Access to early-stage capital and expertise plays a key role in building tech ecosystems that drive entrepreneurship, boost innovation, and create jobs. Emerging startups have the potential to innovate critical sectors in emerging markets by developing and scaling new technologies and tech-enabled business models that can solve pressing challenges, such as those linked to climate change, access to finance, healthcare, and education. Despite their potential, early-stage entrepreneurs in nascent venture ecosystems face significant challenges in accessing the resources they need to launch and grow their businesses.

To help close this gap, in 2016 IFC launched Startup Catalyst - a platform designed to invest in incubators, accelerators, and seed funds supporting innovative early-stage startups in emerging markets through mentoring, networking, and funding. To date, IFC Startup Catalyst has supported 19 accelerators and seed funds that have invested in over 1,180 startups in 24 emerging markets.

IFC has recently doubled the program with a new pool of $60 million to expand support for incubators, accelerators, and seed funds in the most nascent venture ecosystems, as well as those focusing on strategically important areas such as climate innovations, gender and inclusion.