i2ixKarandaaz Accelerator applications!

We’re looking for innovative female-founded or co-founded companies for this year’s cohort! Deadline is October 7th

Apply here

The i2i Accelerator is a four-month program that runs every Fall 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 Murree!), 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 Accelerator:
– Intensive business support: The i2i curriculum is proven to get results (on average, our companies experience 200% revenue growth with our program), and is designed to help your business gain traction & become more investment ready.
– Virtual CFO: A dedicated resource will provide advice on accounting processes and create financial dashboards to help your business.
– Dedicated Fellow/Intern in your home city: i2i’s flagship Startup Fellows program gives you a dedicated intern during the course of the accelerator program, that will help you in executing on your business.
– 5 Minute Marketing Video: All i2i startups get a professionally made marketing video which they can use for promotion and visibility! You can see our companies’ past videos here.
– Dedicated Mentor for each startup: Dedicated mentors are available to startups for monthly check ins and advice.
– Access to the i2i Investor Network through our program and Investor Showcase: 23 investors attended our 2016/17 showcase!
– Access to 45 experts and mentors over the course of the program. Our mentors are some of Pakistan’s top entrepreneurs and industry experts, and dedicate their time and experience to giving feedback and support on your business.
– Access to the local startup community in 3 different cities: We take our startups to Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad to help build new networks and partnerships, and access the local ecosystems in these cities.
– An opportunity to get investment from the i2i Investment Fund. i2i is in the midst of launching our first VC fund, and our Accelerator will act as a major pipeline for our future portfolio of investments.
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. Last year, we partnered with Palladium to select and support entrepreneurs creating direct or indirect impact in health, nutrition and/or accountability sectors, but this year we are sector agnostic again – as long as your company is a for-profit company that creates a positive impact, we want you to apply!

What value will I get from the i2i Accelerator?

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 Murree!), 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.

How have the last five 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 > $3.7M in funding (of which 80% was raised by our female founded or co-founded companies!), created over 1000 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 startups ?
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 at our annual Investor Gathering. i2i is also in the midst of launching our venture capital fund, and we hope that our Accelerator companies become an important pipeline for our investment portfolio.
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 begins in July 2017 – we will announce the finalists in August 2017, and will select the final class in September 2017. The next Accelerator will run from October 2017 – February 2018.
Is this free? How does i2i make money?
If a startup is chosen to join our Accelerator program, they pay no upfront costs. i2i also offers startups two options: we can either take a small amount of sweat equity in your company (around 3%) as compensation for the amount of work we put in to make you investment-ready and help you grow, OR we can take a flat fee (around $6000) if and when your company raises money after the program is over. It is your choice.
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!
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, as well as in Pakistan. We partnered with SD Asia for the Grameenphone Accelerator in Dhaka, Bangladesh, which launched in February 2016, have worked with programs in Iraq and Ukraine, and currently power the National Incubation Centre in Islamabad, managed by Team Up and Jazz.
How have the last five 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 > $3.7M in funding (of which 80% was raised by our female founded or co-founded companies!), created over 1000 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.