CREATING AFRICAN SUCCESS STORIES: Harnessing the opportunities offered by accelerators to fast-track African entrepreneurs

African startups face various challenges – from raising funds to securing their first contracts. And for more than half of African startups[1], these challenges will be insurmountable.

But for one startup working on the continent, a pan-African Accelerator Programme has unlocked both seed funding and long-term contracts.

When Stephan Eyeson, CEO and Co-Founder of Survey54, joined Startupbootcamp AfriTech (SBC), it was the stepping stone he needed to get his company off the ground.

Africa is the last market with countless opportunities for startups, and the ASIP Accelerator aims to equip entrepreneurs with the necessary skills to access this market.

Startupbootcamp Afritech is the most experienced,multi-corporate-backed tech accelerator that specialises in unlocking and growing Pan-African tech opportunities.

“SBC Afritech’s specific focus on the African founder who is solving African challenges innovatively has created a way for entrepreneurs to not only get their ideas off the ground but also build successful sustainable business models. It was the opportunity I needed to leave my job and focus full time on getting my idea and business off the ground,” said Eyeson.

Since joining the programme in 2019, Survey54 has seen phenomenal growth.

Survey54 is an innovative brand that provides solutions that simplify the process of survey creation, tracking and insights for marketing teams and researchers.

The programme gave Survey54 the foundation it needed to embrace more AI and machine learning into their product, creating a unique offering built on smart insights.

The market research company now boasts over 150,000 respondents taking surveys and performing tasks on a regular basis.

In 2020, the company raised a pre-seed round of $500,000 in funding and has spread operations to Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa. It has since worked with international companies such as Kelloggs, Diago, and Uber.

“Startupbootcamp Afritech addresses two of the main challenges entrepreneurs on the continent face,” said Eyeson. “It provides entrepreneurs with a platform to raise funds by connecting with potential investors and secure clients through networking opportunities. Startupbootcamp AfriTech allowed us to secure our first customers and connected us with angel investors.”

Applications for participation in the coming cohort for the Africa Startup Initiative Program (ASIP) Accelerator are now open and the Startupbootcamp Afritech team will be visiting Ghana as part of their FastTrack tour.

The ASIP Accelerator is looking for the next generation of African startups disrupting industry sectors that include AgriTech & Supply Chain, FinTech, IoT & Connectivity, Machine Learning (Data Analytics), Cybersecurity, CleanTech, and RegTech. FastTracks are one-day pitching events where applicants and prospective applicants will have the opportunity to receive mentor feedback, network with corporates, and learn more about the ASIP Accelerator Program.

Backed by anchor partner Telecel Group, the ASIP Accelerator is ideal for tech-oriented startups looking to scale through corporate and public sector partnerships. The program scouts, skills, and scales early-stage startups through intensive coaching and opportunities for pilots and Proof of Concept projects that subsequently open the doors for longer-term commercial agreements.

This cohort’s partners also include the Government of Senegal, through DER/FJ, a youth and women empowerment structure set up by the President of the Republic of Senegal. With the help of DER/FJ startups will gain public-sector knowledge and support which presents an opportunity to further scale their impact.

The Program takes a hybrid format and begins in Dakar, culminating in a physical Demo Day where startup founders pitch their disruptive solutions to a broad audience of media, investors, corporate partners, and industry stakeholders.

The 10 startups in the program will receive benefits valued at more than EUR 500,000, including credits from AWS, Google Cloud Services, Hubspot, and many more. ASIP Accelerator also invests EUR 15,000 in cash to each startup.

Applications for Telecel ASIP Accelerator are currently open and will be closing on 28 January 2022.

10 selected tech Entrepreneurs will pitch to top influential stakeholders within the African tech-related ecosystem, including investors, entrepreneurs and corporate partners: Upcoming FastTrack events are:

Passed Events: Johannesburg (virtual) – 11 January | Nairobi – 13 January | Lagos – 15 January

Upcoming Events: Senegal – 27 January

If you require more information on the above-mentioned events, you may contact Jocelyn Nyaguse jocelyn.nyaguse@startupbootcamp.org.

[1] https://greentec-foundation.org/2020/03/13/press-release-greentec-capital-africa-foundation-and-wee-tracker-release-the-better-africa-report-tracing-the-success-and-failure-of-african-startups/

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