The Founder Institute Acceleration Program has been developed for the top 12 women-led firms from the Acceleration Program for Women Entrepreneurs (APWE).
The program will prepare 12 female-led growth-stage firms to seek funding from the world’s top U.S.-based investors and venture capitalists.
APWE is a project of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) Islamabad in collaboration with the United States Embassy in Islamabad.
“APWE is one of the most innovative initiatives happening in the Pakistani entrepreneurial ecosystem for women-led enterprises pursuing growth and scalability,” stated Murtaza Zaidi, President of TiE Islamabad.
Regrettably, the global trend shows that men-owned enterprises receive more excellent financial opportunities. The APWE initiative attempts to remove financial access hurdles by providing services such as capacity building, access to venture capitalists, and mentorship.”
“We believe this initiative will have a multiplier effect on our entrepreneurial ecosystem,” he continues.
The official statement issued by the U.S. Embassy for the launch read, “The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad gladly sponsored the Accelerator program for Women Entrepreneurs” (APWE). 12 female entrepreneurs from Pakistan will travel to Silicon Valley as part of the APWE to network with established business leaders in the United States. They will share professional business ideas and return home after the APWE exchange to empower girls in the local community with entrepreneurial and social development skills.”
The embassy is “proud to send over 800 Pakistanis to the United States on Academic and Professional Exchange programs, and APWE is one of those numerous exchange programs.”
The process began with the receipt of more than 450 applications, and 75 shortlisted/registered startups went through a rigorous process of mentoring/training workshops and pitching competitions, after which the top 12 startups were selected for the 15-week Pre-Exchange Founder Institute Acceleration Program on November 10th.
The program includes world-class acceleration services such as Business Model and Investment Deck preparation, as well as a 12-week exchange program to America. The journey will take the 12 finalists to Silicon Valley, Austin, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and New York.
The selected participants will be given global connections and possibilities for networking and collaboration and meet investors from these regions who will provide them with the necessary skill sets and exposure before returning to Silicon Valley for a Final Day Demo.