ImpactAIM ANAU AgriTech Accelerator program was designed to support science and technology-backed startups and budding entrepreneurs offering solutions to tackle challenges in the agricultural sector of Armenia and worldwide. The program was launched by UNDP ImpactAIM Accelerator and implemented jointly with Armenia National Agrarian University (ANAU), Foundation for Armenian Science and Technology (FAST), International Center for Agribusiness Research and Education (ICARE), Nation in Action initiative, was supported by Armenian National Innovation SDG Lab and ADB Ventures Facility.
AgriTech Acceleration program aimed to provide the necessary knowledge, expertise, network, and funding to set up and/or scale up existing ventures. Gap assessment was conducted to offer a tailored program best fitted to the participants’ individual needs. The full program lasted 3 months followed by further prototyping sessions and scale-up schemes. The program was conducted online and in three stages:
- Onboarding sessions
- Core startup development sessions
- Follow up and prototyping sessions
Onboarding sessions were open for everyone, and obligatory only for the idea, pre-seed/seed stage teams, and individuals, as they will pass to the next stage of the program based on their commitment and participation. The growth stage ventures decided whether they wanted to join or not.
We were looking for:
- Budding entrepreneurs (idea stage): to introduce and develop entrepreneurship culture by providing fundamental knowledge and practical skills.
- Pre-seed and seed-stage startups: to take them through the entrepreneurial journey with each module being specifically designed to cover their needs. The track offers a structured curriculum and is mostly based on coaching on startup development modules and mentorship.
- Growth stage startups: to provide tailor-made coaching and mentorship. The core component of the track is growing the network of startups to further scale their venture.
After the successful completion of each stage, the most promising graduates will receive monetary awards/grants of up to 10,000 USD.
Access to funding was an integral part of the program. To fuel the further growth of successful ventures, the program also partnered with ADB Ventures. Promising startups also received an opportunity to pitch in front of the investors from the Science & Technology Angels Network (STAN). The global scale-up perspective envisioned that the most promising startups benefit from UNDP in Armenia - Cultiv@te: Innovation for Sustainable Agriculture initiative partnership.