The Invest2Innovate accelerator program for 2014-2015 just drew to a close, and five lucky startup teams can now get started with building their businesses and raising funding.
Back in June 2014, we covered the launch of the i2i 2014-2014 accelerator program. The four month program helps startups in the initial phases with financial modeling, branding, operations and also teaches the founders about raising investment.
“We believe entrepreneurs can change the world, and we see ourselves as providing the support they need to get there. We serve as a middleman, connecting investors to startups.” – Anusheh Naveed, Invest2Innovate
Invest2Innovate received around 250+ applications, from which 19 were shortlisted, and only five were chosen to start the program. The chosen five were: Inaaya, BlueSaint, MeriTaleem, Savaree and DheereBolo.
What is the i2i Accelerator Program
The Invest2Innovate Accelerator program took these startups from whatever phase they were in all the way to a point where they can ask investors for funding. This involves both molding the founders into the kind of business-oriented thinkers they need to be, to helping them figure out the logistical aspects of setting up a business.
Over the four month period, the i2i Entrepreneurs took part in six weekend retreats. They attended sessions revolving around leadership development, creating a vision for their business, storytelling, customer validation & traction, operations, financials, and got ready for pitching for investment.
During this time, the Invest2Innovate team assessed each business model and started connecting them with mentors as well as financial advisors.
The entrepreneurs chosen for the program also networked with many entrepreneurs who served as mentors and trainers. These include:
- Shehryar Hydri, Director Marketing & Operations at Convo
- Jawad Aslam, CEO of Ansaar Management Company (AMC)
- Nadeem Elahi, Founding Member and Managing Director at TRG Holdings
- Adil Mosajee, Founder Ego
- Faizan Laghari, Founder MiniVentures
- Jawwad Farid, CEO of Alchemy Technologies
- Atif Azim, CEO VentureDive
- Jeremy Higgs, i2i Alumni and COO EcoEnergy
- Humza Khan, Portfolio Manager Acumen
- Saba Gul, i2i Alumni and CEO Popinjay
- Jazib Zahir, COO Tintash
- Daniyal Noorani, Founder, KaroKuch
- Fatima Asad-Said, Executive Director Abacus Consulting
- Abbas Akhtar, Founder, Vidpk.com
- Ahsan Shaikh, CEO Kinect Pakistan
- Zahid Jamil, Barrister at Law at Jamil & Jamil
- Khurram Zafar, Executive Director LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship
- Yasser Bashir, CEO Arbisoft
- Ali Aziz, CEO Shopistan
- Naeem Zamindar, Managing Partner Zamindar Capital
- Benje Williams, i2i Alumni and Co-Founder Amal Academy
- Zia Imran, Founder and Ceo VahZay
- Sheikh Noor Ullah, Portfolio Manager Acumen Pakistan
- Zehra Ali, Founder & CEO Ghonsla
- Zafar Khan, CTO & President ConstellationCK
- Yusuf Jan, Founder Mixit
- Isfandiyar Shaheen, Co-founder, Cyan Capital
- Afaque Ahmad, Founder KITE
- Mashall Chaudhri, i2i Alumni and Founder TheReadingRoom Project
- Saim Siddiqui, i2i Alumni and Founder/CEO AsliGoli
- Shahjahan Chauhdry, Founder TeamAnts
- Jehan Ara, President P@SHA and The Nest I/O
“At Invest2Innovate, we believe in supporting entrepreneurs who are striving to change the world through their businesses. We’re constantly inspired by the startups we get to work with – their determination, creativity, and drive are necessary attributes while working in a country like Pakistan. This third class of the Accelerator are particularly innovative & exciting, and while they have learned so much over the past four months in the program, what’s most significant is the family they leave with at the end” – Kulsoom Lakhani, Founder – Invest2Innovate
The program was supported by partners such as KITE, The NEST I/O, DotZero and LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship.
What’s Next for these Startups?
While the program ends in January, with a Demo Day, the entrepreneurs have just gotten started. They will begin talking to investors, hoping to secure funding for their business. With the training and help they have received from Invest2Innovate thus far, and in the future, they hope to grow in the coming years. Keep an eye out for these innovative companies as they change the world around you!
Have an entrepreneurial business idea you’d love to get started with? Apply to the 2015-2015 Invest2Innovate Accelerator program. They will begin their roadshows in April and applications open in May 2015!
Read more on the journey these startups went through here.