Answers to Your Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to Your Frequently Asked Questions
Who should apply?
An existing technology start-up, that is women-led or has at least one woman in a key senior decision making position, that already has validation from their home market and is ready to scale their company. The company must exhibit a strong desire to access global markets through a well-thought-out scale-up strategy.
What are the requirements to apply?
Your start-up must be based in Canada, with preference to Southern Ontario. Your business must be generating recurring annual revenue (of about $100,000 and above). There must be at least one woman in a senior decision-making role (i.e. COO, CEO, CFO) within the company who will act as the CIAP Cohort participant.
Although, there are specific requirements, please contact us if you have any questions, as we may have other opportunities to help your business grow.
Do you accept companies from all industries?
We accept companies from any industry as long as your company utilizes/leverages technology and has the potential, and desire, to expand to India. With our expertise, we will be able to determine if this program will be beneficial to you.
Companies that fit into the below descriptions are highly desirable as members of our cohort:
Health and Bio-Sciences
Resources of the Future
How long does the entire admissions process take?
Once you complete the online application, we will be in contact with you to discuss your business in further detail to initially determine if CIAP is a good fit for your company’s current road map.
Once the applications for 2020 have closed, our CIAP board will determine the finalists for this year’s cohort. Applicants will receive notice of their acceptance/rejection by the end of May 2020.
How do I apply online?
We have an online application process that must be fully completed with accurate information in order to be considered, here. Applications for 2020, specifically to the ScaleCamp portion of our program, will not be accepted for attendance after the end of May 2020.
Can I apply if I'm not a Canadian resident?
It is a requirement that you are a legal resident of Canada to qualify for our program with a legally registered Canadian corporation.
How does CIAP benefit me?
The Canada-India Acceleration Program (CIAP) helps Canadian, women-led businesses, scale into untapped markets. We do this by providing access to mentorship from global entrepreneurs and industry leaders, 200+ incubators, valuable resources and toolkits, meaningful connections to corporations, and the opportunity for potential seed funding.
What is expected of me while in the program?
CIAP is a government-funded initiative, aiming to empower women leaders in entrepreneurship and increase opportunities and resources available – All we ask for is your time!
During our ScaleCamp, we ask that you’re actively involved in all of the lessons, workshops, and events. We find this is an important element for collaboration and growth purposes, as it helps each member gain more knowledge and expertise for them to apply to their businesses directly. To take advantage of all we have to offer, being present during the ScaleCamp is fundamental to our success as a program, and to your success as a business.
After the ScaleCamp, during September 2020 to January 2021, our Cohort will be expected to make their individual Exploration Missions in India. This will require a time block of 3 weeks to 2 months in order to travel to India to ensure you have enough time for:
Have vital meetings with key experts and potential partners
Explore sales channels and opportunities while on the ground
Have access to mentorship with market experts
What is the duration of the program?
The program will officially begin with the kickoff of our annual ScaleCamp, end of July 2020. Following the week-long ScaleCamp, to be hosted with our collaborators (location: TBA), companies will be provided mentorship in preparation of the Soft-Landing phase in India (Exploration Missions).
Companies will have between September 2020 and January 2021 to complete their individual missions, with a time span of three weeks to three months on-the-ground.
Following their return, each company will have access to further mentorship and guidance in various areas, such as pitch preparation, go-to-market strategy development, and access to networks.
From January to March 2021, CIAP and our program collaborators will assist in making key connections with investors/investment opportunities. There will be an opportunity to pitch for seed funding (January 2021 - March 2021) with a CIAP-approved panel of investors for companies in our cohort seeking investment.
“Growing a larger community of women leaders will only help empower more women to embrace and grow into those roles.”
Though our program officially runs from our ScaleCamp kickoff through to the end of the opportunity for investment phase – CIAP believes that once you’re a part of the program, you’ve joined a community. We are always looking for ways help our companies, new types of resources we provide, and connections we can make. After the program’s year end, you will have continued access to resources we provide.
What is the structure of the program?
The program has three distinct phases: (1) Training Phase (ScaleCamp), (2) “Soft-Landing” Phase and (3) Investment Phase.
1) ScaleCamp: During the first phase, start-ups are required to attend a one-week training program that brings together experts from both countries to provide education and practical approaches on topics such as:
■ Market opportunities and challenges
■ Rules and regulations for various sectors
■ Potential “go to market” strategies
■ Cultural and consumer behaviour
2) “Soft-Landing” Phase: A funded, On-the-Ground Exploration Mission. Once start-ups have successfully completed the first phase, they will go to India for up to three months for a soft-landing opportunity. They will have access to fully-functional office spaces, 200+ incubators across India, our on-the-ground experts and connections, and assistance in setting up meetings with key players. Our collaborators, a team of experts in India, will help companies choose the right market and soft-landing placement(s). The following services are offered during this phase:
■ Customer linkages
■ Beta prototype testing
■ Office Space
■ Corporate connections
■ Up to $5,000 covered for flights and accommodations (through a funding partner)
3) Investment Phase: Post the “soft-landing” phase, participating companies will be eligible to pitch for seed equity funding to a CIAP-approved investor panel.
What is ScaleCamp?
ScaleCamp is an intensive one-week workshop that challenges your business ideas, identify areas of improvement, while providing a toolkit for sustainable growth in emerging markets. In collaboration with industry experts, we provide you with the tools and knowledge to scale your business, and ability to work alongside and build a tight-knit community of female entrepreneurs.
Do I have to give up equity to join?
CIAP does not take any equity or IP, at any stage of the program. As a government-funded, Carleton University initiative your success is our success. All we require is your time and participation and light reporting post program.
Do you invest in my company?
CIAP is well-connected to angel networks, investors, and venture capitalists. Though, at this time, CIAP does not directly invest in our companies we will assist in making the key connections for our cohorts.
Do I have to pay for lessons and workshops?
We have a mandate from the Canadian government and Carleton University to help female entrepreneurs grow their businesses and scale into emerging markets, like India.
We are not asking for any form of payment throughout the course of the program, the majority of our program is 100% covered (minus personal expenditures, fees and costs that go over $5k travel grant for India Exploration Missions per company, and any potential travel and accommodation costs for ScaleCamp).
What affiliation does CIAP have with Carleton University and the Canadian/Indian Governments?
The Government of Canada has engaged in a partnership between Carleton University, CIAP, and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), India’s national regulator for colleges and institutes, that will support women technology entrepreneurs in both countries.
Canada and India have identified women entrepreneurship as a key enabler of economic and social empowerment and growth. Canada is also encouraging businesses to diversify export markets and has identified India as a priority market.
What do I do if I find the program unhelpful?
We do our best at trying to only accept companies that are at stages where they will truly benefit from our program. If you feel it is not meeting your expectations, or there is another area your business needs support in, we would appreciate your immediate feedback!
We will work to help assist your company in a way that benefits you. We want everyone to receive the utmost value from CIAP, at every step of the way.
Why is Female Empowerment at the core of the CIAP program?
CIAP believes that female leadership increases a business’s productivity, cultivates an inclusive workplace environment, and improves retention rates. We are devoted to helping women in entrepreneurship by improving the resources available and providing access to valuable tools.