A week ago we reported on the Startupbootcamp (SBC) event coming to Harare on the 28th of February. The FastTrack event allows startups to gain insight and feedback from industry experts and other startups at the event.
For the skeptics out there you may want more detail about what SBC is about and whether their event is worth applying for.
Firstly, startup accelerators are group-based programs that include mentorship and educational components. The group-based programs lead to a public pitch event or a demo day, with the goal to attract investment.
Startupbootcamp claims attending FastTracks is helpful as it increases chances of finding investors by as much as 20%. Startups also get mentorship from subject experts and learn from fellow startups.
“How has SBC fared thus far and what have been some of the outcomes from the program?” you may ask. Well, let me give you a rundown of some the progress they have made.
What they’ve done so far…
The SBC program has accelerated 581 startups since it’s conception, whilst investing over 330 million euros. Of the 581 startups invested in 72% (418) are still active. SBC state that they have created 2898 jobs in less than a decade as SBC was founded in 2010. If you’re not impressed check out the stats for yourself.
The first ever SBC-African accelerator event was hosted in Cape Town, last year. The event resulted in 32 corporate agreements which included proof of concepts and pilots and the CEO of SBC, Philip Kiracofe, felt the event was a resounding success. “To sign 32 agreements is above average for any Startupbootcamp programme in the network. However, when compared to other first-time programmes, SBC Cape Town is the top performing programme,” he said.
Khoyn, a Zimbabwean startup is one of the startups that benefitted from SBC’s program. They developed a chat commerce platform that allows anyone to sell goods and services via a chatbot on messenger. Khoyn enquires about your business and then creates an optimized bot that can field inquiries about your products and facilitate order processing.
They managed to get funding after last years Cape Town event and they had nothing but positive words to say about SBC’s program. Victor Matibiri from Khoyn said,
“SBC is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to springboard your startup. FastTracks offer you a unique opportunity to meet a passionate team that will give you advice and even help you get into the final programme! Every Zimbabwean startup from East to West should definitely attend. Whether or not you make it into the program you will get incredible insight.’
If you are involved in a startup and you needed to be convinced, there you have it.
Personally, I have never attended Startupbootcamp’s events but I think this is a good opportunity for local startups. Making connections is a vital part of startup growth and events such as the SBC FastTrack offer a platform for startups to learn from one another whilst also gaining guidance from gurus in the field.
Your startup may not necessarily qualify for the accelerator program this year but there are always lessons to be learned from attending such events. The fact that it’s free as well hopefully gives startups more incentive to apply.
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