Scaling Up the Impact of Local VenturesDec 11, 2017
Yerevan – The ImpactAim Venture Accelerator – the first impact accelerator in Armenia – was officially launched today by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with ImpactHub Yerevan and the Catalyst Foundation. As part of the UNDP’s impact investment strategy, the venture accelerator is designed to leverage the unique global network and expertise of UNDP and to scale up the impact of ventures to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Armenia and beyond.
Today, Karen Karapetyan, Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, Bradley Busetto, UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia, representatives of government agencies, as well as international organizations, diplomatic corps, private sector representatives, and media attended the launch event of the ImpactAim Venture Accelerator.
“Armenia is a good laboratory for testing strategic collaboration between international development organizations, impact investors and social entrepreneurs. This is one of the major takeaways from the Impact Investment for Development Summit that UNDP and INSEAD had organized in March earlier this year. This impact accelerator will be the first of its kind of platform looking for innovative and more effective approaches for creating social good,” said Bradley Busetto, UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia.
In the first round the ImpactAim Venture Accelerator received 96 applications from 25 countries. The first round of the acceleration program started in November 2017 and will run for 12 weeks engaging seven full time participants and two guest listeners. Among the selected ventures are: WiCastr Limited, Dasaran Educational Program, Sylex e-Health, ARMACAD, the Union of Information Technology Enterprises (Armath Laboratories), Technology Management Center of Yerevan City (Smart Kindergartens), RAFA Solutions, Innovation & Technological Community, Rue de Paradis 588.
The ImpactAim Venture Accelerator program combines study sessions based on cutting-edge methodologies and hands-on experience in knowledge areas that are crucial for startup/business development. Through tailored mentorship and a specially designed curriculum, ventures will be able to strengthen their market base, scale up their impact, and increase their investment absorption capacity. By the end of the program, teams will have developed and implemented their operational models, which will increase their product capabilities in the market and potential contribution towards SDGs.
The ImpactAim Venture Accelerator is an important step in the broader work that the United Nations and the Government of Armenia are undertaking together in the framework of the Armenia National SDG Innovation Lab to identify gaps in SDG implementation, prototype new cross-sectoral solutions and funding mechanisms to fulfil them.