Uplift was the first Albanian organisation that decided to start a regional acceleration program in the spring of 2019. And this fall they are doing it again. And here is the story of the beginning of the program.
Uplift Albania started their first acceleration program in spring 2019. And they did an excellent job. The acceleration program they organised had ten participating teams. Two of these teams even received substantial investments after the program.
This year Uplift decided to do it again. With previous experience and an updated program, the team started the program at the beginning of October. With the help and support of ICTSmedia, SOVVA, SlovakAid, Vodafone Business, Raiffeisen Bank, Albvision, EU for Innovation, Tirana Municipality, Ernst&Young Albania, Huawei, ICTSlab, and Swiss EP, the Uplift team is ready to deliver an excellent program.
What do we know about the Uplift acceleration program?
Uplift acceleration program is dedicated to early-stage startups seeking ways to grow their business and increase valuation. Throughout the program, startups learn how to improve their business model, apply lean methodology, protect their intellectual property, pitch, and seek investments.
The Uplift team provide international experts, mentors, and advisors. Besides sharing knowledge, these people also bring their experience and personal networks to the program.
How many teams are participating?
The latest Uplift acceleration program started in October 2020. Despite general trends of online events, Uplift decided to have a series of on-premise activities, respecting all COVID-19 protective measures.
Out of 40 startups who applied for the program, 20 made it to the Selection Bootcamp. In this event, startups pitched to the audience, mentors, and investors, who made the final selection of the program participants. Besides pitching, the Selection Bootcamp enabled all teams to attend two workshops and an extensive 1on1 mentoring session. At the end of the day, Uplift announced the names of startups that made it into the program.
This year, 12 startups joined the program. You can meet them all in the introductory post on the Uplift website. It is interesting to mention that besides startups from Albania, two teams from Kosovo will participate in the program. One of these startups went through the VentureUp incubation program in Pristina.
What will teams do during the Uplift Acceleration Program?
The program is already running. In the next four months, teams will attend workshops, lectures, and mentoring sessions where different local, regional, and international experts will share their knowledge and experience.
Besides regular curricula, the program also includes Bridge2EU Program. Within the Bridge2EU Program, selected startups will take a study trip to Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Austria. However, this component of the program depends on COVID-19 pandemic developments. Still, we hope that the Uplift team will find a way to make it happen.
What can we expect from this program?
The big finale – Demo Day of the program is scheduled for January 29th, 2021. We expect to see great teams, innovative ideas, and excellent patches on that event. The winning team will receive a prize of 5000€ to jump-start their business.
But, besides direct prize money, teams will have an opportunity to gain more valuable rewards. They can raise up to 50000€ investment. This is the amount that a broad network of sponsors, partners, and investors gathered around Uplift Albania is ready to invest in a promising startup from this batch.
We are looking forward to telling you more stories from the Uplift Acceleration program. Until then, we want to say to all the participating teams: “Good luck and keep on working!” we know that the Uplift team will take good care of you.