Uplift Albania is an early-stage startup accelerator program focused on growing business and increasing valuation. Its aim is to support dozens of the most innovative and promising startups from the Balkan region. Through 4 months of Uplift program, the most innovative and great Startups will take quality mentoring by industry experts, mentors, and successful entrepreneurs in Europe and the region. Uplift provides this through workshops, networking sessions, business coaching, and 1-1 mentoring. Startups will learn how to pitch to investors, protect their intellectual property, improve their business model and apply the lean methodology. During the final Demo Day Startups get access to leading Balkan investors. Bridge2EU is another program by Uplift that offers study to Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Austria trips for some startups.
What was the challenge?
Uplift team is experienced in startups landscape and community building.
The project was implemented in Albania from September until February 2021 and it provided an acceleration program for young Albanian companies. Activities of the project were aimed at support of business development of innovative companies and start-ups. Altogether, 30 start-ups participated in the Uplift Albania accelerator and it provided them with training in communication, finance, business planning, and other fields. The intensive program of the project helped young companies to set their strategy and goals for their further growth. This project „opened the door“ for young entrepreneurs to pursue their business ideas and Uplift considers it an important initiative with a significant contribution to the business environment and development.
Along with the support for entrepreneurs and their ideas, the project also contributed to the overall boost of the innovation ecosystem and start-up community in Albania. It has brought together young entrepreneurs and relevant stakeholders from the private and state sectors and provided a platform for their networking.
Uplift Albania is a project that has a positive impact and tangible results. Graduates are successfully expanding their businesses and innovative companies.
What is the solution?
Through 4 months of Uplift program, the most innovative and great Startups benefited from quality mentoring by industry experts, mentors, and successful entrepreneurs in Europe and the region. Uplift provided this through workshops, networking sessions business coaching, and 1-1 mentoring. Startups learned how to pitch to investors, protect their intellectual property, improve their business model and apply the lean methodology. During the final Demo Day Startups get access to leading Balkan investors.
Bridge2EU is another program by Uplift that offers study to Slovakia, Czech Republic &Austria trips for some startups.
During 2 first batches we have:
- 30 portfolio companies/ graduates
- 3 Scale-ups
- 50+ mentors &coaches
- 10+ investment &networks
- 30 portfolio companies/ graduates startups in which 3 of them are in Scale-up process
- 50+ mentors and coaches
- 10+ investment and network partners
Uplift Albania 1st batch:
Thanks to Uplift.al, many startups were successful in raising private funds. As an outcome of the acceleration program, the founders of IAvokat changed their business model and went on to raise €15,000 from angel investors. PleXusVr raised €50,000, also from angel investors. Meanwhile, IPERVOX, who won the €3,000 prize from Uplift, managed to raise €350,000 from the Italian Venture Fund LVenture Group.
Nevertheless, the pandemic made things difficult too. Many investment funds have relocated their assets, changed strategies, and completely shifted their course. Still, they had many inquiries and interest from VC funds and Angel investors curious about our startups.
Covid-19 was a challenge for the 2nd batch of Uplift and their team did most of the workshops online because most of the mentors couldn’t come to Albania.
They have a great network of mentors, investors, entrepreneurs and aim to grow into the international network and build stable bridges with Europe. Uplift will have more networking, sales, and investment events.