The Meaning Of Seed Round | cahill-caizzone.com
“What was your last funding round?”
Image credits: State of Startups

Who Are The Investors At The Seed Stage?

Investors can be divided in 3 main categories:

  1. venture capitalists;
  2. business angels;
  3. Public and privates institutes.

All 3 categories have some differences, but provide funds to startups

There’s another category of investors, which is called “accelerators“.

Those are private and public programs which provide training support for start up owners.

They don’t provide directly funds to start ups, but supply a lot of tools for their growth.

Moreover, accelerators organise important meeting events for entrepreneurs and investors.

These events are particularly importants because they attract a lot of investors who might be interested in your project and give you funds for your start up.   

As well as meeting events, accelerators organise contests for start ups.

Usually, the winning start ups obtain funds from important investors. 

Funding Of €750,000 Announced For Irish Startups By Business Minister Heather Humphreys And Enterprise Ireland

Funding Of €750,000 Announced For Irish Startups By Business Minister Heather Humphreys And Enterprise Ireland


Minister Humphreys and Enterprise Ireland announce €750,000 Competitive Start Fund for Irish start-ups in all sectors. The fund will provide up to €50,000 in equity funding for up to 15 successful entrepreneurs and start-ups.

Article by Aakanksha Surve on the Irish Mirror.

Funding of €750,000 has been announced for Irish start-ups by Business Minister Heather Humphreys TD and Enterprise Ireland.

The 2019 Competitive Start Fund (CSF) will be open to all business sectors with the applications starting on January 29.

Up to 15 successful entrepreneurs and start-ups will be provided with nearly €50,000 in equity funding.

Applications close at 3pm on February 12.

Ms Humphreys said: “In Ireland, we have cultivated an environment for entrepreneurs where they can turn innovative ideas into a business reality.

“Targeted initiatives such as the Competitive Start Fund are vital supports for early-stage start-ups and the fund is an integral element of my department’s support for entrepreneurs through Enterprise Ireland.

“As well as crucial funding, the CSF provides valuable business support and networking opportunities to innovative entrepreneurs and companies at the start of their journey.”

The funding is a part of Enterprise Ireland’s strategy for increasing the number and quality of high potential start-up (HPSUs) companies with potential to employ more than 10 people and achieve €1 million in export sales within three years.

Joe Healy, divisional manager, HPSU, Enterprise Ireland, said: “A fundamental aspect of Enterprise Ireland’s support for indigenous businesses is the support for our robust start-up ecosystem, both financially and in terms of mentoring.

“The CSF provides critical, initial funding for early-stage start-ups with the potential to take their product to international markets.

“This All Sector CSF will provide a kick-start for up to 15 companies who have an idea, have a plan, have a team, but don’t have the resources to go to market.

“A funding boost of up to €50,000 in addition to mentoring opportunities and access to networks will help these companies get off the ground.”

Interview With Simone Sangiorgi, Founder of Kippy

Interview With Simone Sangiorgi, Founder of Kippy


Cahill Caizzone & Associates chats with Simone Sangiorgi, founder and CEO of Kippy, on how to create and develop a successful startup and overcome the challenges and difficulties of expanding abroad.

A recent study on the global pet care market conducted by Market Research Future (MRFR) shows that this market has observed impressive growth over the years and is projected to capture a steady CAGR of 4.1% over the forecast period of 2017 – 2023.

High demand for pet products, grooming & boarding services and global rise in the adoption of pets are some of the major factors estimated to drive the market.

This is the market where Kippy operates. Kippy is a GPS tracker that is able to track the position of an animal through its geolocalised system, which communicates the animals position anywhere.

Kippy, which can be used on smartphone, tablet and computer, also monitors and records the vitals of your pet. It can also calculate the activity of the pet (including the rest, the play and the run) and his/her energy consumption, based on the pet’s weight, size and breed.

The device, placed in the pets’ neck, has more coverage than bluetooth, has unlimited reach and it works even if your animal is a thousand km away. It is also suitable for cats: in fact, this device can be used for every pet with a weight of more than 5 kg.

In today’s feature in our series of interviews with startup founders and entrepreneurs who managed to make their business international, we chat with Simone Sangiorgi, founder and CEO of Kippy.

Read how a simple device became so important, how they grew their startup at such an impressive rate, what strategies choose to follow to spread their business internationally and how they dealt with the difficulty of expanding in other countries and markets.


Questions for Simone Sangiorgi

1. How did you come up with the idea of Kippy and how did you progress from the idea to the product?
2. Could you give us a quick intro to your services and business model, and some overview on your customer base?
3. When did you start thinking about expanding internationally?
4. How did you plan your expansion in other markets? Did you get any institutional support on this?
5. What difficulties did you experience while expanding your business abroad? What were the top issues you had to overcome?
6. Did you have to set up offices abroad? If so, how did you pick the location?
7. How do you deal with the differences in the corporate tax regimes in your country and other countries?
8. How is the GDPR impacting on your business?
9. How do you approach your clients abroad, and is your sales strategy different than in your country?
10. Would you have any tips for startups looking to expand internationally?


#1. How did you come up with the idea of Kippy and how did you progress from the idea to the product?

We started in 2013 with an online AB test between a concept product for kids tracking vs a pet tracker. People in Germany and Italy were really interested in the pet one so we started to develop our first product, Kippy FINDER, a GPS tracker stand alone that we launched in September 2014.

photo-team-kippy-2

Copyright: @Kippy

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#2. Could you give us a quick intro to your services and business model, and some overview on your customer base?

Actually we sell three different service packages: monthly payment 7.99 per month, yearly payment 59.99, in advance, and two years 99.99, in advance. Our business model is focused on subscriptions and we are going to launch our first uptake service which will be a pet-insurance.

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#3. When did you start thinking about expanding internationally?

We started to sell Kippy all over Europe really soon through pet stores, through ecommerce and finally thanks to the partnership with Vodafone global.

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#4. How did you plan your expansion in other markets? Did you get any institutional support on this?

We have planned to access the US market in 2019, we didn’t have any institutional support on this.

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#5. What difficulties did you experience while expanding your business abroad? What were the top issues you had to overcome?

Managing  a lot of different languages and cultures needs an extra effort for a start up but it is also a really exciting experience. For Kippy, the top issue is the Italian fundraising ecosystem that is underdeveloped especially for scale up companies.

photo-team-kippy

Copyright: @Kippy

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#6. Did you have to set up offices abroad? If so, how did you pick the location?

We don’t have any office abroad at this moment but we consider the UK or US after the next investment round.

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#7. How do you deal with the differences in the corporate tax regimes in your country and other countries?

Fortunately in UE countries there is the “intra” which is a really good facilitation.

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#8. How is the GDPR impacting on your business?

It’s only another unuseful cost of bureaucracy.

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#9. How do you approach your clients abroad, and is your sales strategy different than in your country?

We don’t have different sales strategies except for retail distribution. It’s a matter of staff, it would be better to  follow the old method “act global think local”, but unfortunately it is not a lean approach.

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#10. Would you have any tips for startups looking to expand internationally?

Pay attention to translations, don’t use low budget translation services, as a bad translation will strongly affect your traction in foreign countries.

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We thank Simone for the time he dedicated to the interview and for his answers, a source of interest and motivation for young entrepreneurs.

Want to read more? Check out our series of interviews with startup founders and entrepreneurs who managed to internationalize their business.

Cahill-Caizzone & Associates is the Registered Trading name of Cahill Caizzone & Associates Limited, incorporated in Ireland, Reg. No.369596.