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Program


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Program


Carao Ventures Acceleration Program offers the most promising startups a comprehensive package of resources over a period of 4 to 6 months. The goal is to promote momentum -and a feeling of urgency- among talented teams of entrepreneurs to advance their ideas fast and diligently and turn them into attractive business opportunities. 

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Resources

  1. Partner involvement. One of CV founding partners gets involved in each project with at least one third of its time. They will focus on each of the startups Acceleration Program coordination while supporting the startup’s business planning, finance management and fundraising strategy. In addition, CV partners devote significant amount of time supporting the entrepreneurs’ efforts to land their first customers, suppliers and strategic partnerships
  2. Legal advice. The entrepreneurs will choose their lawyers from 3 of the top legal advisory firms in the region and advice the entrepreneur on all the necessary procedures and legal strategy to start a company. As initial step, the startup receives a “Legal Startup Package”, which includes the 10 most relevant legal structure pieces that a company needs to be prepared for growth and adversity, at no cost.
  3. Mentors, industry experts. Every startup will have a designated mentor with relevant industry experience in the specific field. In addition, startups will also have on-demand access to the full Carao Ventures Mentor Network.
  4. Back-office. Carao Ventures, through sponsor firms, provides free initial accounting set-up and bookkeeping services for 3 months and then on an ongoing monthly fee based on each startup’s transactional volume. The startups also have accounting, auditing & fiscal strategy services on-demand for free, through strategic partners.
  5. Recruiting & Hackers. If you are still looking for a co-founder or your core team is incomplete, CV helps you find the candidates you are lacking and helps you negotiate an adequate package for the inclusion of these assets in your Company. CV gives you access to a wide pool of varied talents that are looking for an opportunity to work at a startup or co-found a Company. This pool of talents include hackers and service providers that would also help you solve specific issues at a particular moment.
  6. Office space + services. The core team of the startup is offered a fully equipped office space or suite at the CV co-working office for the duration of the Acceleration Program. CV office is conveniently located in Sabana Norte, San José. All startups accelerated by Carao Ventures are expected to work from the CV Office for the duration of the Acceleration Program.
  7. Access to capital. CV manages the largest and most prominent network of angel investors. CV Angel Network is comprised of 30 members that include some of the most successful business people, prominent investors and family offices in Costa Rica. Startups ready for their first round of financing present their Companies and investment proposal to the investors at “CV Demo Days”. In addition, as an affiliate of the National Association of Incubators & Accelerators, CV encourages its top startups to apply to Government backed grants for startups and innovation.
  8. Community. CV Office is permanently full of life and engagement. Startups with diverse natures constantly exchange ideas and support one another. We regularly hold events for our startups that include bringing speakers, organizing feedback sessions and open happy hours. CV with the support of its startups, mentors and sponsors also coordinate events targeting the greater entrepreneurial community in Costa Rica.
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Demo day & beyond

DemoDays are the culmination of the Acceleration Program. They are private events in which CV investors come to the CV Office to see the presentations of the startups that have gone through the formation, planning and validation phase that the Acceleration Program provides the entrepreneurs. Over the last 3 weeks of the Acceleration Program, CV partners and mentors will work with the entrepreneurs to prepare and rehearse the best presentation possible. The idea for the entrepreneur to take advantage of a 20min timeframe to present the company, the team, the opportunity and investment proposal to the CV Angel Network, in order to secure the round of financing needed to execute the next phase of the startup’s development.

After DemoDay is completed, CaraoV helps the startups with the necessary procedures to close the round of financing, and build an active and constructive board of directors. Through an advisory role or a spot in such board of directors, a CV partner contribute in the execution of the business plan and assure that the capital is adequately spent, protecting the Company, the founders and the investors’ interests.

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Application


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Application


Selection criteria

We partner with startups with the potential to grow quickly and sustainably. Our primary focus is on companies that are currently targeting a specific regional market with a real opportunity to expand (to all of Latin America and) globally. We are looking for the brightest technical founders and most devoted entrepreneurs with an emphasis on execution. 

In essence, what we are looking is:

  1. Innovation. CV wants to accelerate innovative opportunities. These opportunities could be derived from new technologies, disruptive products or services, or creative ways of redesigning a system or process. CV partners with the creators and owners of the intellectual property or the exclusive rights to commercialize it. 
  2. Scalable opportunities. Beyond cool inventions, CV is looking to accelerate sizeable opportunities. The main target would be creative market-applicable solutions to relevant problems. Our main goal is selecting startups with value propositions that prove to be valid and attractive in regional and international markets. 
  3. Passionate leaders.  A startup can only be successful if it is run by devoted people. CV tries to find the most passionate entrepreneurs that are truly committed to transforming their respective fields of expertise, for good. Conviction and leadership are key traits that CV looks for in the entrepreneurs it invests in. Passion + Action + Direction = Success
  4. Fully-functional teams. When CV evaluates a Company and an opportunity, takes a close look at the teams capabilities to execute. CV does not accelerate/invest in ideas, it invests in entrepreneurs that are capable and in the process of creating enterprises out of their ideas. In order to be accepted to the Acceleration Program, a startup team should be complete with the members and internal capabilities it needs to build –at least a first version of- their product/service.
  5. Proven knowledge & traction. We are looking for highly capable people, whom especially talented and with a relevant track-record in their respective fields. CV also gives particular emphasis to startups that can demonstrate prototypes, traction or metrics of their product/service value propositions by the time they make the first approach with CV.

Besides these main criteria, we encourage candidate startups to consider timing as a critical aspect of the application. Try to apply to Acceleration Program at the stage in which you feel that your startup is in better positioned to take advantage of the resources offered by CV.