88mph trades off startup accelerator for 1-week DealWeek programme


This year 88mph is accelerating tech startups faster than ever.

In Cape Town, South African at least the seed fund is trading off its 3-month startup accelerator programme for a 1-week sprint called DealWeek. Investors and mentors will evaluate and advise startups that are standing a chance of receiving an investment of US$25 000 to US$250 000 come February.

The group of investors joining the vetting process are people who all have a first-hand experience in the entrepreneurial world. The group includes L5Lab and 440.ng founder Chika Nwobi, Daniel Guasco and Wayne Gosling, formerly of Groupon SA, Neil Emerick of Nightsbridge, and Kresten Buch of 88mph, with more to be announced soon.

“We have seen that startups do best when they have investors who are experienced entrepreneurs, and can share advice from their own experiences” says Chika Nwobi, Founder of L5Lab. “However, these types of investors don’t always have time to look at more than a couple startups a year, and the follow-up procedure post-investment can be daunting for many.”

Read more: Microsoft Ventures expands into Nigeria with 88mph partnership

The programme will rely on most of the usual tools such as its due diligence checklist, a lean canvas checklist as well as the Cape Town Garage at the Woodstock Exchange.

“While some of the startups may be in the earliest stages, we believe this model is especially well-suited to startups that already have a team of employees, paying customers, and daily operations that are difficult to put on hold for a full 3 months,” says Kresten Buch.

“We have seen in the past, that many of the best startups need individual approaches to advice and funding that the accelerator model doesn’t always cater to, and they are also very good at reaching out when they need help,” Buch adds.

Since 2011, 88mph has invested in 36 startups through its funds and accelerators in Nairobi and Cape Town, and 9 more through 440.ng, its joint venture fund together with L5Lab in Lagos. It notes, that it’s through this experience that it’s trying out something new, hoping to get access to more startups at varying stages.

DealWeek will take place between 16 and 22 February. Applications are now open until 8 February.

Jacques Coetzee: Staff Reporter


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