Frequently Asked Questions
1.Do you invest in the companies that go through Uplift program?
Uplift does not invest in companies directly. However, if you participate in Uplift, you have a chance to secure 50 000 EUR investment through our investment partners. There is also a 3 000 EUR cash prize for the best team.
2.Is there a fee to participate in the program?
Thanks to our partners there is no tuition fee to take part in the UPLIFT program (worth several thousand EUR per team) and we do not take any equity from your company.
3.What is the time commitment?
The program requires at least 1 day a week in Tirana for a minimum of 1 and maximum of 3 company representatives. Many founders are from other countries and rotate during the program. During a typical week, you will have a 4-hour group session on Monday afternoon covering the most essential topics. Some individual mentoring sessions can also take place during other days of the week, or even virtually, based on the availability of mentors and startups. We also organize networking events, inspiration talks by successful entrepreneur or investors and other special workshops.
4.How many people from our team should participate in the program?
At least one team representative should be present at each session. It does not have to be the same person each week.
5.What is the application process?
Fill in our simple online application form https://uplift.al/apply-now/ at our website by 3rd November at 23:59. You will hear back from us in a couple of days. We will invite shortlisted candidates to the full-day Selection Bootcamp taking place on 9th October in Tirana. This is a place where you will have a chance to talk about your startup with our mentors and partners. At the end of the day, we will select best 6-12 companies that will take part in UPLIFT.
6.What are the criteria for selection?
We are looking for startups that have a potential to build and scale your business internationally. Startups with an MVP and some traction such as first customers, partners, subscribers, will have an advantage.
7.I have a great idea, but I have not built an MVP. Can I still apply?
A prototype is worth more than perfect powerpoint slides so if you built an MVP you will have an advantage. However any idea that has a potential to turn into a business and scale internationally is encouraged to apply.
8.Will you also provide workspace for my team?
During the UPLIFT program (October 2019 – January 2020), we provide all teams with office space at our locations in Tirana.
9.What can I expect from the mentoring?
Each startup/team gets so-called business coach who works with the team on one-to-one basis more often and basically leads the startup through the whole program to ensure progress and maximum value. Typically, they set the goals and focus areas at the beginning, work and follow up on them regularly. On top of that each startup/team works on individual basis with dedicated expert mentors on 2 selected areas from the following: Marketing, Sales, Business Case, IP/Legal and Investment. Moreover, there will be plenty of time to reach for help and advice from senior mentors, successful entrepreneurs and investors during the networking and informal sessions in the course of the program. Successful mentoring requires dedication, preparation and intensive work from startups as well as mentors.
10.What is expected from me?
In a nutshell: hard work and dedication, fast execution, proactivity, willingness to go
extra mile, drive to succeed.
11.Do you have any specific verticals that you focus on?
We will consider and evaluate all innovative and perspective startups with high potential. If you are not sure whether your startup fits in these areas or if its ready to apply, feel free to drop as an email at [email protected]
12.We have already received funding, can we still apply?
Yes! Many of our startups have raised angel and/or seed round and have launched products.
13.Should I apply again if I am rejected?
Yes, definitely! There is no downside to applying more than once. You might not be accepted on your first try, but chose to keep making progress on your business, reapply to the program, and get accepted.
If you have any other questions, please, feel free to reach out to us at [email protected]