Entrepreneurship

Invest2Innovate Accelerator Invites Applications for its 4th Cycle

Invest2Innovate Accelerator Invites Applications for its 4th CycleInvest2Innovate Accelerator Invites Applications for its 4th Cycle

Invest2Innovate Accelerator is a startup development program aimed at forward-thinking civic-minded startups in Pakistan. For 4 months, startups that qualify get a chance to train with host of industry experts, mentors, and angel investors that make up the i2i community. If you have a vision and want to watch your startup dreams take flight, i2i is a perfect nesting program.

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, a part of the Invest2Innovate community.

What to Expect Out of the Invest2Innovate Accelerator Program

The Invest2Innovate Accelerator program is designed to help your startup successfully connect to angel investors, so that you can grow your business. The program will help you identify business goals, attempt to teach you how to grow and market your business as well as how to work together with your colleagues as a cohesive unit. Essentially, the group of industry experts, mentors, and angels will help you become successful in Pakistan’s business ecosystem. All you need is a promising idea and an entrepreneurial mindset – i2i will teach you how to get your ideas off the ground so that you can build a successful business around them.

The program lasts for a period 4 months from September to January each year. The classes take place on the weekends, and are time and effort intensive. You will be mentored by a community of 35+ experts who will instruct you on a wide variety of business-related subjects. Your business model will be analyzed and you will receive guidance on how it could be improved. They will also connect you to mentors and investors that have expertise or interest in your particular kind of business.

Weekend 1, Weekend 2 and Weekend 3

During the first weekend, the program will focus on team-building exercises with guidance on how to best organize your team so that your startup can work efficiently.

The second weekend is geared towards helping you understand what startups need to do to succeed, and also how you can generate business leads even if you have none at the moment. Guidance is also provided on how to identify the right market opportunities and picking the optimum target market itself (if you don’t have one in mind already) best suited for your product.

The third weekend is all about how you can create a brand that resonates with the target market. You will also learn how to generate revenues based on the results of what you learned during the second weekend, and also how you can create surveys directed at your customers to help you identify shortcomings in your product or service.

Weekend 4, Weekend 5 and Weekend 6

The fourth weekend is where you will learn how funding is applicable for your business and how to go about acquiring it. You will also learn how to value your business (core potential and growth) and how to start up your operations. During the fifth weekend you will learn about finance, networking and how to perfect your cost and revenue model.

Finally, during the sixth weekend, you will learn how to pitch your business to potential investors and how to defend your business valuation. The sixth weekend is also Demo Day, where you will get a chance to demonstrate all that you’ve learned from the program.

“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 batch 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.

Scripting Startup Success

Invest2Innovate is a leading community of angel investors, mentors, and startups in Pakistan. They have been around for the past 4 years and have successfully mentored and supported 16 start ups, helping raise a total of $0.7 million in funding since launch. Some of the prominent start ups to graduate include EcoEnergy, DheereBolo, MeriTaleem, Inaaya and Popinjay.

Invest2Innovate focuses on creating a social impact in Pakistan.  Their success is clearly evident in the startups mentored, creation of new economy jobs (200+ jobs and counting), and with the new intake of startups there’s hope for continued success in both fostering the entrepreneurial spirit and contributing to the startup ecosystem.

How to Apply: Eligibility and Process

To be eligible for the Invest2Innovate program, you must be prepared to work full-time on your venture in Pakistan. You will have to demonstrate that your product is viable, financially sustainable and will have a quantifiable impact (socially or otherwise) in the country. They encourage seed-stage, for-profit applicants (those seeking between USD $100k-200k) that are keen on using technology to further their business to apply for the program. They will also consider non-profit ventures that they deem will have a measurable impact in the country. If you plan to make your business financially sustainable in the next few years, you should apply as well.

Follow this link to apply to the program

You can apply for the program through the month of June. Applications will close in July (during the judging stage). All shortlisted startups will go through a round of interviews and finalists will be invited to attend the program beginning in August.

If you’re bubbling with a financially viable idea but don’t have the wherewithal to take it forward, then i2i provides you a perfect platform to launch and be successful. With i2i you get access to the quality mentors and investors, so that your business succeeds and contributes to the growth of the country. Apply for the program, if you haven’t already – applications will close on June 30.

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