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Since we last checked in on Seed Engine, the accelerator has begun its first 13 week accelerator boot camp. Six teams of entrepreneurs have been selected from more than 300 applications. Each venture has been given R100 000 startup capital to convert their ideas into practical business plans ready to attract further investment at a demo day in May. Entrepreneurs hope to raise between R200 000 and R2-million.
Marc Elias, CEO of Seed Engine says that the ventures selected are all tech focused, have international appeal as well as disruptive and scalable qualities.
“There is tremendous energy in our Sandton based engine room. All the entrepreneurs are making excellent progress and Seed Engine is having an immediate impact on the six startups and their founders. Seed Engine also offers investors the opportunity to get involved at an early stage,” says Elias.
Entrepreneurs in the Seed Engine programme have given positive feedback.
“The bootcamp has been very powerful so far; we are being pushed. There’s a tremendous difference doing something on your own and what is possible working with the Seed Engine team which helps turn the obstacles we face into opportunities,” says Mark Karimov of Cirqls.com.
Entrepreneurs are undergoing coaching, mentoring and have been provided with work space and support and an opportunity to grow their concept into a business.
The first six startups
IntelliCred.com is an online brand protection and authentication business, enabling businesses to protect their brands, control their members and affiliates and increase their revenues through secure and trackable channels. Shana Kay
Cirqls.com brings trust into the online shopping experience by connecting buyers and sellers via their social circles.
After-Class.co.za is a social education network offering peer-to-peer support for students and teachers across school borders.
zehoo.me is a mobile document agregator that grabs, filters and organises users documents from multiple sources, in a simple and easy to use manner.
ChowHub is an online restaurant discovery and order platform built to satisfy hungry customers.
OnQ optimises restaurant processes, making them more efficient throughout the dining experience.
Entries are again open via the website for the next Seed Engine Accelerator which will begin on 1 June 2013.
Seed Engine says that some of the current businesses are seeking co-founders — applicants can apply online. Top talent with marketing, technical or VC skills are also being sought to join.
Angel investors will have an opportunity to look at the first batch of startups through the Seed Engine Investor Network. Seed Engine’s first demo day will be on 23 May.
“Demo days provide investors with an opportunity to get involved in high growth startups at a very early stage. The Seed Engine programme has been developed to cater for these investors’ needs, getting each venture investor and growth ready. 85% of the ventures going through the top tier accelerators in the USA continue trading after four years which defies typical start-up statistics because of the approach that accelerators take in building businesses,” says Elias.
Meetings post-demo day will be facilitated by Redwood Capital, a partner to Seed Engine, to assist entrepreneurs with the closing of deals and legal documentation.
Seed Engine management will have board representation on each of the underlying businesses.
Since the programmes launch the team have set up international affiliations to assist with international roll-outs of Seed Engine ventures.
PKF, the accounting and auditing company has come on board to assist the ventures with financial planning, first year audits and general guidance.
Microsoft will provide Seed Engine candidates with the Bizspark packages and has named Seed Engine one of the key network partners in the South African context.
ITEC have provided the accelerator with printing facilities as well as paper and toner to support each Seed Engine venture during the programme.