South Africa’s first start-up business accelerator, Seed Engine is set to inject over $240,000 into its second accelerator class in a move to help tech entreprenuers build companies and create jobs in Africa’s most developed economy.
The second programme has selected six ventures which will receive around $40,000 (R100 000 start up capital plus over R300 000 in additional benefits) each so ideas can be converted into investable and commercial realities.
Marc Elias, CEO of Seed Engine said the accelerator takes a 20% stake in each business at the start when they are worth R500 000 (around $50,000) but after acceleration when they pitch to potential investors at Demo Day they are worth at an average of R3 million (around $300,000) – a substantial increase in a very short time.
“There’s a desperate need for jobs in South Africa. Companies create these,” Elias said. “Seed Engine and its partners are supporting people with distinctive and disruptive business concepts and turning them into investable businesses. We take people with strong ideas and we turn them into leaders.”
The teams of entrepreneurs are currently undergoing a 12 week business boot camp where they are being coached, mentored and supported to grow their concept into a business. At Demo Day, which takes place on 27 November 2013 at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS), ventures pitch potential investors including angels, venture capitalists, private equity firms, corporates and government so that they can attract further funding.
The ventures selected include;
Stockshop.co.za, an online portal that bridges the gap between stock market product and service providers and those that want to invest. Users can access an extensive range of educational and research tools for the South African stock market, in an easy-to-use format. Founded by Annabel Dallamore, mechanical engineer.
Puntr aims to change the way that live sport is watched on TV. Puntr has embraced the phenomenon of second screening and has produced a real time, social, sports prediction game, in the form of an app for mobile devices that sports fans can play against their mates, while they watch live sport on TV.
It was founded by Grant I’Ons and Gerhard Taljaard.
1heart.co.za streamlines communication in emergency situations and allows people to help save the lives of others and was founded by Lawrence Joffe, electrical engineer and Justin Price, chartered accountant.
Autodek.co.za is a web based online marketing and management system serving the auto retail sector. It offers an array of turnkey solutions to extensively streamline data management and reporting as well as providing innovative marketing solutions for vastly increased efficiency and sales performance. Autodesk was founded by Gregory Dix, marketing agency owner.
Colormeclever.co creates educational apps for kids and was founded by Daniella Orkin, lecturer and artist.
Fifty2.com is an academic organising platform for students and lecturers founded by Sean Pleaner and Karl Buys.
Those that want to apply for Seed Engine’s next accelerator starting in February 2014 go to www.seedengine.co.za.
The accelerator is supported by Absa which is contributing seed capital. Grovest, the first Section 12J fund in South Africa, and U-Start, which is an international organisation that seeks investments via Seed Engine. The South African Venture Capital Association (SAVCA) has also endorsed Seed Engine as one of the more prominent feeders of deal flow to the strong venture capital community in the country while the Sable Accelerator, based in Silicon Valley has built a strong relationship with Seed Engine in profiling its underlying ventures with its international network of venture capitalists, angel investors and distribution partners.
Amazon Web Services has committed $3000 worth of data driven products for each Seed Engine start up while Tiber, one of the largest private property owners and construction companies in South Africa, has provided Seed Engine with free rent for the first activation as well as assistance with the construction of the work space.
Redwood Capital Partners has and provided Seed Engine with capital to develop the innovative work space and will also be mentoring the entrepreneurs through the activation process.
Other partners include Urban Everest, a coaching and leadership facilitation company have joined Seed Engine to develop the accelerator programme and coach the entrepreneurs. PKF, one of the largest accounting and auditing companies in the world, have come on board in the shared vision of Seed Engine to assist the underlying ventures with financial planning, first year audits and general guidance, Microsoft and ITEC.