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MITA Innovation Hub launches new startup programme to help tech entrepreneurs validate their startup idea

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On 25th February the MITA Innovation Hub (MIH), a tech startup space run by the Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA), will be launching a new startup programme called Validator.

This new programme is designed to train prospective tech entrepreneurs on how to improve and validate their startup idea. Up to four of the best startup ideas selected at the end of the training programme, will automatically join the YouStartIT accelerator programme and receive €30,000 pre-seed fund to give their startup idea a further boost. The fifth edition of the YouStartIT accelerator programme is planned to start in September 2019.

[FC2] The main purpose of the Validator is to help budding tech entrepreneurs with a startup idea[FC3] , engage in proper research and validation activities. “The main reason for designing this programme”, says MIH manager Alex Borg, “is because we noticed that were many good ideas in the YouStartIT applications received to date, but a number of them were still based on an untested hypothesis, and therefore risk failing immediately after launching the product. There is an excessive focus on the idea with less importance given to aspects such as market validation, focus on value, business sustainability of the idea and so on. So, with this specially designed pre-accelerator programme we hope to address this issue and therefore continue contributing to building the Maltese startup space in a smart fashion.”

Up to 15 of the best ideas will be accepted for the Validator which will run for six weeks from 4th April to 11th May. Startup ideas that do not get selected among the best four, then have another opportunity to give it a second go by applying directly for the YouStartIT fifth edition.

The Validator will include special sessions on customer discovery, market analysis, Minimum Viable Product and startup metrics, Business Model Canvas and fundability of projects. It will end with a bootcamp and then a pitch to be selected. “We’re very excited about this new programme”, added Jarek Bialek, the entrepreneur-in-residence responsible for the programme content, “and it’s following along the same footsteps of YouStartIT which is based on lean startup methodologies. It’s all about helping the founders do the right thing early. If you have to fail, it’s better to know about it early rather than carry on and waste precious resources further on in the project.”

The Validator will be taking place entirely on location, partly at the MIH in SmartCity and the MITA Data Centre in Sta Venera. Founders interested to apply must submit their applications on the MIH website by latest Sunday 17th March 2019 23:59 CET. Shortlisted applicants will be called for a short interview. The best 15 ideas will be announced on 29th March 2019.​