Overview of i2i accelerator
The i2i Accelerator is a four-month program that runs every Fall in Pakistan. The 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).
The weekend sessions are led by the i2i team and various mentors on topics ranging from branding and 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 i2i’s rich investor network.
What you get as part of the i2i Accelerator
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.
An opportunity to get investment from the i2i Investment Fund
I2I has just recently launched our first VC fund- i2i Ventures, providing seed funding to innovative startups. Although i2i Ventures is not just limited to investing in the i2i accelerator, it has proven to be our main and strongest pipeline.
Access to a
A dedicated resource will provide advice on accounting processes and create financial dashboards to help your business
Access to a Research Fellow
Each startup will receive research support from i2i’s in-house Insights department. The fellow will work with the startup to identify and fill in the gaps in information and market research.
During the time of the accelerator, the startups will be introduced and matched with several mentors across the country to connect with and establish an exchange plan.
Access to the i2i Investor Network
With a large community of investors, i2i designs sessions and the Demo Day to begin conversations and develop connections between startups and potential investors. Currently, i2i’s community includes the most active Angel Investors and Venture Capital Funds in the country.
Amazon Web Services
Through i2i’s partnership with Amazon Web Services, i2i alumni get access to $15,000 in AWS Promotional Credit valid for 2 years, 1 year of AWS Business Support (up to $5,000), Access to the AWS Technical and Business Essentials web-based (or instructor-led) training ($600 value per course), and 80 credits for Self-Paced Labs ($80 value)
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.
Our mentors are some of Pakistan’s top entrepreneurs and industry experts who dedicate their time and experience to our startups during the accelerator. These mentors will be actively involved in the journey of each startup, providing effective feedback and ongoing support
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).
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.
We are looking for passionate, young, and determined entrepreneurs trying to build innovative & scalable businesses. 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 the future.
In the past, i2i has been “sector agnostic,” i.e., we’ve selected companies from an array of sectors. While we have been sector specific in the past, 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!”
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.
i2i really prides ourselves on our ability to deliver value to our companies – in the past three cycles, 100% of our founders stated they would recommend the program to future entrepreneurs. Our startups have gone on to raise $6.1M in funding (of which 90% was raised by our female-founded or co-founded companies!), created over 1500 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.
i2i holds a strong investor community, made up of various VC Funds and angel investors, passionate about supporting startups in Pakistan. Many of our investors are also part of our mentor network, as well as judges in our application process. At the end of the i2i Accelerator, the startups are presented to these investors during the Demo Day.
i2i has also just recently launched our first VC fund- i2i Ventures, providing seed funding to innovative startups. Although i2i Ventures is not just limited to investing in the i2i accelerator, it has proven to be our main and strongest pipeline.
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 groundbreaking change.
Each application is then put through a 3-tier selection process involving i2i’s management, mentors and expert community. Our selection rate is about 3%. We are hoping to announce the finalists by early October 2019. The accelerator will run from October 2019 – February 2020.
Yes, being part of i2i’s accelerator program does not require you to pay any costs, fees or equity. However, we do require founders selected for the program to be fully committed to the program and be available for all the sessions and after-session work. Each startup is sponsored by an external partner to be part of the accelerator.
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, and have worked with programs in Iraq and Ukraine. We licensed our curriculum and supported the first year of the National Incubation Centre in Islamabad, managed by Team Up and Jazz. We are also a program partner for DFAT’s Frontier Incubators program, through which i2i is providing hands on support to various incubators in the South Asia region including Takhleeq Incubator at the University of Central Punjab in Lahore, Accountability Lab Pakistan, Toru and LC Impact in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Nepal Communitere in Nepal, Impact Hub Phnom Penh in Cambodia, and KISS Startup in Vietnam. We plan to expand our work in these frontier markets even more in the coming year.