StepFWD is an 8-week pre-accelerator program, aimed at fueling growth for tech companies with diverse teams.

Applications are closed for the 2020 Cohort


Our purpose is to educate first-time and early-stage entrepreneurs who want to grow a prototype or idea into a profitable business. The program is powered by TechHub Bucharest, in partnership with Google for Startups.


We focus on building confidence for first-time founders that can benefit the most from building a relationship with experienced mentors and investors.


Program Schedule

The StepFWD program is structured over a 8 weeks time span. During each week we will have workshops and mentoring sessions with different topics. All workshops will be delivered by the founders of established startups and seasoned industry professionals.

Your startup will be paired with a lead mentor that will advise and guide you for the duration of the program.

The schedule below is subject to small changes.

Week 1: Intro

Monday, 10:00 - 15:00
Program Kickoff (Orientation, elevator pitch practice)
Meet the lead mentors

Thursday, 14:30-17:30
Online tools training with PMs
Speed mentoring practice
Roundtable: Meet the StepFWD'19 alumni

Week 2: Legal Mechanics & Customer Development

Monday, 09:30 - 14:00
Workshop: Startup legal mechanics with Tudor Stanciu
Workshop: Customer development with Raluca Apostol and Letiția Ștefan

Thursday, 10:00 - 16:30
Hands on*: Startup legal mechanics
Hands on*: Customer development
All-hands meeting

Week 3: Business Models & Product Development

Monday, 09:30 - 14:00
Workshop: Business models with Mircea Vadan
Workshop: Product development with Monica Obogeanu and Alexandra Anghel

Thursday, 10:00 - 16:30
Hands on*: Business models
Hands on*: Product development
All-hands meeting

Week 4: Sales & Marketing

Monday, 15:30 - 19:00
Workshop: Product marketing with Irina Scarlat and Andra Zaharia
Workshop: Sales / Growth Hacking with Gv Freeman and Ciprian Borodescu

Thursday, 13:00 - 19:30
Hands on*: Product marketing
Hands on*: Sales / Growth Hacking
All-hands meeting

Week 5: Fundraising & Pitching

Monday, 09:30 - 14:00
Workshop: Fundraising with Ciprian Borodescu and Daniel Dragomir
Workshop: How to pitch with Bogdan Apostol and Liviu Cadariu

Thursday, 10:00 - 16:30
Hands on*: Fundraising
Hands on*: How to pitch
All-hands meeting

Week 6: Break & Speed mentoring

Thursday, 10:00 - 18:00
Roundtable: Serial entrepreneurs share their story
Speed mentoring
All-hands meeting

Week 7: Pitch practice & Speed mentoring

Monday, 09:30 - 15:00
Pitch practice: Refine pitch deck with mentors
Pitch practice with the StepFWD team

Thursday, 13:30 - 18:00
Speed mentoring
All-hands meeting

Week 8: Pitch practice & Speed mentoring

Monday, 13:30 - 18:00
Speed mentoring
All-hands meeting

Thursday, 09:30 - 15:00
Pitch practice with mentors
Pitch practice with the StepFWD team

Week 9: DemoDay

Monday, all day
Pitch practice: Final rehearsal
Demo day

* During hands-on meetings, each startup will have a 30-minutes slot for discussing the assignment with the mentors and can also (optionally) listen to feedback give to other startups from their group.

Activities Overview

We designed StepFWD with first-time founders in mind – as a journey that takes you through different areas of expertise which are absolutely required in a start-up.


Workshops provide a 360-degree view on topics related to building a startup, such as customer & product development, business models, marketing, sales, startup legal mechanics, fundraising and pitching.

Hands-on Sessions

Mentors give feedback on workshops assignments. Startups will be divided into 2 groups. Each startup will have 30 min to discuss the feedback and can (optionally) listen to feedback given to other startups from their group.

1-on-1 with Lead Mentors

Each Tuesday or Wednesday, startups will meet their designated lead mentor and StepFWD PMs for a 30 min call, to talk about last week's progress and set up the plan for next week.

Pitch Practice

Rehearse and improve your pitch with mentors and the StepFWD team. These sessions will help you achieve the perfect presentation at Demo Day.

Speed Mentoring

Engage with a lot of mentors in a back-to-back meetings format. These meetings are designed to be short and to the point, so you'll have to show your startup's potential in a time-effective manner.

All-hands meetings

All-hands meetings take place with the whole cohort and StepFWD team. During these meetings, everyone will share their highs and lows of the week.


Social activities for building connections with mentors and the StepFWD alumni, in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Share highs, lows and lessons learned.

Virtual Coffee

We start the week with a 30 min virtual coffee, where all the startups can share their updates for the week and also have some fun!

Demo Day

Mentors, investors, community partners, corporates, press attendees are invited together with the broader community to the final event. Each startup will showcase its product and business in a 5 min pitch.

Demo Day

The program wraps up with Demo Day, an event where the participating teams will showcase their products and businesses in a 5 min pitch.

Applications are closed

Applications for the 2020 Cohort are closed.