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Innovation accelerator Startupbootcamp hosts FastTracks to source top startup talent across the globe [Sponsored]

Startupbootcamp (SBC), a global family of industry-focused accelerators, last year launched its first-ever Africa-based programme.

Building on the success of its inaugural 2017 Cape Town tech venture accelerator program, SBC Cape Town now embarks upon its FastTrack tour for 2018 – sourcing top-tier tech startups to join the programme’s second year.

The first-ever Cape Town Accelerator was a rollercoaster success with 32 corporate agreements including pilots and proof-of-concepts, signed during the accelerator.

“To sign 32 agreements is above average for any Startupbootcamp programme in the network. However, 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 3 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,” states Philip Kiracofe, co-founder and CEO of the SBC Cape Town programme.

Widely recognized as one of the world’s most influential global innovation accelerators, Startupbootcamp Cape Town kicks off their 2018 by hosting a FastTrack world tour that will include 19 FastTracks across the world in search of the next generation of Africa-focused startup talent. The FastTracks will be held in various cities across the globe between February and May 2018.

The first FastTrack event will be held at the RCS Head Office in Cape Town on 19 February, “RCS and BNP Paribas Personal Finance are delighted to be a main sponsor of the 2018 Startupbootcamp programme. This will be our second year sponsoring the programme. There was an impressive line-up of startups that joined the programme in 2017 and our company has subsequently joined forces with a selected few to improve and enhance our customer engagement. Customer-centricity and digital transformation will remain key focus areas for our business in 2018.” says RCS CEO, Regan Adams.

“We think of Africa as the Cradle of Innovation and the Cradle of Disruption. The non-negotiable, incontrovertible trend is that the population is increasing and as a fundamental necessity for survival, innovation must happen. Innovation will happen. The fact is that there is going to be a level of disruption in Africa that is unrivalled in history. There is no other place on the planet where they’ve dealt with this crisis, that we see as an opportunity. It is happening here and will continue to happen here for the rest of the century and we are not just discovering and scaling the startups that will disrupt the necessary industries, we’re fuelling them. We’re finding people, creating solutions and we’re way ahead of the rest of the world in many ways. For example, in the U.S., people are still cottoning on to digital cash, while Africa has been doing it for years,” states Kiracofe.

Apply to your local FastTracks:

What is a FastTrack:

Startupbootcamp FastTracks are informal events hosted all over the world and the aim is for the SBC team, mentors and sponsors to have the opportunity to meet the most suitable early-stage companies interested in joining the 2018 programme.

For each FastTrack, the top 10 startups that apply will receive instant feedback from a panel of industry mentors, they will be able to network with the SBC investment team and can also find out more about the programme itself.

Startup teams that attend a FastTrack are 20% more likely to be invited to the final Selection Days where the ultimate Top 10 will be invited to join the three-month programme to be hosted in Cape Town commencing September.

Why a FastTrack:

Attending a SBC FastTrack can offer startups valuable feedback from mentors and subject experts, startups will be able to engage with the Startupbootcamp global community and will also be able to meet with industry executives and exposed to worldwide opportunities. Attending a FastTrack will also give a startup the significant advantage of being added to the SBC Cape Town watch list, which gives you a 20% higher chance of being selected for the final programme.

“We want every startup 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,” advises Zachariah George, co-founder and Chief Investment Officer of Startupbootcamp Cape Town.

Who should apply to a FastTrack:

Any startup operating in the FinTech, CyberSecurity, InsurTech, eCommerce, RetailTech and related industries is encouraged to join in the FastTracks.

SBC Cape Town is specifically looking for startups in the following areas:

  • Blockchain and Distributed Ledger
  • Payment Solutions
  • Big Data and Analytics
  • Data and Behavioural Analytics
  • Insurance and Cyber Insurance
  • Financial Inclusion
  • Commerce and eCommerce
  • Identity and Authentication
  • Payments
  • Personal Financial Management
  • IoT
  • P2P Lending
  • Cross-border Transactions

Beyond the FastTracks:

FastTrack engagements are not a requirement to apply for the Startupbootcamp Cape Town Accelerator, and ALL startups are encouraged to apply. However, attending a FastTrack will be to your advantage.
The final deadline for innovators and entrepreneurs to apply online for the final accelerator is 24 May 2018.

From a pool of hundreds of applicants, the 10 most promising teams will be selected and provided with EUR 15,000, 100+ highly engaged industry mentors, free office space, access to funding and a network of industry partners, investors and venture capital firms.

The 3-month bootcamp kicks off in September 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa, and will be led by seasoned innovation experts, Zachariah George, Philip Kiracofe, and Paul Nel.

Core sponsors for this Africa-based programme include big backers RCS, PwC, BNP Paribas Personal Finance, Nedbank, Woolworths Financial Services and Old Mutual.

How to apply to a FastTrack:

  • Click on your chosen FastTrack
  • Remember: Applications close 3 days before the FastTrack.
  • Good to Know: Only 10 teams are invited to each FastTrack so get your applications in as soon as possible!
  • Apply here.

How to get involved with Startupbootcamp Cape Town:

  • Click on any of the FastTracks you are interested in attending ahead of the Accelerator.
  • Remember: Applications for the final Accelerator open on 21 February 2018.
  • Good to Know: You don’t have to attend a FastTrack to be eligible to apply for the Accelerator.
  • Learn more here.