|Building on last year’s success, this year’s program will accept 12 startups and will invest up to $30,000 in the teams with the highest potential|
|HARGEISA, Somaliland, April 9, 2018/ — Innovate Ventures (www.Innovate.so) pioneer in the Somali start-up space, has just opened applications for the next round of its Hargeisa-based tech accelerator. To date, the programme has graduated 25 startups and has invested almost $50,000 in its graduates. Building on last year’s success, this year’s program will accept 12 startups and will invest up to $30,000 in the teams with the highest potential. The programme aims to support young entrepreneurs in Somaliland and Somalia and grow the nascent start-up ecosystem in the country. Innovate Ventures is the leading Somali start-up accelerator and technology fund, and works with VC4A (https://VC4A.com) Telesom and Oxfam under the Work In Progress! project to make this programme possible.
Applications will be accepted online from startups based in Somaliland or Somalia for entrepreneurs under the age of 35. Up to 20 of these start-ups will be selected for a one-week boot camp, during which the commercial viability of the product or service will be espoused and the traction attained to-date will be evaluated. Successful startups will proceed to a 12-week accelerator programme, which will be based in Hargeisa, Somaliland. This group will receive mentoring and training on how to build a commercially viable and scalable technology-enabled business.
“Running the accelerator programme for 3 years has been a learning experience for our team at Innovate Ventures”, says Warda Dirir, Co-Founder of Innovate Ventures. “We’re constantly tuning the programme to the needs of the entrepreneurs in this part of the world and overcoming challenges particular to the environment here. This is what I believe makes the Innovate Accelerator, not just the first of its kind, but the best suited programme to startup development in the region”.
Alina Vinogradova, Head of Programs and Partnerships at VC4A, adds: ‘For the past three years we’ve been working with Innovate Ventures to bring Somaliland on the map as a start-up hub and angel investment destination. We now see our efforts bearing fruit, with the first-year graduates like Muraasdo building good traction and getting featured on BBC’.
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