Four months ago, we heard about a new digital incubator Afkar.me that was being launched by Intigral, one of the Middle East’s largest digital media specialists. With a focus on product development and mentorship, it sounded like exactly what The Curve needed to grow into what we envisioned.
After submitting an online application in November, we went through numerous interview steps before reaching the final bootcamp stage on Feb 28 & March 1. There, the 65 applicants had been narrowed down to 10, out of which 3 would be selected to join Afkar’s inaugural group of companies.
The bootcamp was a tough experience, but one that was beyond beneficial for us as a digital startup. The first day comprised of workshops that aimed to help us develop the strongest pitch possible to give before the judges on the following day. We had known that we were expected to pitch prior to starting the bootcamp, but were shocked when we heard that we would only have TWO minutes to convince the judges that we were the right company to accept into the program. As one of the mentors so eloquently put it, “it’s like having to fit a 500 pound gorilla in a Fiat Cinquecento!”
Between workshops on value proposition, financials, business model, go to market strategy, and pitching we had a crazy first day that really opened our eyes to many new ideas that we could take forward even if we were not accepted into the program. The next day we were ready to meet the judges with our 2 minute pitch. After all ten teams had pitched, they would select five to move ahead to the final round, out of which three would be chosen. We were delighted to make it to the final round, mostly because it gave us 10 minutes to expand on our pitch rather than just 2!
After an intense weekend and a lot of deliberation, the judges finally chose the three winners: theDRESSroom.com, an online evening wear platform, Bitesized, a healthy snack box provider, and….US! We are so overwhelmed and excited to have the opportunity to work with Afkar to push The Curve forward to bring you an ever better experience and help more people find something new to stimulate them.
The program will last a total of 3 months and we will keep you updated on our journey and the journey of the two other companies that have joined with us. We are so thankful for all the support we have received over the past ten months from friends, family, and The Curve’s fans and we are excited to see what the future holds for us. Watch this space!