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SA start-ups selected for SBC AfriTech Accelerator

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The top 22 tech teams will compete at the Final Selection Days conference to be hosted at Amazon Web Services’ head office in Cape Town.
The top 22 tech teams will compete at the Final Selection Days conference to be hosted at Amazon Web Services’ head office in Cape Town.

Seven South African start-ups are among the 22 tech companies from 10 countries selected for the next round of the Startupbootcamp (SBC) AfriTech Accelerator Programme.

Founded in 2010, SBC AfriTech is endorsed by corporate sponsors including RCS, BNP Paribas Personal Finance, Old Mutual, Nedbank and PWC.

The accelerator programme supports and helps incubate innovative early-stage start-ups from all industries, which have developed solutions focused on creating a positive change in society.

The selected SA teams include sports tech start-up 3DIMO, big data platform Convergenc3 Databotics, fintech start-up Mshtarii, lending platform Rentoza, digital receipting app Snapslip, blockchain start-up KURAI, and Last Mile for BoP, which improves distribution of goods and services in SA.

Six teams hail from Nigeria and two are from Kenya, with Uganda, Togo, the UK, Morocco, the US, Senegal and Zimbabwe each being represented by one team.

Around 1 804 applications were received from 64 countries in total, according to SBC AfriTech.

The top 22 tech teams from various regions across the globe will compete at the Final Selection Days conference, to be hosted at the Amazon Web Services’ head office in Cape Town from 10 to 11 July.

This is the third consecutive year the programme will take place in Cape Town, and, over the past three months, the SBC team has travelled the globe in search of the best in tech talent.

“The start-ups that applied in 2019 were exceptionally impressive and are significantly later-stage, showing more market traction than applicants from previous years. What’s more, the talent originating out of different regions on the African continent is astounding,” explains Motlhabane Koloi, legal and scouting manager for SBC AfriTech.

“In 2019, we saw more than 30% of our overall applications coming from Nigeria, 20% from SA and 8% from Kenya. This trend has been consistent over the past three years, showing that the ‘big three’ ecosystems are still leading in terms of innovation and tech. New applicant countries that are rapidly emerging in the tech and innovation development space are Senegal, Morocco, Cameroon, Zambia and Tunisia.”

Kenya is represented by money transfer service Asilimia and lending platform MarketForce; the Ugandan team is fintech platform Cinnamon Clubs; Togo is represented by SOS system Dashmake; Morocco by mobility start-up Weego; Senegal by e-commerce platform Yobante Express; and Zimbabwe by crowdfarming start-up YouFarm. UK-based Survey 54 and US-based Xcellent Life complete the list.

Another six are from Nigeria: anti-counterfeiting tool Chekkit, healthcare data platform Curacel Systems, credit service FriendsVow, property investment platform HouseAfrica, online savings platform KoloPay, and escrow service Vesicash.

During the Final Selection Days, the start-ups will have the opportunity to present their pitches to high-profile corporate sponsors, investors, thought leaders and industry experts and will have the chance to engage with mentors and sponsors alike.

At the end of the second day, the top 10 will be announced and welcomed into the Cape Town-based accelerator programme. It kicks off on 12 August and culminates in a Demo Day on 7 November.

Over this three-month period, the start-ups selected will have the opportunity to scale and seal pilots and proofs of concept with the corporate sponsors of the programme and others.

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