So after a 1 year hiatus, Iceland once again has a startup accelerator called Startup SuperNova. You can apply here. According to Northstack, this accelerator is very similar to Startup Reykjavik but also very different. The first thing that is different is the funding model, rather than investing in the teams that are selected to participate, the accelerator gives the team a ISK 1.000.000 grant with an option to invest upto 5% in the company at the end of the accelerator at a valuation of ISK 100.000.000. I think this is smart given you get time to evaluate how the team performs and copes with the process of product/company building. If for whatever reason the team does not “accelerate” then the accelerator does not have to carry the team forward.
From a founder’s perspective if they are in pre-seed or idea stage then this is great. You get mentoring, the network and also access to other founders who are working on problems and a sense of community. This might also be good for those teams that have built something but have not been able to move beyond the Proof of concept or MVP. I am really happy to see that we once again have some initiative that supports founders. Given the times we live in it is important that we take advantage of people who are trying to solve some of the hard problems and it is usually founders and entrepreneurs who rise up during times of collapse or crisis. Iceland witnessed it during the 2008 financial crisis and hopefully we see some great companies coming out of the COVID pandemic.