Eleven is an accelerator and venture capital fund for early-stage investments. The Eleven’s team provides mentorship and other services.
The application process for Eleven includes the following steps:
• There is an ongoing application online. The applicants are asked to fill-in a short questionnaire about the team, market and project. All finalized applications are reviewed at monthly basis and the best projects are short-listed for interview.
• The top teams are invited to the Selection Days, where they first meet with founders from other Eleven funded companies and then pitch their ideas to the Investment Committee.
• By the end of Selection Days Eleven develops an offer, including how much it will invest and in exchange for what stake in the company.
After the initial investment of EUR 25k in exchange for 8% equity stake, all companies are eligible for follow-on investment, depending on their needs and potential. Eleven may invest up to an aggregate of EUR 1 million per project, usually in incremental steps and alongside other investors that may join the companies.
Anyone from anywhere can apply. However, teams may be asked to register a legal entity in Bulgaria, in order to receive the funding from Eleven, and relocate to Sofia for such time, as needed to figure where to move next. Going home shortly after investment does not work well. Eleven wants the teams to be passionate, focused and committed to what they are doing and not to work for any other projects.
• Amount invested to date - €10,985,023.66 after the first batch of 11 companies applied in September 2012
• Average size of investment - €94,698.48
Evidence of success
• Number of companies invested in – 116
In addition to Eleven’s EUR 10,985,023.66 investment, 27 of companies secured additional funding from third-party investors.
• To match teams with the mentors they need instead of organizing a mentor’s weeks.
• To do a continuous learning program, where to cover key topics several times a year, instead of organizing a uniform program for all teams.
• Instead of moving here for a three-month program, to host teams in Sof
Potential for learning or transfer
The most important lesson in the good practice of Eleven is not the amount of money, but rather a set of intangible factors which are difficult to be replicated without strong commitment and personal engagement with the innovative companies’ needs. These intangible factors, among others, include: clear rules; transparent evaluation procedure; correct partnership; sustainable funding scheme; understanding and tailored support for every funded company; diversified portfolio of services; an attitude to be a part of a network.