Mashauri’s student-focused online accelerator signs up 150 applicants

Mashauri’s student-focused Young Entrepreneur Connect (YEC) accelerator programme has opened this week, signing up 152 students from the Western Cape, South Africa in the process.

Mashauri, a European-based company, seeks to increase the success rate of entrepreneurs around the world using its online platforms. The YEC Accelerator Programme was born out of the need to support student entrepreneurs who attended the YEC conference held in Cape Town last month.

As noted in a blog post, the vision is to follow up on the excitement and energy created by conferences, networking events and pitching competitions.

Mashauri CEO Simon Gifford said that traditional accelerators, by definition, have limited scalability with constrained cohort numbers:

We want to offer a similar opportunity to the large number of founders who are unable to get into one of these programmes — perhaps they are not one of the select few who meet the admission criteria or maybe they are simply not able to make the full-time commitment or are unwilling to give up equity.

Students who attended the conference will be able to use Mashauri’s scientific process, training modules and community sections of the platform to launch and develop their ideas.

Read more: Microsoft, Ampion ‘accelerator on wheels’ to support 200 entrepreneurs

YEC was founded in 2012 under the premise that student entrepreneurs in South Africa need an easier route to getting their ideas into actual startup businesses. Molefe Choane, the main driver behind the YEC conference, explained that the five-week programme will be free to all those who attended.

Victor de la Torre, the CTO of Mashauri, added that the YEC programme is a fantastic opportunity to test its system with student entrepreneurs in South Africa:

We are hoping to try and build an entrepreneurial ecosystem around the conference and programme. We will do this through further events such as a ‘demo day’ for those student founders who reach the end of the programme and wish to meet with potential investors — be they VCs, angels or corporates; as well as convening a workshop for local universities to start building cooperative connections.

The programme officially opens 13 October.

Jacques Coetzee: Staff Reporter


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