Africa’s inaugural Startupbootcamp has helped bridge the gap between corporates and startups, with the initiative’s first cohort of 10 startups having secured 32 agreements with large companies, says the programme’s managing director Zachariah George.
The 32 agreements facilitated by Startupbootcamp Cape Town — which concluded yesterday with a Demo Day in the city — include pilots, proof of concepts, experiments and contracts with the programmes sponsors and other corporates, said George (pictured above).
“This never happens in Africa, in corporate Africa, it usually takes years, two years to get a startup to even have a meeting,” said George speaking at the event, held at Ratanga Junction Conference Centre in the city.
While some of the engagements were concluded with the sponsors — which include Old Mutual, RCS, BNP Paribas, Nedbank, Woolworths Financial Services and PwC — he could not go into detail about the commercial engagements, citing privacy and confidentiality concerns.
The programme, which is the first Startupbootcamp programme on the continent, kicked off in September. It saw the participating startups get €15 000 in return for eight percent equity and access to over 100 mentors and free office space.
George said the 10 had all achieved significant commercial traction, with all the startups currently in discussion around possible seed and angel funding.
At the inception of the programme three of the startups were still in the concept stage. Just four were in the post-revenue stage.
“All of them are generating revenue and a few have even broken even,” he said.
Yesterday’s demo day, he said, was historical as it marked the first time corporations from around the world have collaborated to work with African startups towards proof of concepts and commercial agreements. Said George: “Today is just the beginning”.
Article by Daniel Mpala