Over six months ago we embarked on an exciting journey. Jehan Ara, Founder and CEO Katalyst Labs had envisioned the purpose of the organization as an accelerator and innovation hub. To bring the vision to life she built a team and started work to launch the Acceleration Program.
In the months that followed there was extensive work done to ensure that the first Acceleration Cohort was a collection of enterprising startups. The team was overwhelmed with the number of applications received and wanted to ensure that there was a diverse pool of startups in the cohort. Shortly after the selected startups were invited to pitch which further reduced the pool of applicants. Initially, we had decided to limit the cohort to 10 startups but given the quality of applications we had to reconsider the number. Finally, 13 startups made it to Acceleration Cohort #1.
You can read more about the stellar startups in our cohort here: The First Cohort
The Program was designed in a way where every aspect of running a startup was covered. We invited mentors and advisors who were leaders in their relevant fields to deliver sessions on various topics like the importance of having a co-founder, how startups can scale up, customer retention, key factors investors look at when investing in a startup, and many more. Furthermore, feedback was an integral part of the program and we had multiple check-ins coupled with surveys to ensure startup satisfaction.
The Program concluded on 31/01/2022 when Katalyst Labs hosted a Demo Day for the startups to showcase their growth. There were a number of investors in attendance as the Founders pitched their startups. Many follow-up conversations are ongoing and we foresee a number of investments taking place in the upcoming weeks. It was truly amazing to see the startups put their best foot forward and was a reflection of the hard work they had put in over the last few months!
The first cycle of the Acceleration Cohort has truly been amazing – it has served as great learning and helped us grow our community further. Looking forward to seeing these startups reach new heights and to work with more ambitious Founders in the future!
Let’s bring on cycle #2!