Applications have opened for the inaugural accelerator programme run by Capria Accelerator, claiming to be the first global programme dedicated to incubating impact venture capitalists (VCs) in developing markets.
Capria aims to create a global network of impact fund managers, by providing a bespoke accelerator for impact VCs themselves, with a particular focus on developing markets such as Africa.
The accelerator will offer investment, support and help to capitalize new fund managers backing early-stage startups primarily in Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and Latin America.
Capria said the idea for the accelerator was inspired by the desire to respond to global deficits in early-stage risk capital, commonly dubbed the “pioneer gap” or “missing middle”.
“Capria believes that successful seed-stage impact investing can only be accomplished with an exceptionally efficient systems-driven investment process led by on-the-ground, empowered, professional investment teams,” the organisation said.
Throughout the programme Capria will provide risk capital, tools, training, technical know-how, fundraising and investment support, opportunities for peer learning and access to a growing global network of impact VC managers.
“Current trends indicate that over the next decade that there will be hundreds of early-stage impact funds set up across the globe,” said Dave Richards, Capria’s co-founder and managing partner.
“We are excited to invest in financial entrepreneurs setting up these new funds and to help them get to market up to a year faster with lower risks and higher investor confidence.”
Co-founder and managing partner Will Poole said a huge market opportunity is presented by startup fund managers with significant local business and investing expertise, who can tap into interest from both global and local capital.
“Even more importantly, we are building an international network of startup VCs supporting and sharing insights, referrals and experience with each other, and helping their portfolios thrive in a global marketplace,” Poole said.
The accelerator has stringent selection criteria, and no more than five fund management teams will be selected for the inaugural programme.
Among the criteria, applicants must be entrepreneurs; be prepared to make a full-time commitment for a minimum of 10 years; have at least one senior team member; investment experience; established fundraising networks; and be able to bring substantial capital or sweat equity to the project.
The initiative is a brain-child of Poole and Richards, co-founders of Unitus Seed Fund, a leading venture seed fund investing in startups in India. They are joined by funding specialists David Riley and Jack Knellinger; while the programme will call on a range of industry experts to advise and support participants throughout the accelerator.
Applications are open until October 31. More information and applications are available here.