Womentum: accelerating MENA’s female-led startups
Womentum is the first female-focused accelerator in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)
July – October 2018
Thank you for your interest in Womentum. Applications are now closed. You can find the list of our first cohort here.
Womentum Accelerator Program
After years building an award-winning angel investment group that facilitated over 3 million AED of funding, womena is ready to do more then just invest! Our 4-month accelerator program is taking place across the Middle East, and bringing participants together in two major global startup hubs: Berlin and Dubai!
Womentum is designed to help you build the networks needed to achieve early momentum. The in-person rotations will help you to grow your networks in Europe (via Berlin) and across the Middle East (via Dubai).
Our team at Womedia — Womena’s media arm–will be introducing you, your mission and your product to our global audience, featuring you on our web-series and providing exposure opportunities via panels, media interviews and speaking opportunities.
As a Womentum graduate, you’ll have access to Womena’s network of investors and ecosystem partners which include corporates, growth-stage accelerators, potential customers and acquirers. Our Demo Day will be held alongside the GITEX conference in Dubai.
Womentum acceleration teams will benefit from the following:
- A customized curriculum of support and training based on your startup’s individualized needs
- Regional marketing and exposure through the Womentum web series
- 1:1 mentoring with experts, coaches and consultants from Berlin, Dubai and your local market
- An economy class ticket towards flight costs for up to two founders to Berlin and Dubai
- Accommodation in Berlin and Dubai on a shared-room basis
- Access to co-working space during both rotations, including Impact Hub’s Berlin network
- Support with visa processing for Berlin & Dubai
- Access to ecosystem events in Berlin & Dubai
- Introductions to womena’s network of investors (global & regional)
- Legal support from Latham & Watkins - the largest legal firm in the world
- Options for easy incorporation in the UAE
- Free co-working package for top 3 companies upon graduation
Who can apply?
If you are an early stage startup that:
- Has a gender-diverse team with at least one female co-founder (who owns equity in the business)
- Is developing an innovative and scalable tech product
- Has proof of concept and an existing prototype
- Is based in or operating in the MENA market
- Has 6 months - 2 years of operations
- Has demonstrated a commitment to building a successful company by having at least one team member 100% focused on building your business from July to October
- Is willing to be featured on media and appear on camera throughout the program
Application deadline: May 1st, 2018
Optional Equity Model
At Womentum, we believe that women support each other. That’s why we’re offering an optional equity model for accelerated startups. This means that at the end of the program, YOU decide if you want to give up equity, and how much equity you want to give, based on how useful the program was to you. We only win if you win!
Every aspect of the program is designed to help you focus on building, validating and marketing your product.
During this time tech and innovation experts from Impact Hub Berlin will be zeroing-in on the foundations of your business; your product development and business model. Ecosystem events, pitching opportunities and tech festivals will give you the opportunity to build networks and knowledge.
Now that your product is in place, it’s time to start validation and user growth. You’ll return to your home markets, achieving milestones with the support of local and international mentors. You’ll also be continuing to receive virtual support, workshops, and have an open line of communication to legal, tech and business experts.
The final two weeks of the program will be focused on helping you to become investor and growth-ready. We’ll help you work on your financials, legal structure and prepare to build your team. We’ll coach you on refining your pitch and fielding investor questions so you know exactly what to expect. We’ll also help you set up meetings and expand your Dubai-based networks, including giving you the option to incorporate through a partner if needed.
The demo day will be held in conjunction with GITEX, one of the largest and most global startup events in the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia, and held at Dubai World Trade Center. One-on-one meetings with investors and other interested partners will be coordinated before and after the demo day to enable you to close deals.
Media is an integral part of this program. Participants must be aware that the program will be filmed and that moments from the filming will be shown online and on other channels as part of a web series. Along the way, you’ll have access to PR, speaking and branding experts to help you feel comfortable and confident around the camera. This is phenomenal prep for your future as a world-dominating business legend.
We’re looking for rockstar founders with next-level tech skills and a plan for world domination. If that’s you, then here’s how to apply.
Step 01: Fill out the application form here (Applications are now closed).
Step 02: Show us your elevator pitch. Send us your video (30-60 seconds) where you pitch your team and your startup as MENA’s next unicorn. Upload it to any social media/video content platform and send us the link. Check out our sample pitch below.
Q: What counts as a founder?
A: Any founding member of the team that has equity in the company.
Q: What MENA countries are eligible to apply?
A: Please see the list below for eligible countries.
- Saudi Arabia
- United Arab Emirates
Q: Can non-MENA nationals apply?
A: We accept applications from any MENA-based businesses, regardless of the founder nationalities.
Q: How many people from my company can attend?
A: While you’re welcome to have your entire company participate in the accelerator program, we will only be able to sponsor accommodation, flights, and lunches during workshop days for two of the founders (at least one of which should be a female) during the Berlin and Dubai rotations.
Q: Do you have an industry focus?
A: Our accelerator program is industry agnostic, however, our mentors and content will be tailored to your unique needs.
Q: Will there be an investment at the end of the program?
A: The goal of Womentum will be to prepare and enable all cohort companies to receive investment after graduation through demo day and access to investor networks etc. However, only the winner of Demo Day competition will be guaranteed investment. The rest is up to you to dazzle our investors!
Q: What expenses will Womentum cover during the in-person rotations?
A: Womena will provide an economy class ticket and accommodation on a shared-room basis (as feasible) in Berlin and Dubai. In addition, lunches during workshop days will be provided and some transport support. Entrepreneurs wishing to fund their own upgrades are welcome to do so.
Q: Will Womentum help me with the visa application process?
A: Each participant is responsible to apply for their own visas, however, Womentum will work with government partners in Berlin and Dubai to issue invitation letters and provide support during the process.
Q: Will I have the opportunity to incorporate in the UAE after the program?
A: Womena has a number of partners that offer incorporation solutions to graduate startups, and we will work with you to help you find the right setup partner should you choose to incorporate.
Q: What will my involvement be with Womentum’s video series?
A: The Womentum video series will a series of short videos published across a variety of social and media networks that will track entrepreneurs journeys through the program as well as allow them to promote their products and personal brand. All Womentum participants will be featured, however, we will be working with you closely to ensure you’re comfortable with the material filmed and we will be providing personalized coaching on speaking and presenting so as to help you maximize this opportunity. Signing a release form is a prerequisite to participation in Womentum.