Invest2Innovate (i2i) accelerator program works with post-incubation stage social ventures and impact oriented startups in Pakistan for the duration of four months. For the 2014-2015 accelerator program, i2i received over 250 applications from startups in various industries such as health, education, energy, mobility, etc. but only five startups were inducted into the program. These startups namely, Inaaya, BlueSaint, MeriTaleem, Savaree and DheereBolo have now graduated from the program.
The graduated startups have brought cultural to social impact ideas for the country. From cultural perspective, Inaaya works with rural women in Sindh to produce high-quality clothing and jewelry while BlueSaint is an online marketplace that modernizes Pakistan’s handmade crafts. If we talk about educational startups; Dheere Bolo is an activist publishing house for improving Pakistani education whereas Meri Taleem is a one-stop shop to help students transition to university smoothly. Finally, Savaree is a car-pooling application solving the daily commute problems for people.
Based on each startup’s business model, they were connected with relevant mentors and financial advisors through a series of workshops and trainings to help them get ready for the final pitches. The training sessions assisted the startups with their financial modeling, perspectives on how to build a unique work culture, marketing, branding, startup valuation, legal, business scaling and resource management. Invest2Innovate will continue to work closely with the startups in the next few months to provide them more mentoring, support and help them raise investment.
Kalsoom Lakhani, the founder and CEO of Invest2Innovate, commented about 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 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.”
The program was supported by ecosystem partners such as KITE, The NEST I/O, DotZero and LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship. The applications for the next batch will open in late May this year. Stay tune to TechJuice for more updates.