SmartGateVC is kick-starting a program in CA to help Eastern European startups expand in US markets


Given Silicon Valley’s sky-high labor and housing prices, many startup founders are foregoing the Bay Area in favor of other rising innovation centres. With its favorable business environment, flourishing marketplace and talented resource pool Southern California appears to be the next up-and-coming city. Throughout the past years of its operation between Europe and the US, many out-of-state companies from the SmartGateVC portfolio have taken the advantage of the entrepreneurial ambiance of this location to accelerate their growth.


To make the benefits of on-site business development accessible for more overseas startups, SmartGateVC is launching the inaugural batch of its’ Glendale based startup program that will serve as a gateway for deep tech startups for expanding operations to Southern California and the wider US market while leveraging the business development talent and opportunities in the SoCal area.


The program will run Feb 8 – July 24. Participants of the program will go through 12-week mentorship for establishing their growth frameworks, refining and validating their sales strategies. It will be followed by 8 weeks on-site business and customer development, culminating in a Demo Day in Hero House Glendale in front of 100+ carefully selected, invite-only audience of US investors.


Throughout the past years of its operation between Eastern Europe and the US, SmartGateVC has built a huge network of founders, scientists and business experts, operating on the edge where science and entrepreneurship join to disrupt the status quo․ Collaboration between these forces has brought to the creation of a new wave of deep tech companies that have closed rounds with world’s most prestigious Venture Capital firms, had pilots with industry leaders and topped the lists of America’s Most Promising 50 AI Companies․


Having suppliers, customers, and cutting-edge research in the same area gives this location a competitive advantage. With an incredibly diverse economy and strong economic drivers in entertainment, aerospace, bioscience, advanced transportation and other fields, Southern California has the 13th largest economy in the world (if it was a country). Exposing tech founders to the business expertise of SoCal will open up new opportunities for working with top mentors to establish the most appropriate growth frameworks, to go hand in hand with on-site face-to-face customer interviews, sales meetings with clients, and investor meetings.


Southern California is home to the world’s leading research universities, such as Caltech, USC, UCLA that top the lists of the global universities granted the largest number of patents. Having deep tech companies as the main focus of the program, Hero House GateWay accelerator will also provide companies with necessary connections with the scientists of leading universities in the area for solving the team’s scientific challenges and making path-breaking advancements. If necessary, the teams will get the guidance of leading AI/ML experts for developing their AI models, while leaving all the IP rights under the ownership of the companies.


Founders with strong execution skills working on robust AI startups with early traction (revenue/user base/launched product) are welcome to apply for the GateWay accelerator here by December 18, 23:59PM PST.


The Hero House Glendale GateWay accelerator is funded through the City of Glendale’s Tech Initiative. This is the result of the City’s 2-year effort to develop a Start-Up Tech Accelerator that will further stimulate the growth of the ecosystem of innovation in Glendale.



About The City of Glendale’s Tech Initiative

The City of Glendale’s Economic Development Division continuously focuses on growing Glendale’s thriving tech ecosystem that is home to over 1,000 high tech firms, generating over $5 billion dollars in sales each year and employs over 41,000 people. The Economic Development Team hosts monthly Tech on Tap events that allow local entrepreneurs, startups and tech professionals to network and connect within the city. In addition to this monthly event, the City hosts an annual Glendale Tech Week which has grown into the region’s most exciting and anticipated display of tech and innovation gathering more than 5,500 attendees across 34 events.


About SmartGateVC

SmartGateVC is a Silicon Valley pre-seed venture capital fund backed by Tim Draper and a network of entrepreneurs and professionals from the U.S., Europe, and MENA. Their key focus areas are Artificial Intelligence (AI), Security, Internet of Things (IoT) and emerging Computational Biotech, Quantum Computing and Blockchain across California, Massachusetts, NYC, and wider Eastern Europe. The fund invests on the edge of technology innovation where science and entrepreneurship join to disrupt the status quo.