They include MMH Accelerator, Startupbootcamp Afritech, The Baobab Network and XL AFRICA
For startups, there are numerous paths for getting their name out there. One way, which Vator has been covering recently, are startup competitions, but another popular method to get a foot in the door, as well as some funding and traction, are accelerators. These are programs that provide companies advice, guidance and various forms of support for startups in their early stages. They also often invest in the companies, for a certain equity stake.
Need a list of startup competitions, challenges, accelerators, etc. from around the world? Check out VatorX. You can find them, or list yours!
There are some very well-known accelerators out there, including Y Combinator and 500 Startups, which have made their names through various successful alumni. Those programs fairly general, accepting companies from a variety of different spaces.
For some companies, it may help to join an accelerator that only focuses on their specific area. That’s especially true for those in more specialized spaces, which will have their own unique challenges and regulations.
Here are some of the accelerators seeking entrepreneurs in Africa:
“MMH Accelerator is a structured 11-month business accelerator program where cohorts of experienced social entrepreneurs in the healthcare space are identified and provided with capacity building as well as technical and financial support to develop, pilot, test and present their innovations to investors.”
Investment amount: Funding of up to Euros 50k in cash plus additional in-kind expertise valued at Euros 100k.
- Trainings (both virtual and in-person) on business growth and scaling strategies, investor engagement and pitching, tailored to the strategic needs of your organization.
- Access to technical expertise (in-person) in finance, strategy, operations, information technology, marketing and social investing among others to help you address strategic capacity gaps specific to your organization.
- Access to strategic networks including: social investors, leading social entrepreneurs in the health care space and executive team members from Boehringer Ingelheim and Ashoka.
- Investor engagement support including preparation of investor engagement materials and facilitated access to investors.
Portfolio companies: Not specified
“If you’re building a great business or product in Africa, for Africa we should work together! Launchpad Accelerator Africa accepts applications from startups located in Algeria, Botswana, Cameroon, Cote D’ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.”
Investment amount: Not specified
- Equity-free support
- Access to Google engineers and intensive mentoring from 20+ teams
- Access to silicon valley experts and top local mentors
- PR training and global media opportunities
- Close partnership with Google for three months (new classes are accepted twice a year)
Portfolio companies: AppZone, Formplus, Medsaf, Thank U Cash, Preeva, Cloud9xp, PayGo Energy
“Startupbootcamp AfriTech is a leading accelerator focused on high-growth startups in blockchain, connected devices, payment solutions, capital markets and asset management, integrated supply chain, e-commerce, retailtech, insurtech, alternative financing, identity management, digital connectivity, data and behavioural analytics and enabling technologies.”
Investment amount: We provided each team with €15,000
- Masterclasses – Expert-led sessions covering all scaling fundamentals – from business model canvas, lean methodology to fundraising
- Corporate Partners – Connections to the leading corporates in your industry (Old Mutual, Nedbank, PwC, RCS, BNP Paribas and several others) for pilot projects, partnership opportunities, and as customers
- Global Network – Unmatched access to a global network of mentors, corporate partners, industry experts, and alumni across 40+ countries
- Tailored Mentorship – Over 1,500 carefully selected mentors who provide hands-on support and valuable introductions
- Co-working Space – Free desks for your entire team in a dynamic co-working space for the duration of the 3-month program and 3 months post program.
- Living Expenses – €15K in cash per team to cover any expenses during the program
- Perks & Discounts – More than €500K+ in exclusive partner deals with leading technology providers such as Amazon, HubSpot, SendGrid, and others
- Alumni Growth Program – Continued post-program support far after the 3-month program through annual alumni-only events, deals and tailored introductions
- Industry Events – Exclusive opportunities to take part in leading Commerce conferences and events
- Investor Access – Meet the most active VCs and Angel investors in your industry from around the world
- Demo Day – A day to celebrate your achievements during the program with 400+ investors, corporates, mentors and press attendees
Mentor makeup: Abbas Jamie, Declan Magero, Emsia Kruger
Portfolio companies: Akibam, Brandbook, DusuPay, Kudimoney, Pago
“SPRING is an accelerator working with growth-oriented businesses on innovations that can transform the lives of adolescent girls aged 10-19 living across East Africa and South Asia. We work with world-class experts to support these businesses to create innovations with purpose and commercial potential.”
Investment amount: SPRING does not take any equity or provide any growth capital directly: the only funds available are for prototype development.
Program benefits: We cover in-country or international costs associated with traveling to Bootcamps and provide accommodation and full-board during both Bootcamps for one participant. Businesses must cover the costs involved for a second participant.
Portfolio companies: Barefoot Power, Safeboda, BanaPads, Ensibuuko
“Velociti is an Accelerator based in Zimbabwe working with seed stage start-ups in helping them attain escape velocity through a 6-month action packed program that culminates in a highly publicized demo day where selected start-ups present their next big thing to the world. We provide our startups with a mix of resources and infrastructure, access to advisors and mentors, financial investment and a badass community of accelerated founders!”
Investment amount: Not specified
Program benefits: The accelerator takes in 10 startups every 6 months in cohorts more commonly referred to as “shuttles” and provides these “resource- stressed” startups with working space, financial and infrastructural resources, mentors and advisors, and a series of events that serve to accelerate the startups, culminating in a Demo Day.
Portfolio companies: Not specified
Investment amount: Every start-up is different, so we treat them that way. We invest $25,000 into early stage tech ventures across Africa and provide founders with a global platform to scale their business.
- BESPOKE ACCELERATION: We build a unique, tailor-made accelerator programme for every start-up we work with.
- A GLOBAL NETWORK: We bring a powerful global network of corporate partners and investors to help grow your business.
Portfolio companies: Starlight, Kakbima, Mangwee, Chanjo
“CONNECTING STARTUPS ACROSS AFRICA WITH MENTORSHIP AND ACCESS TO INVESTORS”
Investment amount: No, we do not provide funding. But we will work hard to partner you with the right type of investor. If an investor becomes interested in your company, any term sheet negotiations will be between you and your investor.
- Structured access to investors throughout the program and at a Venture Showcase Day in South Africa.
- Mentoring from at least two successful entrepreneurs or investors (global and local) to develop accurate company valuations, financial forecasts, risk management and customer acquisition strategies. Access to other expertise is provided, based on your specific needs.
- An opportunity to meet with investors, potential customers and partners as well as peers at an all-expenses paid residency in Cape Town, South Africa.
- Support in developing investment packages so you’re ready for investment following the program.
- Knowledge through curated content designed to teach you everything you need to know about marketing, financing and market expansion.
Mentor makeup: Steven Koltai, Pamela Goldberg, Michael Goldberg, Kola Aina, Doug Cherry
Portfolio companies: Aerobotics, AsokoIngith, CoinAfrique, Jamii, Ongair
“Founders Factory Africa will build and scale 140 technology startups across Africa over the next five years. Our unique model provides the best support for startup founders. We combine the smarts and experience of local and international technical specialists, with access to a global network of investors and exclusive partnerships with the world’s most forward thinking corporates.”
Investment amount: £30,000 cash
- Operational team of local and global specialists
- Tailored and comprehensive 6-month programCorporate infrastructure and business opportunities
- Local and Global VC and investment network
- Global access to wider Founders Family and ecosystem
- £100k+ in services
Portfolio companies: Admix, Sampler, Shepper
“TUMI Startup Accelerator in Nairobi, Kenya provides technical support to startups that work towards provision of transformative solutions to urban mobility challenges.”
Investment amount: $20,000
Program benefits: The startups will be incubated at our C4DLab for a period of 5 months. During this period, they will receive coaching and mentorship from both local and international mobility experts.
Further, they will have a chance to pitch their start up ideas and have an exhibition space during the Nairobi Innovation Week 2019. To top it up, the startup will receive in kind support (Equivalent value of up to $20,000) and link to potential partners and investors. The accelerator experience will involve intense, rapid, and immersive education aimed at accelerating the life cycle of startups of the young innovative entrepreneurs.
Mentor makeup: Robert Paul Yawe, Marube Ogega, Mortintat Peter Oiboo, Eunice Nyandat, Ted Ogonda, Constant Cap, Enos Weswa
Portfolio companies: An Nisa, Auto-Truck E.A Limited, MyRide Africa, Safiri Express, Ubabi Vanpooling Society
“The MBTN Africa Innovation Accelerator program aims to identify, support and fund the next generation of technology enabled start-ups solving problems in African Markets. Join the program to grow your company and get ready for global scaling.”
Investment amount: After the 12 week program, you will get the opportunity to pitch in front of our carefully selected panel of Venture Capital and Angel Investors at the MBTN Accelerating Ideas Conference on 25th March 2020 in London.
- FUNDING: Each startup will get an opportunity to pitch to our network of venture capital and angel investors, with the chance to win funding.
- TRAINING & COACHING: The accelerator program includes a component focused on business and operational skills training, as well as coaching around how to turbocharge your investor engagement efforts.
- MENTORSHIP: Intensive individual mentoring and strategy sessions during the core of the program. Our mentor network consists of key international experts.
- INVESTOR NETWORK: 200+ local and international investors who are interested in meeting and investing in Africa focussed startups.
- NETWORKING: With over 100 international events in cities across the globe and a vast network of startups, experts and investors, we offer an international community to startups. This way you can be best prepared for global scaling.
- ALUMNI PROGRAM: After the acceleration program, you will get access to our Alumni Program that includes fundraising advice, PR and marketing support, legal and administrative services, and access to exclusive deals.
Portfolio companies: Not specified
“We are igniting enterprise through innovation. We will be with you at each step, providing mentorship and access to Honeywell Group’s networks, whilst you scale your business and disrupt your sector. Our mission is to help build the next generation of inspired Nigerian and African businesses.”
Investment amount: All startups will be given an initial investment of $30,000 at the beginning of their journey.
- Great shared office space with all you need to get working
- Amazing mentors ready to help grow your business
- Connecting with an extensive network
- Support from an industry heavyweight; Honeywell
- Group Demo Day with investors looking to grow new ventures Access to shared resources and services
Portfolio companies: Tradebuza, Accounteer, KoloPay, PowerCube
Article by Steven Loeb