The popular East African Savannah Fund Accelerator is launching its second class this August. The programme will cohort up to five startups for three months. Successful startups also stand a chance of gaining US$25 000 of capital in return for a 15% of equity stake.
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The Savannah Fund Accelerator programme for this August has received close on 200 applications from across Africa. The majority being from the East Africa and, more specifically Kenya.
As the accelerator argues, one of the biggest benefits of the programme is the mentoring it offers. This is one of the problems startups often experience on the continent. Because of expensive travelling costs, regional support plays a big part in the accelerator process and some companies have to settle for the investment only without other important incentives.
Having said that, Savannah Fund does note that it’s supporting startups outside of its region regardless. Most notably, Ahonya which is an ecommerce startup from the Cape Coast in Ghana had to eventually relocate. The company has since discussed how important the accelerator programme is for entrepreneurs.
Since the first Savannah Fund programme that started last year November and ended in March this year, the accelerator has created standardised terms sheets for Kenya and Uganda jurisdictions in order to make the application process more inclusive. Moreover, the organization plans on including even more countries in the future.
Apart from the funding, mentoring and general exposure, the programme will focus heavily on providing digital marketing experts as well as collaborating with additional resources such as iHub Research and UX Design Lab. On top of this, the programme also creates corporate exposure and is willing to promote crucial business partnerships.
Previous success stories includes that of Kola Studios which develops Android and iOS games primarily for African users. The company won the entertainment award at PivotEast and is now exploring ways to monetize its games.