We follow a holistic approach that is practical, viable and flexible for nurturing innovative early-stage enterprises with high growth potential. Our methodology results in long-term sustainability & profitability.

    The model kicks-off with organizing roadshows in selected locations like assembled marketplaces to attract SMEs and entrepreneurs to apply to SmartCap’s accelerator program. To ensure quality intake, we typically conduct 5 roadshows, reaching out to greater than 5 times the actual intake. Roadshows leverage multimedia, are interactive, and often include local celebrity endorsements.

    Depending on context, we also leverage networks in peri-urban/rural trade associations, NGO/INGOs, financial institutions, business chambers, other accelerator programs, small business development foundations, venture capital associations and angel investment.

    After shortlisting entrepreneurs, we organize a day-long intensive boot camp. The purpose of boot camp is two-fold: (1) sharing knowledge (2) screening final candidates. Boot camp activities consist of an experiential workshop with capacity building exercises and psychometric tests to understand the best fit for the program as well as group exercises and in-depth interviews.

    Following final selection of candidates, we commence the accelerator. Here a pool of industry and business experts coalesce to run courses and provide mentorship, resulting in adaptive and market-driven immersive experience. The program include broad stages like Selecting and Analyzing Markets, Setting Performance Goals, Adopting Growth Tactics, Achieving Milestones and Developing Sustainable Model.

    People come out of the program with better entrepreneurial capacity and robust business models (including market opportunity, investor readiness document, impact and implementation strategy document, branding/marketing guidelines and materials).

    At the end of the mentoring program, a graduation ceremony is organized with investors, value chain actors, and local regulatory authorities among others. In the ceremony, participants share their lessons and pitch business ideas in an effort to get recognized.

    A jury composed of high profile investors evaluate performance and identify high potential ones for future growth capital. We help prepare investor relations documents for the SMEs and entrepreneurs that can be leveraged for future financing as well.

    We connect businesses with prominent experts/entrepreneurs from whom they can receive additional mentorship to scale. By organizing formal events, fairs, sessions etc., we facilitate networking opportunities with both forward and backward market players. What’s more, we form peer network groups, which the businesses can leverage to create synergy.

    Equipped with new knowledge, capital and networks within the value chain, entrepreneurs and businesses finally feel ready to scale up.

    "From ACDI/VOCA we made a great partnership with LightCastle for running a business accelerator program targeting women-led MSMEs. I appreciate their sincerity to tailor the coursework material considering the need of women agri-entrepreneurs to address their specific needs. They are indeed a true game changer for the next generation MSMEs!"  
    Afifa Afrin
    Gender Analyst, ACDI/VOCA
    "LightCastle and SFSA both have a long way to go in making agri-businesses more sustainable and profitable for a developed Bangladesh. Together by working as a team we can make this possible."
    Farhad Zamil
    Country Director, Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA)
    "LightCastle is an energetic team of young professionals, who have already demonstrated in our collaboration to deliver our proposals on time to the respective donors. I am quite impressed with them and feel confident working with them."
    Dr. Zia Ahmed
    Chairman, Venture Investment Partners Bangladesh (VIPB)

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