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Innovate Ventures Accelerator in Somaliland calls for applications

Applications are now open for the third cycle of the tech accelerator Innovate Ventures Accelerator, based in Hargeisa, Somaliland. This year's programme 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 startup ecosystem in the country. Innovate Ventures works with VC4A Telesom and Oxfam under the Work In Progress! project to make this programme possible.

To date, the programme has graduated 25 startups and has invested almost $50,000 in its graduates.

Programme overview

The Innovate Accelerator is a 12-week programme that comprises mentorship and training by domain experts and entrepreneurs and seed investment for up to four startups from the Innovate Ventures Fund.

Applications will be accepted online from startups based in Somaliland or Somalia for entrepreneurs under the age of 35. Up to 20 of these startups will be selected for a one-week bootcamp, 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.

Demo day

The culmination of the programme is the demo day where the startups receive introductions to the leading companies and investors in the Somali region. The demo day will involve the startups pitching to a room full of local and international investors and media. The top four startups will receive up to $30,000 in investment from the Innovate Ventures Fund.

“Running the accelerator programme for three 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.”


The accelerator programme will provide much-needed exposure to Somali startup, and enable the founders to road test their propositions and get immediate feedback about their business models from experienced entrepreneurs and business mentors.


The Innovate Accelerator applications are open until 15 June 2018. Business workshops and info sessions for potential applicants will be held jointly by VC4A and Innovate Ventures in the week of 29 April 2018 as part of the roadshow in Somaliland.

You can apply [[https://goo.gl/7Ucdzj here
or you can email os.etavonnI@ofnI for more information.

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