The tech startup ecosystem in Europe is thriving and is home to some of the most ambitious, greatest, and most innovative founders in the world. These founders and their businesses need access to capital and experience to grow and scale. To democratise this access and help tech founders scale their businesses across the world, Blossom Capital, a record-breaking VC has announced Cultivate.
An angel investment program that will bring together Europe’s next-generation of ambitious founders with established unicorn pioneers such as Des Traynor (Intercom), Guillaume Pousaz (Checkout.com), Nilan Peiris (Transferwise) and Shakil Khan (Spotify).
Established in 2017 by the former Index Ventures and LocalGlobe VC Ophelia Brown, Blossom Capital operates with the vision to partner with the best early-stage, industry-defining founders across Europe. With Cultivate, Blossom Capital aims to bring together next-generation ambitious founders from Europe and established unicorn pioneers. With its one-of-its-kind investment program from the VC firm, Cultivate aims to kickstart an angel ecosystem in Europe and brings it on par to that in the Valley.
Supporting those willing to take risks when we need them most
“Europe’s tech ecosystem continues to thrive and is home to some of the greatest, most ambitious, most courageous founders in the world,” said Ophelia Brown. “We set up Cultivate with the aim of giving these founders as much access to capital and experience in Europe as they need to scale. Our ambition is to democratise this access and continue to help tech founders punch well above their weight on a global scale.
“Even in these uncertain times, there are visionaries in Europe doing groundbreaking, fundamental work and this is not the time to be scaling back on innovation. Some of the best ideas and opportunities come in times of crisis and dislocation. The pioneers who can rise up in the face of adversity and lead others in a common ambitious mission, will be the ones who win long term. Now, more than ever, is the time when such founders should be encouraged to take risks and we hope Cultivate makes a strong statement that we’re here to support those ambitious ideas and the founders and teams behind them.”
Launched amid the coronavirus pandemic, Cultivate aims to kickstart an angel ecosystem in Europe and to bring it to the same level that exists in the Valley, where successful startups trigger a virtuous cycle as alumni leave to build the next generation of unicorns, backed by experienced operators.
To help all startups equally
Over the next 12 months, Cultivate aims to invest a total of $5 million into 20 industry-defining startups from across Europe, focused at the seed and pre-seed stage. Each startup will get an equal investment of $250k. Beyond the capital, each founder who receives investment via Cultivate will be given unprecedented access to individual angel members throughout the year to gain insight, ask advice and learn from their lessons.
The angels can refer founders to apply and will be mentoring successful teams in their first 12 months. As the investments are non-exclusive, members are also welcome at any stage to invest personal capital alongside Cultivate’s investment, as well as introduce founders to funds.
“As CEOs, we’re keen to find and develop the next-generation of business leaders; to pay it forward, but we don’t have the time to search for and uncover these hidden gems. That’s why this scheme is a fantastic opportunity to not only work with Blossom but to tap into their unprecedented, on-the-ground knowledge of the European tech ecosystem,” said Guillaume Pousaz, CEO and founder of Checkout.com.
Set up in 2017 by the former Index Ventures and LocalGlobe VC Ophelia Brown, Blossom Capital’s vision is to partner with the best early-stage, industry-defining founders across Europe. The VC recently launched its second fund in as many years to double down on this commitment to Europe’s thriving tech scene. With its first fund – the fastest-ever first time fundraise from a female VC in Europe – Blossom Capital established itself as the go-to VC for ambitious product-driven founders seeking to build global category winners.
Founders who wish to apply for the Cultivate program can submit their application online. Interested execs who want to become members can email: [email protected]. Launched by Ophelia Brown, one of Forbes’s 30 under 30 rising stars in 2016, Blossom is a new fund that connects US knowhow, expertise, networks and ambition, with Europe’s unrivalled opportunity. The VC firm concentrates on early stage investments in consumer and enterprise, particularly focusing on finance, design, marketplaces, travel, developer-focused tools, infrastructure and API-first companies. Based in London, but covering the whole of Europe, Blossom competes with the top-ranked VC investors in Europe and the US to champion the next European startups capable of making it on the global stage.
Main image picture credits: Blossom Capital
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