Tech innovation by rising local entrepreneurs is a leading driver of a strong and prosperous economy. Investing in local talent not only positively contributes to society, but also allows entrepreneurs to build companies that tackle problems specific to their region.
Addressing local challenges has been particularly relevant in Africa – where innovative entrepreneurs have solved their unique problems with tailored solutions; from mobile money to address financial inclusion, to agritech startups optimizing a local farmer’s crop yield, to edtech companies transforming access to education in remote areas.
It’s no wonder then, that the entrepreneurial spirit of Africa has attracted international philanthropists, corporates, venture capitalists and accelerators in recent years.
Last year, African startups raised $366 million according to a report by Partech Ventures – a San Francisco-based VC firm – with investments focusing on three hubs: Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya.
Chart Source: Partech Ventures
While this sum may seem a small compared to the more developed startup hubs, the continent’s technological and entrepreneurial potential has gained steady traction since 2012.
We paid close attention to the resolve and appetite of Africa’s tech community in recent years. In 2016, nearly 200 African founders applied to Startupbootcamp programs; up 50% from the previous year. To date, we have invested in 8 African companies targeting the Fintech, Insurtech and Smart Transportation industries.
Today, after a year full of expansion to fast-growing emerging markets including China, India, and Mexico, we’re thrilled to announce the launch of our first Africa-based program.
Startupbootcamp Cape Town – A Horizontal Program
Startupbootcamp’s new Cape Town program has been designed to support the continent’s diverse startup community – from entrepreneurs working on financial inclusion and insurance, to those tackling agriculture, healthcare, connectivity, supply chain management and more.
While the program will be based in South Africa, our aim is to support and nurture tech startups across the continent and beyond through our proven accelerator curriculum, industry focused mentorship and wide global network.
Open for applications today, the 3-month program will be co-led by two experienced early-stage investors – Philip Kiracofe and Zach George – who have both an entrepreneurial spirit and extensive local knowledge.
Of course, the program also benefits from the backing of industry partners including BNP Paribas, RCS, and PwC, who will be working with the selected 10 startups as mentors, pilot customers and providing expert guidance.
To kick-start the program, our Cape Town team will be running tailored “FastTrack’ events from May to July 2017 in cities including Accra, Cape Town, Lagos, Cairo, Nairobi and many others. If you know an amazing African entrepreneur hoping to scale, or a company looking to enter the African market, please send them our way!