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NDRC Opens 2021 Accelerator

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DateThursday, March 04, 2021

NDRC Opens 2021 Accelerator

NDRC Opens Application for 2021 Startup Accelerator with ‘Founder Friendly’ S.A.F.E. €100k Investment Developed by Y Combinator

Jon Bradford, Partner at Dynamo Ventures and NDRC Chair Investment Committee, says they want to make sure the best founders can and want to join, regardless of whether they've raised capital already or not.

The NDRC has today invited applications for its new national startup accelerator programme for tech startups. For the first time, successful startups will receive €100k investment using a SAFE (Simple Agreement for Future Equity) with ‘founder friendly’ terms.


Funded under a €17m investment by the Irish Government and operated by Dogpatch Labs in Dublin, the NDRC Accelerator is a new concept in so far that is leveraging on regional, Portershed (Galway), Republic of Works (Cork) and RDIHub (Killarney, Co.Kerry) to provide the space and local mentorship for 'globally ambitious' startups wherever in Ireland they may be based.


Drawing on the practical experience of accomplished entrepreneurs, the hope is that this new best-in-class mentorship from people who have actually scaled businesses internationally will give the structural foundation and ambitious, practical mindset to scale from early days, helping early stage companies move at a faster pace and scale rapidly. 


The NDRC Accelerator has two phases over a 6 month period. The initial 3 month ‘Foundation Phase’ focuses on business development and investor readiness, and culminates in a virtual Demo Day to a global audience of investors, VIP entrepreneurs, and potential customers and partners.


This is followed by a second 3 month ‘Growth Phase’ to provide practical support to startups through the process of securing seed funding. 


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Twelve startups will be chosen to participate between the two accelerator cohorts, each startup being coached by dedicated Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIRs) along with Mentors; Áine Kerr (Led Storyful through €18m acquisition), Allison Kopf (Forbes 30 under 30, XFactor Ventures Partner), Bobby Healy (Former CTO of CarTrawler), Jules Coleman (sold for €35m), Marc McCabe (Sequoia Scout, SV Angel, early Airbnb), Marina Gorey (Co-Founder of SuperAwesome, acquired by Epic Games), Mark Cummins (sold Pointy to Google for over $100m), and Pat Phelan (sold Trustev for $40 million).


Early exposure to the U.S. mindset and tech industry will coach founders out of their comfort zone and teach them how to build and scale a company overseas, so access to international resources, experience and investors are an important feature of the programme, which includes trips to tech hotspots including London, New York and San Francisco to meet mentors from companies such as Google, Facebook, and Stripe. 


Startups will have access to UX prototyping support, design experts, professional pitch deck designers, delivery coaches and office space. They’ll also be given special access to the Dogpatch Labs Corporate Innovation team and network for market insights, route to industry and potential pilots.


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The programme is built on a founder friendly €100k investment, utilising the S.A.F.E agreement which has been developed by Y Combinatorone of the world’s top accelerators. It provides simple and transparent terms, reduced paperwork along with lower legal costs and friction for founders making it simpler for international investors to make follow-on investments.


Jon Bradford, partner at Dynamo Ventures and NDRC Chair Investment Committee, said; “These terms are highly flexible for startups - we want to make sure the best founders can and want to join, regardless of whether they've raised capital already or not. SAFE agreements have been universally welcomed by top Irish VCs as a ‘founder friendly’ approach. This is a positive development for pre-seed investment in Ireland and Europe and brings us in line with the best of U.S thinking.”


Two-time founder, Jules Coleman, added; “I would have jumped at the opportunity to take part in an accelerator like this in the early days of Hassle; to learn directly from experienced founders who’ve done it themselves. I would encourage any ambitious founder who wants to learn from proven entrepreneurs to apply to this programme.”


Interested applicants can also hear more about the programme and ask questions at an NDRC Lunch & Learn on Friday March 5 -


Applications for the Pre-Accelerator close on March 7th at


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