2017/18 Application Now Open!

Applications for 2017-2018 accelerator class will open on 30th June

Apply here

The i2i Accelerator is a four-month program that runs from September to January each year in Pakistan. Over the course of four months, selected entrepreneurs receive access to intensive business support to grow their businesses, and convene for six in-person weekends in Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore (and a fun retreat up in Nathiagali!), with targeted sessions led by the i2i team and mentors on topics ranging from branding to customer acquisition to financials and operations. At the end of the program, entrepreneurs pitch before investors at our annual Demo Day and are connected to other angel investors.

What you get as part of the i2i Program:

– Virtual CFO: A dedicated resource to provide advise on accounting processes and create financial dashboards
– Dedicated Fellow/Intern in their home city: I2I’s flagship Startup Fellows program provides access to fellows for internships during the course of the accelerator program
– 5 Minute Marketing Video: All i2i startups get a professionally made marketing video which they can use for promotion and visibility!
– Dedicated Mentor for each startup: Dedicated mentors are available to the startups for weekly check ins and advice
– Access to the i2i Investor Network through our program and Investor Showcase: 23 investprs attended our 2016/17 showcase!
– Access to 45 experts and mentors over the course of the program
– Access to local ecosystems in 3 different cities: We take our startups to Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad to help build new networks and partnerships, and access local ecosystems in these cities
– An opportunity to get investment from the i2i Investment Fund

See below to learn more about what we look for and other FAQ’s!

Basic Eligibility

Founders must be full-time (or prepared to be full-time) on their venture in Pakistan.

Businesses must create a positive social or environmental impact, with a direct or indirect impact on health, nutrition and/or accountability.

Businesses must be for-profit business models or have plans to become for-profit. Ideally, businesses should already be registered entities.

Founders must show some traction (i.e., revenue or proof of concept) on the ground with their product or service.

Founders must be financially viable or have outlined plans to become viable in the next 3-5 years.

Businesses must be seed-stage, seeking more than $100K – $200K in investment (it is not mandatory for businesses to be seeking investment).

Accelerator FAQS

What is an impact startup?
Invest2Innovate defines an impact startup as a for-profit business that provides an innovative product or service to address a long-standing social or environmental issue. While impact startup’s primary intention for launching their business is impact-driven, they must also have plans to be financially viable.

What kinds of enterprises get chosen for the i2i Accelerator?
We are looking for passionate, young, and determined entrepreneurs trying to build innovative & scalable businesses. This year, i2i is looking for startups with a direct or indirect impact on health, nutrition and/or accountability. Businesses must be based or have operations in Pakistan. We choose seed-stage models – looking for key business support as well as between USD$100K – $200K in investment – that are innovative, have a large potential market, and have a significant and measurable social and/or environmental impact. i2i will give preference to for-profit companies already generating revenue on the ground, but we will still consider other businesses. We’re not looking for entrepreneurs who will be grant or donation dependent for eternity.

Does i2i focus on a particular sector?
In the past, i2i has been “sector agnostic,” i.e., we’ve selected companies from an array of sectors. This year, we’ve partnered with Palladium to select and support entrepreneurs creating direct or indirect impact in health, nutrition and/or accountability sectors. We also are looking for companies that are creating that impact in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and/or Punjab, either now or in the future.

My startup doesn't currently impact health, nutrition, or accountability. Can I still apply?
Yes. While you may not be a direct health company, you can still potentially indirectly impact health. For example, an agriculture technology company creating products that improve the quality of dairy indirectly impact nutrition. 
My startup doesn't currently work in KP or Punjab. Can I still apply?
Yes, because we can work with you to scale your model to those provinces. Definitely still apply!

What value will I get from the i2i Accelerator?
The i2i Accelerator is a four-month program in which entrepreneurs convene for six weekend sessions in Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore. We are hosted at Dotzero or The Nest i/o in Karachi and at LUMS in Lahore. In the span of these four months, entrepreneurs will gain access to i2i’s extensive mentor network – 35+ of Pakistan’s top entrepreneurs and industry experts who lead sessions on topics like branding/marketing, operational support, financial modeling, and sales/customer acquisition. Our curriculum is intensive and designed to help you grow your business! At the end of the four-month program, i2i startups pitch for funding to i2i Angels, our community of angel investors committed to supporting seed-stage entrepreneurs in Pakistan.

While the sessions are help to grow your businesses, our entrepreneurs have all stated that the best value they got out of the Accelerator was the community – the other entrepreneurs and access to incredible mentors

Will I get funding?
This year, all startups will receive a seed grant (around UK Pounds 10K!) to be used over the four months to grow their businesses and expand their impact.

How have the last four Accelerator programs done?
Great. i2i really prides ourselves on our ability to deliver value to our companies – in the past two years, 100% of our founders stated they would recommend the program to future entrepreneurs. Our startups have gone on to raise > $1M in funding, created over 850 jobs in Pakistan, and have experienced on average 200% revenue growth thanks to our program. More than that, our past entrepreneurs are our best ambassadors and continue to remain involved in future classes of the i2i Accelerator as mentors, judges, and friends.

Who invests in i2i's Enterprises?
i2i Angels is our investor community, made up of angel investors passionate about supporting startups in Pakistan. Many of our Angels are also part of our mentor network, as well as judges in our application process. At the end of the i2i Accelerator, you are presented to these investors.

Ok, so I applied to the next i2i Accelerator. What happens next?
We have a rigorous application process that each entrepreneur must go through before selection, ensuring that prior to joining the i2i community each startup meets i2i’s basic eligibility and has the potential to make ground breaking change. Our selection rate is about 3%. Our next application cycle will begin in May 2016 – we will announce the finalists in July 2016, and will select the final class in August 2016. The next Accelerator will run from September 2016 – January 2017.

Is this free? How does i2i make money?
If a startup is chosen to join our Accelerator program, they pay no upfront costs. i2i does take a small amount of sweat equity in your companies (around 3%) as compensation for the amount of work we put in to make you investment-ready and help you grow. We see our role in your companies as long-term – and this way, we get to be involved in your journey even after the program is over! We have negotiated this amount based on companies that have raised funding in the past or companies that preferred a flat fee ($6000) over an equity stake in their companies.

So i2i just works in Pakistan right now. Do you plan to go elsewhere?
i2i has licensed our curriculum to power and support programs in other geographies. We recently partnered with SD Asia for the Grameenphone Accelerator in Dhaka, Bangladesh, which launched in February 2016, and are in talks with programs in other growth markets.