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How the CGIAR Accelerate for Impact Platform (A4IP) leverages AcceleratorApp for Innovation and Impact

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We sat down with Claudia and Kevin from the CGIAR Accelerate for Impact Platform (A4IP) – powered by the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT – to understand how they use AcceleratorApp to drive their mission forward and bring agricultural innovations to the market.

 

Overview of A4IP

The Accelerate for Impact Platform (A4IP) is the venture space that leverages CGIAR's legacy in research and innovation to co-design, accelerate, and de-risk the development and deployment of science-based solutions for sustainable agriculture and climate action. A4IP entrepreneurs pioneer models to bridge research products from lab to market, create demand for CGIAR science and strengthen its role in the innovation ecosystem. The initiative plays a catalytic role for entrepreneurial scientists, startups, and other strategic partners driving innovation that will make our agri-food systems healthier, more equitable, and more sustainable. A4IP is an initiative powered by the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT; a CGIAR research center.

 

Tell us who you are and what the CGIAR Accelerate for Impact Platform does:

Claudia:

We are part of the Accelerate for Impact Platform team, the venture space leveraging the Alliance and CGIAR's legacy in research and innovation to co-design, accelerate, and de-risk the development and deployment of science-driven agri-food and climate-tech solutions. We work to bridge science and the market through entrepreneurship, technology transfer, and capacity development.​ Our mission is to support innovations both emerging within CGIAR and from external sources, helping to bring these research products to market. 

We focus on three main pillars:

  • Valorizing dormant know-how by incubating and accelerating existing science-based solutions​ 
  • Co-designing and launching novel transformative innovations and de-risking pioneer research​ 
  • Nurturing and institutionalizing an entrepreneurial mindset and market-oriented culture through bidirectional engagement with the innovation ecosystem​

 

Why did your team choose AcceleratorApp?

Claudia:

We chose AcceleratorApp because it offered the most complete package for our needs. We needed an application and evaluation portal, a document repository, and community functions. We were also looking for a platform to host our acceleration program applicants alongside the above-mentioned requirements. After evaluating several options and competitors, some platforms offered just one or two features of what we needed. AcceleratorApp stood out for its comprehensive features and competitive pricing.

Before deciding to move forward with you, we had multiple calls with you and your team. We appreciated your support and the back-and-forth exchange of feedback and edits during the proposal process. Your ability to cater to our needs was a key factor in choosing you.

Overall, the decision-making process involved assessing various criteria, such as features, pricing, and customer support availability. 

 

So tell us, how has AcceleratorApp improved your operations?

Claudia:

The application portal is user-friendly for administrators, startups, and our network users. The ability to create custom forms for different funnels, automate acceptance and rejection emails, and streamline the evaluation process has been a game-changer for our team. It has saved us significant administrative and operational time and reduced room for error. 

Kevin:

Since using AcceleratorApp, our community has grown steadily. We currently have thousands of profiles on the portal, which increases significantly during active calls for applications. This growth is a testament to your platform's effectiveness.

 

 

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Could you tell us about AcceleratorApp's impact on your KPIs?

Claudia:

Since first utilizing your platform, we have observed a significant 63% increase in applications to our global innovation challenges. Over the years, we typically have different key performance indicators (KPIs) specific to different projects. By project, I mean an innovation challenge or acceleration program that we run.

Of course, the KPIs also depend on the context in which we are running, and most innovation challenges we run are country—or region-specific. For example, we had one in Uzbekistan last year and are currently running three in Egypt, Kenya, and Colombia this year. If you look at Egypt and Uzbekistan, for example, two different ecosystems and locations, we expect more applicants for Egypt than for Uzbekistan.

That said, the numbers for both were positive. We aim for about 200 applications per cohort but ultimately received significantly more than this. Overall, AcceleratorApp has been great for helping us hit our goals per cohort or program.

AcceleratorApp has also been integral to managing our projects efficiently. We have seen an increase in the number of applications per cohort and overall engagement. Our goal is to continue expanding our use of the platform to utilize its community and profiling features fully.

We recommend AcceleratorApp to other accelerators and incubators. Its comprehensive package, excellent customer service, and user-friendly interface make it an invaluable tool for managing innovation programs.

 

Do you have any feedback and continuous improvement?

Claudia:

We regularly seek feedback from our users to identify areas for improvement. One issue we have encountered is the duplication of applications. Applicants sometimes forget they already have profiles and create new ones, leading to duplicate entries. We are working with the AcceleratorApp's team to address this issue and improve the user experience.

Another area we are focusing on is the standardization of startup profiles. Currently, we have a large pipeline of innovations with varying degrees of information. Our goal is to standardize these profiles and make them easily accessible through the platform. This will help us better manage our pipeline and provide more targeted support to our startups.

 

So… what's next for A4IP?

Claudia:

As we look to the future, we aim to leverage AcceleratorApp's features fully. We are excited about your community engagement, webinars, and newsletters that provide additional training and insights. These resources will help us make the most of the platform and further enhance our operations.

 

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To see how we can recreate A4IP success for your startup accelerator, innovation center or startup incubator

Book a call with our team to see why AcceleratorApp is the preferred choice for managing innovation programs. Join us in developing the future of research and innovation.

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