Forty African startups are looking to qualify for demo days in four cities across the continent, as part of the first batch of Swiss-based Seedstars‘ Investment Readiness Programme.
Seedstars, one of the leading competitions for startups in emerging markets, launched the three-month programme in May. Demo days are set to take place in Lagos, Cape Town, Cairo and Dar es Salaam starting later this month.
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The 40 startups selected include 17 startups from Egypt, 10 from Nigeria, eight from South Africa and five from Tanzania.
A new batch is expected to start each month and will conclude with a demo day, this while a virtual programme was launched last week and Seedstars is now calling for applications.
Seedstars selected 40 startups from Africa for its Investment Readiness Programme
Seedstars World chief investment officer Charlie Graham-Brown told Ventureburn in an email today that to qualify for each demo day participants will need to prove their need for investment, meaning not all participants will go on to present at the respective demo days.
“It might also make more sense for some to skip the July demo day and prepare for the next one,” he added.
He said though the value of the support varies slightly depending on location, it comes in at roughly $1500 a month per startup of three people.
“We’re currently offering equity-free scholarships to help with the financing and have a few corporate partners providing financing in some cases. In the future, we’ll offer equity scholarships too,” he said.
‘Any tech startup can apply’
Graham-Brown said Seedstars accepts startups from angel to Series-A stage, so anyone with a minimum viable product (MVP) can apply. “Other than scalability and tech, the main criteria is the entrepreneurial growth mindset,” he added.
The programmes are run in each of Seedstars’ Seedspace locations, namely Cape Town, Dar Es Salaam, Abidjan and Lagos.
All startups are assessed and monitored with the Investment Readiness Score that Seedstars has developed that allows the organisation to identify individual challenges and focus areas. The score will also serve as the demo day briefing for investors.
During weekly office hour sessions mentors leverage the score to identify where startups should spend their time and energy across seven core categories measured. These include:
- Team, talent and advisors
- Technology and operations
- Revenue and growth
- Financial and performance management
- Legal and admin
Under each category, there are webinars and expert office hours.
Says Graham-Brown: “So for example, you could listen to a live webinar about growth from the Seedstars growth lead and then join the open office hours with the same expert to go more in-depth with your own individual questions.
“We have a mix of internal and external experts with a good depth of topics already under each, but we’ll add or adapt the content based on the needs,” he said.
Participants can either attend virtually or in a hybrid format where they are listening to a live webinar within a more formal setting in on of our Seedspaces.
In the Seedspaces, Seedstars has a few additional activities taking place such as pitch practices and monthly mentor meetups to facilitate more live mentoring or knowledge transfer.
Here are the 40 startups
Last month Seedstars CEO Alisée de Tonnac revealed to Ventureburn that the organisation had received more than 700 applications from all over the world for the first batch, with 78 startups selected (see this story).
The 40 from Africa are:
Lagos, Nigeria: LUCY.NG, Resoltz, Bitmama, Ttysoon Cards Limited, MaiFarmland, Go Africa LLC, Farmz2U, Excrow, Joanswood Creation limited, One Kiosk Africa
Dar Es Salam, Tazania: KilimoGuide, FixChap, Peter’s Daughter, Kasome International, Nukta
Cape Town, SA: Tellos, Kuba, LeadRobot, Work Wanderers, Ingede Group, Eazyloop Express, Boundless Aviation, Sxuirrel
Cairo, Egypt: Oddigo, Pashakim, Elmetr, Lira, The Mealkit, Vetwork, Furnwish, Reshrimp, ElMawkea, Guided, Koay, Hirebits, Forera, Mak, Hovo, Curotrip, Egygarage
Read more: African ventures can compete on the global stage – Seedstars head [Q&A]
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Read more: Seedstars announces $100m fund to invest in African tech startups [Updated]
Disclosure: Ventureburn is a Seedstars media partner.
Featured image: Seedstars World chief investment officer Charlie Graham-Brown (Seedstars via Youtube)