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Home Startups African startups invited to apply for the next e-Track programme .

African startups invited to apply for the next e-Track programme .

by Weddy Thuranira
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Applications are now open for the upcoming e-Track programme, which will be hosted by UCT GSB Solution Space.

This three-phase venture accelerator was developed by ayoba and a specialised centre of the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business to support African start-ups.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, organisers claim that Africa is one of the most innovative and promising regions for start-ups, with a record $4 billion raised in 2021.

Funded by Ayoba,e-Track is a start-up support programme that focuses on high-impact early startups, corporate innovation, and entrepreneurship development. 

Seven of the graduating start-up ventures got the opportunity to pitch their businesses to an audience in a hybrid event conducted on the GSB campus earlier this month to celebrate the recent cohort who completed the e-Track Programme earlier this month.

“Demo day” is the culmination of the e-Track journey, and it allows participating ventures to showcase their learnings, celebrate their progress, and engage the startup ecosystem about their future plans.

Stand-out start-ups

Winning the peer award was Strapp, whose idea of a rental marketplace enables people to rent out their unused possessions. Identified as the most promising start-up was SuM1 Investments, which collectively invests alongside individual investors and Stokvels in income generating assets.

Other businesses featured at demo day were:

  • Laduma Analytics, which enables data-driven storytelling and performance analysis for SA professional football;
  • GoShare, a donation-based crowdfunding platform that enables tertiary students to raise funds to settle their outstanding fee debt;
  • Kelo, Africa’s first interactive digital bookstore and library; PageBeats, a simple and privacy-focused analytics suite;
  • and the Beauty Network, which aims to bring affordable, high quality wellness and beauty products to the local market.

How to apply for e-Track access

The application period for the upcoming e-Track program is now open.

The first phase is known as the venture launch phase, and it focuses on verifying the business concept. Participants who have or intend to establish both for-profit and non-profit scale-ups should attend. 

The program’s second phase focuses on speeding up the development of the validated business, while the third step focuses on scaling ventures with the support of partners and investors.

Benefits of participating in this programme include access to the following resources:

  • Co-working space and community of peer founders: Access to the UCT GSB Solution Space Waterfront and Philippi Hubs with Wi-Fi, hot desks, lounge areas, and meeting rooms. This enables start-ups to become part of a growing community and network of passionate founders looking to build the future.
  • Access to industry experts: During this programme participants are exposed to and mentored by seasoned entrepreneurs and professionals who have a wide range of experience working with start-ups.
  • Advisory services: Start-ups have access to some of the most innovative, creative,and seasoned experts in the venture space, where they can obtain insights and advice from venture capitalists, creative directors, legal guides, and serial entrepreneurs.  There are also masterclasses in a range of topics including legal, tax and accounting, human resources, branding and social media.

“Ayoba’s vision is to provide a localised experience, supported by engaging services that are relevant to our users,” says Eero Tarjanne, head of business and ecosystem development at ayoba.

“The ayoba platform represents an opportunity for homegrown talent to develop applications that reflect local cultures and values and that address challenges in our markets, while benefiting the broader community. Ayoba is delighted to partner with UCT GSB and the e-Track programme to help support the entrepreneurial spirit and the scaling up of the teams’ solutions across the continent.”

Apply here or visit the UCT GSB Solution Space website to learn more: https://gsbsolutionspace.uct.ac.za/e-track. The call for applications closes 29 April 2022

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