Aspire Incubator is our newest initiative meant to connect promising start-ups, initiated by our Alumni, to outstanding individuals from the Romanian business community, who will serve as mentors. This platform is dedicated to Aspire Alumni and in the near future will be available for public.

Aspire Incubator is a year-long program which aims to promote and support the entrepreneurial spirit in ambitious young people within the Aspire alumni community. During the application period, participants have the opportunity to receive feedback on their business plan and pitch, enhancing their communication skills and their business global acumen. During the incubation period, the selected teams have the opportunity to learn from the greatest businessmen in Romania, while developing their learning curve and understanding how the start-up world works, through participating at different events, conferences and funding sessions.

How does Aspire Incubator work?

After a rigorous selection process and several rounds of feedback on the business plans, members of the Incubator decide which are the best teams to proceed to the Pitch Day, usually held in January. During this event, participants have the opportunity to meet the potential mentors and Aspire board members. The new venture teams each present their start-up idea and answer questions from a panel of potential mentors. The mentors select the 2-3 ventures that are going to be ‘incubated’ in the first iteration of the Aspire Incubator and choose the venture they would like to be involved with. The mentorship process spans over 6 months and combines informal interactions – as determined by the mentors – with regular progress check-ups from the Aspire Incubator team. A weekly set of goals is decided, the Incubator reviewing the teams’ progress and ensuring that targets are aligned and met for that week. Following this, the teams present their progress in a 1-2 hour catch-up with their mentor and agree upon the next goals. In July, at the end of the Aspire Summer program the project teams present in front of the mentors and their peers what progress they have achieved alongside learning curve and future plans.

How will Aspire Incubator support you?

  • CONNECT: you have the opportunity to network with young entrepreneurs and also with top businessmen. Your new network will help you overcome typical start-up obstacles and will act as a business knowledge platform
  • LEARN: if selected, you will be part of a 6-month period of continue learning. You will also have the opportunity to meet several investors and to transform your idea to a company

If your dream is to become an entrepreneur, then chase it and apply to Aspire Incubator, to learn from the greatest businessmen in Romania!

The application period is now over.
Thank you for applying!
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • Where are the meetings and courses held?
    The pitching event usually takes place in Bucharest, in January. The pre-application feedback is given online, through several calls. The place of the meetings in the 6-month mentoring period is decided between the selected teams and mentors.
  • When is Aspire Incubator held?
    It is a year-round project. The applications usually open in early November and the deadline is in late-December. From February to June the selected teams have weekly meeting with the mentors and in July present their business idea and the development process. Please check regularly our website and social channel to keep informed about the Aspire Incubator timeline.
  • What is the selection process?
    The selection process consists on an online application, through which you have the opportunity to explain the Incubator team the problem you identified, your solution, your innovation model, along with some supportive documents – such as a business canvas, a financial plan, a timeline.
  • What is the cost to attend if I am selected?
    Aspire Incubator is an initiative free of charge. You have only to support the costs of attending the meetings, such as accommodation and transport, where necessary.
  • Are there any scholarships that Aspire provides?
    Unfortunately, Aspire cannot cover any of the costs required for attending the events and meetings.
  • Am I going to receive funding from Aspire for my project?
    Aspire is a NGO and do not provide funding for any of the participating start-ups. However, some of the Incubator mentors are also business angels and they might consider your idea for investment.
  • Do I have to submit the project as a team? Can other people outside the Aspire community apply?
    At the moment, the Incubator is open only for Aspire Alumni. As a result, at least one member of your team have to be part of the community. You can apply as a team or individual. However, from our experience, we recommend individual applicants to find a partner/partners, since working as a team is highly appreciated.
  • How developed should my business be?
    Aspire Incubator targets new start-ups, which did not go through any funding round. We also welcome applicants who only have a business idea and want to develop it. Please make sure that you clearly state in the application how developed your business is.
  • Where can I find the list of mentors?
    Unfortunately, Aspire Incubator cannot disclose the mentors until the Pitch Day, because the team carefully selects them based on the needs of the applicants. We will however post past mentors as a reference.
  • Is there an age limit for participants?
    There is no age limit and anyone is welcomed to apply for Aspire Incubator.
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