The Founder Institute Acceleration Program launched for the top 12 shortlisted women-led startups of Acceleration Program for Women Entrepreneurs (APWE). APWE is a project of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) Islamabad in partnership with the US Embassy Islamabad. The program will provide the top 12 women-led growth-stage startups with the essential skills required to seek funding from the world’s top US-based investors and venture capitalists.
Murtaza Zaidi, President TiE Islamabad commented,
“APWE is one of the most progressive initiatives happening in the Pakistani entrepreneurial ecosystem for women led businesses seeking growth and scale. Unfortunately, the global trend demonstrates that men owned businesses tend to get more funding opportunities. The APWE programme aims to break down the barriers to financial access and provide services such as, capacity building, access to venture capitalists and mentors. We believe this programme will have a multiplier effect on our startup eco system.”
The official statement from US Embassy for the launch states,
“The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad proudly sponsored the Accelerator program for Women Entrepreneurs (APWE). Through the APWE, 12 female entrepreneurs from Pakistan will travel to the Silicon Valley to network with established business leaders in the United States. They will share professional business ideas, and will return home after successful completion of the APWE exchange to empower females in the local community, with entrepreneurial and social development skills. The U.S. Embassy is honored to send more than 800 Pakistanis to the United States on Academic and Professional Exchange programs, and APWE is one of those many exchange programs.”
Starting with receiving 450+ applications, the 75 shortlisted/registered startups went through a rigorous process of mentoring/training workshops along with pitching competitions following which Top 12 startups were selected for the 15-week journey of the Pre-Exchange Founder Institute Acceleration Program on November 10, 2021.
The program includes world-class acceleration services including Business Model and Investment Deck preparation, followed by a 12-Week Exchange Program to the USA. The 12-finalists tour will travel to Silicon Valley, Austin, Seattle, Washington DC, and New York. The selected participants will be provided with global linkages, networking, and collaborating opportunities and meet investors from these regions, who will equip them with the required skillset and exposure before arriving in Silicon Valley, California for a Final Day Demo.