Today Startupbootcamp unveils the launch of their new accelerator program opening in Cape Town. This global industry-focused accelerator group has 18 programs across 13 countries and has seen value in now setting up a footprint in Africa. Startups from around the world can apply now to be part of the intense 3-month support program to be run in Cape Town.
The call for applications is focused on sourcing scalable technology solutions applicable to diversified financial services and related industries. The aim is to grow disruptive startups and connect them with dynamic corporates, providing both with an opportunity to collaborate and build the African tech ecosystem.
The launch of this first Startupbootcamp Cape Town programme in Africa comes post a trend analysis that found 161 applications to the global programme to have originated from African teams in 2016. Additionally, there were 5 South Africa FastTracks in 2015 and 3 in 2016. To date, Startupbootcamp has invested in 8 teams from Africa in total, 3 of which are in the current InsurTech cohort.
With this new and unique program, Startupbootcamp brings together top startups from around the world, a mentor network of renowned industry experts and entrepreneurs and major players in banking, insurance, consultancy, leasing and technology as founding partners. From a pool of hundreds of applications, Startupbootcamp Cape Town will select the 10 most promising teams, and will provide each team with EUR 15,000 100+ highly engaged mentors from the FinTech, InsurTech and RegTech industries, free office space, a convertible note, access to funding and a network of industry partners, investors and venture capital firms. The 3-month programme will kick off in September 2017.
Philip Kiracofe, co-MD of Startupbootcamp Cape Town highlighted: “The African tech and digital landscape is growing exponentially, and we firmly believe that the future of innovation will come from Africa. Cape Town is one of the most vibrant and creative hubs on the continent and we are both excited and humbled to contribute by attracting global expertise here. “
The accelerator is anchored by strong corporate sponsors that will support and grow the programme and selected startups. Global sponsors include Google cloud, Amazon web services, Intel, and Cisco.
Natacha Baumann, the Head of Innovation and Transformation at BNP Paribas Personal Finance for South Africa, the UK, the Nordics, Belgium and Germany said, “We are engaging in various open innovation initiatives around the world which is part of our transformation strategy. Like RCS, BNP Paribas Personal Finance is looking for innovative technologies to enhance the customer experience and to improve systems and processes. We are very enthusiastic to start the partnership with Startup Bootcamp in Cape Town what answers both our willingness to boost the cooperation with start-ups and will help in leveraging the potential of the African continent”.
Paul Mitchell, Fintech Lead for PwC South Africa said "We are very excited to be part of Startup Bootcamp's first foray into Africa. Our clients recognise the disruption potential of fintechs and other startups, and we are helping many of them to harness the opportunities arising from this. Startup Bootcamp provides a great way for the industry incumbents to connect to startups, and to learn about their impact."
To kick off, startups from all over the world are invited to present their ideas to the Startupbootcamp team at a series of ‘FastTrack’ days between May and July 2017. These FastTracks are being held globally in cities including Accra, Amsterdam, Cairo, Cape Town,Doha, Dubai, Johannesburg, Kampala, Lagos, London, Nairobi, Paris, and Tel Aviv.
Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, welcomed the accelerator to Cape Town: “Startupbootcamp’s decision to launch their African programme in Cape Town speaks to the business confidence they have in the Western Cape. The region has emerged as a centre for venture capital activity in South Africa. The majority of the country’s start-ups are based here and 75% of venture capital deals were concluded in this province. The onset of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is dismantling the barriers to entry in most industries, generating an increase in the number of people who can meaningfully participate in the economy. This is why we have prioritised the support of entrepreneurs in the Western Cape, and expanding access to affordable public internet. Startupbootcamp will play an important role in growing innovative entrepreneurs.”