There are only two weeks left of the Cape Town Accelerator and Demo Day is drawing ever closer. Last week the startups started thinking about scaling and this week the focus is on Cash Management.
The end is drawing near, the finish line is in sight. There are only two weeks left to go until the culmination of an eventful and exciting three-month programme where startups from all over Africa learnt from the best in order to scale their businesses in the corporate world.
Last week the startups focused on scaling their businesses and in doing so met with various potential partners. It is crucial for these young companies to gain as much traction and sign on as many clients or partners as possible before Demo Day. It is the aim of every startup in the Cape Town Accelerator to show how much they’ve grown in just 3 months at the culmination of the programme, so that they may show as much potential as possible to future investors. And the meetings with various possible partners last week was the first stepping stone in gaining some big interest in their products.
“Last week we had a meeting with a group of privately owned Pick ‘n Pay supermarkets,” says Alexandre Vellieux of the startup JustNow, “and they are very interested in our solution, so this sounds promising and we’re looking forward to engaging with them.”
It’s meaningful partnerships with big-name brands such as Pick ‘n Pay that will make all the difference for the startups come Demo Day. This week they started to think about cash management as another crucial element to building a successful business.
“This week we are meeting an executive of a French bank that can open many more doors for us in the European market, so this is really interesting,” states Vellieux.
This week will include everything from meetings with financial institutions to workshops and braintrust sessions. But as Demo Day draws ever nearer, it’s not only workshops and talks anymore – the startups are now actively preparing their pitches and practicing their Demo Day scripts and the tension in the ICIC is palpable.
The startups each need to have their script perfected and their pitch rehearsed in two weeks’ time when hundreds of potential investors will flood to Cape Town, and the startups will need to put their best foot forward. This is the opportunity of a lifetime for them, to secure investment, to sign partners and to scale their businesses not only locally, but potentially globally. And although Demo Day may seem stressful to several of the startups and some may be scrambling to perfect branding or rehearsing their pitches over and over – there are some of the startups who are looking forward to it tremendously.
“We are feeling really excited about Demo Day!” exclaims Alexandre, “We look forward to presenting our great solution to the decision-makers in this country, to make a difference in food waste!”
“This is a significant set of firsts. The first SBC program in Africa. First group of Global SBC MD’s present for Demo Day, and this being the first ever multi corporate backed accelerator, on the continent. With a group of international investors coming to Demo Day, and to have a number of companies, some of biggest corporations in South Africa sitting in the same room with their direct competitors, and coming together to support open innovation is a milestone.” states co-MD Philip Kiracofe.
The founders will be sharing their unprecedented progress over the course of the 12 weeks program, that was only made possible through collaboration with the corporate sponsors. They were able to run light lean agile experiment and proof of concept projects that have validated the need for innovative ideas that first brought them into the program.
The startups can look forward to continued demo day preparation, as they are deep preparing their pitches. They are also seeing continued traction in their various proof of concept projects. This week special guests include the COO of BNP Personal Finance, a representative from the World Bank, and Niklas Adelberth from Klarna, which is one of a very select few European unicorns.
Demo Day Attendees can expect to see some extraordinary stories as the top 10 startups prepare to get on stage on November 30th.