Tech Incubator Techstars gears up for first-ever African program

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Startup incubator Techstars has announced the first 10 businesses – all in fintech – for its newly opened Barclays Accelerator partnership program in Cape Town.

The lucky companies are: Inuka Pap (from Kenya), BimaAfya (Tanzania), Social Lender (Nigeria), Beyonic (US, focused on Uganda and Kenya as its initial markets), tech4farmers (Uganda), Asoriba (Ghana), Reable (Lebanon), BenBen (US, focused on Ghana and a co-founder originally from Ghana), WizzPass (South Africa) and Simba Pay (UK/Kenya with Kenyan founders and focused on Kenya and Uganda).

Over 450 applications were received from 45 countries for spots in the 13-week programme, which is being run in Africa for the first time.

“To be selected out of the 450 applications from across the globe is no small feat. Each of the 10 companies represented something unique that we believe has the potential to become a significant and relevant player on a global scale,” he says.

“Typically Techstars companies go on to raise between $1-million to $3-million in venture funding on completion of the program from primarily UK and US-based investors. Having a Cape Town office extends the reach of these companies so that they can benefit from the Techstars network for both access to funding, markets and talent,” he told me.

“The programme itself focuses on the African continent rather than just South Africa, but ultimately all companies selected will have to relocate to Cape Town for the 13 weeks, extending the reach and scope of Cape Town as a global player in the startup ecosystem.”

 

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