Looking to get ahead SA startups? Apply for these accelerators in 2018

Featured image: Startupbootcamp Cape Town inaugural cohort at Demo Day
Featured image: Startupbootcamp Cape Town inaugural cohort at Demo Day

What better way to start the new year than by signing up to one of the many accelerator programmes open to South African tech entrepreneurs? It’s a great way to get some help, find new clients and tap seed funding — all while gaining credibility in the market.

In 2017, 19 accelerators tracked by Ventureburn helped over 1200 startups with $17-million in funding (see this story).

Here are eight accelerators in 2018 that SA startups can apply for

It’s also a great idea to approach one of South Africa’s leading corporates, many of which run their own support programmes or are on the look out for new products or solutions (here are eight corporate managers you can pitch to).

Try applying to these eight accelerators:

World Food Programme’s Innovation Accelerator: This UN accelerator — aimed at supporting innovations that will help end world hunger — last year gave out $100 000 in funding per startup. Hurry, applications close at the end of today, 2 January — apply here.

Sarebi: The SA Renewable Energy Business Incubator last month launched a call for applications to its 2018 Think Water Enterprise Development Programme, based in Atlantis in the Western Cape. Applicants must apply by 12 January.

Spark accelerator: Australian social impact support organisation Spark announced recently that it is seeking entrepreneurs who have launched an enterprise that is making a difference in the lives of South Africans. Successful applicants will be able to attend an “intensive” five day workshop which runs from 15 to 20 April in Johannesburg. Applications close on 4 March 2018. Apply here.

AI Revolution ChallengeOne lucky African startup with a cutting edge artificial intelligence (AI) solution stands the chance to win an investment of $1-million from Cape Town based technology platform Sagarmatha Technologies, with the launch in November last year of its AI Revolution Challenge. Applications for the challenge close on 31 March and a panel will select up to 20 startups for the final event, which will be hosted in South Africa in May next year.

HiiL: Applications for The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law’s 2018 programme will begin in March. Last month. Two South African startups from won top honours at Hiil’s  global Innovating Justice Challenge 2017. Read this earlier article here.

Launchpad Africa: Google in November launched applications for its first Launchpad Africa in Lagos, Nigeria. While applications for the first cohort closed last month, Google is expected to run two cohorts a year. Keep an eye out then for the launch of applications for the second round, expected to take place later this year.

Launchpad Accelerator: Growth stage startups can apply for Google’s Launchpad Accelerator. The accelerator is open to startups in several countries across the globe. While the fifth cohort starts later this month, a call is expected to be launched soon for the sixth cohort, which will be run in the second half of this year. SA fintech startup JUMO was among the first African startups to be selected for the fourth cohort. Read Google’s plans for the accelerator in these articles.

Startupbootcamp Cape Town: This Cape Town based accelerator is aimed at high-growth startups. Look out for the launch of applications later this year. In the inaugural Startupbootcamp Cape Town, which kicked off in October last year, the cohort’s 10 startups secured 32 agreements with large companies.

Featured image: Startupbootcamp Cape Town inaugural cohort at Demo Day (Supplied)



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