Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I apply to Open Accelerator?
  • Please submit an application by fulfilling the following format. Applications will be accepted till June 16th, 2024.

  • How does the application process work?
  • Our team will start evaluating projects as they come in, so don’t wait for the end of the submission phase to apply.
    The diligence process involves a series of screening calls hosted by our team. These calls will encompass introductions and a 10-minutes pitch, during which we will encourage you to share supporting materials. We will assess your founding team, technology, business model, addressable market, competitive landscape, and the proposed technical development plan specifically tailored for the Open Accelerator program.
    We will invest €100,000 with a SAFE investment for each startup selected in the program.

  • What kind of companies are you looking for?
  • Our team is looking for projects and startups developing solutions with the aim of solving intractable or difficult problems that impact women’s health. We are searching for companies and projects with a deep scientific background and a strong business mindset.
    We are seeking consumer products, biotech assets, drugs, nutraceuticals, medical devices, app/software, services, digital health/platform, telehealth - or combinations of the latter - to solve major medical needs in therapeutic areas such as gynecology, cardiovascular health, oncology, sexual health, endocrinology, gastrointestinal - nutrition, autoimmune disorders, mental health, neurology, reproductive health, and more.
    Our team aims to identify projects that are creating transformative patient experiences along the entire patient journey from healthy living to awareness and engagement, prevention, diagnosis, therapy, disease management and follow-up phase.

  • Which are the selection requirements?
  • You are eligible to apply if your project or startup meets the following requirements:
    - Your startup needs to be enabled by innovative technology focusing on women’s health.
    - You have a multi-disciplinary team with at least one team member working full-time and at least one woman is part of the founding team, either as a co-founder, a key employee having an operative role, or a board member.
    - You are officially registered as a startup (or pending- to be registered within 6 months).
    - You have a solid project with a clear and strong market fit and scalability.
    - You are fully dedicated to the company in case of success after the program.
    - You aim to grow your business globally.
    - Willingness to partner/collaborate closely with the Zambon group on a global basis.
    - Presence of a Co-investor is an added value.

  • Can I still apply if I already have funding?
  • Yes, we accept projects having previously raised funding through venture capital, angel investors, or grants. If your startup is not looking for funding and it is only interested in the establishment of commercial collaborations, please highlight that on the application form.

  • How much funding do Open Accelerator companies receive?
  • We provide companies with a €100,000 (or equivalent in other currencies using relevant exchange rate at the time of investment) cash investment with a SAFE instrument with post-money capped at €3,5M (giving a maximum shareholding post-SAFE/pre-new-round of about 3%) and pro-rata rights.
    We are open to discussing a different CAP should your company be very advanced! We will ask you for a right to be informed should you start engaging in partnerships/M&A with external parties. It is our intention to continue supporting companies either through cash investments and/or partnerships in every subsequent financing round. We are different from classic accelerators!
    We go beyond money: as part of the program, startup and projects will have access to the competences of a pharmaceutical group (Sales & Marketing, Clinical and Medical affairs, Regulatory, Reimbursement, etc.) and our high-level mentor network which melds science, business and investments. The Zambon group could engage with selected startups and projects and discuss strategic commercial collaborations to provide geographic exposure in EU, US and LatAm.

  • What sort of fundraising opportunities will I have through Open Accelerator?
  • During the program, all the selected companies will have the opportunity to meet up with a plethora of international investors. We will make introductions to specific and field-expert investors as soon as the startups are ready to meet their standards.

  • What is the Open Accelerator program curriculum?
  • We will work together with the selected startups and projects from September till the end of December 2024.
    The OA 2024 program consists of:
    - two sessions on-site: in September 23rd, 24th 2024, and 25th and December 2nd, 3rd and 4th, 2024 (with a Demo Day);
    - online sessions: every week from September to December 2024.
    The program will be mostly focused on accelerating go-to-market/market penetration or work on product development. There will also be assignments and milestones so that the companies can focus on their individual development.
    We offer tailored assistance, addressing individual challenges such as regulatory approval, clinical trial protocols, patents, IP protection, reimbursement strategies, market entry, customer acquisition, and fundraising. Our approach involves in-depth engagement with the scientific aspects, aiding founders in strategic thinking about their scientific endeavors.
    The on-site sessions sessions will take place at the OpenZone scientific campus in Bresso, Milan. The online sessions of the program consist of lectures, mentoring sessions with international experts, business consulting and technical support from Zambon.

  • Does Open Accelerator provide housing and travels?
  • We will provide a hotel room for one person during the on-site sessions.
    We don’t provide travels. Startups and projects will have to manage their own traveling costs.

Mentors, Testimonials and Lecturers FAQs

  • Who is eligible to become a mentor, testimonial or lecturer?
  • Open Accelerator seeks to connect founders to mentors, testimonials and lecturers that can provide insight across a broad range of topics.
    We look for academics, corporates, investors, industry experts, service providers, and entrepreneurs who are dedicated to sharing their expertise or experience in a particular field and build meaningful relationships with companies in the Open Accelerator portfolio. Please send us an email at info@openaccelerator.it with you name, surname, email and LinkedIn profile.

  • What is commitment and what are the benefits of becoming a mentor, testimonial or lecturer?
  • We will connect mentors and startups, also providing a variety of insights, testimonials and key lectures on regulatory pathways, market access, reimbursement strategy, and more.
    The mentors will be following the startups for the whole program, and they will provide a weekly call with the startups to review their business development. The testimonials and the lecturers will be a one-time contribution.
    Open Accelerator mentors will have the opportunity to engage directly with the startups, build a network across different geographies and industries, and gain exposure to the latest market trends and breakthrough developments in the life sciences.
    Mentors, testimonials and lecturers will work with Open Accelerator companies on a voluntary basis. We seek to create an enriching environment for early-stage life sciences companies and appreciate the time and dedication of our global mentor community who help to further their success.