In March 2023, IN-HABIT launched its Bridge for Billions Incubation Programme in Nitra, which is now well underway. But how was the selection process carried out, who was selected, and what does the programme actually involve?
The Selection Process
Applications for the incubation programme in Nitra were due on Sunday the 19th of February 2023, with the selection process carried out after this, following the process below:
Matching Entrepreneurs with Mentors
After being selected, candidates were invited to one of two online onboarding sessions: one for entrepreneurs, the other for mentors. In each of these sessions, the Incubation Manager explained all the stages of the programme in detail, how the platform works, and set the expectations for the matching process. After this, the matching officially began.
During the matching process, mentors reviewed the profiles of all the entrepreneurs in the platform and sent out meeting invites to those they found most suited to their expertise. Each mentor was able to send out up to four invites to ensure everyone had a fair chance of finding their perfect match. This meeting process lasted for two weeks, giving everyone time to meet and decide who they would like to work with, after which both mentors and entrepreneurs had to rank their “preferred” match in the platform.
Following this, Bridge for Billions reviewed and analysed all the match information. The final matches were assigned by taking into account the individuals’ ranking preferences along with other data such as sector, area of expertise, and fairness. After being set and peer-reviewed, the pairings were announced.
Holidays in the middle of the application process made it difficult to get in touch with possible interested parties and stakeholders. The biggest challenge was finding entrepreneurs in the Nitra region. As social entrepreneurship is not yet very well known, some very eager mentors helped by contacting their networks and improving the way people felt about government and EU support for this type of programme.
The Nitra programme is currently in its incubation stage. As such, all the entrepreneurs are meeting with their mentors weekly to discuss and review the content of each module on the platform. A new module is made available approximately every two weeks, giving participants enough time to research, study, and discuss their questions before completing the module and moving on to the next one.
The modules include:
Entrepreneurs and mentors will work together within the incubation platform until July-August. During this time, they will receive weekly to monthly updates, networking sessions, content reviews, and opportunities to meet other entrepreneurs, peers, and IN-HABIT partners.
When the end of the incubation stage approaches, Bridge For Billions will evaluate the participants’ performance and progress in order to decide which ones to invite to the exploitation meeting being organised for September.
Businesses and Mentors Involved in the Programme
Businesses: Corresponding mentors:
hviezdim Martin Sýkora
spa•node = online blog guide Karolína Bobríková
TOW MEOT o.z. Henrieta Bělunková
eNDee park Eva Valová, Ivan Košalko
VERUM Centrum Milan Fila
Iná Kosť Katarina Orszaghova
Silamed Ivan Košalko, Vladimír Ledecký
Wise Finance Martin Sýkora
Kolesopark Vladimír Hučko
To find out more about the Bridge for Billions Incubation Programme in Nitra, visit this link.