These SA startups will pitch for a spot in US social impact accelerator BonBillo’s cohort


Eight startups that attended a two-week bootcamp are hoping to win a chance to attend Boston-based social impact accelerator BonBillo‘s new accelerator cohort, when they graduate at a demo day in Cape Town this afternoon.

The accelerator, which was set up in 2017, aims to help grow startups involved in developing solutions that tackle the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The eight teams that attended the bootcamp — which was run jointly by Startupbootcamp (SBC) Afritech and BonBillo — included seven from South Africa and one from the US.

BonBillo CEO Suraj Kripalani told Ventureburn this week that the best teams will be picked to be part of the accelerator’s next programme which will run from April to June. So far the accelerator has worked with three cohorts previously and 11 teams.

The Cape Town bootcamp included visits to SA fintech startups Yoco and Lüla, the latter which also took part in the bootcamp.

The top teams that attended BonBillo’s Cape Town bootcamp will be picked to be part of the accelerator’s next cohort

SBC Afritech was assisting BonBillo to complete a pilot version of a Cape Town programme, with the later utilising Startupbootcamp’s offices in the city to carry out the bootcamp.

CEO Philip Kiracofe said the idea with the accelerator is to bring US startups that have an African focus together with African startups that have a US focus.

He said should the pilot go well, BonBillo would look to expand the programme. “We’re sharing some of the SBC wisdom with them,” he added.

Kiracofe said while investors had been invited to see the startups pitch at the demo day, he’s not banking on any of the startups securing investment yet, as a number of the participants are still at the pre-investment stage.

The bootcamp call was open for only a month and Kiracofe pointed out that SBC Afritech and BonBillo were very targeted in their selection of those they wanted on the programme, including leveraging teams that the accelerator had seen before that had shown some promise.

The eight startups are:

3DIMO, a wellness company that produces wearables to help individuals stay healthy and productive.

Prim-U an on-demand technology platform connecting beauty and wellness services to customers.

ParkUpp is a marketplace that connects property owners with unused car parking space to drivers that need safe, secure and affordable parking.

Car Park helps clients to locate their car in crowded parking lots.

Lüla is a ride-sharing service that connects corporate commuters to private shuttles for an affordable, productive and sustainable commute.

MedYear is a US based startup that enables patients to engage with their healthcare professionals and become the owner of their health data.

Jobox is a student freelancing platform that connects businesses with high-quality students.

An eighth idea stage entrepreneur, Luntu Ayabulela Quntana, also took part and is working on a platform to connect startups to affordable legal support and services.

The demo day kicks off at 2pm today. To attend, see details here.

Featured image: Collage of the highlights from the seventh day of BonBillo’s Cape Town bootcamp (Supplied)



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