Startup Wise Guys (SWG), based on the success of the first batch of accelerators, vows to build momentum in Africa’s start-up scene. Applications for its next B2B SaaS accelerator have been accepted.
SWG is billed as Europe’s most experienced start-up accelerator and one of its most active early-stage investment funds.
As the first batch of SWG’s SaaS accelerator in Africa comes to a close, anticipation for a sequel has been running high. The program, which is available in all of Africa, is the first for early-stage B2B start-ups.
With more than 360 applications in the first batch, most of them from Nigeria and Kenya, there was a strong application pool. In comparison, SWG programmes in Europe that are well-established typically receive about 200 applications.
This is because total venture capital investment in Africa has been rising, with 2021 more that doubling the 2019 amount, but early-stage support continues lag.
Empowering digital start-ups
Like the previous iteration, the new accelerator aims to empower digital start ups that have at least one founder, a minimum viable product and some customer traction.
The selection committee will focus on promising companies that work in the fintech/agritech/edtech/cleantech, healthtech and retailtech sectors. English-speaking start-ups across Africa are encouraged, with a special focus on Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya.
Adia Sowho, SWG venture partner and CMO at MTN Nigeria, says, “I see a SaaS-first future in Africa. This makes SWG’s experience building and scaling more than 300 SaaS start-ups – coupled with the extended support in their accelerator – critical for seed-stage start-ups.”
Select start-ups are invited for the second time to participate in an intensive accelerator of five months. This will combine online modules with mentors and experts from both local and global countries. Before the application deadline, there will be several bootcamps.
These bootcamps give promising start-ups an opportunity to compete for the chance to pitch in front the programme general partners as well as the SWG team. The graduation day event will give access to investors from around the world to start-ups who have participated in the main accelerator program.
Selected start-ups will be invited to participate in a rigorous, online accelerator that includes up to $68 000 investment for a maximum of 12% equity. This program is the first ever pan African, SaaS-focused accelerator. It will be followed by the second cohort on Monday, October 10, 2022.