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CEE summary: Google Ventures enters Europe, Buildit opens new round for HW startups

Big news in European startup ecosystem this week. Google has unveiled that its investing offshoot Google Ventures will soon start investing into European startups with a new fund. First ever Google Ventures fund in Europe is based in London, nevertheless the plan is to invest in startups all over Europe.

Google gets serious about Europe

For the time being, the fund represents 100 million dolars ready for investments. Cues exist that Google Ventures will add more money into its European offspring in the future and rumours have it that the amount is set for specific amount of time. What is not sure is whether it is one year, five years or entirely different period.

There will be four partners in London, all of them European, and one American partner – TechCrunch ex-reporter MG Siegler. Siegler is being transferred to London temporarily to serve as a bridge between Europe and Silicon Valley. Conditions for getting an investment from Google Ventures seem to be nothing less than being the best. As Bill Maris, Managing Partner of Google Ventures, puts it:

“To help support the next generation of European entrepreneurs, today Google Ventures is launching a new venture fund, with initial funding of $100 million. Our goal is simple: we want to invest in the best ideas from the best European entrepreneurs, and help them bring those ideas to life.”

Estonian hardware accelerator introduced a new round

Hardware startups from Northern and Eastern Europe can apply to a new round of Estonian accelerator Buildit. What makes this accelerator unique is its ability to provide its teams with extensive hardware-related support during the programme. All teams can use prototyping facilities, testing platform and free office space. On top of that, the accelerator also offers discounted services from its partners to lower the costs of development, design, testing, marketing, legal and finance.

“Our experience absolutely confirms the need for a specialised accelerator. We see a growing trend of software engineers wanting to move into hardware business and they need help with that. For example, there is a lot of uncertainty about how manufacturing is actually done,” said Aleksander Tõnnisson, co-founder and CEO of Buildit.

The new round is open for applications till July 20th and there are several options. If the team needs no funding, it can be part of the programme for just 3 percent of the company without any additional investment. If they choose to also score some money, they can raise €10,000  for 6 percent, €15,000 for 9 percent or €20,000 for 12 percent of the company. Programme starts on September 15th and lasts for 3 months.