Startupbootcamp (SBC), a global family of industry-focused accelerators, has opened applications for its Africa-based programme, Startupbootcamp Cape Town FastTrack World Tour.
Building on the success of its inaugural 2017 Cape Town tech venture, Startupbootcamp Cape Town, the global network says it will embark on its local FastTrack tour for 2018 – sourcing top-tier start-ups which have created innovations focused on resolving African challenges.
During the informal FastTrack tour, SBC teams, mentors and sponsors meet early-stage companies interested in joining the accelerator’s 2018 programme.
The accelerator is specifically scouting for start-ups in the blockchain, connected devices, payment solutions, capital markets and asset management, integrated supply chain, e-commerce, alternative financing, identity management, digital connectivity, data and behavioral analytics and enabling technologies.
Philip Kiracofe, co-founder, and CEO of Startupbootcamp Cape Town says the first Cape Town programme, which took place last year, was a success, with the signing of 32 corporate agreements, including pilots and proofs-of-concept.
“To sign 32 agreements is above average for any Startupbootcamp programme in the network. When compared to other first-time programmes, SBC Cape Town is the top-performing programme. Even in very mature markets such as the US and Europe, it generally takes three years for a programme to find its stride. We surpassed expectations in our very first year and this is unprecedented across the global Startupbootcamp footprint,” he explains.
The FastTrack world tour is part of a global programme, which includes 19 FastTracks across the world in search of the next generation of start-up talent. The first FastTrack event will be held in Cape Town on 19 February.
According to the accelerator, attending a FastTrack can offer start-ups valuable feedback from mentors and subject experts. Start-ups will be able to engage with the global community, meet with industry executives and be exposed to worldwide opportunities.
“We want every start-up to know that even if you don’t make it into the final accelerator, our FastTrack events can provide incredible guidance and mentorship and can fundamentally shift a growing business,” says Zachariah George, co-founder and chief investment officer of Startupbootcamp Cape Town.
From a pool of hundreds of applicants, the 10 most promising teams will be selected and provided with EUR15 000, and around 100 highly engaged industry mentors, free office space, access to funding and a network of industry partners, investors and venture capital firms.
The accelerator is anchored by corporate sponsors, which include Old Mutual, RCS, BNP Paribas Personal Finance, Nedbank, Woolworths Financial Services and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
“We think of Africa as the cradle of innovation and disruption. The non-negotiable, incontrovertible trend is that the population is increasing and as a fundamental necessity for survival, innovation must happen. The fact is that there is going to be a level of disruption in Africa that is unrivaled in history. There is no other place on the planet where they’ve dealt with this crisis that we see as an opportunity,” adds Kiracofe.
The three-month boot camp kicks off in September in Cape Town and will be led by innovation experts, Zachariah George, Philip Kiracofe, and Paul Nel.
The final deadline for innovators and entrepreneurs to apply online for the final accelerator is 24 May.
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