How To Web’s Startup Spotlight: Тhe Online Pitching for CEE Startups and a €225k Award

Startup Spotlight How To Web
©How To Web

When it comes to events, online will never be the same as physical, neither for the organizers nor for the participants and attendees, but imagine being able to win €225k with a startup pitch you make from your couch. The organizers of How To Web offer just that by launching its 10th consecutive Startup Spotlight program and moving it online. The competition will help the founders of 40 selected startups to get access to a personalized network of founders, investors, experts, and partners. The startups, interested in having the opportunity to have 1:1 meetings with over 70 experts and investors from the program during October and November this year, will be able to submit their application before the deadline on the 27th of September 2020

What’s in it for founders? Investments and high-value network

The €225k award, which is offered in the form of a convertible note, is an act of a group of Romanian investors – the equity crowdfunding platform Seedblink, the angel investors network TechAngels Romania, the GapMinder Venture Partners investment fund, Simple Capital Private Investments, and Transylvania Angels investors network. 

The program will connect the startups with many other prominent investors from the European scene, among which Irina Haivas form Atomico, Carlos Espinal from Seedcamp, Ondrej Bartos from Credo Ventures, and representatives of Notion Capital, LAUNCHub Ventures, Early Game Ventures, and Seedblink. On the side of the experts and mentors, which will guide the participating startups, there are names such as the Des Traynor, the co-founder of Intercom, Marius Tîrcă, co-founder of UiPath, Mada Seghete who is the co-founder of, and other experts who are part of Shopify, Dropbox,, and Omniconvert. 

The needs and business objectives of all 40 selected startups will be addressed with a customized program, which will offer 25 private meetings, 10 ask-me-anything sessions, pitch coaching, and an introduction to the mentors and investors of the How To Web network. Early-stage founders will be given a second opinion on investment strategy in order to have the best pitch possible when meeting with potential investors and partners. Moreover, the startups will only be asked to spare up to 4 hours per week with the goal to achieve maximum growth with minimal commitments and will be given €1m in free benefits such as tools and resources, which are accessible through F65 Alpha Card. 

In the end, the 10 startups with the best pitches will be sent to Pitch Day, which is the private event for finalists, investors, partners, and media representatives where the big award of €225k will be given.

Who is it for and what’s the structure? 

To qualify for Startup Spotlight, the startups need to be early-stage (with less than €1m investments and less than 5 years old), tech-oriented, and coming from the CEE region. The organizers expect around 350 startups to apply and the jury will choose the 40 most relevant applications by assessing the experience of the team, the product/service solution, market size, and future opportunities for development. After the application closes on the 27th, there will follow a selection process until the 4th of October 2020, after which the two-month program will kick off on the next day. Continuing until the 29th of November, the program will finish with 4-days-long Pitching semi-finals and the Private Pitch Day on the 4th December. 

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