This spring, more than a dozen CEE ventures applied for the Investment Ready Program (IRP) to try and get the helpful resources and customized support that comes with it. The first module of the program took place in April, while the local cohort meetup was in May. This month Module 2 will take place.
So, what does all this mean for the ventures? The program itself consists of four months of personalized support from experts, business tools, and resources. At the end of the four months, the ventures will then get to participate at CEE Impact Day, where they can pitch to investors to help secure the future of their business.
The Investment Ready Program is valued at €15,000 for each venture, although it’s hard to quantify the value of gaining a network of useful resources. Better yet, it lasts for a lot longer than just the initial 4 month period. IRP keeps in touch with its alumni and will keep networking along the way for at least two years after the start of the program. So far, IRP has already helped out 90 ventures.
This Year’s Ventures
There are 15 impactful ventures involved in the program this year. They’re located in Austria, Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia, and Kosovo. Their industries range from food and nutrition to manufacturing, from arts and culture to lifestyle and fashion, from agriculture to education, and more.
All of the ventures are aimed at making a positive impact in their communities and in the world. Some, such as the restaurant Freshys, donate a large portion of their profits to the needy (food for the homeless, in their case), while others specifically employ and train people with disabilities (as is the case the IT company HubIT). There are quite a few ventures focused on health and sustainability in connection with food or food production this year, such as Hut & Stiel, MamaOrgana, No Name Farm, Vrtlari, and Hrana Za Site. Of course, this brief description doesn’t do these ventures justice — you can find a complete list of the ventures in the cohort on IRP’s website.