Cuatrecasas Acelera, the accelerator program for legally complex, technology-based startups, has concluded its sixth edition with the Demo Day event. During the event, the participants pitched and demonstrated their projects to a specialized jury panel.
As in every edition, Cuatrecasas Acelera provided the participating startups with legal, technological and business support to promote their projects throughout the four-month accelerator program, as well as access to clients and funding. The entrepreneurs were particularly supported by their legal mentors, a team made up of Cuatrecasas lawyers from the different specialty areas of the startups. In this edition, this select group of lawyers was made up of Jorge Canta, Juan Carlos Hernanz, Miguel Sánchez Monjo, Juan Felipe Vera, Jorge Monclús and Ariadna Casanueva who, together with an Innovation Committee of over 40 lawyers, accompanied the startups throughout the program.
This year, the following startups presented their projects on Demo Day: Belender, Bia Power, Izi Record, Match Trial, Mo Technologies and Wixdom, from the fintech, healthtech, energy and media sectors. Then it was time to find out the results of the pilot tests developed by NEXL and Omnios, the two projects participating in the fourth edition of the Cuatrecasas Fast-Track Program. Finally, the spotlight fell on the jury panel, responsible for the session’s most eagerly-awaited decision, after an arduous deliberation process.
To reach the final decision, the panel considered the value proposition of the projects, the viability and scalability of each business, the team involved in its creation and development, as well as how each startup evolved throughout the program. The panel was made up of Rafael Fontana, senior partner of Cuatrecasas; Francesc Muñoz, CIO of Cuatrecasas; Diana Rivera, Cuatrecasas partner; Carlos Grau, CEO of MWC; Marc Badosa, founding partner of 4Founders Capital; and Rebeca Pérez, CEO of Inviertis and former Acelera participant.
On this occasion, and for the second time in the history of Cuatrecasas Acelera, the members of the panel decided to name two winners of the startup accelerator program. They announced Bia Power and Match Trial as the most outstanding startups of this edition, particularly considering the great potential scalability and social impact of both projects.
Bia Power, the first startup from the energy sector to participate in Cuatrecasas Acelera, pitched its platform that optimizes electric vehicle charging by reducing costs, guaranteeing a green charge and enabling the electricity networks to be clean and reliable.
Roby Moyano, product manager and member of Bia Power’s founding team, was the entrepreneur present throughout the accelerator program. On Demo Day, Daniel Mandel, Bia Power’s BD manager, who was responsible for explaining the details of the project on behalf of the team, said : “Cuatrecasas has helped us to strengthen a new line of business that we will soon launch and which will have a huge role in our growth, as well as helping us to strengthen our business strategy. “We have taken away a lot of legal and business knowledge from the various workshops and mentoring sessions, which will help to refine our ideas and know exactly where to aim to achieve our expected growth.”
The healthtech startup Match Trial was represented by David Campos, CEO; Cristina Masferrer, BD director; and Guillermo Prado, BD manager, who pitched their project on Demo Day. The startup accelerates the inclusion of cancer patients in clinical trials thanks to a free application that uses an intelligent algorithm.
After receiving the award, David Campos shared his enthusiasm about the alliance with Cuatrecasas: “The fact that the Cuatrecasas Acelera program is associated with a digital health program—that wants to do things for patients and society in general—will help us a lot. After this edition, we hope to maintain the link with Cuatrecasas, because it is very important for us to have the support of such a strong player in legal terms, given that one of our challenges is to be able to manage this scenario of regulatory change and new laws.”
At the close of this year’s edition, Francesc Muñoz, CIO at Cuatrecasas, said that Cuatrecasas Acelera had evolved positively and he expressed his satisfaction with the results: “Once again, the startups that accompanied us in this edition showed a greater level of maturity. We are very proud of them and of the relationship we established, in which we have achieved that they contribute an increasing level of technological and legal innovation.”
In this sixth edition, Cuatrecasas Acelera has moved forward by opening its doors to startups in Latin America, having previously only accepted European projects. Regarding the call for applications in Latin America, he said: “Over the past few years, Cuatrecasas has strengthened and consolidated its presence in Latin America with multidisciplinary teams of lawyers, also experts in new technologies and investment. We are aware of its great entrepreneurial ecosystem, and although somewhat less mature, there is also an important legaltech market. This was why we decided to carry out a pilot test in Latin America and learn about the maturity and needs of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru—markets where Cuatrecasas is present—to study what type of program would be best suited.”
“Over the six editions, we have covered the entrepreneurs’ requirements, particularly in the legal sector. The ecosystem needs legaltech initiatives to outline the future of the legal profession. Cuatrecasas must continue to be a part of it—with the help of accelerator startups, the talent of its lawyers, and its working methods and innovation—to continue adding value to the firm itself, to our clients and to society,” stated Alba Molina, innovation project manager at Cuatrecasas, commenting on the course of the accelerator program.
The success of these past six years of the Cuatrecasas Acelera program has enabled the firm to consolidate its position and continue to move forward with its corporate venturing strategy. This year, the firm has concluded its sixth edition of the accelerator program, the fourth of the fast-track program, and has obtained great results with Cuatrecasas Ventures, particularly due to implementing an exit in recent months.
Regarding the future of Cuatrecasas Acelera, Rafael Fontana, senior partner at Cuatrecasas, emphasizes that the key of continued growth with the accelerator program is in considering in each edition the different details that enable the firm to continue to offer the greatest value to the participating startups and to the entrepreneurial ecosystem in general, always being open to any opportunity of collaboration and synergy: “I am sure that we will continue to develop ways to cooperate with startups, as we have already done in the past editions. We still have a lot to explore but we will continue to commit to cross-sectoral partnerships that allow us to gain value and continue to be a part of the ecosystem.”