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16 Accelerators and Incubators for African Startups to Sign Up For in 2020


TechInAfrica — From advisory and administrative support services to connections and knowledge you need for your startup, there are more and more accelerators and incubators held around the world. There are even more dedicated programs for African startups or individuals which makes it easier for African participants to get accepted.

Here are 16 leading accelerators and incubators you need to apply for in 2020:

Start-Up ChileTech startups wanting to scale in Latin America and an opportunity to access up to $40,000 in zero-equity funding can apply for Start-Up Chile’s Generation Seed24 program until 17 March. The six-month accelerator program provides participants with access to both a national and international corporate network, investors, mentors, and global partners to scale to new markets. Foreign teams will be provided with a one-year working visa and free co-working space. All teams will have access to the Start-Up Chile community which includes up to $100,000 including perks such as Microsoft BizSpark, Facebook Start, Amazon Web Services and many more.

OceanHub Africa: This Cape Town-based accelerator OceanHub Africa will launch its first program in the first quarter of 2020 with six local ocean-minded startups. The accelerator will provide startups with physical working space, access to tailored mentorship, business and scientific expertise and access to market leads. In addition, startups accepted into its program also stand to benefit from hands-on services from corporate partners. The program will include cloud and IT services as well as access to an engineering and software suite for prototyping and testing and support with fundraising including pitching and structuring of deals.

Y Combinator: US seed accelerator, Y Combinator invests millions of dollars ($150,000 in each selected startup, in exchange for seven percent equity) in a large number of startups from around the world twice a year. During three months in Silicon Valley, Y Combinator works intensively with each startup, helping them to refine their pitch to investors. Though the applications for the Winter 2020 batch closed in September, you can keep an eye for the next batch.

HiiL Justice Accelerator: Specialized for developed an innovative justice solution startups, the accelerator provides grant funding, justice sector expertise, and networking, as well as access to local mentorship and support. In 2019, applications for the accelerator opened in June. Startups accepted into the accelerator receive grant funding of up to €20,000.

Injini:  This year, the Cape Town-based edtech incubator will support up to eight edtech startups with financial and advisory resources throughout the course of the incubation program, which will run from March to August. The incubator works with startups with evidence-based solutions that address key problems that face the education sector in Africa, with at least a minimum viable product or prototype. Though the applications for the fourth cohort of Injini closed in December 2019, you can look out for their next application batch.

Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa: This program runs for a seed-stage startup in Algeria, Botswana, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. Google provides equity-free support, access to its engineers and intensive mentoring from over 20 teams, access to Silicon Valley experts and top local mentors, public relations training and global media opportunities as well as a close partnership with Google for three months. Applications dates for 2020 have yet to be announced.

Fb Start Accelerator: This Lagos-based accelerator is an initiative of social media giant Facebook and Nigeria’s Co-Creation Hub. It features a research and mentorship-driven six-month long program for Nigerian and Ghanaian innovators working on artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Those accepted into the program will receive up to $20,000 in equity-free funding, product development, and business support, access to technical experts and business mentors from the Facebook and CcHub network and office space with high-speed internet, meeting rooms and more. Last year, applications for the accelerator closed in June.

Startupbootcamp Afritech: This Cape Town-based accelerator focuses on high-growth tech startups in verticals such as fintech, insurtech, and retailtech. Over its three-month program, the accelerator claims the 10 startups it selects for each of its cohorts will have achieved in three months what would normally take them 18 months to achieve. It says it does this by leveraging direct access to key contacts in the industry. SBC Afritech provides each selected startup with €15,000, for an eight percent equity stake, in addition to access to mentors from the fintech, insurtech and regtech industries, as well as office space. The application deadline for 2020 has not been announced as yet.

Labs by ARM 2.0Labs by ARM 2.0 focuses on Nigerian post-MVP fintech startups in a series of activities aimed at exponentially advancing the growth of their companies within 12 weeks while ensuring their investment-readiness. Selected startups will be provided with financial investment, distribution and access to investors. Participants are provided with office space, access to asset management firm ARM’s network, and carefully selected mentors from the fintech industry who will provide hands-on support and valuable introductions. Applications for the second cohort of the accelerator closed on 30 December. The accelerator for the third cohort has not been decided, so look out for any announcement on upcoming application cycles.

Flat6LabsThis Middle East and North Africa (MENA) startup accelerator run programs in Cairo and Tunisia. It provides seed funding, strategic mentorship, a creative workspace, a multitude of perks, entrepreneurship-focused business training and supports startups through an expansive network of partner entities, mentors and investors. Keep an eye for key dates on the next application batch.

Startupbootcamp Fintech CairoStartupbootcamp FinTech Cairo runs a six-month program supported by Cairo-based fintech focused venture capital firm Pride Capital. The program is designed to help early-stage Egyptian fintech startups to scale their businesses. The deadline for the program’s second cohort closed in December 2019, so keep an eye for the next cycles because it is likely that the program will be held again this year.

Grindstone AcceleratorIn joint ownership by South African venture capital firm Knife Capital and Thinkroom Consulting, the Grindstone Accelerator helps high-growth innovation-driven small businesses to become sustainable and fundable through a year-long program. Ten South African startups are selected per cohort. The date for the next application phase has yet to be announced.

AUC Venture LabThis Egypt’s first university-based incubator and accelerator at The American University in Cairo runs a 16-week program that provides support for early-stage and innovative startups to launch and grow their business using evidence-based entrepreneurship support and lean startup methods. With the support of its corporate sponsors, the accelerator works across multiple verticals including e-commerce, energy, healthcare, and the creative industries. Applications for the Spring 2020 cohort, which will take place between 25 January and 31 May closed on 31 December. Look out for the next application cycle if you missed the deadline.

Impulse Accelerator: This Moroccan accelerator was launched last year. Its 12-week program was designed by global accelerator organization MassChallenge. The program aims at startups in the agritech, biotech, mining tech, materials science and nanoengineering verticals that have a proof of concept or a minimum viable product (MVP). Applications for the 2020 cohort opened last July and closed in October (with a demo day scheduled for April). The accelerator has yet to announce application dates for its 2021 cohort.

Akro AcceleratorCape Town-based venture builder, Akro runs a 20-week acceleration program. The accelerator’s first two cohorts, run last year, were funded by the SA SME Fund. Startups accepted into its program stand to benefit from access to experts and advisors, including software architects, designers, and other product builders. The accelerator also provides co-working space in Cape Town as well as access to potential partners, client networks and investors. The announcement for the next batch has not clear yet.

MAN Impact AcceleratorThe MAN Impact Accelerator focuses on startups in the field of mobility, transport, and logistics to tackle social and environmental challenges. Although the accelerator primarily sources applications from South Africa on the continent, startups from Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, and Tanzania can also apply. To be accepted for the program, startups must have a strong logistics, transport or mobility focus, with a prototype and preferably early revenues. In addition, startups must also have a strong purpose and create both tangible and measurable impact beyond financial returns. In 2019, applications for the accelerator program opened in August and closed in October.



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