The Incubator Instructions

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Entrance to the GIK Incubator-Application Process Explained

We’ve listed our process below. This will help you prepare for the process in advance.

Instructions

  • INDUCTION TO THE CATALYST GIK INCUBATOR -APPLICATION PROCESS EXPLAINED

    We’ve listed our process below. This will help you prepare for the process in advance.

    INSTRUCTIONS

    • Stage 1: On-Line Application

    When enrollment is open, an online application portal is made available for applicants. For your convenience all the questions asked in the application are listed below. Your application is screened by a panel of GIK Faculty. Start-Ups are shortlisted by end of this stage.

    • Stage 2: On-Line Pitching

    Awesome – you passed the first phase. In this stage, shortlisted Start-Ups from stage -1 are invited for a zoom meeting / pitching session with the panel of judges. This panel of Judges will be reviewing your final presentation and make the decision on your application.  So, prepare, prepare, and prepare.

    The questions which you need to answer need to be put in a presentation. Presentation Template can be found here.

    An on-site visit also gives you a chance to view our facilities, meet with faculty and get any of your questions answered with the staff of The Catalyst.

    • Stage 3: Start-Up Induction

    Upon Selection, The Catalyst team will contact you to set up your final move-in date. All Founders are required to be residents on-campus for the duration of their Incubation period. We’ll contact you with all the details.

Online Application Submission

ONLINE APPLICATION SUBMISSION

Apply here

Questions of Application form are listed below

  1. Name of your Start-up
  2. Team Leader Email
  3. Team member names, CNIC, Domicile, Emails and Contact info.
  4. Postal address
  5. Please provide LinkedIn profiles of each founder
  6. Team members qualification details
  7. Please describe for each team member which institute was attended for latest qualification
  8. How long has the team members known each other?
  9. What expertise does each member bring to your team?
  10. Share notable Achievements of your team/members if any.
  11. Have all the team members graduated from University? (Please note we require team members to have at least bachelor’s degree to be eligible to apply)
  1. What problem are you trying to solve?
  2. Describe your solution.
  3. Do you have any competitors?
  4. How is your solution better?
  5. Business Model
  6. Market Size
  7. Current stage of your Start-up
  8. Share links to your products/video (make sure it is not marked private)/website/social media page.(Optional)

 

Stage 2 - Pitching to the Selecting Committe

You will be given 5 minutes to cover the following items in a presentation. And up to 10 minutes for a Q and A session by the panel of experts.

Presentation Requirements

  • You may give it in English or Urdu. No matter to us.
  • Please prepare a PowerPoint that should be NO MORE than 5 minutes long. It should follow the following sequence

The 10 slides to include in your pitch deck

Excluding the first Start-up name slide.

Slide 1: Vision and value proposition

This is a quick one-sentence overview of your business and the value that you provide to your customers. Keep it short and simple. A great way to think about this slide is to imagine it as a short tweet—describe your business in 140 characters in a way your parents would understand.

It’s common for tech companies to make their value proposition a comparison to another well-known company. For example, you see many pitches that start with things like:

“We’re the Uber for Pets”

“We’re the Netflix for Video Games”

This can work, but be careful to make sure your comparison makes sense and you’re not just using a high profile company like Uber to signify growth potential. Your business model has to truly be similar to the company you are referencing.

Slide 2: The problem

If you aren’t solving some problem in the world, you are going to have a long uphill climb with your business.

Use this slide to talk about the problem you are solving and who has the problem. You can talk about the current solutions in the market, but don’t spend too much time on the competitive landscape on this slide—you’ll have a chance to do that on a later slide.

Ideally, try and tell a relatable story when you are defining the problem. The more you can make the problem as real as possible, the more judges will understand your business and your goals.

Slide 3: Target market and opportunity

Use this slide to expand on who your ideal customer is and how many of them there are. What is the total market size and how do you position your company in the market? If you can find the data, Judges will want to know how much people or businesses currently spend in the market to get a sense of the total market size. This is where you tell the story about the scope and scale of the problem you are solving.

If it makes sense for your business, you’ll want to divide your market into segments that you will address with different types of marketing and perhaps different types of product offerings.

Be careful with this slide, though. It’s tempting to try and define your market to be as large as possible. Instead, we would want to see that you have a very specific and reachable market. The more specific you are, the more realistic your pitch will be.

Slide 4: The solution

Finally, you get to dive into describing your product or service. Describe how customers use your product and how it addresses the problems that you outlined on slide two.

You’ll be tempted to move this slide closer to the beginning of your pitch deck, but try and resist the temptation. This is classic storytelling where you build up the problem and describe how bad it is for lots of people. Now your product or service is coming to the rescue to help solve that problem.

Most entrepreneurs are very focused on their product when instead they need to be focused on their customers and the problems those customers face. Try and keep your pitch deck focused with this format and you’ll tell a better story.

If possible, use pictures and stories when you describe your solution. Showing is nearly always better than telling.

Slide 5: Revenue model or business model

Now that you’ve described your product or service, you need to talk about how it makes money. What do you charge and who pays the bills? For some businesses (content sites, for example), advertisers pay the bills instead of users, so it’s important to flesh out the details here.

You can also reference the competitive landscape here and discuss how your pricing fits into the larger market. Are you a premium, high-price offering, or a budget offering that undercuts existing solutions on the market?

Slide 6: Traction and validation/roadmap

If you already have sales or early adopters using your product, talk about that here. Judges want to see that you have proven some aspect of your business model as that reduces risk, so any proof you have that validates that your solution works to solve the problem you have identified is extremely powerful.

You can also use this slide to talk about your milestones. What major goals have you achieved so far and what are the major next steps you plan on taking? A product or company roadmap that outlines key milestones is helpful here.

Slide 7: Marketing and sales strategy

How are you planning on getting customers’ attention and what will your sales process look like? Use this slide to outline your marketing and sales plan. You’ll want to detail the key tactics that you intend to use to get your product in front of prospective customers.

Finding and winning customers can sometimes be the biggest challenge for a startup, so it’s important to show that you have a solid grasp of how you will reach your target market and what sales channels you plan on using.

If your marketing and sales process is different than your competitors, it’s important to highlight that here.

Slide 8: Team

Why are you and your team the right people to build and grow this company? What experience do you have that others don’t? Highlight the key team members, their successes at other companies, and the key expertise that they bring to the table.

You don’t have a complete team yet, identify the key positions that you still need to fill and why those positions are critical to company growth.

Slide 9: Financials

Judges will expect to see your financials: sales forecast, income statement (also called profit and loss statement), and cash flow forecast for at least three years.

But, for your pitch deck, you shouldn’t have in-depth spreadsheets that will be difficult to read and consume in a presentation format. Limit yourself to charts that show sales, total customers, total expenses, and profits.

You should be prepared to discuss the underlying assumptions that you’ve made to arrive at your sales goals and what your key expense drivers are.

Remember to try and be realistic. If you can explain your growth based on traction you already have or compared to a similar company in a related industry, that is extremely useful.

Slide 10: Competition

Every business has competition in one form or another. Even if you are opening up an entirely new market, your potential customers are using alternative solutions to solve their problems today.

Describe how you fit into the competitive landscape and how you’re different than the competitors and alternatives that are on the market today. What key advantages do you have over the competition or is there some “secret sauce” that you have and others don’t?

The key here is explaining how you are different than the other players on the market and why customers will choose you instead of one of the other players on the market.

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