Elevate FAQs

AUBG Elevate page

The program is an initiative of the American University in Bulgaria, inspired and built by the venture capital fund Eleven Ventures and led by a team of AUBG students with an entrepreneurial spirit.

Who is it for?

The Elevate Accelerator is a great fit for all AUBG students and recent graduates who want to get their hands dirty while starting up their own company. It is for the ones who want to experiment and make their business idea a reality. The program is tailored to AUBG students’ academic program and provides them with a practical opportunity to validate their business ideas and develop them, while studying.

What is the curriculum like?

The curriculum covers topics specifically important when starting up a business, like Idea generation, Customer Development, Business Models, Product Development, Marketing, Sales, Financials and more. Most workshops are led by entrepreneurs, so they know what a startup struggles with. We’ve built an 18-week curriculum, while taking into account the AUBG academic calendar and your current university commitments and workload, so you can easily combine the two. We’ve also taken into account the finals’ and midterms’ dates, so you have enough time to prepare.

How many people can be in a team?

The golden rule is that your team should be comprised of between two and six people. Anything less – you don’t really have a team, it’s a solo founder; anything more – it will be hard to collaborate. A startup can have a non-aubg member, as long as there are AUBG representatives.

How to apply?

Season 5 of the Elevate Accelerator program is about to begin in November 2023! Application form is OPEN. The requirements of the program are that you need to have a business idea to validate and develop and least one team member who is studying or has studied in AUBG in the past 5 years.

Does the accelerator provide any capital to the participating startups?

Each team gets access to an initial $2,000 grant , which can be used for conducting business experiments and covering the costs of validating the business idea. Throughout the startup teams aim to develop their ideas and prepare for the Demo Day pitching, where they can compete for a further capital support from an investment pool of $30,000.

Can I get accepted if I don’t have a team?

In the startup ecosystem, you have to make a lot of calls, so it’s best if you have the support of a trusted partner! If you have a business idea and need a hand in finding the right people, get in touch with the organizing team and we will try to help you!

At what stage should my startup be in order to participate in the Elevate Accelerator?

At any! Any startup, ranging from just an idea in your head to a business that already has revenue, can apply for Elevate!

What should my idea be like?

There are no restrictions regarding your idea. This means that it is not mandatory that your idea is innovative. It might be similar to existing business in foreign markets. It could be physical/non-physical product or service.

Should my startup idea be targeting the Bulgarian market only?

Your startup idea can be applied and registered in any market you’d like to work in, as long as you can validate the need for it.

Is the program free?

The program is cost-free, and the participating teams do NOT return the initial $2,000 grant. At the final event – Demo Day 2024, the teams will have the chance to win one of three $10,000 guaranteed further investments to continue developing their startups! Elevate will become a stakeholder in each startup that secures further investment from the investment pool at the Season 5 Demo Day in Spring 2024.