Q1: Is City of Knowledge part of the government?
We are not a government entity, we are a private, self-sustaining and non-profit organization.
Q2: How do you control plagiarism of ideas?
Entrepreneurship ecosystems are designed to share innovative ideas, from a networking event to an investor pitch. Remember, execution is everything.
Q3: Are ideas from foreign people accepted?
Yes. We have invested in startups with founders who are Panamanian, from other countries in Latin American, and other continents. We seek Panamanian companies, regardless of the nationality of the founders.
Q4: How often is a program launched?
The first call of the year is our Incubation Program, which opens its call during March and our Acceleration Program opens its call around September.
Q5: Is it necessary to have some fund or seed capital for the idea to be accepted?
No. But several of our startups have won external seed capital awards.
Q6: What stage does my startup have to be in to be accepted?
We focus on early stage startups. Our Incubation Program is designed for those who are on the stage between idea – MVP, and our Accelerator Program is designed for startups with an MVP – onwards.
Q7: How does the investment process work?
The City of Knowledge Foundation (FCDS) is a self-sustaining private entity that invests $25,000.00 in cash and smart capital designed for innovative ventures. FCDS invests with a tool inspired by Y Combinator’s SAFE NOTE. It is a convertible note without debt, where
FCDS delivers the investment today, but the conversion to equity is done in the future depending on the valuation of the company. The range we handle is a minimum of 2.33% and a maximum of 11% depending on the results of the company after going through the program.
Q8: Besides money, are there other resources involved?
Yes, money isn’t everything. Our invested companies are surrounded by mentors supported by the MIT International Mentor Program (www.mitvms.com), allied business services, experts, office space, startup activities, a community of other startups, and coffee. A lot of coffee.
Q9: If I am selected and given an office, how does it work?
Depending on the need and availability, we assign an office that we cover as part of our investment. The Innovation Center is open 24 hours a day, every day of the week.
Q10: Where are you located?
Building #109 “Innova109” and Building #104 “Innova104”, City of Knowledge, Clayton. If you use Waze, from the capital city it can take you 15-20 mins, with moderate traffic.
Q11: Who makes the decision about the companies that will participate in the programs?
An internal and diverse team from the City of Knowledge with extensive experience, and we usually involve our own entrepreneurs and mentors.