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Join the #ReThink Cohort and Scale Your Innovative Idea

Join an MIT-affiliated, equity-free startup acceleration program for early-stage startups. Scale your idea with advice, support and education from business leaders and industry experts.

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StartSmart CEE’s #ReThink Academy – the place to grow your early-stage startup

Have an innovative idea that you want to scale and turn into a business? 


Become one of up to 25 startups invited to participate in the #ReThink Cohort and grow your business following MIT’s disciplined entrepreneurship framework.


This 24-step program, developed by prof. Bill Aulet from MIT Sloan School, will deeply test all assumptions you’ve made about your business. 


And most importantly, you’ll get a unique opportunity to build a network of experts, investors, and fellow entrepreneurs. The people who’ll support you on your way to growing your venture.

Transform your innovation into a rapidly growing business.

During the 5-month acceleration program, you’ll get a chance to work closely with industry experts and business leaders from all areas that are key to startup growth.


Gain the skills and knowledge you need to turn your idea into a rapidly growing business.

Get Ready for Growth with Corporate Partners

Use your time to get ready for work with corporate partners in the Pilot Ready Cohort.


Polish your innovation and dive deep into building a proper business structure and processes.


Get the advice and guidance you need for your startup to get invited to work with some of the biggest companies in the Polish market.

Why join #Rethink Academy?

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Join Our 300+ Success Stories

Benefit from our extensive experience with hundreds of startups like yours, turning ideas into thriving businesses.

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Access 220+ Expert Mentors

Receive guidance across all business areas, from strategy to legal, from our diverse team of mentors and experts. 

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Plug into a Thriving Ecosystem

Connect with corporate partners, service providers, and fellow founders for networking and growth opportunities.

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Keep 100% Equity

As an equity-free accelerator, you retain full ownership of your startup while scaling with our support.

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Showcase at Demo Day

Gain marketing exposure by presenting at our Demo Day, meeting potential investors and innovation leaders.

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Compete for €25,000

Stand a chance to win the CVC Young Innovator Award, recognizing social impact in startups.

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MIT-Backed Intensive Workshops

Dive into a 4-week program based on MIT’s entrepreneurship framework by Prof. Bill Aulet, challenging and refining your business assumptions.

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Alumni Club Access

Join our thriving alumni network for ongoing support, investor connections, and exclusive offers and events.

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Learn to pitch & sell your idea

Inventing an innovation is just the first step.


Whether you’re communicating with investors, potential clients, or B2B partners, you need to get their attention and sell them your idea.


During the acceleration program you’ll get a chance to learn how to:

  • Pitch your idea in 30 seconds, 1 minute, or 5 minutes, depending on the circumstances.
  • Grab and keep your listener’s attention.
  • Talk about your business in a compelling, interesting way
  • Communicate your ideas, business news or events clearly and effectively.
  • Overcome the fear of selling and start doing that naturally
  • Get your audience to follow you, customers to love your idea and investors to trust you and listen to what you have to say with interest.


Simply speaking, you’ll learn how to pitch your idea as if you were born to sell. In a natural, confident and attention-grabbing way.


And pitching is just one of the many business skills that you’ll learn during the academy!

Apply Now

#Rethink Cohort Roadmap

Recruitment Phase

Key Dates: 17.06.2024 – 25.07.2024


During this phase, we wait for you to apply to StartSmart CEE (formerly MIT Enterprise Forum CEE)’s #Rethink Cohort. During that time, you can meet with us, learn more about our accelerator, and get to know our partners during online webinars and meetups.

Startup Selection Phase

Key Dates: 26.07.2024 – 30.09.2024


This phase is divided into three stages:

  • First, we check whether your application meets all requirements for admission.
  • We then evaluate your business idea.
  • If you pass the first two stages, you’ll get invited to a 45-minute-long interview. Depending on the stage of your startup, you might get a chance to meet one of your future corporate partners.

Startup Acceleration Phase

Key Dates: 29.10.2024 – 05.12.2024


You’re in! It’s time to participate in workshops, network, and get mentored.

And, most importantly, this is your time to work on the business and scale your innovative idea.

Who can apply?

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You Meet Our Formal Requirements

We welcome both solo founders (especially with scientific or technical backgrounds) and teams from companies not older than 5 years and employing fewer than 50 people.

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You’re Working on a Tech Startup

You’ve got an innovative idea that’s original and might disrupt its niche. Ideally, you can show viable proof your idea works but are eager to rethink your approach to the idea or its monetization.

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You’re Ready to Tap into a Wealth of Knowledge

Our accelerator offers plenty of both networking and educational opportunities. We’re looking for founders committed to participating in workshops and determined to scale their businesses.

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Your Idea Solves Problems of Our Partners

One of the key requirements is to have a business in one of our preferred industries that tackles a problem or challenge that our corporate partners are looking to solve.

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Recruitment is open

Our Acceleration Program is back! Unlock unparalleled mentorship, funding, and resources to skyrocket your startup’s growth. Apply now & don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to take your startup to the next level.

Apply now

Past participants about #Rethink Cohort

“StartSmart CEE (formerly MIT Enterprise Forum CEE) is a fantastic opportunity for early-stage startups to build the product with a Partner, being financially covered for the whole period and mentored on the most critical topics. This collaborative work gives a deep dive into business challenges and the value that your innovative product can bring. Furthermore, with mentors, it is doable to discover the most working Go To Market strategy tailored for a startup. We got it all during the program; if we could do it again, we would go all in it.”

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Olena Iosifova


“We had an outstanding experience participating in the StartSmart CEE (formerly MIT Enterprise Forum CEE) acceleration program. Our idea was thoroughly reviewed by experts in the field, and we received invaluable feedback that enabled us to refine our value proposition. The professional workshops, dedicated mentors, and personalized one-on-one coaching sessions equipped us with the tools and knowledge that now constitute our biggest competitive advantage.”

Adam Kowalewski

Adam Kowalewski


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Become one of up to 25 startups that get to accelerate their idea. 

The early stages of every startup are difficult. At #ReThink Cohort, we limit the number of places to be able to give our participants the attention, help, and support they need to successfully scale their ideas.


If you believe your innovation should become one of them – hit the button below and apply to join the academy!

Apply Now

Application Guide

Discover how your startup can become one of up to 25 startups that join our #ReThink Cohort. Learn what you need to apply and find out about key dates and documents you need to prepare.


Begin the application process, join the academy, and get ready to learn and scale!

Download the Application Guide Download

Rules & Regulations

Learn everything you need to know about the rules & regulations of StartSmart CEE’s #Rethink Cohort. See if you meet the criteria and decide whether you’re at a stage that makes your startup eligible to apply.

Check the Regulations Document Check out

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Scale your idea with #ReThink Cohort

Over the years, we’ve helped 300+ startups accelerate their growth. Will you become our next success story?

Apply Now