Grindstone, an accelerator situated in Cape Town, recently announced the 25 companies that will participate in its year-long program that aids high-growth technology-based startup businesses that are motivated by innovation to become more sustainable, ready to exit, and investable.
The program gives newly established businesses access to various resources, including cash, networks, market, and knowledge. It consists of two groups, one in Cape Town and the other in Johannesburg.
Knife Capital, a venture capital investment company, and Thinkroom Consulting, which develops small and medium-sized businesses across Africa, share ownership of Grindstone. Andrea Bohmert, Catherine Young, and Keet Van Zyl lead it, who are working together as partners, and Will Green is in charge of running the program.
The South African Small and Medium Enterprise Fund is also contributing to the program and working together as partners, and Will Green is in charge of running the program. The South African Small and Medium Enterprise Fund also contributes to the program.
In his remarks regarding the launch of the accelerator, Ketso Gordhan, the Chief Executive Officer of the South African Small and Medium Enterprise Fund, noted that the structured grindstone method for helping startups grow has been shown to work over and over again with the most recent graduating class generating an average of 88 percent more income and producing 52 additional employment over nine months.
The South African Small and Medium Enterprise Fund (SA SME Fund) is continuing its strong support of this initiative as it strives to play a vital role in the expansion of the startup ecosystem and, ultimately, the economy as a whole 64% of the enterprises in the 2022/23 cohort are held by black people, while women own 36%.
The number of full-time workers varies anywhere from two to thirteen. Health technology, artificial intelligence, education technology, financial technology, legal technology, mobility technology, media technology, and insurance technology are some industries in which the startup operates.
As part of the initiative, each of the 25 selected companies has consented to make a non-refundable investment of R38,000 (about $2300) in Grindstone’s GS Ventures, a post-seed fund that is headed by women and invests in early-stage firms that are innovation-driven
In his remarks concerning the program, director Will Green spoke about the concerted effort required to assist the entrepreneurs who had founded the companies chosen to grow their businesses. This announcement [of the chosen companies] is a celebration of the work of many people who have helped these entrepreneurs at some point in their journey. Since many of these companies first started, I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with their creators, and that relationship will not end anytime soon. With the addition of this group, the total number of businesses that we have directly aided rises to 115. It is also our biggest with several 25 companies, 14 of which are based in Gauteng, 10 of which are found in the Western Cape, and 1 of which is based in Kwazulu-Natal,” he continued.
According to information provided by Tracxn, South Africa is home to around 76 operational incubators and accelerators. Accelerators such as Grindstone are a welcome development for a nation with a digital ecosystem that is expanding quickly since they assist entrepreneurs in developing their ideas into realistic and scalable businesses.
This notion was eloquently summed up by Nnamdi Oranye, an expert on the technological ecosystem, in a comment he made to Africa. Accelerators are playing an increasingly important role on the African continent by giving entrepreneurs a haven in which they may learn quickly, find product market fit, and build their businesses. We are beginning to notice echoes of a correlation between scale-up investment and attendance at an accelerator based on the data that we have collected. This is very encouraging news for the ecological system of Africa.”