Earlier this week, Britanny-based Nestadio Capital, an FCPI Venture Capital firm, announced the launch of Zgarage, an accelerator for European startups looking to Penetrate the US market. First covered by JournalduNet[FR], the accelerator will help European companies (although “starting first with France,” according to their homepage) expand into the Silicon Valley, while maintaining their R&D in their local market (i.e: France). The program lasts around six to nine months, promises introductions to top US VCs and support for a Series A, and financing to cover the cost of the program.
While the program doesn’t explicitly mention how much money they give you beyond the costs of the program, nor what percentage stake they take in your company, I have two compliments and a criticism to give for this program thus far. On the compliment side, it touches on one of France’s greatest strengths – R&D – namely helping companies with established R&D in France penetrate the US Market. Additionally, they provide everything from Visas to housing to cell phones to a car, as well as money for travel to SF & Seattle (NYC to come in 2013).
From a criticism point of you, the program seems to be built on partnerships. They don’t have any physical offices of their own in either the US or Europe, although they have teamed up with Plug and Play, Rocketspace, Blackbox, and TechStars seattle – not a bad selection. I”m also a little wary of anyone who promises funding from US VCs, to be honest.
The program looks good on paper, though
A partnership with Microsoft BizSpark Plus provides each startup with 60K worth of cloud services per year. The progam promises up to $100K in financing for each startup for the 6-9 month program, a sum which is being provided in part by Seed4Soft and Kima Ventures. The program is being head up by Jean-Eudes Queffelec, an ex-Microsoft employee who’s been working with Nestadio Capital since 2008.
The program starts October 1st, with applications open between June and July of 2012. To apply, “Send business plan with detailed plan” John-Etudes Queffelec. More info on the application process here.