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15 African start-ups shine in UCT accelerator programme
Fifteen promising African start-ups are through to the next phase of e-Track, a three-phase venture acceleration programme known as Venture Exploitation. This is presented by UCT GSB Solution Space and ayoba, an Africa-founded super app.
After five weeks of an initial phase called Venture Launch, and two days of competitive pitching to a panel of industry experts, 15 high-impact start-ups were selected from more than 40 applications. Among those who made the cut were a sleep consultancy, Sleep Science, prescription management platform Prescribe and peer-to-peer teaching and learning platform Sgela Saam.
The selected start-ups come from across the continent, including Nigeria, Cameroon, Namibia and South Africa. It also spans across a number of industries ranging from education and agriculture to wellness, marketing, climate and AI. Organisers say they are all determined to make a change in their own way, be it through sanitation with Flushh, safe transportation with Kids Transportation Service or validating bank transactions with Biz 301.
Africa’s start-up sector is thriving despite setbacks such as Covid-19, hiking fuel and food prices, and electricity cuts. The African venture capital market raised $2 billion in funding in the first half of 2022 alone – a 192% growth compared to the same period in 2021, according to the latest Magnitt report on Venture Capital in Emerging Venture Markets.
“This year saw a record number of participants in Venture Launch and consequently a record number of start-ups pitching for Venture Exploitation, which shows that innovation is alive and well on the continent,” says Vanessa Ramanjan, programme manager at UCT GSB Solution Space. “While we would love to have accepted all of them into the second phase, we had to make some tough calls and only select 15.”
During a recent welcome session, start-ups expressed their excitement about being selected for the next phase and looked forward to tapping into the resources that it offers. This includes assistance with brand and corporate identity, IP strategy, legal advisory services, financial management tips and product design and development.
The second phase of the e-Track programme, Venture Exploitation, focuses on accelerating the validated venture’s development; resources are provided to facilitate the development.
This promises to be an exciting phase with start-ups ready to make a difference in their respective industries. UCT GSB Solution Space says it is looking forward to growing the ideas and ventures together with the start-ups.
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