Female leaders offer invaluable benefits to industries, companies, and employees. Women’s leadership in the workplace not only increases a company’s productivity but also cultivates and builds a more inclusive culture. Additionally, studies have shown that females in leadership positions enhance employee satisfaction and retention.
With just a small percentage of companies having females in major decision-making positions, there is a need to encourage women leaders and furnish them with the skills needed to take their company to a whole new level. This is why CIAP (Canada-India Acceleration Program) was launched in order to share their support to the women leaders, their communities as well as SMEs.
A Brief about Canada-India Acceleration Program (CIAP)
The CIAP (Canada-India Acceleration Program) is dedicated and committed to enhancing social and economic progress while boosting international trade. Their acceleration program falls under the CICE (Canada-India Centre for Excellence) which was established by the Indian-Canadian community as well as Carleton University in order to work towards refining policy for both countries.
Originally announced on February 20, 2018, during the visit of Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister of Canada), CIAP is the lead initiative of an extensive plan of action between AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education) and Carleton to bring Indian and Canadian women-led startups to the world. Alongside, Carleton, AICTE, and CIAP work together to back open innovation, faculty training, tech-enabled startups, incubator capacity building, and several other related efforts in entrepreneurship and innovation.
The CIAP is a true accelerator program with a policy of assisting women-led businesses to enter new markets and scale their businesses. CIAP works with foreign incubators, partners, experienced entrepreneurs and market professionals in order to take an international perspective to business development.
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About the Mission and Vision of CIAP
The Canada-India Acceleration Program aims to position the startups across Canada in advancing markets like India and bring more experience and development opportunities to women-owned companies.
CIAP visions a future of greater gender equality, inspired innovation, better businesses, and stronger economies – with more women in leadership and entrepreneurship positions around the world.
What Is CIAP’s Reason Behind Choosing India?
With annual economic growth of around 7.5%, India is the most rapidly growing market in the world. Combined with a whopping population of more than 1.2 billion, a robust startup ecosystem and a growing middle-class population, makes India an excellent place for companies across Canada to maximize their ventures. This was the sole reason why CIAP chose India for their Acceleration Program.
About the CIAP Program
CIAP supports 100 women-led technology-enabled startups from India and Canada over a five-year period. It includes a two-week thorough Bootcamp and acceleration program consisting of startup ecosystem showcases, industry visits as well as meetings with Canadian ecosystem enablers such as government officials, business mentors, and investors.
The first cohort of entrepreneurs come from a wide range of fields like agriculture technology, medical technology, life sciences, and energy. The opportunities offered by CIAP allow them to navigate new market opportunities across Canada while gaining access to business acceleration provisions at Carleton University.
CIAP’s programs have the potential to position women for accelerated growth and exposure with access to CIAP’s tools and resources, market advisors, mentoring sessions with leading experts, and more.
The Acceleration Program has three distinct and clear-cut phases:
- Training Phase
- Soft Landing Phase
- Investment Phase
- Training Phase: In the first phase, startups must participate in a training program that unites leading professionals from India and Canada to put forward information on:
- Market opportunities and challenges
- Rules and regulations for diverse sectors
- Potential “go to market” strategies
- Consumer and cultural behaviour
- “Soft Landing” Phase: Once startups have prosperously completed the first phase, the companies move to India for not more than three months to offer them a soft landing in more than 200 incubators in India. A team of professionals helps companies to pick the right market and the right placement. Below are the following services that are offered in this phase:
- Customer Linkages
- Beta prototype testing
- Mentoring by industry leaders
- Corporate connects by harnessing host incubator’s networks
- Investment Phase: After the soft landing period, the participating companies are eligible to apply for up to $200,000 in seed capital.
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Who Should Apply?
An already existing women-owned tech startup has developed a prototype with initial validation by the market. The company founders must demonstrate a strong desire to gain access to worldwide markets through a well-designed scale-up strategy.