AfricanUp aims to connect startups, accelerators, tech hubs



It’s not always easy for the various players in the African startup system — including the startups themselves, accelerators and tech hubs — to stay connected. On a continent with over a billion people and 54 countries, that’s hardly surprising. In a bid to help remedy that, two veterans of the South African startup scene, Paul Cartmel and Nic Haralambous, have launched AfricanUp.

The platform touts itself as a space for startups, technology hubs and accelerators​ to connect with one another, “for investors to find startups, and for the technology eco-system at large to tell the world its story”.

Right now, AfricanUp looks pretty basic and allows you to browse for investors, accelerators, startups and tech hubs on a country by country basis, refining by city. The profiles include basic information about the companies including logos, social links and a Google Maps view of their office location.

To start with, the platform is only focusing on a handful of countries, including Egypt, Ghana, Uganda and South Africa. Haralambous and Cartmel say they considered a number of factors such as existing technology ecosystems, problems and opportunities in figuring out which countries to include.

The AfricanUp founders both say they gained a strong belief in the talent, opportunity and investment possibility to be found in Africa. But, says Haralambous, “One of the major requests that I get from investors and accelerators around the world when discussing technology in Africa is for ‘the great startups’.

This made me realise that there is a search problem in the technology startup space (ironically) and I wanted to create a platform to help startups and investors spend less time searching for each other, and more time building great things together.”

“There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when launching a platform like AfricanUp. Our goal isn’t to build a revolutionary technology business. Our goal is to connect startups, founders, investors and accelerators from around the world,” the former Motribe top dog adds.

The two founders say that AfricanUp is really the result of a connection between the power of New Media Labs’ (co-founded by Cartmel) Lenticular community building technology and Haralambous’ business development.

“When Nic approached me with the idea,” says Cartmel, “I instantly felt that the Lenticular platform New Media Labs has been refining would be perfect for the job. We decided to partner up and launch a minimum viable product to put Nic’s brainchild to the test.

Powered by the reputational scoring and social features of Lenticular, AfricanUp has an incredible potential to be much more than a listing of startups, angel investors and hubs in Africa”.



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