Le Gouvernement du Grand-Duché du Luxembourg
Denisa Sustalova, Founder of WAVY MEET, Fit 4 Start Programme

Key tips from Fit 4 Start #13 graduates

The 14th edition of the Fit 4 Start programme is now open for registration. Startups from the just concluded 13th edition highlight key tips for consideration for the next round of applicants and participants.

Following an intensive 6-month coaching period, 10 of the 15 selected startups in the 13th edition of the Fit 4 Start programme from all over the world are now proud graduates. This cohort was full of insightful advice for the next participants. Fit 4 Start is Luxembourg’s premier startup acceleration programme, which was initiated by the Ministry of the Economy and is managed by Luxinnovation. Here’s what the startups had to say!

Get involved

“Never give up! Keep going for what you believe in and if somebody tells you that it’s impossible, don’t trust them. Go for what you think is the best but listen to advice and be humble.” Denisa Sustalova, Founder of WAVY MEET

“Participate and get involved! Take advantage of what they’re offering. It’s work, but it’s for the benefit of your company.” William Choi, Co-founder and Head of Global Markets of Posture AI

“They have to be very clear about their business model and market. Clarity is very important for people to analyse and evaluate the business. They have to be a strong team with industry expertise. I think this is very important. People value previous industry expertise when you launch a business. For example, if you had an experience in E-commerce, it will be great for you to launch a startup in E-commerce because that shows that you are aware of the risks that you could encounter in your journey.” Mekki Mouaddeb, Co-founder of Gonuggets

Be pragmatic

“I think it’s just about being themselves and being pragmatic in terms of the process to approaching the problem statement or even the market they’re working on. Hope is the one thing that they can expect, because I think the startup journey is full of a lot of ups and downs. But if they are part of this amazing programme, they get tremendous support. It is still them who have to put their best forward to make it a reality, so they have to be themselves.” Chanukya Patnaik, CEO and Founder of AI Planet

“Take it seriously and dedicate the necessary time to do what is required. Because maybe this is the only time that you will have in the beginning of the company to go through all these exercises.” Roger Assaker, CEO of MDSIM

“If you have an MVP and you have a lot of problems, this is when you should apply. If it makes sense technically and there is a need in the market, all the rest can be fixed thanks to Fit 4 Start. It transforms great potential into an actual business case because there’s a big difference between having a great idea and making money out of it. On pen and paper our idea makes a lot of sense, but only after refining how we package and talk about it, were we able to get the idea across. Be very humble because criticism will come so don’t be afraid of having your flaws exposed. This is the entire goal of the programme: to help.” Rida Klink, CEO of Augment

Focus on the pitch

“Focus on the pitch and appearance because I think that’s the very first step for them to be able to even graduate in the first place. When we knew that we had a four-minute pitch, we practiced 30 days before, almost every second day. We timed everything, even the fact that we needed to switch the microphone. And if they manage to graduate, I would say be very open minded and do not go in with fear, even if the very first feedback is not what you expected. Our very first feedback was actually shocking, but it was at the same time the best feedback we received. At the end of the steering committee everything changed, and they told us that we were actually the startup with the biggest amount of progress during the Fit 4 Start programme when it comes to ICT startups. So we came in as an early-stage startup, and then we left no longer as the most early-stage start-up.” Joao Mesquita, Founder and CEO of DèsVu Stays

“Be brave. Be realistic. Have your feet on the ground. Get prepared for work because this is all work. And dream big.” Myroslav Gebura, Founder of Poly Diagnostics

“Deep dive into all the opportunities that you have. Get in touch with all the coaches, especially with the jury, in my opinion, because they are industry experts with great connections and with a great outlook and that really helps to get a better picture for your company and to create a good network with ecosystem in Luxembourg.” Leonhard Kossmann, Co-founder and CPO of Fundvis

“Only apply for the programme if you are dead-set on joining Luxembourg before Fit 4 Start finishes: it requires time and dedication, but continues to pay off even when the programme is over. Luxembourg is a crown jewel amongst business ecosystems: one of the concierge services you might encounter under the Fit 4 Start aegis is called Elite Circle, which in its naming briefly sums up the initiative that you should want to get into.” Mike Kiriukhin, CEO and Co-Founder of Warden Machinery

Photo credit: Luxinnovation/ Sophie Margue

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