Meet the 10 startups selected for Grindstone Accelerator’s fifth cohort

Venture capital (VC) company Knife Capital today announced the names of the 10 companies selected for its fifth Grindstone Accelerator programme.

The names of the companies — which include a data analytics and marketing automation tool, a startup in the mobility sector and an Internet of Things (IoT) point of sale solution — were revealed at an event held at Deloitte’s Green Room in Johannesburg (with attendees pictured above).

Grindstone, which is jointly owned by Knife Capital and Thinkroom Consulting, assists high-growth innovation-driven small businesses to become sustainable and fundable through a year-long programme. This latest cohort is sponsored by the SA SME Fund and Deloitte.

For perhaps the first time in the history of the accelerator programme, which was first run in 2014, black-owned companies make up the majority of the participants of this cohort.

The accelerator has run three cohorts so far. In November last year Knife Capital announced the names of those selected for a fourth cohort which is currently under way (see this story). So far all the cohorts have been run in Cape Town. This is the first time a programme will be run in Gauteng.

Knife Capital today announced the names of the 10 companies selected for its fifth Grindstone Accelerator

While Knife Capital launched a call for applications in March (see this story), which closed on 22 April, the VC’s partner Keet van Zyl today told Ventureburn that the 10 companies were chosen from 400 applications.

Here are the 10 companies that have been selected for the fifth cohort:

LeadRobot is a Joburg-based startup founded in August last year by Daniel and Devon Solomon. The startup has developed a data analytics and marketing automation tool that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to enrich, cleanse and predictively score incoming leads in real time to empower sales and marketing technologies and teams.

Crayon is a Joburg based talent-sourcing platform, founded in February last year by Derrick Carolin, is designed from the bottom up to ensure candidates leave feeling reinvigorated and employers hire right, first time.

Farosian is a Joburg based specialist social media company founded in 2015 by CEO Farhad Bhyat.

MSat Global is a Joburg based digital satellite and IP technology solutions founded in 2007 by CEO Zweli Mkhuma.

Lüla and its app (its name means “easy” in isiZulu) connects corporate commuters to private shuttles. Lüla was founded by Xabiso Nodada and Velani Mboweni (the nephew of Finance Minister Tito Mboweni). The Cape Town based startup is currently running a campaign to raise R2.5-million in return for giving up an 8.5% equity stake, through local equity crowdfunding platform Uprise.Africa (see this story and this one). With nine days to go it’s raised R353 000.

Excel@Uni is a Cape Town based technology partner for universities and funders to help students excel at university. The startup was co-founded in 2013 by CEO Lungelo Gumede and CPO Ludwick Marishane, the man behind Dry Bath gel.

WizzPass is a Joburg based visitor management and contractor management system in Africa. Founded in 2015 by Bradley Hornby, Ulrich Stark and Tyron Fouche (who is no longer involved in the company), the startup got an investment of an undisclosed amount from the Barclays Seeker Fund in 2016, through the Barclays Accelerator in Cape Town, according to a report by tech site Disrupt Africa at the time.

Marc1 is an Johannesburg based Internet of Things (IoT) point of sale solution that tracks customer mobile and wifi footprint to help retail companies sell more. In August last year the startup won the award for best commercial IoT solution at the third annual MTN Business IoT Conference

Ashanti-AI helps businesses tp solve their problems. The Joburg-based company mainly focus on data engineering, analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI).

LiquidGold looks at the sanitation with unique waterless technology and nutrient recovery solutions. The Johannesburg based company was founded by CEO Orion Herman and Simone Fillis in 2014.

Read more: Grindstone Accelerator launches call to startups for first Gauteng cohort [Updated]

*Correction: Crayon is based in Johannesburg, not Cape Town and was founded in February last year by Derrick Carolin, not Tracey Ashington as we had it initially. We regret the error.

Featured image: Grindstone Accel via Twitter



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