Meet Astghik Zakharyan, Co-Founder and Country Manager at Startup Investor Accelerator (SIA) and Regional Manager at Mossy Ventures

Startup Investor Accelerator is an angel investing program dedicated to growing new investors in local ecosystems around the world. It was launched in 2021 by partners at Mossy Ventures to develop more effective angels and help startups strengthen investor appeal.

Our program has a revolutionary methodology: Over each three-month startup competition, companies progress through several rounds of pitching and discussion, and angels follow a structured evaluation and investment process.

SIA‘s key values are group work and international perspective. It allows participants to increase effectiveness with due diligence processes and broaden their minds to look at the industry interculturally.


How did you come up with the idea for the company?

A huge gap exists between the number of new companies seeking funding and available early funding. Experts across all industries are interested in sharing their knowledge, connections, and finances with startups but don’t know where to start.

SIA is the European twin of Mossy Ventures’ original learning-by-doing investment programme, the Seattle Angel Conference, which has been developing investor and startup ecosystems in the U.S. since 2012.

We decided not to limit ourselves to the American market since the goal is to create a balanced global ecosystem of angel investors and startup founders. By developing new business angels, we expect to contribute to the growth of Europe’s Business Angel ecosystem.


How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?

Since 2012, Seattle Angel Conference has trained over 500 angel investors and 1500+ startups. After completing our program, our alumni have collectively invested over $120 million.

In the first year of SIA‘s operation, we launched two cohorts of transatlantic investor training programs. The roughly 50 participating investors come from 15 countries across Europe and North America. Each has different professional background: serial entrepreneurs, private equity, VCs, consultants, and tech experts from giants like Facebook and Amazon.

During the year, we also held two startup competitions, each with 65 early-stage startups from 20+ countries. Twelve proceeded to the finals (and a thorough due diligence process), and two amazing startups were selected as winners and received a $100K+ investment each. Two others received sidecar investments, and all participants have been supported by the program’s participating investors to thrive and find investments regardless of how they placed in the competition.

Following its mission of further building the local startup/investor ecosystem in Spain and Europe, SIA has held around 30 events to help both startups and new investors develop.

What can we hope to see from Startup Investor Accelerator in the future?

We have big plans for the future! While the transatlantic model of international investor and startup training has gained popularity, SIA will run local programs in smaller communities too.

At every cohort, the program is run by a lead investor who volunteers for the extended learning-by-doing experience. Our first two programs’ lead investors have been based in Barcelona and New York, and the investor of the upcoming third cohort (March-June 2023) is UK-based. We also have lead investors from Portugal, Italy, and Estonia eager to host in their home cities.

Upcoming local programs will be run in Zaragoza and Andalucia. Further conversations are going on in Georgia, Armenia, Germany, and the UK. We welcome collaborations to expand the program worldwide.