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Last year’s Sparkup Live was a blast. Seven saucy startups partook in Net Prophet’s live pitching event where we saw some promising ones like 8bit and Ekaya sway prominent investors’ wallets, collectively raising R800 000 and a lot of exposure, which is priceless, really.
The weekend accelerator — which will run from 8 May to 10 May — will host a total of 15 startups which will undergo mentorship to help make them investor ready for the final pitching event 11 May. Organiser of the event Tracy Gander says that the live investment event is a much-needed added bonus to the Sparkup initiative, helping the startups gain a lot of exposure.
Gander also says that Sparkup is trying to get applicants from as many different areas possible. “What we’ve been trying to do this year is reach a broader demographic. Last time, we piggy-backed largely on the Net Prophet community so now we’re really trying to reach broader, looking at tech-enabled startups that come from different sectors of the community. We want to reach as many startups in the country as possible and boost the South African economy through job creation.”
She explains that by focusing on tech-enabled startups not only does it help broaden the accelerator’s in-take, it’s also important to include new voices to the process. “You can feel the advancements of tech beyond the geeks like us,” she explains. “These different perspectives add value to the group of chosen startups as a whole.”
Although the crop of investors hasn’t been finalised, in 2014 we saw involvement from prominent angel investors, such as Justin Stanford, Andy Higgins, Daniel Guasco, Wayne Gosling and Mark Slingsby.
Applications close on 13 April and successful applicants will be notified by 20 April. If you’re keen to be accelerated, pitch and stand a chance of winning some of the R1-million in funding available, sign up here.