Building on the success of its first accelerator batch, Startup Wise Guys (SWG) vows to create further momentum in the African start-up scene. Applications for its next B2B SaaS accelerator are now accepted.
SWG is billed as Europe’s most experienced start-up accelerator and one of its most active early-stage investment funds.
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As the first batch of SWG’s SaaS accelerator in Africa comes to a close, anticipation for a sequel has been running high. The pan-African program is the first of its kind for early-stage, B2B start-ups.
Application numbers were quite strong with more than 360 applications received in the first batch, mostly from Nigeria and Kenya. In comparison, even established SWG programmes in Europe typically receive around 200 applications.
This, as total venture capital investment in Africa is on a rising trend, with 2021 more than doubling 2019 amounts, although early-stage support continues to lag.
Empowering digital start-ups
As with the first iteration of the B2B SaaS Africa programme, the new accelerator is looking to empower digital start-ups that already have a minimum viable product, some initial customer traction, and at least two founders.
The selection committee will be looking for promising companies working in the fintech, agritech, edtech, cleantech, healthtech, and retailtech sectors. English-speaking start-ups from across Africa are encouraged to apply, and the committee will be giving particular focus to Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda.
Adia Sowho, SWG venture partner and CMO at MTN Nigeria, says, “I see a SaaS-first future in Africa. This makes SWG’s experience building and scaling more than 300 SaaS start-ups – coupled with the extended support in their accelerator – critical for seed-stage start-ups.”
For a second time, selected start-ups will be invited to participate in a five-month intensive accelerator that will combine online modules with local and international mentors and experts. Several selection bootcamps will take place prior to the closing of applications.
These bootcamps are a chance for promising start-ups to compete for a chance to pitch in front of the programme general partners and the SWG team. Start-ups in the main accelerator programme will be invited to finish with a graduation day event, giving them access to regional and international investors.
Selected start-ups will be invited to participate in a rigorous, online accelerator that includes up to $68 000 investment for a maximum of 12% equity. The programme is the first ever pan-African, SaaS-focused accelerator, with the second cohort set to begin on Monday, 10 October 2022.